Saturday, April 20, 2019

Newark Album in the American Museum in Britain

The American Museum in Britain in Bath, England owns
an album quilt top with this image of Miss Liberty.
It's dated 1862 and she looks like she is fighting a war.

Twenty-five blocks include two American patriotic images.
(All their quilts are American)

This block looks more like a memorial block than an 
album signature block

"Henry L. Ketchum?
August 25th 1862
Newark NJ
He Giveth His Beloved sleep."

The photos on their website are large enough to read. 
Could that be Nancy L. Hitchens or Ketcham?
The patriotic image inclines one to think it is a soldier's memorial.
But Henry/Nancy has no rank or regiment.

Nearly every block is inked.
The website has excellent photos of some of the blocks.

The central block is beautifully embroidered and appliqued.
The Bible has a printed version of the 23rd Psalm
beginning with "The Lord is my shepherd" and ending with
"I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

From the online catalog:
"The central block is by far the finest. The Bible pages are printed with Psalm 23, with the page edges delineated by tight lines of embroidered stitches. Embroidery threads have been used to shape the appliqu├ęd flowers, with the fuchsias above the Bible enhanced further by applied pieces of pink velvet."

"I laid me down and slept; I awakened
For the Lord sustained me.
July 2? 1862
Newark N.J.
William L Hitchens (?) Ketcham (?)"

Another Psalm
Another Ketcham?
"The theme of sleep is common to many blocks on this quilt top. Quotations from several sleep-related psalms, often used at funerals, suggest that this quilt was made to commemorate someone who had died. The date of 1862 on certain blocks and the inclusion of Lady Liberty holding the Union flag could imply that the deceased was a casualty of the Civil War – perhaps a soldier fighting for the Union or someone sympathetic to its goals."
William's block

The name on this one has bled so badly that it's difficult
to read in a photo. Could those words have to do with a soldier's

At the top
"To a Friend from a friend."

Martha L. Conger's block has butterflies, a bird
and odd inscriptions:

"Martha L? or S? Conger
New Jersey
Tired mother. 
Sweet Mother
B???? Sleep"

Interwoven basket signed Emily P.H.(?) Stackhouse

I did some cursory searching for these people in Newark with more success than usual. I found an Emily Stackhouse listed as a dressmaker with a shop at Quitman & Spruce in an 1875 directory. And William S. and Nancy L may indeed be Ketchams, married in 1839.

William & Nancy Estile Ketcham lived into the 1890s. They were members of the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Newark and buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Newark, as is Martha S. Conger (1834-1890), Emily P. Stackhouse (?-1914) and others mentioned on the quilt. 

Mt. Pleasant is a prestigious, large cemetery in Newark.

Amelia S. Taylor
Amelia Taylor (1818-?) is also at Mt. Pleasant 

Julia T. Marshall

Mrs.? Cornelia Putnam
Buried at Mt. Pleasant d. 1924

No inking on this block.

It certainly looks as if this was made for some deceased honoree but the graveyard information indicates that everybody I could find was hale and hearty in 1862 and lived another thirty or more years.


Denniele said...

What a glorious quilt!!!

Barbara Brackman said...

Doncha love that determined Lady Liberty???

Foxy Martha said...

It is my understanding that The American Museum in Bath, England has the largest collection of American quilts outside the US. I have seen the collection and it is excellent. The museum also has a terrific collection of American samplers. All items are in pristine condition. The current special exhibition at The American Museum features Kaffe Fassett's versions of about 25 quilts from the museum collection, shown together. If you are traveling to England, don't miss a visit to this great museum.

Denniele said...

Lady Liberty and the shield with with the flags and eagle...have viewed every inch!

Kerry said...

My husband took me there for my birthday a couple of years ago. I remember seeing Lady Liberty - feisty looking lady if ever I saw one! So many gorgeous quilts - they have so much more in storage and rotate every year so that people get to see something new. The situation is outstanding with views across Somerset. Just over an hour and a half to get there from here. Must go again soon. I need to peruse that writing closer!

Barbara said...

What a treasure! Thanks for sharing this wonderful quilt!

Lori said...

That face really says, "Welcome"! LOL