Yankee Puzzle by Becky Brown
Yankee Puzzle can recall the basic problem in Lincoln's war philosophy. Liberty and Union. Was it possible to have both?
President Lincoln from the Library of Congress collection
On December 3, 1861 Lincoln gave his first State of the Union address to Congress. He discussed a variety of administrative details but danced around a major policy decision---how to end slavery.
"Under and by virtue of the act of Congress entitled 'An act to confiscate
property used for insurrectionary purposes,' approved August 6, 1861, the
legal claims of certain persons to the labor and service of certain other
persons have become forfeited, and numbers of the latter thus liberated are
already dependent on the United States and must be provided for in some
Freed people working in a Union camp in Yorktown, Virginia, 1862
Photo by James Gibson. Library of Congress.
In other words: General Butler's policy of declaring slaves as contraband of war was now law. What of the thousands of Contraband camping on the edges of the free/slave map that was being rewritten every day? How to care for them? Where to care for them?
Harper's Weekly, December 21, 1861.
This sketch of the refugee community in Beaufort, South Carolina, is full of stereotyped imagery,
particularly in that it is titled "Work's Over." You may notice this detail shows the women still working.
Nothing new. Is that a quilt or bedspread they are washing?
Lincoln's tentative solution in 1861: colonization---
" at some place or places in a climate congenial to them. It might be well to consider, too, whether the free colored people already in the United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be included in such colonization."
The federal government might budget funds to acquire a new territory:
"If it be said that the only legitimate object of acquiring territory is to furnish homes for white men, this measure effects that object, for the emigration of colored men leaves additional room for white men remaining or coming [to the new territory]."
This speech with its idea of a separate home for free blacks and freed blacks was just one small step in a solving a confounding puzzle: How to untangle the complex knot of slavery and save the Union at the same time.
Block from about 1900
Recall the State of the Union in 1861 with an old block called Yankee Puzzle by Ruth Finley in her 1929 quilt book. Other names for the design are Big Dipper, Electric Fan, Hour Glass and Pork and Beans.
Cutting an 8" Finished Block
There's only one piece, triangle A.
A - Cut 1 square 5-1/4" each of light pink, dark pink, tan and brown Cut each into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal lines.