Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Lincoln Signature Quilt?

"Abraham Lincon
[P]Resident U.S. America

Well you'd hope it was an authentic autograph but did he ever misspell his name?
And the office?

An authentic Lincoln signature in an autograph book.
See more about that signature here:

This Turkey red signature quilt from the Snyder family
belongs to the
Historic Huguenot Street Museum in 
New Paltz, New York

SUNY student Ashley Trainor did a genealogical project to date the quilt, which has 63 Ulster County signatures on it. There are also three famous names: 
"Abraham Lincon,"  “Mrs. Abraham Lincoln,” and “Gen. U.S. Grant”

Using marriage, birth, and death dates, plus the famous names, she has come up with the date 1865-1866, consistent with the date on the Lincoln block.

You can't see many details but the print in the Lincoln block looks consistent with that date. Signature quilts were quite popular after 1841 and this "Chimney Sweep" pattern was extremely popular, particularly in New York, from the 1840s until about 1920, so it isn't much help in assigning a date. Do scroll down to last week's post to see it used in a Wisconsin Civil War quilt. 

Borders are always a weak clue, but a clue nevertheless, and those multiple strip borders indicate a date after 1875 or so. Perhaps the blocks were put together and quilted later.

See Ashley's blog post on the quilt at the Museum blog:


WoolenSails said...

I wonder if it was just added as a commemorative block since he was president then? I could see the signature being off since it was on fabric, but not misspelled like that.


Barbara Brackman said...

I'd imagine that's the case Debbie. He didn't write it. Maybe someone was concentrating so hard on copying his handwriting they forgot a few letters.

Judith Blinkenberg said...

I can see it is not his signature but what a great man he was! Hope to meet him in heaven someday.

Sea Witch said...

Mr. Lincoln signed his name as A. Lincoln, so I don't believe this is his actual signature. However, this is a marvelous quilt and I suspect that the creator attempted to copy his signature for her quilt. Great piece of history.

Anna V said...

What a fantastic story and quilt! Thanks Barbara for posting this.