A Quilting Party During the Civil War from an
1861 Harper's Weekly illustration
Soon after the Civil War began the women of Franklin, Massachusetts had a three-day quilting party at the town hall to supply 56 bedquilts for soldiers.
The news about 75 women participating in a marathon quilting made it to New York.
Franklin in Norfolk County
Franklin seems a rather unassuming town, after the war home to many industries.
Franklin in 1888
Franklin's marathon was not the only patriotic quilting bee in the first months of the war. Louisa May Alcott wrote of a larger event on May 1, 1861 in Concord, Massachusetts. In her journal summarizing events in the first month of the war:
"Spent our May-day working for our men, three hundred women all sewing together at the hall for two days."
Concord in 1865She did not say what they were sewing but we can assume the women stitched clothing with maybe a quilting frame or two set up.