National Geographic : 1984 Jul
Underground Railroad sites may have been the Joseph Goodrich house at Milton, Wis consin, where passengers escaped intruding slave catchers through a secret underground tunnel. Among the most ingenious of the Michigan agents were George De Baptiste and William Lambert, who created the Or der of African-American Mysteries, with its system of secret signs. Such handshakes, passwords, and other signals were known and used by agents throughout the under ground system. Sojourner Truth, an unlettered black woman born a slave in New York State, is memorialized by a statue at Battle Creek, where she died in 1883. Alone and in compa ny with her friend Frederick Douglass and other leading abolitionists, always in the plainest of clothes, she wandered the land, speaking (Continuedon page 22) Man with a mission, Levi Coffin, whose portraitis held by a costumed hostess before his Indianahome, saw men chained,whipped, and driven to market duringhis North Carolina youth and realized how he would feel if his father were abducted.He and his wife, Catherine, both strong Quakers, moved north and started a crossroadsstore at Newport (now FountainCity), Indiana,then a stop on the underground.Soon they were sleeping a dozen or more strangers and distributingclothes donated by friends. Among the 2,000 runaways assisted was William Bush, who reached Coffin's house wearingwooden shoes he had carvedfor himself. Settling in Newport, Bush became a conductorfor other runaways whilefollowing the blacksmith's trade. He won the town's gratitudewhen duringan epidemic he dared to bury the dead. His grave was marked recently by a descendant (above).