The Underground Railroad, the secret paths traveled by African-Americans who escaped slavery in the South, is well documented by historians. With the aid of “conductors” like Harriet Tubman and shelter “stations” in the homes of sympathetic Northerners and free African Americans, thousands of slaves made their way to freedom in the North and in Canada. Several well-known quilt patterns are said to have been used by people involved with the Underground Railroad to pass along information in code to help guide the escaping African-Americans on their way to freedom. But does historical research support these claims? Read more.