Past Event

Pre-Civil War Quilts: Secret Codes to Freedom on the Underground Railroad

A Road Scholar Program by Connie Martin

Connie begins this presentation by telling the history of her family who were slaves captured in West Africa and survived the Middle Passage. She tells her family’s stories of secrecy, codes, and fugitive slave escape routes from South to North, which was revealed in an information-packed family Bible found dated 1865.

Connie also tells the origin of the Underground Railroad, and reveals key famous abolitionists, slave routes passing through our counties in Illinois, and shows the quilt code on slides and fabric quilt pattern, along with instances of special stitching used in over a dozen beautifully hand-crafted quilt replicas each sewn by Connie’s mother especially for this presentation.

This virtual event is free and Open to the public. Registration is required. For more information, please contact Celeste McKay at

Learn more about Connie Martin, this program, and how to book it.