Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tarrytown Fair Quilt

The Connecticut Quilt Project documented this unusual quilt which is connected to a July, 1864 Sanitary Commission Benefit Fair in Tarrytown, Westchester County, New York.

In the central block
Sanitary Fair
For the benefit of
Disabled Soldiers
July 1864
Amount Realized..."

In June of that year Catherine Beck Van Cortland,  Manager of New York's Women's Central Relief Association for Putnam and Northern Westchester Counties, signed a letter to the Sanitary Commission reporting that the local organizations would conduct a meeting on July 5, the week of the fair.

The "Amount Realized" area is blank.
Never filled in? Faded?

Apparently the Tarrytown Sanitary Fair for Benefit of Disabled Soldiers was managed by women living north of New York City.

Fanny Arnold (Associate Manager for Eastern Westchester Co.) lived in Mott Haven in what we'd call the South Bronx; Catherine Van Cortland in Sing Sing (now Ossining) and Miss G.B. Schuyler (Manager for Southern Westchester County) in Dobbs Ferry.

The woman who brought it to be photographed inherited it from her husband's family. It is indeed an unusual quilt.

The hand with a sword---"The Way to Peace."
Does it represent the African-American soldiers?
Many of the women who were associated with Women's Central Relief Association
later worked to raised money for the Freedmen's Association. 

The cat is relatively common on New York quilts in the mid-century.
It must have a meaning that we do not understand.
Here the block is embroidered "Victory".
Does the cat represent the Union?

Cut-out chintz block above a red work block.

It's set with a striped fabric that is not easily seen in the photos.

The blocks on the left here may represent Corps Badges, images
you see on G.A.R. quilts from the end of the century

 I can't make much sense out of it and even though there is a date in the center I am not so sure it was made in 1864. Perhaps a later quilt organized around an 1864 souvenir?

Here's the Link to the file at the Quilt Index:

1 comment:

Material Girl said...

So very interesting! I live in the Hudson Valley and never knew that Ossining was once called Sing Sing.