Saturday, December 2, 2017

Quilts Buried With the Silver ---or should have been

Center of a chintz quilt,
perhaps made between 1825 & 1850.

The Arizona Quilt Project has a good photo of this 
cut-out-chintz quilt on the Quilt Index.

110" x 112"
Quilted in an all-over diamond grid and bound with a tape. The quilt looked to be in good condition when it was examined in 1987.

The unknown maker used two floral panels that
Merikay Waldvogel has identified.

The center seems to be her Panel #6
and the corners just like this one from a North Carolina quilt.

Detail of a quilt with the same corner panel in the
collection of the Wayne County Historical Society 

Attributed to Sarah Lenoir Jones, North Carolina Museum of History
in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Here's a link:

Thanks for the correction (see the comments).

The peacock panel along the edges was also popular with quilters

In Chintz Quilts from the Poos Collection
it is identified as Peacock in Tree with Hen.
See another peacock print here:

The quilt certainly looks Southern, pre-Civil War. Its journey to Arizona is described in the family story, which is easily filled out with online genealogical information.

The quilt, according to his great-granddaughter, was stolen by James N. Bull as he marched with Sherman's Army. James N. Bull (1829-1890) was a member of the 93rd Illinois Infantry (Company F) as it says on his grave.

Sherman's Army destroying railway lines.

In 1865 the 93rd Illinois was marching through the South with Sherman. The week the war ended in mid-April, 1865 they were in Raleigh, North Carolina, having marched from Tennessee down through Georgia and then up into the Carolinas.

James was married to Lydia A. Albro. They had three sons when he enlisted from Fenton, Illinois, including Milton Ezra Bull who was 6 years old when his father returned in the summer of 1865 with the quilt that Milton eventually inherited. Lydia must have taken great care of the quilt as it survived her four (or five) boys---to say nothing of a Civil War.

After the War the Bulls left Illinois for the Dakota Territory where they settled north of what is now Sioux Falls in Clark County, South Dakota. Lydia and James are both buried in Rose Hill Cemetery there. James died in 1890 and Lydia in 1927, a year before son Milton whose daughter Effie Maude Bull (1889-?) then inherited the quilt. It went to her brother James Leland Bull, father of the 1987 owner. The owner had lived in the Northwest and took the quilt with her when she moved to Arizona.

House in Atlanta after Sherman took the city in late 1864.

We can imagine the Southern woman who lost that beautiful quilt had a few words to say about Sherman's Army, but she might be pleased to find her heirloom bedcover so well taken care of
despite its march from the Southern coast to the Northwest and down to Sun City, Arizona.

Thirty years after the photo we can hope it's still as well cared for.


Anonymous said...

Maybe circle would be complete if owner would bring back to Southern museum?

sewsandquilts said...

I am not sure where you mean that the North Carolina quilt is held. Raleigh is in Wake County, Goldsboro is in Wayne County. Perhaps you can clarify.

sewsandquilts said...

Ah, I believe that the North Carolina quilt is at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Searching for "chintz quilt" I found this

This quilt is described as:
Object Name BEDCOVER
Catalog Number H.1977.192.4
Material COTTON
Manufact. Date 1850