Saturday, January 21, 2017

Alamance County Donates Quilts to the Cause 1862

Union Hospital

Much of the information about women and quilts for Civil War soldiers is about the Union states, due to the extremely organized Sanitary Commission, which recorded so much about donations.

Detail of a flag of the 6th Infantry, North Carolina

I found a Southern reference from the Raleigh, NC Semi-Weekly Standard in December, 1862, which listed "Donations to Company K 6th Reg't, N.C. State Troops by Pleasant Grove District, Alamance, collected and carried to Virginia by Lieutenant Levi Whitted."

This may be the Levi Whitted who delivered the donations
to the soldiers in Virginia.

"Mrs R S Barnwell, 1 quilt [This is probably Mary Barnwell 1833-1878]
L W Simpson, 1 quilt
Smith Rasco, 1 quilt
Mrs W A Walker, 1 quilt
Egbert Corn (free Negro), 1 quilt
Ned Corn (free Negro) 2 quilts
Dixon Corn " 2 blankets
Mrs. K Tate, 1 quilt
Mrs. A Harvey, 1 quilt"

Now of course we want to know more about those people, particularly that Corn family. Fortunately, Lisa Y. Henderson has done some genealogical work:

In the 1860 census, Alamance County:
Egbert Corn, mulatto, no age given, farmer, shared a household with 
Lem Jeffries, mulatto. 

Also, in adjacent households: 
Ned Corn, 60, and children 
Martha, 28, 
Ebra, 27, 
Thos., 24, and 
L. Corn, 22, 
C. Anderson, 23;

Dixon Corn, 64, 
Wife Tempy, 65, 
A.J., 27, 
Giles, 24, 
Frank, 18, 
J. Mc. Corn, 5,
 Bill, 15, 
Haywood, 12, J
John, 18, 
Jackson Heath, 26.

You know Dixon did not really donate those two blankets. It was wife Tempy. And Ned did not make the two quilts. Perhaps daughters Martha and Ebra did the sewing.

Women workers at the Alamance County Cotton Mill

Alamance County was home to one of the largest Southern cotton weaving mills. Edwin Holt's Alamance County Cotton Mill was established in 1837. They specialized in plaid and striped woven fabrics. Perhaps the donated quilts contained fabric from the local mill.

Late 19th-century quilt of Alamance plaids from
the collection of Colonial Williamsburg:

Much more about the Jeffries/Corn family


Laundered Cotton said...

Awesome! More from the south, please, says this native of Petersburg, Virginia ;-) Thanks for all you do, Ms. Brackman. Happy 2017.

BuckleBerrieQuilter said...

And the little village of Alamance, NC, still celebrates Plaid Day each year.

Barbara Brackman said...

Plaid Day! What day is that. Maybe we need a news source in the field next Plaid Day.

Unknown said...

Yes please post the date of Plaid Day... andm ore southern quilts.
My husband loves plaids.. in fact so mu h that a lady trying to tell someone about h
JOhn's health at the time des ribed himas " yuo know, the plaid man at church!!!? Just tciklez me, ow it is his nickname.

So wishing we would have our n
Mills up andrinning.. so many people have lost jobs and heritage.

Thanks Barbara for this post.

Unknown said...

I have a few quilts I bought at local auctions that I believe are from Alamance plaids. They are from later in the 1800's, I don't think Civil war era, but definatley Alamance plaids is the next county over from me.

BuckleBerrieQuilter said...

We'll contact the chamber and post the date as soon as we find out. It's pretty cool in that all the row houses (of which most are still occupied) hang a plaid flag on their front porch.

Mary Says Sew! said...

I love the quilt you show here - it really speaks to me, and I'm itching to make one inspired by it!

I also found a lot of inspiration looking at the quilt on the Colonial Williamsburg site.


Barbara Brackman said...

They have a great collection and I'm glad they took this one which might be a little late for their focus.