July 1, 2015

A Memento of Our Old Matron: The House of Industry Signature Quilt (Part 2)

This post continues the article published by Lynda and Mary in the American Quilt Study Group quarterly newsletter, Blanket Statements, in Spring 2014.

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The House of Industry was established in 1798 by a group of Quaker women, most of whom appear in minutes of the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.  (Endnote 4)  They were initially inspired and led by Ann Parrish after a devastating yellow fever epidemic left scores of women and children destitute in Philadelphia and its environs.  Known first as the Friendly Circle, this group became known as The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor when, in 1815, forty-six of their unmarried members incorporated the organization.  (Endnote 5)

Copy of the incorporation document enacted in 1815.  Collection of Lynda Salter Chenoweth.
 
The organization first provided paid employment to poor women by giving them the materials to spin flax and wool in their homes.  It soon became apparent that the poor conditions of these women, often living in tiny, unheated rooms with their children and other family members, were not conducive to productive work.  In 1798, the Society decided to provide a house to accommodate spinning in a warm and spacious environment. (Endnote 6)  With incorporation in 1815, the House of Industry expanded the women's work to sewing and they began to make shirts, chemises, wrappers, bed clothes, pillow cases, petticoats and other items including quilts and comfortables, "soft thick quilts, used as substitutes for blankets and laid under the bedspread."  (Endnote 7)  Two quilting frames were donated to the House by John Bacon in 1841, a year in which 212 comfortables and thirty-one bed quilts were completed. (Endnote 8)
 
Detail of the House of Industry Quilt.  Photograph by Joseph Coscia, Jr.
Courtesy of the Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
 
The women's work was overseen by House managers appointed on a rotating, weekly basis from the membership of the Society.  They prepared the materials to be sewn, monitored the quality of the work, and provided weekly production reports.  (Endnote 9)  In addition to the volunteer managers, the House employed cooks, an elderly "Nurse" to watch over the children of those hired to sew, and a house Matron.  Ann Oliver Burns, born in England about 1791, became the first Matron of the House of Industry in 1826. (Endnote 10)  The widow of Jacob Burns, Ann was not a Quaker but rather a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  She received room and board as Matron and, in 1842 and 1844, earned an annual salary of $80.00 (the equivalent of $2,500 in 2013 dollars).  (Endnote 11)
 
Herr's article indicates that all of the blocks in Ann's quilt (seventy-six) display names of members of the Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor.  (Endnote 12)  Fifty-five of the names are those of Society managers actively serving at the House of Industry during the years 1840-1845, roughly the period of time when Ann's quilt blocks were being made.  The name of S. [Sarah] Wistar, an additional manager, is inscribed as Ann's "sincere friend" on the quilt's dedicatory panel.  Sarah herself was the recipient of a "Wistar Family Quilt" in 1842 dedicated to her by her nephews.  A block bearing the name of Ann Oliver Burns appears in this quilt, along with blocks bearing the names of other House of Industry friends.  Sarah's quilt is a holding of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Endnote 13)
 
 
Wistar Family Quilt.  Detail of block inscribed with the name "Ann Oliver Burns" 1842."  Photograph
courtesy of Carolyn Ducey and the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska.
 
To be continued.
 
Endnotes:
 
The endnotes began in our prior post dated June 15, 2015,  They are continued here.
 
(4)  William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Volume II (Ann Arbor: Edwards Brothers, 1938), various.
 
(5)  Margaret Hope Bacon, Mothers of Feminism, The Story of Quaker Women in America (Philadelphia: Friends General Conference, 1986), 80 and The Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of the Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor, Incorporated First Month, 1815 (Philadelphia: printed by James M. Armstrong, Inc., undated).  Preamble.  Note: The successor to this organization is the current Female Society of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting which still performs many charitable acts.
 
(6)  "Notebook of Catherine W. [Wistar] Morris, 1802", Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections, HC.Coll 1234, 1 volume, Z.2.22.  Note:  The "headquarters" of the Friendly Society was the home of Ann Parrish on Ramstead Street.  The House of Industry, according to Elizabeth W. Comfort, "The Female Society - Now and Then" in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting News (Volume XV, No. 5, August 1977), had various locations over time.  Society "Minutes" (cited below) refer to a location in Ramstead Court before it was moved to 70 North 7th Street in 1846.  The House was located at 112 North 7th Street at the time of Ann Burns' death in 1883, as attested by her home address on burial records.
 
(7)  Eliza Leslie, Miss Leslie's Lady's House-Book (Philadelphia: E.L. Carey and A. Hart, 1840), 313.  Thanks to Virginia Vis for this reference.
 
(8)  Sandra Sudofsky, "Research Notes", undated, "Minutes of the Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor", 3rd mo 29th 1841, Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections, The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor Minutes, 1795-1978, 20 volumes, HC.Coll 1234, Z.1.1 - Z.1.10 and "Weekly House of Industry Reports, 1840-1845", Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections, House of Industry Weekly Reports 1830-1846, 8 volumes, HC.Coll. 1234, Z.2.7.  The Minutes and House of Industry Weekly Reports are hand-written and arranged according to date (inscribed in the Quaker style) without pagination.
 
(9)  The Minutes of the Society for the years 1840-1844 indicate that women were employed at the House of Industry only during the winter when the weather was cold and productivity would be increased by providing a spacious and warm environment for the sewing activity.  The Society usually opened the House in December and closed it by early April.
 
(10) "Minutes", 3rd mo 10th 1883, 1850 census records, and Historical Society of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, 1708-1985, Reel 943, accessed through www.ancestrly.com.
 
11)  "Minutes", Treasurer's Reports for years ending 11 mo 30th 1842 and 11 mo 30th 1844.
 
(12)  Herr, "Quaker Quilts and Their Makers", 13.
 
(13)  For more about the Wistar Family Quilt, IQSC2005.059.0001, search the International Quilt Study Center & Museum's online collections and refer to Carolyn Ducey and Jonathan Gregory, What's in a Name?, Inscribed Quilts (Lincoln, NE: International Quilt Study Center  & Museum, 2012), 11-13.
 
(c)  Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2014.
 

 


June 15, 2015

A Memento of Our Old Matron: The House of Industry Signature Quilt (Part 1)

The Spring 2014 issue of Blanket Statements,  published by the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG), features an article we wrote about The House of Industry Signature Quilt that belongs to the Arch Street Meeting House of the Religious Society of Friends in Philadelphia.  The House of Industry Signature Quilt is a magnificent example of a mid-nineteenth century Quaker friendship quilt which we would like to share with those of you who might not have seen our article in Blanket Statements.

We are excited about sharing several photographs that we were not able to include in the article due to space limitations.  Joseph Coscia, Jr., who is a photographer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, photographed the quilt.  Special permission was granted by the Arch Street Meeting to use Coscia's wonderful photographs on this blog.  (All Rights Reserved.  Please note that, due to file-size limitations, the photos are low-resolution versions.)  These photographs will be presented as additions to the text of our original article, which will be divided into three parts, starting with today's.

We wish to thank the following for their kind assistance in developing the original article:  members of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, especially Lynn Calamia, Tricia and Joseph Coscia, Jr., Helen File, Nancy Gibbs, and Sandra Sudofsky; Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska; and, Ann W. Upton, Special Collections Librarian & Quaker Bibliographer, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania.

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The House of Industry Signature Quilt.  Photograph by Joseph Coscia, Jr. Courtesy of the Arch
Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
An album quilt dedicated to Ann Burns is displayed at the Religious Society of Friends' Meeting House at Fourth and Arch Streets in Philadelphia. (Endnote 1)  Referred to variously as the "House of Industry Signature Quilt," a "Quaker Quilt," and the "Ann Burns Quilt", it was presented to the Meeting House in 1977 by the Female Society of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.  This Society was known, in the nineteenth century, as the Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor.
 
Patricia T. Herr wrote an article in 1988 about Quaker quilts that included "Ann Burns' quilt." (Endnote 2) The information she provided about the quilt focused on the founding and operations of the House of Industry and on identifying references to House quilting activity that spanned 130 years.  This paper provides a reexamination of the quilt with a closer look at the life of Ann Oliver Burns and the quilt itself.  Our research coincided, serendipitously, with the aid and availability of new, professional photographs of the quilt and its blocks.
 
The House of Industry Signature Quilt measures approximately 108 X 108 inches.  It is comprised of seventy-six blocks measuring 8 1/2 X 8 1/2 inches arranged around a central chintz panel with appliqued corner motifs.  The panel and blocks are separated by 2 1/2 inch sashing that displays two color-ways of the same design in alternating rows of blue and brown.
 
 
Detail of The House of Industry Signature Quilt showing the blue and
brown sashing.  Photograph by Joseph Coscia, Jr.  Courtesy of the Arch
Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
The blocks include nine appliqued floral chintz blocks, eight of which surround the central chintz panel.  The rest of the blocks are pieced.  Thirty-five of the pieced blocks are varieties of "Square Within a Square" patterns with the inner square set en pointe.  The predominantly brown, blue, red, and multi-colored cotton fabrics are of the highest quality, as are the appliqued chintzes. 
 
The quilt is displayed in a glass cabinet so the backing is not visible.  Clearly visible, however, is a wide, floral -printed cotton border on two sides.  The entire quilt is quilted in curved lines and is finished with a knife-edge.  All of the blocks contain names inscribed in ink.  Some of the blocks also display locales, drawings, and the dates 1843, 1844, or 1847.
 
The House of Industry Signature Quilt.  Detail of central chintz panel.  Photograph by Joseph Coscia, Jr.
Courtesy of the Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
The quilt's central, chintz panel displays two exotic birds perched on floral branches and surrounded by a wreath of wheat, ribbon, and flowers.  (Merikay Waldvogel has identified an identical chintz panel as one that may have been manufactured in the United States during the period 1830-1845.)  (Endnote 3)  The quilt's lengthy dedication to Ann Burns is inscribed within the wreath in two parts, above and below the birds.  Above:  "We whose names are recorded here have passed many pleasant hours, may we humbly look forward with an eye of faith, to the reunion of those blessed abodes where praise and thanksgiving are the sweet strains of the Redeemed of the Lord."  Below:  "Ann Burns will please accept this Block, as a small token of regard, from her sincere friend S. Wistar, who is sensible of her valuable services bestow'd at the House of Industry.  May the sweet reward of peace be abundantly shed abroad in her heart.  The approbation of a clear conscience is more desirable than gold, that perisheth.  Mayest thou when retiring from thy useful labours reflect with satisfaction on the time devoted to this useful Institution.  4th mo 20th 1844."
 
To be continued.
 
Endnotes
 
(1) The Arch Street Meeting House is a National Historic Landmark, open to the public.  For hours and information see www.pym.org/arch-street-meeting-house/.
 
(2) Patricia T. Herr,"  Quaker Quilts and Their Makers," in Jeannette Lasansky, Pieced by Mother, Symposium Papers (Lewisburg, PA: The Oral Traditions Project of the Union County Historical Society, 1988), 13.
 
(3) Merikay Waldvogel, "Printed Panels for Chintz Quilts: Their Origin and Use," in Uncoverings 2013, Volume 34 of the Research Papers of the American Quilt Study Group, 120, and Panel 11, 124.
 
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2014.




June 1, 2015

Two Lesser Known Rebecca Scattergood Savery Quilts - Part 2

This post concerns the second Rebecca Scattergood Savery quilt belonging to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum (IQSCM) in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Like the quilt featured in our last post, it is part of the Ardis and Robert James Collection.

The Scattergood Family Quilt, a medallion signature quilt made by Rebecca Scattergood
Savery (Object No. 2006.003.0006).  Photograph courtesy of the IQSCM, Lincoln, Nebraska.
 
The quilt measures 105 inches by 115 inches, displays a Sunburst medallion, and is comprised of cotton calicos.  Names are inscribed on the quilt in ink, both by hand and by stamp.  The quilt is dated circa 1845.
 
This quilt has been named the Scattergood Family Quilt to distinguish it from the Scattergood-Savery Quilt we shared with you last time.  Nonetheless, the quilt displays the names of thirteen Scattergood and sixteen Savery family members, the Scattergood names all placed on the hexagons that form the centers of the stars.  Other names are placed in the blocks themselves, including those of members of the Betts and Cadwallader families.
 
Both of the Savery quilts at the IQSCM exhibit some British block-style influences that became prevalent in northeastern American patchwork quilts and coverlets in the early 1820s through 1840s.  The work done by Janice E. Frisch, referenced below, identified some common features these American quilts shared with British quilts of the early nineteenth century.
 
"These features include alternating pieced and unpieced blocks and a tendency to arrange the blocks in an on-point setting rather than a straight setting.  Additionally while the pieced blocks were scrappy, the majority of the unpieced blocks in these quilts are made of the same fabric.  [. . .]  The pieced blocks found in these quilts are also usually all made in just one block pattern.  The most common block designs include nine-patches, four-patches, modified nine-patches  with large center squares, pinwheels, eight-pointed stars made from diamonds and eight-pointed stars with a nine-patch base.  In other words, they use the block elements most commonly found in British quilts from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  These early block style pieces generally have only one or no borders and do not utilize sashing between the blocks." (Frisch, 61.)
 
The Scattergood Family Quilt exhibits some, but not all, of the influences mentioned above.  With the exception of the center medallion comprised of diamond shapes on a zigzag base, all of the blocks are of the same star pattern using a variety of fabrics ("scrappy"), alternating mainly with blocks of a single fabric. (The blocks along the top row and in the corners of the bottom row utilize some different fabrics to complete the rows).  The blocks are straight set, rather than set en pointe, and are not separated by sashing. The quilt has only one border.
 
The Scattergood-Savery Quilt (Object No. 1997.007.0118).  Photograph courtesy of
the IQSCM, Lincoln, Nebraska.
 
The Scattergood-Savery Quilt we shared last post has the blocks set en-pointe but they do not alternate with blocks of a single fabric and, instead, are surrounded by sashing.  All of the blocks are of the same pattern comprised of a variety of fabrics.  The quilt has only one border and a single fabric was used along the edges of the quilt to "frame" the central blocks.  Both quilts feature six-pointed (rather than eight-pointed) stars made from modified diamonds.
 
Each of these quilts exhibits some, but not all, of the British influences described by Frisch.  In fact, each quilt exhibits some British features that are not represented on the other.  Perhaps, with the passage of time and the continuous contact many immigrants, including Quakers, had with friends and relatives in Britain, the British block-style began to evolve in both Britain and America into less rigid styles.
 
One thing the two quilts share is a precision of piecing achieved by the use of the British "mosaic patchwork" technique, also referred to as the British Method of piecing and paper piecing.  In the nineteenth century, this technique used paper templates cut from old newspapers, books, letters, and broadsides over which the fabric was folded and then basted to form a desired shape.  The shapes were then connected along their folded edges by using a whip-stitch  and the paper templates was usually, but not always, removed.
 
Example of whip-stitch piecing from a nineteenth century quilt top owned by
Lynda Salter Chenoweth.



This technique was used for piecing square, triangular, and diamond shapes but is best known as the technique used to piece hexagons in the past and the present.  Both of the Savery quilts contain hexagons (as the centers of the stars) and modified diamond shapes (for the points of the stars).  The Scattergood Family Quilt uses full diamond shapes to form the medallion Sunburst pattern.

Example of a hexagon fashioned using the mosaic patchwork technique.  The paper template
has not been removed, and the basting is still intact.  Detail of a hexagon quilt top, Ardis and Robert
James Collection, at the IQSCM (Object No. 1997.007.0341).  Photograph courtesy of the IQSCM,
Lincoln, Nebraska.
 
The Savery Quilts at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum are significant examples of the early American quilts made by descendants of relatives who migrated to America from England at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries.  They combine traditional British influences in layout and construction with overall design that reflects the creativity of their talented maker - Rebecca Scattergood Savery.
 
Sources:
 
Frisch, Janice E.  "British Influences on the American Block-Style Quilt" in Quilt Studies, The Journal of the British Quilt Study Group, Issue 15, 2014.
 
Long, Bridget.  Elegant Geometry, American and British Mosaic Patchwork.  Lincoln, NE: The International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 2011.
 
Rae, Janet.  The Quilts of the British Isles.  London: Deirdre McDonald Books, 1987.
 
Related research notes provided by the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska.  Our thanks to Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections, for sharing this material.
 
 
(c)  Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2015.
 

May 16, 2015

Two Lesser-Known Rebecca Scattergood Savery Quilts - Part 1

Those of you familiar with the name Rebecca Scattergood Savery (1770-1855) most likely associate her with the three spectacular Sunburst quilts she made, perhaps based on kaleidoscope images, and each containing thousands of diamond-shaped pieces.  These quilts currently reside at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, and the Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Library in Winterthur, Delaware.  (Go to http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/70225.html?mulR=525302661|1 to see her Sunburst quilt at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.)

Less well known are two of her quilts - both inscribed friendship quilts - at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Another similar quilt, owned by the Museum of American Folk Art and dated 1844, has been attributed to Elizabeth Hooten (Cresson) Savery because the name "E.H. Savery" appears on its center block.  It is possible that Rebecca and her daughter-in-law Elizabeth, who married Rebecca's oldest son William, both participated in its creation.  (Refer to our post of March 1, 2014 for a photograph and description of the inscribed friendship quilt at the Museum of American Folk Art.  One of the ink drawings on this quilt depicts Penn's Treaty based on Benjamin West's painting titled "Penn's Treaty with the Indians.")

Today's post deals with the first of the two quilts belonging to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.  This quilt, part of the Ardis and Robert James Collection, is also dated 1844.  It measures 118.5 inches by 114 inches and is comprised of eighty-five six-pointed, mosaic patchwork, star blocks set en pointe.  The hexagons at the centers of the star blocks are inscribed with names in ink and also contain several ink illustrations.

Star Signature Quilt made by Rebecca Scattergood Savery (IQSC 1997.007.0118).
Photograph courtesy of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska.


The center block of this quilt contains the name Cyrus Cadwallader (1763-1848).  He was eighty-one years old in 1844 and the oldest person named on the quilt.  He was also a prominent citizen who served as a state Senator for Pennsylvania from 1816-1825.  The names of six other members of his family are also inscribed on this quilt which may or may not have been made as a tribute to him.

Eight of the quilt's star blocks display the inscription "Rebecca Savery/Aged 74".  The names of another fourteen Savery family members appear on the quilt along with the names of fifteen Scattergood and ten Cope family members.  Several Scattergoods married Cadwalladers, Saverys, and Copes so the quilt is not only a friendship quilt but also documents a network of families who were members of the community of Religious Society of Friends that existed in the Delaware Valley area in Philadelphia and, by extension, to the east of Philadelphia across the Delaware River into New Jersey.

Quilt maker Rebecca Scattergood Savery was from an early Quaker family who migrated from England and settled in Burlington County, New Jersey in the late 1600s.  She was born in Philadelphia on July 29, 1770 to John Scattergood (1742-1776) and his wife, Elizabeth Head (1749-1836).  On November 14, 1791, Rebecca married Thomas Savery (1751-1819), the son of William Savery (1721 or 22- 1789) who would become one of Philadelphia's most renowned cabinet and chair makers.  Thomas was a carpenter as well, following in his father's trade as furniture maker.  Rebecca and Thomas had five children between 1798 and 1810:  William (1798-1858); Mary (1800-1869); Thomas (1802-1860); Elizabeth (1806-1860); and, Sarah (1810-1832).  The earliest quilt attributed to Rebecca is dated 1827, seventeen years after the birth of her last child.
 
William Savery chairs on display in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Source of image:  Wikimedia Commons.
 
The article by Mimi Sherman cited below comments on the British fabrics used in Rebecca Scattergood Savery quilts and the influence of British quilt making techniques represented by Rebecca's Sunburst and star signature quilts.  During the late 1600s through the mid-1800s, Delaware Valley Quakers from England maintained close ties with the London Yearly Meeting and engaged in seafaring trade that facilitated the import of British fabrics and the use of the English mosaic patchwork techniques so expertly used in Rebecca's quilts.
 
Detail of quilt IQSC 1997.007.0118.  Elizabeth Savery block with ink
depiction of a bee hive and her name inscribed on a ribbon that crosses it. 
 Photograph courtesy of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.
 
Several members of Rebecca's family, including her grandfather Joseph Scattergood (1713-1754) and, by marriage, Thomas Pym Cope (1768-1854) and his sons, established commercial seafaring businesses moving people, products and, in the case of the Cope Packet Line, mail between the east coast of America to England and back.  In particular, the crossing frequency of the Cope Packet Line, with three packet ships in transit at all times, provided ample opportunity for Rebecca and other family members to obtain British fabrics for their clothing and quilt making activities.
 
The tombstone of Joseph Scattergood, Rebecca Scattergood Savery's grandfather,
in the Friends Burying Grounds, Burlington Monthly Meeting, Burlington, New Jersey.
Source of image: www.findagrave.com.  Joseph's wife, Rebecca Watson Scattergood,
erected this stone which reads:  "On the 30th day of July 1754 died Joseph Scattergood, Esq. aged
40 years, And the next day was interred here, He was a Husband Loving & Beloved, A Tender parent
 A Kind Relative, A Sincere & Faithful Friend a Good Master, an Honest Man.  This Stone is placed
over his Grave by his Mournfull [sic] Widow as a Tribute Justly due to his Memory."
 
The topic of our next post will be the second Rebecca Scattergood Savery signature quilt at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, and the British-style mosaic patchwork technique used in its construction.
 
Sources:
 
Ancestry.com census, death, Public Family Tree, and Quaker meeting records accessed 5/10/2015.
 
Long, Bridget.  Elegant Geometry: American and British Mosaic Patchwork.  Lincoln, NE: International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 2011.
 
Priddy, Sumpter.  "American Fancy: Exuberance in the Arts, 1790-1840" an article for the Decorative Arts Trust at http://www.decorativeartstrust.org/american-fancy.shtml.
 
Related research notes provided by the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska.  Our thanks to Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections, for sharing this material.
 
Sherman, Mimi.  "A Fabric of One Family: A Saga of Discovery" in The Clarion (Spring 1989, Vol. 14, No. 2), pp. 55-62.  New York: The Museum of American Folk Art.
 
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2015.
 
 
 

 
 

 
 


May 1, 2015

The Emlen-Williams Quilt Revisited

We introduced you to the Emlen-Williams quilt on July 4, 2012 in a post about the placement of names on the surface of Quaker signature quilts.  This silk wedding quilt, a holding of the Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Library, demonstrates a practice of grouping the names of close family members at the center of a quilt with the names of more distant relatives, friends, and neighbors radiating out toward the quilt's edge - a practice that is often observed on Quaker signature quilts.

The Emlen-Williams Quilt.  Photograph courtesy of the Winterthur Museum,
Gardens & Library, Winterthur, Delaware.
 
This quilt was made in 1851 to commemorate the marriage of Sarah Williams and Samuel Emlen of Philadelphia.  It measures 79 inches by 98 1/2 inches and is a pieced, silk friendship quilt displaying a star and triangle pattern (sometimes referred to as the LeMoyne pattern). Ninety-one names were placed on the quilt but, due to silk deterioration and the fading of some of the ink, just more than seventy of these names are still legible.  The legible inscriptions were both hand-written and stamped.
 
A beautifully inscribed name appearing on The Emlen-Williams quilt.  Photograph
by Mary Holton Robare with permission of the Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Library.
 
Mary Holton Robare inspecting The Emlen-Williams Quilt.  Photograph courtesy of
Mary Holton Robare.
 
Samuel Emlen (1829-1920) married Sarah Williams (1830-1913), the daughter of George Guest and Hannah Newlin Williams, in Philadelphia on September 30, 1851 at the Sixth Street Meetinghouse of the Religious Society of Friends.
 
Samuel, the son of James and Sarah Farquhar (nee Foulke) Emlen, was one of a long line of Emlens descended from George Emlen who migrated to America soon after William Penn arrived in this country.  George married in Philadelphia in 1685 and was a vintner by profession.  His line produced a series of George Emlens, one of whom was his grandson, George, carrying on the trade of brewer established by his father (also a George).  (Although the Emlens were Quakers, the production of wine and beer was considered an honorable profession at the time and was not frowned upon.)  The grandson was financially successful in his inherited trade and established a county seat in Whitemarsh Valley to which he and his family permanently moved during the British occupation of Philadelphia in 1777.  There, they hosted General George Washington and his staff from November 2nd through December 11th, 1777 while Washington conducted a series of skirmishes against General Howe's British troops before moving on to Valley Forge for the winter encampment.
 
George Emlen's estate in Whitemarsh Valley where he hosted General George Washington
in 1777.  Source of image: Wikimedia Commons.
 
Samuel and Sarah lived with her parents in Philadelphia after their marriage but in 1860 began to build a large house at 121 West Coulter Street in Georgetown, moving there in the early spring of 1861.  Sarah's parents moved with them to the new house and remained there for the rest of their lives.
 
Samuel had practiced law and engaged in business while living in Philadelphia.  After the move to Germantown, he ran a seed and agricultural equipment business (census records list his profession as "agriculturalist") and he also became a practicing Quaker minister.  After retirement in 1891, Samuel devoted himself to religious and philanthropic work.
 
Over the years, Samuel and Sarah had seven children, two of whom died young of diphtheria.  Sarah's life after marriage was, by necessity, largely devoted to the care of her children and, eventually, to the care of her parents, although census records show that she and Samuel enjoyed the help of live-in servants to help on the several acres of land that surrounded their home, attend to the farm animals, and perform domestic duties indoors.
 
Sarah Williams Emlen about 1900.  Gift of descendants of Sarah and Samuel Emlen to the Winterthur
Museum, Gardens & Library.  Use of photo courtesy of the Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Library.
 
Katherine A. Hunt, in analyzing the names on Sarah's wedding quilt, was able to glean information about Sarah's premarital social life by identifying her relationships to those named on the quilt.  The relationships of those represented on Quaker signature quilts, in particular, reveal the community and social networks of the quilt maker(s), quilt recipient(s), or both.
 
Sarah was only twenty years old when she married Samuel.  Until that time, the names on her quilt indicate that her community and social networks included: 1) her immediate family and close relatives; 2) associates of both Sarah and Samuel from the Westtown Boarding School - a popular and prestigious Quaker school serving Philadelphia and surrounding communities which they both attended; 3) neighbors, friends, and family members who attended the same Quaker meeting and lived near the Williams family in the Franklin Square area of Philadelphia; and, 4) members and associates of The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor.
 
Quaker women associated with the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and its several Monthly Meeting venues heavily contributed their time and financial support to a variety of philanthropic causes and organizations in the area.  The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor was founded in 1795 by a few young Quaker women, including Anne Parrish who was also a founding member of the Aimwell School, for the purpose of offering relief and employment to poor women who were willing and able to work.  It was formally incorporated by unmarried members of the Society on January 12, 1815.  Sarah's mother, Hannah Newlin Williams, is cited by Katherine Hunt as having been a contributor to the Society starting in 1818, three years after it was formally incorporated.  One of Sarah's cousins, Margaret, was listed as a member in 1850.  Sarah, herself, was first recorded as a member in 1851, the year she married Samuel Emlen, but she appears to have participated actively in its works for some time before her marriage.
 
"Slightly more than twenty of the individuals who signed Sarah's quilt had an association with the society, and many others had family members who had been involved with it."  (Hunt, 48-49.)  The number of the Society's associates whose names are inscribed on Sarah's quilt indicates that she had a close relationship with them prior to her marriage and probably spent much of her time in support of their philanthropic activities.  A great deal more will be said about this organization in a later post about The House of Industry Quilt owned by the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and displayed at the Arch Street Monthly Meetinghouse in Philadelphia.
 
The names appearing on Sarah's wedding quilt reveal a network of relationships that she enjoyed before marrying Samuel and until moving to their residence in Germantown.  Family relationships would have continued after the move, but Sarah may not have had the opportunity or inclination to maintain strong associations with some of the others named on her quilt, especially as a married woman living on the outskirts of Philadelphia proper with several children to attend.
 
 
These last two photographs show detail of The Emlen-Williams Quilt.  Photographs
courtesy of the Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Library.
 
 
Sarah lived to be eighty-three years old, dying on October 19, 1913 of influenza with bronchitis.  She was still living in the West Coulter Street residence at the time of her death.  Samuel passed away seven years later on December 5, 1920.
 
Samuel Emlen about 1900.  A gift of descendants of Sarah and Samuel Emlen to the Winterthur
Museum, Gardens and Library.  Use of photograph courtesy of the Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library.
 
We wish to thank Linda Eaton, Director of Collections & Curator of Textiles, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library for permission to use museum photographs of The Emlen-Williams Quilt and of Sarah and Samuel Emlen.
 
Sources:
 
Ancestry.com census, death, and Quaker meeting records accessed 4/24/2015.
 
"Early Country Houses: Emlen House & Laverock Hill" in The Challenge, May 2014, a publication of the Springfield Township Historical Society.
 
Eaton, Linda.  Quilts in a material world, Selections from the Winterthur Collection.  New York: Abrams in association with The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Inc., 2007.
 
Emlen Family, One of a Series of Sketches Written by Frank Willing Leach for the Philadelphia North American, 1907-1913, and Brought Down to Date, 1932.  Accessed 4/24/2015 at http://emlen.us/Emlen-article.html.
 
Hunt, Katherine A.  "From the Collection:  The Emlen-Williams Quilt, 1851" in Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Spring 2007), pp. 43-52.
 
The Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of the Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor.  Philadelphia: James M. Armstrong, Inc., no date.
 
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare 2015.

 



 


April 15, 2015

Some Bunting Blocks

We received an email last January from Florence McConnell, a member of the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG) and one of the followers of this blog who lives in Manteca, California.  Florence had recently purchased a set of seven quilt blocks from Julie Silber, a fellow AQSG member and a well-respected and knowledgeable quilt appraiser and dealer.  Four of the blocks have Bunting family member names inscribed on them and Florence asked if we had ever researched members of this family and if we would like her to share the information she had collected about them so far.

The answer to the first part of her question was no, although from delving into other Quaker families in the mid-Atlantic region, we had certainly encountered the name. The answer to the second part of her question was yes, and we asked if she would let us share the blocks and family information with all of you in a blog posting.  To this she graciously agreed.

Four of the blocks purchased by Florence McConnell.  The top two star blocks are
inscribed with the names of Bunting family members.  Photograph courtesy of Florence McConnell.
 
The three other blocks in the set bought by Florence McConnell.  The top two blocks
are inscribed with Bunting family names.  Photograph courtesy of Florence McConnell.
 
The names that appear on the four inscribed blocks were researched by Florence using census and Quaker meeting records.  The names are: Susan H. (Hendrickson) Bunting (1813-1896), her daughter Margaret H. Bunting (1835-1910), Samuel Bunting (1815-1880), and his daughter E. (Elizabeth) S. Bunting (1838-1906).  These four names represent two nineteenth century generations of the Bunting family of Crosswicks, Chesterfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey.
 
Block inscribed with the name Susan H. Bunting.
 
Block inscribed with the name Margaret H. Bunting.
 
Block inscribed with the name Samuel Bunting.
 
Block inscribed with the name E. S. Bunting.  All detail photographs courtesy of
Florence McConnell.
 
Members of the Religious Society of Friends began populating the area around Trenton, New Jersey, as early as 1678 when they arrived, probably at Burlington, from England.  Many of them soon moved to the region around Crosswicks where they established the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting in 1684.
 
Among the arriving immigrants in 1678 were Samuel (1648-1724) and Job Bunting (1660-1700), sons of Anthony Bunting (1600-1700 - yes, he evidently lived to be one-hundred years of age) of Matlock, Derbyshire, England.  Their brother John and his family immigrated in 1682 and purchased land adjacent to Samuel's bordering on Crosswicks Creek.  Beginning with these first Bunting immigrants, we tried tracking their family lines into the beginning of the nineteenth century to the appearance of John Middleton Bunting who married Susan Hendrickson in 1834.  This was no easy task since each male line, and the lines of other Buntings who arrived after the initial immigration,  produced several male children who were given first names that were repeated generation after generation.  After consulting Quaker meeting records, local history accounts, and clues provided by ancestry.com Public Member Trees (many of which provided conflicting or erroneous data), we concluded that it was most likely Samuel's line that led to John Middleton Bunting.
 
A history of the original Chesterfield Monthly Meeting reveals that "[...] Samuel Bunting and Mary Foulkes were the first pair to signify their intention of marriage.  Their bans were published on September 9, 1684, and the marriage was solemnized according to good order and the custom of Friends on September 18 [. . .]  Witnesses at the Bunting wedding numbered most of the original settlers."  (Dowdell.)  Samuel's brother Job was among the witnesses.
 
Samuel was instrumental in building the first meeting house of the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting at Crosswicks in 1692.  (Prior to that time, Friends met in the home of Frances Davenport.)  When a new meeting house was needed to meet the growing number of members, Samuel and his brother John were appointed members of the building committee and became joint custodians of the meeting records upon the death of Frances Davenport.
 
A third meeting house was erected at Crosswicks in 1773.  (This became the Hicksite meeting house after the schism of 1827 split the Religious Society of Friends into two factions: the Orthodox and the Hicksite, followers of Elias Hicks.)  One notable thing about this meeting house is a cannon ball still lodged in its north wall from an artillery skirmish between the Americans and the British while General Clinton was staying the night at Crosswicks in 1778.  Another notable aspect of this meeting house was the presence of an ancient white oak located on the Commons where the meeting house stands.  This oak was entered in the Hall of Fame for Big Trees in Washington, D.C. in 1921 because it was standing when William Penn came to Pennsylvania in 1682.
 
Chesterfield Monthly Meeting House, Crosswicks, New Jersey.  Photograph
courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D. C.
 
The white oak on the Commons shared with the Chesterfield Friends Meeting House. Photograph
courtesy of Library of Congress Prints &Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
 
Early members of the Bunting family played a major role in establishing the Quaker meeting houses at Crosswicks and are also listed in a history of South Jersey with several other families as pioneer or "near pioneer" families of Chesterfield Township "[. . .] whose descendants for the most part have been worthy citizens of the community."  (Heston, 674.)
 
One of these worthy citizens was Jacob Middleton Bunting (1812-1889).  Jacob was one of eight children born to Samuel and Deborah Middleton Bunting.  If our research into the Bunting lines is correct, he was the great-great-grandson of the Samuel Bunting who immigrated to Burlington County in 1678 and was a founder of the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting.
 
Jacob married Susan Hendrickson, daughter of David and Hannah Middleton Hendrickson on February 13, 1834.  (Susan was disowned by the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting in December of 1834, and Jacob was disowned in January 1835, for having been wed by a Magistrate rather than according to Discipline.)  The next year they had a daughter they named Margaret H. Bunting.  The names of both Susan H. Bunting and her daughter, Margaret, appear on the Bunting blocks shown above.  Margaret married an Episcopalian, Alfred Lawrence Black, in 1857 and subsequently had four children.
 
Jacob was a well-to-do farmer who owned a three-story "L" shaped house in the heart of Crosswicks.  This house was described in the National Register of Historic Places Inventory in the 1930s.  It was of Italianate architecture sporting a "widow's walk" and a cupola.  The house was clapboard on a brick foundation with square, decorative columns on pedestals on the five-bay front porch and further decorative columns on the side entrance porch.  Jacob and Susan evidently did not lack comfort or spacious surrounding.
 
Jacob and members of his family were active in the affairs of Chesterfield Township for several years.  His father Samuel, was a surveyor of highways in 1806, was on the township committee for many years, served as a "commissioner appeal", and was several times chosen a "Freeholder" to vote for representatives in the Burlington County Council and Assembly and for all other public county officers.  (See note at the end about "Freeholders".)  Jacob's brother Aaron served as a tax collector from 1852-1855.  His brother Joshua served as a "commissioner appeal" in 1835, the year of his death.  Jacob himself served on the Crosswicks township committee from 1842-47, and was chosen Freeholder from 1852-56.  (Heston, 283-284.)
 
Jacob's younger brother, Samuel (1815-1880), married Mary Williams Satterthwaite in 1837 and had a daughter in 1838 they named Elizabeth H.  The names of Samuel and his daughter appear to be those inscribed on the other two Bunting blocks.
 
We wonder if there are more "Bunting blocks" out there yet to be discovered.  If there are, they might give us some insight as to why the quilt blocks were made and for whom.  They might also give a clearer indication of the date they were made.  Going simply on the four blocks shown here, all we can say is that they were made sometime after 1838 when Elizabeth H. Bunting was born, and before 1857 when Margaret H. Bunting became Margaret H. Black by her marriage to Alfred Lawrence Black.
 
We wish to thank Florence McConnell for providing photographs of her blocks and for sharing her research notes.
 
 
 
Sources:
 
Ancestry.com census, Public Member Tree, and Quaker records accessed April 2015.
 
Dowdell, Marc P.  "The Society of Friends - 1684" in A History of Trenton 1679-1920, Chapter VII, Churches and Religious Institutions, Section II.  Trenton, NJ: The Trenton Historical Society, 1929.
 
Heston, Alfred M.  South Jersey, A History 1664-1924 in 4 Volumes.  New York and Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., 1924.
 
McConnell, Florence.  "Bunting Research Notes", 2015.
 
National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form, "Burlington County Inventory and Survey of Historic, Architectural, and Cultural Resources," United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, not dated.
 
"Notes for Samuel Bunting and Mary Foulke", Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/mn/m8656x8640.htm.
 
NOTE:  The term "freeholder" originated in the early 1700s in New Jersey and refers to men who held their land "free and clear".  These men were considered to be the only citizens eligible to be chosen for membership on county governing bodies.  New Jersey continues to use this colonial title and a Freeholder Board governs the county of Camden to this day, serving the function of county commissioners in other states.
 
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2015.
 
 
 
 

 

 

April 5, 2015

The Quilts of Margaret Lupton Lancaster

One of Margaret "Margie" Helen Lupton Lancaster's first memories of a quilt is from the day in 1933 when she appeared at the age of three in a performance at the Handley High School Auditorium in Winchester, Virginia  The show, which was arranged as a benefit for the Civic League Milk Fund, included the reenactment of historical scenes.  Members of the Hopewell Monthly Meeting dressed in the clothing of their ancestors.  Margie - a lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends - remembers peaking out under the curtain before it was raised for the show to begin.  She also recalls being dragged back to her spot underneath the quilt frame!

Members of the Hopewell Monthly Meeting in a benefit performance for the
Civic League Milk Fund, 1933.  Photograph courtesy of Barbara Suhay.
 
At the age of eighty-five, Margie still lives in her own home where we recently visited with her about quilts (among other things).  She remembers her mother quilting, along with doing a lot of crochet, but Margie herself did not really take up needle and thread until after retirement and the urging of a cousin.  Upon doing so, she chose to adapt patterns traced from books and magazines according to her own concepts.
 
Two of her quilts were included in an exhibit of Quaker Quilts at the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, as well as in a recent exhibit titled "Quilts and Their Stories" at the Barns of Rose Hill, Berryville, Virginia.
 
"The Big Bang, 1997" and "Bits of Nature, 2001".  Quilts made by Margaret Lupton
Lancaster.  Exhibited in "Quilts and Their Stories," the Barns of Rose Hill,
Berryville, VA, 2015.
 
"The Big Bang" measures 85.5 X 86.5 inches.  It is mostly hand sewn.  The star patterns came from the patterns book "Almost Amish Sampler" edited by Susan Ramey Cleveland and published by Oxmoor House, Inc.  Margie commented that she loved how so many different patterns could come together in a harmonious way.  On her label, she wrote that the "edge spikes and corner comets" were her own variations of design.
 
The "Bits of Nature" quilt measures 84 X 86 inches.  Margie refers to it as her "Abram's Delight Quilt."  She worked for many years as a docent at the Abram's Delight Museum of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society.
 
Abram's Delight Museum, Winchester, Virginia.  Photograph courtesy of the
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society.
 
Abram's Delight Museum holds a deep place in Margaret's heart as she is a direct descendant of the Abraham Hollingsworth for whom the museum is named.  Her days in the house and in the surrounding grounds were also the inspiration for "Bits of Nature."
 
Tracing images she found in books and magazines to create patterns, she assembled blocks that represented the flowers and wildlife she encountered at the museum.  These included "Blackie the snake" who made more than one appearance in the cellar kitchen of the historical house museum, much to the dismay of some of the staff!
 
 
 
 
 
 
So, to anyone who is not sure what to do with themselves once they reach their late sixties (when Margie made the first of these two quilts), we say - learn to quilt!  We send you our best wishes during this period of springtime renewal and to those who celebrate, Happy Easter!
 
Quilt block photographs by Mary Holton Robare.
 
Sources:
 
For some history of the Abram's Delight Museum, Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, Winchester, Virginia, see: http://www.winchesterhistory.org/abrams_delight.htm.
 
Robare, Mary Holton.  Quaker Quilts: Snapshots of an Exhibition.  Winchester, VA: Hillside Studios, 2014.

 
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2015.