Medium: Oil on archival gallery wrap canvas
Size: 36″ x 48″
The four corners in this painting represent the code quilts that gave information to the slaves about the Underground Railroad. Upper right is the “north star” pattern that guided them to freedom and Canada. The upper left corner is the “follow the flying geese” pattern which leads to the north. The lower right corner is the “crossroads” pattern indicating where to meet. The lower left is the “boat” pattern indicating to go by water.
Along the right panel of this painting I have illustrated Harriet as a nurse, in her military attire, and the troops led into battle. The lower panel is a panorama of escaping slaves showing how they had to fight for their lives, run and hide for miles, sail in rickety boats under the cover of night. The left panel is dedicated to how slaves were hidden in homes along the route to freedom and the top home belonged to Harriet Tubman after she settled in New York. Across the top of the painting you can see the basic map of the Underground Railroad route from the south to Canada. I have included the first notes and words of two spirituals that were used to alert the slaves of the Underground Railroad. “Steal Away” and “Wade In The Water”. You can see slave shackles that awaited the runaways and the cotton boll that awaited their labor. In the center of the canvas is a portrait of Harriet Tubman and I put the night sky behind her with the moonlight shining down on her. In the background sky I have included the big dipper star pattern indicating another of the codes of “follow the drinking gourd” which is pointing to the North Star.