Saturday, November 19, 2022

Georgia Adams Lane & A "No Nothings Fancy" Quilt

Applique quilt with a good deal of family information.
The pattern is distinctive, a variation of a reel or pineapple
design that is sometimes called Chestnut Burr or Tobacco Leaf...

as from the family of Betty Meek who told the Louisiana project when they brought in this version similar in pattern. The quilts share a common fabric, a red-brown solid that we've been calling Oxblood Brown over at the QuiltHistorySouth Facebook group. Good clue to after 1880, particularly when used in applique with teal blues and greens and chrome orange solid cottons.

The quilt, attributed to Georgia Ann Adams Lane, looks to be nine blocks,
 quilted in lines echoing the applique, a clue to "after 1880" but not
as strong a clue as pattern and fabrics.

However, the quilt is inscribed 1860, the year Georgia Ann Adams
married Robert Mayne Lane in Jasper County, Georgia.

Here she is in the 1860 Jasper County census a few months before the marriage
 living with her parents Edward & Julia Adams, 5 younger siblings and Robert Lane a farmer
like her father (perhaps working for her father.)

The family story accompanying the quilt tells us
Georgia dyed the fabrics herself and the family called
 the pattern "No Nothings Fancy."

Library of Congress
The Know-Nothings or American Party were a short-lived political party of
the 1850s with a paranoid platform based on anti-immigration.

The Indiana State Museum owns this quilt
with the name "Fancy Know Nothing."

Georgia's is an interesting political reference from a Southern woman. 

The Know Nothings were far more active in the north
where mobs attacked Catholic institutions and sent
Plug Uglies to beat up German and Irish immigrants.

A Plug Ugly

In the second year of the Civil War Robert M. Layne left his pregnant wife to join the local Jasper Volunteers sent north to fight in Virginia. Within weeks he was wounded and died shortly before his daughter Roberta Mayne Lane was born.

Robert is actually buried in Jackson, Georgia

The 1870 census finds Georgia and Roberta living with Georgia's parents and then she disappears from the records.

Is she the Georgia Lane that married S.A.H. Wilkes in Jasper County in 1871?

There are many mysteries about this quilt including where I found the pictures of the quilt and the typed information. (sigh!)

My guess is the quilt is now in a U.D.C. collection in Atlanta,
 based on the last paragraphs on the information sheet, 
donated by Georgia's grandson's wife, who had the wonderful maiden
 name of  Florrie Alamo Harp (1894-1987)

I have a hard time believing it was made in 1860.

A close look at the inscription reveals it is cross-stitch but not
the kind of counted cross stitch you see in the early to mid-19th century.
More a larger, looser imitation of the earlier style.

Does it commemorate Georgia's 1860 marriage, short and perhaps sweet?

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