Saturday, April 1, 2017

Disunion Quilt

Annie Darden in North Carolina left a diary but no quilt.
March 19 [1861]
"I have finished all the squares for my quilt. I think I shall call it a DISUNION QUILT as it will be made different from any I ever saw."

Ann R. Dillard Darden (1812-1883) was about 49 years old in the first year of the Civil War. She and husband Jet R. Darden lived near the community of Buckhorn in Hertford County up on the Virginia border.

The North Carolina project mentioned her quiltmaking in the book North Carolina Quilts. In 1855 she and friends spent several days quilting. "Put my bedquilt in. Tis very tedious to quilt but very pretty."

The diary is in the collection of the North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
Here's the finding aid.

Here are some online transcriptions:

All that seems to be left of their home is
the Darden family graveyard near the Buckhorn Baptist Church.

Perhaps Annie was making a play on the term Union Quilt, which seems to have been in use around the time of the Civil War.
See a post on Union Quilts here:


Jacqueline said...

Makes you curious to see her quilt..

Unknown said...

Here in Eastern NC, there are numerous records of quilts in old letters, diaries, etc. but not the quilts themselves. In fact, there are hardly any quilts that survive that era. One theory is that the quilts and other family valuables were buried during the war to protect them from the marauding bands of soldiers. And another is that they were in fact destroyed or taken as the Union armies marched south.
At our local quilt show, we encouraged old quilts to be put on display. One year, we were fortunate enough to be able to display an old family quilt whose story was that when the Union Armies marched south, the family put Grandma in a bed with hams between her legs and this quilt over top of her. They told the soldiers that she had a very contagious fever so they left her, the hams and the quilt alone. Another year, an old family quilt was displayed that supposedly had the blood of their ancestor, a Confederate soldier on it. We had no way to verify these stories but they sure were interesting and the quilts were too!