The Underground Railroad is an important part of American history that allowed fugitive slaves to “ride” to freedom. To help guide them on their journey, an Underground Railroad quilt code existed. Because it was illegal to teach slaves to read, they could not communicate in writing but they could communicate through the patterns, designs, and colors of homemade quilts. Twelve patterns told slaves how to get ready to make their escape, what to do on the journey and which direction they should travel. Once stitched together, the “coded quilts” were hung from windows, where they were perceived to be “airing out.” These quilts acted as secret maps for slaves brave enough, and desperate enough, to make the dangerous trek from the south to the north.

Hosted by Galveston Historical Foundation’s African American Heritage Committee

Prizes for Each Division:

  • 1st Place Family Pass to the 2018 Dickens on The Strand Victorian Holiday Festival
  • 2nd Place Four VIP Guest Passes to GHF Museums
  • 3rd Place Two VIP Guest Passes to GHF Museums

How to Enter:

  1. Download and print the coloring page.
  2. Have your child color the picture with crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
  3. Email your child’s completed artwork as an attachment to foundation@galvestonhistory.org or mail the coloring page to:
    Galveston Historical Foundation – Coded Quilt Coloring Contest
    2228 Broadway
    Galveston, Texas 77550

Emailed entries should be sent as a .jpg or .pdf and kept to a file size of 1 MB. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, May 31, 2018. Winners will be announced on Galveston Historical Foundation’s Facebook page and website on Friday, June 8, 2018. Limit one entry per child.

DIVISION 1
Ages 5 – 7

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North Star (Evening Star/ Star)
: This instructed the slaves to follow the North Star to Canada and to freedom.

DIVISION 2
Ages 8 – 10

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Flying Geese :
 
This pattern told the slaves to follow migrating geese north towards Canada and to freedom. This pattern was uses as directions as well as the best season for slaves to escape- spring and summer- since these are the seasons that geese fly north. Also geese would have to stop at waterways along their journey in order to rest and eat. Slaves were to take their cues on direction, timing and behavior from the migrating geese.

Coloring Contest Rules:

  1. No purchase necessary. Download and print the coloring page. Then, have your child color the picture with crayons, markers, or colored pencils. Include your contact information in the box provided on the coloring sheet.
  2. Contest Eligibility: Contestants must be between the ages of 5 and 10 and entered by a parent or guardian 18 years of age or older to participate in this contest. Employees of Galveston Historical Foundation and their immediate families with whom they reside are not eligible to win this contest.
  3. Contest Entry Closing Date: The contest entry closing date is Thursday, May 31, 2018. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, May 31, 2018.
  4. Selection of Winners: Judging will take place during the week of June 4, 2018. Winners will be contacted by email at the address included on the winning entries. Winners will be announced on GHF’s Facebook page on Friday, June 8, 2018. All decisions made by Galveston Historical Foundation with respect to all aspects of this contest are final and not subject to challenge.
  5. No Liability: Galveston Historical Foundation and its employees, agents, and representatives shall not be responsible in any way for any loss or damage arising from the use of the prize awarded in this contest or the entry by contestant herein. GHF assumes no responsibility or liability for any risk associated with the acceptance or use of the prize awarded as part of this contest.
  6. Entries Belong to Galveston Historical Foundation: All entries become the property of Galveston Historical Foundation and will not be returned. Galveston Historical Foundation is not responsible for any lost, misdirected, or delayed entries.
  7. Consent to Use: By entering the contest, entrants consent to the use of their name and email address by Galveston Historical Foundation for the explicit purpose of expanding the Galveston Historical Foundation database of members or potential members.
  8. Applicable Laws: This contest is subject to all applicable state and federal laws and regulations, and any dispute relating hereto will be determined by a Galveston County, Texas, court applying Texas law. Void where prohibited.
  9. Personal Information: The personal information obtained from the contest entry form will not be used or disclosed by Galveston Historical Foundation for any purpose whatsoever other than general contest administration and the purpose set forth in these contest rules.

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