Saturday, April 6, 2013

Dixie Diary 4: Asylum

 Block 4 Asylum
8" Version

A simple block built of squares and rectangles represents Sarah Morgan's first asylum.
At the end of July, 1862,  new Confederate threats to retake Baton Rouge threw the town into a panic over the coming battle. The Morgan family---babies, mother, slaves and sisters Miriam and Lilly---ran with the rest of the civilian population to a large school for the deaf and the blind on the outskirts of town. Their refuge at the Asylum was the first in a series of exiles.

The School for the Deaf became a temporary home
 for the Morgans and after the war for
Louisiana State University.

July 24, 1862, the Asylum
"Yes; that must be the date, for one day and two nights have passed since I was writing here. Where shall I begin the story of my wanderings? I don't know that it has a beginning, it is all so hurried and confused.  But it was Tuesday evening that the Federals were seized with a panic which threw the whole town in alarm. They said our troops were within eight miles, ten thousand in number. …

Imagine what effect this had on the inhabitants! Soon, an exodus took place, in the direction of the Asylum, and we needs must follow the general example and run, too. In haste we packed a trunk with our remaining clothes, - what we could get in, - and the greatest confusion prevailed for an hour. Beatrice had commenced to cry early in the evening, and redoubled her screams when she saw the preparations; and Louis joining in, they cried in concert until eight o'clock, when we finally got off.

What a din! Lilly looked perfectly exhausted; that look on her face made me heartsick. Miriam flew around everywhere; mother always had one more article to find, and the noise was dreadful, when white and black assembled in the hall ready at last. Charlie placed half of the trunks on the dray, leaving the rest for another trip; and we at last started off.

Besides the inevitable running-bag, tied to my waist, on this stifling night I had my sunbonnet, veil, comb, toothbrush, cabas filled with dozens of small articles, and dagger to carry; and then my heart failed me when I thought of my guitar, so I caught it up in the case; and remembering father's heavy inkstand, I seized that, too, with two fans. If I was asked what I did with all these things, I could not answer. Certain it is I had every one in my hands, and was not very ridiculous to behold."

This is not Sarah but illustrates that guitars
were the same size then as they are now---
too big to take with you on the run.
We have not heard the last of the guitar.

A caba must be a container of some kind. Seventeen people from the Morgan houses fled to the asylum, including Lilly's five children, ranging from a girl about 9 years old to toddler Louis and baby Beatrice.

Sunbonnet-wearing southern refugees from Harper's Weekly.

BlockBase #3210 is the basic pieced block,
 Blocks in a Box.

Cutting 12"
A:  Cut 3 squares 4 1/2".
B: Cut 2 rectangles 4 1/2" x 12 1/2"
Cutting 8"

The red measurements use the 1/16th inch default in BlockBase
A:  Cut 3 squares 8-1/2" x 3-1/8"  (3-3-16")
B: Cut 2 rectangles 3-1/8"  (3-3/16")

It should say:
A: Cut 3 squares 3-1/8" (3-3/16")
B: Cut two rectangles 8-1/2" x 3-1/8"  (3-3/16")

UPDATE I just fixed the 8" cutting directions in October. It's been wrong for 6 months but I guess the block is so simple nobody noticed until Doreen did. Thanks, Doreen.

Optional applique
Go back to the first post January 5, 2013 to see a JPG with the heart and the star.


Lynn S said...

I've just finished reading the diary--found it in the library. I live in Louisiana and was transported back in time. How interesting to read this history from the eyes of a young girl. Thanks so very much for sharing this series. I'm making the quilt too! I'm sewing a spool block on block 3 though! Saving the on-line stories so I can share with my family! I always wanted to do a CW-style quilt in pinks and browns, so this is my color theme.

WoolenSails said...

I have been going through your books that I got from the library, have plans for a few of your quilts. One is the eagle baby quilt, think that would be nice to make and I might cheat and do it in machine applique since it will be a wall hanging.


Barbara Brackman said...

Lynn---send pictures---and Debbie the machine isn't cheating. Sarah and her sisters had a machine.

Cathy R said...

Could a caba be a type of container made out of a gourd? I'm really not sure, but that is what is mulling around the depths of my brain.

Thanks for your blog, the history is always very interesting.

Judy said...

I ordered the book from Ebay. Great price. Will start the book soon. I just love your blocks. Thank you for this projects. I am enjoying it very much.