Saturday, July 4, 2015

Raffle Quilt from the Mississippi Valley Fair 1864

Patriotic silk quilt raffled at the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair, 1864.
Collection of the Missouri History Museum

A while ago I showed photographs of the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair held in St. Louis.

J. A. Scholten's photos give us a glimpse of the women's work at the event in the spring of 1864.
We get more information from The Daily Countersign.

The Ladies' Executive Committee published a newspaper full of description of the handcrafts on display in the Bedcoverings & Quilts booth and other locations.

 There the silk quilt at the top of the page was described as "most noticeable".

"... a heavy silk quilt, made entirely of the national colors, beautifully combined, and corded heavily with scarlet, finished at the corners by tassels. We understand no definite price has yet been fixed upon it, but it will be raffled for before the close of the Fair, so those who desire it would do well to secure their chance."

The quilt is now in the collection of  St. Louis's Missouri History Museum, which gives us the information that the quilt was won by Miss Lizzie Haussler. One caption tells us:

"The quilt was reputedly donated to the fair by Gen. William T. Sherman, but no evidence to support that claim has been found."

The star border on the raffle quilt was popular for
Union patriotic quilts, inspired by a pattern for a "Stars and Stripes" bedquilt
 in Peterson's Magazine in 1861.

The museum quilt and its history at the fair is a rare example of surviving material culture (the quilt) linked to a published account---not only the Fair description but the published pattern.

See the quilt at the Civil War Missouri site:
And see more about the Peterson's Magazine pattern here:

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