Posted by & filed under Object of the Day.

Quilt / Coverlet
Late 19th – early 20th Century
Maker Unknown

This quilt contains a great example of a pattern often associated with the Underground Railroad. According to legend, the “bear paw” design either indicated that runaway slaves should follow a mountain trail to keep them hidden from view or suggested they follow an actual bear’s trail which would lead them to water and food. Scholars have found no historical evidence of any uniform pattern, or symbol, stitched into quilts that could be translated into directions, or messages to runaway
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