The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #17760   Message #172872
Posted By: AllisonA(Animaterra)
03-Feb-00 - 12:12 PM
Thread Name: Origins/Meaning: Follow the Drinking Gourd
Subject: RE: Help: Follow the Drinking Gourd meanings
WOW Kendall- that's some story!! I have a friend who lives in a house here in southwestern NH with a hidden "safe room" that was built for the Underground RR. She claims there is a ghost in the house, but that when she arrived she had a "talk" with it and has never been bothered by it. Her cleaning service has beent frightened a few times, though!
Here's what I undersand about "peg foot": Peg Leg Joe was a white man, a "conductor" , or guide, on the Underground RR. He would work as an itinerant carpenter on the slave plantations, and teach Follow the Drinking Gourd and other songs to help the slaves escape. "Peg foot" was a sign he would carve into the trunks of trees: the shape of a left foot, next to a small circle, signifying his foot-print, to let the escapees know they were on the right track. He would then wait at the Ohio River to row them across and get them started in the path of safe houses. This site gives some more info and some links. It's a great song, and an inspiring story.