Saturday, November 26, 2011

48 West Virginia

West Virginia by Becky Brown

West Virginia can recall the state created when part of one state seceded from the Confederacy. In 1861 Virginia was  a larger state than it is today. After Virginia joined the Confederacy, many in the mountainous northwestern  part of the Old Dominion believed their interests lay with the Union.

The illustration above highlights differences between Virginia life on either side of the mountains. The captions: "Life in Eastern Virginia: The Home of the Planter" and "Life in Western Virginia: The Home of the Mountaineer."

An illustration  in the New York Herald
showing the proposed state of New Virginia
with the Kanawha River running west of Charleston

Union loyalists met in Wheeling in October, 1861 and proposed a new state of Kanawha named after the river that flows into the Ohio River.  Kanawha was rejected as a name (We Kansans are glad, as a good deal of our mail would have wound up in West Virginia .) Other ideas included Allegheny, Columbia and New Virginia, but the majority of the delegates favored the name of West Virginia.

A sketch of the Wheeling Convention at the Custom House in
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, 1861.

The Custom House remains a West Virginia historical site.

The new state of West Virginia became the 35th star. The flag contained 35 stars for two years between July 4, 1863 and July 4, 1865 when Nevada became the 36th star.

The hills of West Virginia continued to be a battleground between north and south as various armies occupied territory and retreated throughout the war. Sixteen-year-old Serene Bunten wrote about Southern soldiers who came to dinner and tried to persuade her to abandon her Unionist views. The family managed to keep their cow but lost some bedding in that 1864 encounter.

"There was eleven rebels ate supper here last night. There was one Lieut. here and he kept his men straight....That Lieut. tried very hard to make Harry and I rebels but he had to give it up. They camped down at E. G. Burr's last night. Late. There was about six hundred rebels passed here today, they were driving cattle and I just expected they would take ours (cow) but they did not. They took Chet's but the girls got them back. It was a curious body of soldiers, they were dressed in all colors. They robbed the stores and houses all along the road. They took one blanket from us."

West Virginia (BlockBase #3798) is a variation of a block published about 1915 by Hearth & Home magazine, given that name when the editors were asking for a block for every state. The complicated design makes an even more complicated design when set side by side.

All very nice---but not at 8". This block this week uses the essential parts---a square that forms a diamond star when set side by side.

This square is BlockBase #2605, which was published in the Ohio Farmer as Star & Square in 1894.

Cutting an 8" Finished Block

A - Cut 4 red and 4 blue rectangles 5-1/4" x 1-7/8". You will cut 4 parallelograms of each color by trimming a 45 degree angle off each end as shown. All the reds go one way and all the blues are reversed.  Remember these are NOT diamonds with four equal sides but are longer on two sides.

B - Cut 1 background square 5-1/4". Cut into 4 triangles with 2 diagonal cuts.

C- Cut 1 background square 4-1/2".

A Quilting Party in Western Virginia, 1854
See Bertha Stenge's  20th century patchwork interpretation of this illustration at the Illinois State Museum.

Read excerpts from Serene Bunten's diary here:
And more about the creation of West Virginia here:


Bev in TX said...

As usual, you have superlatively mixed in a bit of interesting history with quilting. I enjoyed every bit of it.

I would have thought that the history of the creation of the state of West Virginia would have been taught in all USA schools. Unfortunately, this is the first time I have heard of this & I am in my 60's! Ah well, I guess it's better late than never :-). I passed the URL along to my DH, who also did not know about this.

Thank you so much!

Barbry said...

I'm so excited every time I read your Blog. Who knew there was this much I didn't know?! I started late so each week I am making blocks from the start working toward the end and from the end working toward the start. I should meet in the middle someday! I have 12 blocks done. Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

Block is a little more difficult, but very pretty. I completed my block and have posted it along with a how-to on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the story of WV. I always enjoy the side bits of personal history you include.

Anonymous said...

preciosos todo lo que tienen ,me gusta mucho ,un saludo desde GIJON------ESPA√ĎA.

Start A Dollar Store said...

I love your blog! Happy New Year!