Saturday, March 28, 2020

Amanda Hammonds Linn's Texas Quilt

A well-worn star quilt that survived the Civil War
but the peace was more of a threat.

Amanda Paralee (Pairalee/Pairlee) Hammonds Linn,
Rusk County, Texas
Family history says it was made in 1858
Winedale Quilt Collection at the Briscoe Center for American History

This unique Lone Star quilt went through much adversity.
And so did Amanda.

Amanda Hammonds Linn (1839-1909)
Photo probably around 1900
From her Find-A-Grave site

She was born in the new Republic of Texas three years after its independence from Mexico. Her parents Nancy Lindsay & John Johnson Hammonds were Tennessee and Kentucky natives. Her daughter believed she made this Texas-inspired quilt when she was about 18 years old. At 21 she married 28-year-old Kentucky-born George Alwin Linn on August 15, 1860 in Navarro County, Texas, which is south of Dallas.

Little is known of their life during the war other than she gave birth to two children between 1861 and 1865, one of whom died as an infant. When the Civil War ended she was pregnant with her third, George Payne Linn born in September of 1865. The Confederacy had lost the war and Amanda's husband must have decided he could not live under the Yankee occupation of Captain Adna R Chaffee's troops in Corsicana and Navarro County. 

Guidebook 1867

In 1866 Amanda, George and the boys William Hardin about 6 and baby George prepared to leave the United States for Brazil, joining a colonizing group headed by Frank McMullen. 

One hundred and fifty four dissatisfied Confederates (8 from Louisiana; the rest from Texas) formed the McMullen Colony (also called the McMullen-Bowen Colony), which negotiated with the Emperor of Brazil for land south of Sao Paolo. Dom Pedro II encouraged expatriate Southerners to bring their knowledge of cotton production with land and financial grants. The families gathered in Galveston in the winter of 1867-1868 to board a small and not-too-seaworthy ship called The Derby. After weeks of delay "the old dilapidated brig," according to a fellow traveler, set sail making it through the Gulf of Mexico to the north eastern coast of Cuba where it ran aground during a storm.

The Derby ran aground in Cuba,
map from William Clark Grigg's thesis.
See his book: The Elusive Eden: 
Frank McMullan's Confederate Colony in Brazil 

All passengers and crew survived that disaster but much of their baggage did not, some sunk, some stolen by scavengers.

News of the shipwreck in the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Family history recalled that the quilt spent a few days in the salt water before being reclaimed. The quilt and the Linn family made it to the next leg of their trip, a ship that carried them to New York, where they remained a month and then boarded a ship that landed in Brazil three months after they had set out. 

Villa Americana was another of Brazil's Confederado colonies.
Many expatriates remained.

In September the colony's head Frank McMullen died in Iguape, Brazil, discouraging many. The Linns were among those who returned to Texas and the quilt made another sea voyage.

The shattered red fabric in the star is probably
Turkey red which disintegrates with abrasion from
use and washing.

Back in Texas Amanda gave birth to seven more children, Rosa Bonita being born there in September, 1868. George died at 45 years old in 1882, leaving Amanda with seven children from 21 to two years old. Some of her family moved west to Junction in Kimble County, which is where Amanda died at 70 in 1909.

Junction, Texas, a few years after Amanda's death.

The unusual appliqued border may have been trimmed off two sides.
Different edge treatments as well as different borders are evident at the top and left side.

The quilt was donated to the Texas Memorial Museum at the University of Texas in 1947 by Amanda's daughter Daisy Linn Chase, who was then in her seventies.

Detail of Amanda's belt closure from her portrait above.
Gathered fabric flowers?

Read Sarah Bellona Smith Turner Ferguson's account of the McMullen colony on page 26 of
Cyrus B. Dawsey & James M. Dawsey's The Confederados: Old South Immigrants in Brazil:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Cassandra's Circle #3: Louisa Cheves McCord's Palmetto

Cassandra's Circle #3 Palmetto Wreath by Becky Brown
The palmetto is South Carolina's symbol.

In 1851, ten years before the Civil War began, Marylander John Pendleton Kennedy was surprised to see strong sectional emotions at a fashionable Southern resort while President Millard Fillmore was visiting. Young people from South Carolina behaved rudely, refusing to occupy the same room with the President, a New Yorker.
"The place is full of South Carolinians, who are all in hostility to the General Government....The present generation of South Carolinians are educated in the most settled hatred of the United States."

Palmetto flag

Louisa Cheves McCord (1810-1879)

Hate must be taught and one of the antebellum schoolmasters was Louisa Cheves McCord, a successful essayist and playwright.
"I birth, parentage, education, marriage, and residence, a South Carolinian. South Carolina, you are perhaps aware, is the heart and centre of the slaveholding States of this Union, and defends with peculiar warmth her rights and privileges upon the slave question."
Langdon Cheves (1776-1857)
Cheves was a Congressman when Louisa was a
child. As a "War Hawk" he supported the War of 1812.

Louisa Susannah Cheves (her birth name is pronounced as two syllables, like Chivas Regal, the Scotch whiskey) was given to "peculiar warmth" on many subjects, among them her politician father Langdon Cheves, describing her feelings as more than love. She worshiped him.

1431 Pendleton Street, Columbia

Louisa's 1849 home in Columbia, South Carolina has now seen better days. When Mary Chesnut spent time in the city it was at first an elegant social center and later an efficient adjunct to the city's Confederate hospital.

Louisa was a well-respected friend in Cassandra's Circle, Mary's group at the heart of Confederate power. Mary and Louisa often went for rides in Louisa's elegant carriage and met in the evenings. Louisa's intellect was equal to Mary's who paid her many compliments as the "very cleverest" woman she knew. "She has the brain and energy of a man." One of the "larger brained women a Kind Providence has thrown in my way."

"She has the intellect of a man and the perseverance and endurance of a woman."
Mary did admit once to being afraid of her tongue, however.

Louisa, usually writing anonymously for periodicals such as DeBow's Review and the Southern Quarterly, became the antebellum spokeswoman for the South and it's pro-slavery, free-trade philosophy. Although she usually wrote as an anonymous "Lady of the South" many readers knew her identity. When the South was taken to task about slavery she was on the defense.

Harriett, Duchess of Sutherland
by Franz Xavier Winterhalter

England's Duchess of Sutherland wrote about slavery's cruelty and Louisa disagreed:
"Christian slavery...shorn of the barbarities...[mingles] the graces and amenities of the highest Christian civilization."

In 1853 the Southern Quarterly Review asked Louisa to pen an answer Harriet Beecher Stowe's searing attack on slavery in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Her essay signed L.S.C. summarized some incredibly bad but all-too common arguments.
"Make your laws to interfere with the God-established system of slavery, which our Southern States are beautifully developing to perfection, daily improving the condition of the slave...make your laws, we say, to pervert this God-directed course, and the world has yet to see the horrors which might ensue from it. The natural order of things perverted, ill must follow. "

Louisa's priorities about the men in her life live on
in her tombstone

David James McCord (1797-1855)

She married David McCord, a politician and banker whose wealth gave her a financial platform for her causes, but she had a fortune of her own, inheriting on her 1840 marriage a 2,700 acre plantation called Lang Syne on the Congaree River worked by several hundred slaves.  David died in 1855 leaving her to raise four adolescents.

Collection Georgia Historical Society
Louisa's three daughters and their cousin, 1860

Palmetto Wreath by Pat Styring
Pat added embroidery and dots

Langdon Cheves McCord 1841-1863
Captain in Hampton's Legion, Company H
Her only son named for her father.

When the War began Louisa became a leader in local relief groups, overseeing efforts to equip the soldiers in Captain McCord's company of Zouave soldiers but she soon turned her efforts to a hospital ward and kitchen in her home and to more basic needs than uniforms. She wrote Mary in December, 1862 giving her advice on donations.
"Blankets and shoes, etc., etc....From the little I have seen and all I have heard, I think we have a hard task before us to keep our soldiers from freezing to death. ..Carolina troops are now proverbially the raggedest of the ragged....I am about trying her to buy up old carpets, old blankets, anything which if I can get we will line with cotton dyed some sober color and cut into blanket size." 
Her son suffered a head wound at the Second Battle of Manassas in August, 1862 and Louisa headed for Richmond. Finding no public transportation she hired a train to take her to the church in Warrenton, Virginia where he was being treated and then home to Columbia. He was thought recovered and went back to service but as head wounds will his suddenly and unexpectedly killed him in January, 1863.

He left pregnant wife Charlotte Mary Reynolds McCord alone to give birth to their daughter, named Langdon Cheves McCord 11 days later. Louisa's daughter Lou remembered: "Through these days our one delight was the baby, little Chev."

Georgia Historical Society photos From the book Days of Destruction
Daughter Lou and fiance Augustus T Smythe who married soon after Appomatox.

Mary described the once-elegant Louisa riding around Columbia in "the funniest little
one-mule vehicle" looking for eggs for Lou's wedding cake.

Louisa had little of Mary Chesnut's pragmatism, resilience or sense of humor. She was understandably embittered by her son's death, Columbia's destruction (although her house survived), her fading eyesight and the end of the Confederacy. Reconstruction even with its limitations appalled her. In an 1870 letter of resignation she told the women's monument association she was leaving the state, moving to Virginia.
"South Carolina is too odious for me to be willing to come in contact with it.... South Carolina is fast becoming to me, but as one great grave of the great past."
Lagere Street is pronounced Lagree Street

Restless and miserable away from home, she tried living in Canada but returned to South Carolina, spending her last years at daughter Louisa Smythe's home on Legare Street in Charleston.

During the war, her future son-in-law Augustine Smythe described his fiance's mother to his aunt who'd heard Louisa was "eccentric" and "domineering." He had a "very high opinion of her character as a woman. She is well-read and also seems to be a great housekeeper. She is kind, very kind, to all who claim kindness of her & the sick & wounded soldier is ever cared for."

Louisa was far more than a good housekeeper; she was an articulate political theorist, the female fire eater, but she certainly outlived her time, her culture and her fame.

Bust by Hiram Powers, 1859,  pictured in 
Mary Chesnut's Diary from Dixie

The Block
The block is based on a traditional design...

Collection of the Monmouth County Historical Association
New Jersey project & the Quilt Index open wreath, perhaps laurel leaves, seen in quilts from
the 1840s through the Civil War. This Turkey red print example above is from a 
signature quilt made for Phoebe Combs in 1857.

Jerrianne Evans, Pride of the Forest from her Carrie Hall Sampler

In the 1930s Carrie Hall published a version called Pride of the Forest.
We can view it as a palmetto.
You need a four-inch rose and two of the feathers used in Block 1
Washington's Plume, except you have to flip one over.

Applique to an 18-1/2" square or cut it larger and trim later.

The Patterns

One Way to print these JPGS.
· Create on a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11" or a word file.
· Click on the image above.
· Right click on it and save it to your file.
· Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". Note the inch square block for reference.
· Adjust the printed page size if necessary. Do not use tools like "Fit to page."
· Make templates.
· Add seams when cutting fabric.

Behind Louisa's father's grave, a palmetto tree, 

Flag from a United Confederate Veteran's group

These open wreaths often included berries.

Blocks 1-3 in Becky's set

Extra Reading

Leigh Fought, Southern Womanhood and Slavery: A Biography of Louisa McCord, 1810-1879

Richard C. Lounsbury's Louisa S McCord: Poems, Drama, Biography, Letters includes many of her letters, including those written when dealing with her beloved father's dementia, and a thorough chronology of Louisa's life.

W. Eric Emerson & Karen Stokes, Days of Destruction: Augustine Thomas Smythe and the Civil War Siege of Charleston. Letters from Louisa's daughter's fiance during the war.

I'm working half size. I had to move the rose.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Martha Washington Souvenir Quilt Top

Quilt top attributed to Martha Washington Dandridge Halyburton (ca. 1760-1857)
Collection of the Ladies' Mt. Vernon Association.

The medallion is pieced of a number of interesting fabrics....(Detail shots come from DAR Museum Textile Curator Alden O'Brien who visited Mount Vernon to look at the Washington quilts a few months ago.)

....Fabrics probably not chosen for aesthetic reasons but as a document. 

According to the donor, this rather small quilt was believed to have been made from Martha Custis Washington's dresses by her niece Martha Halyburton.

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1732-1802)
Miniature portrait on ivory by Charles Willson Peale
Collection of Yale University

Martha Washington was wife of our first president and quite a celebrity at the time,
as well as a well-loved aunt and grandmother.

Textile experts Lynne Bassett & Deborah Kraak also examined the quilt top.

How the patchwork piece came to Mount Vernon is actually a Civil War story
rather than a Revolutionary War tale.

Martha Halyburton was a Virginian born into an elite and wealthy family of planters. She lived a long life, dying in her nineties a few years before the Civil War began. Named for her aunt, Martha was the daughter of Bartholomew Dandridge (1737-1785), the elder Martha's brother. 

Martha Halyburton and husband William had nine children; one was James Dandridge Halyburton  born on February 23, 1803 in New Kent County, Virginia. While she was pregnant with James Martha must have been saddened by her aunt's death in May, 1802. 

Current cataloguing information about the top is that the younger Martha gathered pieces of her aunt's wardrobe and stitched this quilt, meant for her new baby James who never knew his great aunt. At one time it was believed that the elder Martha Washington actually sewed it (she was quite the needleworker and other quilts are attributed to her.)

James Dandridge Halyburton (1803-1879)

In any case James was custodian of the artifact. His wife Ann Giles Halyburton realized it's value and passed on the story that Martha Washington had pieced it. Ann Elizabeth Giles (1816-1883), James's second wife, was also Virginia aristocracy. Her father William B. Giles was a Jeffersonian politician, a U.S. Senator before her birth; during her childhood he was Governor of Virginia for three years.

Ann was born in Amelia, Virginia at her father's home The Wig-Wam,
which still stands. A biography says there were 28 rooms.

Ann's mother Frances Gwynn Giles was Giles's second wife, a cousin to his first wife, married when she was 17.  She died at 27 in 1821 leaving Ann (called Nannie) motherless at about 5. Her father died when she was 14. Ten years later she married James Halyburton.

James had graduated from Harvard in 1823, a student impressed by professor Edward Everett who taught Greek literature before his political fame. After law school in Virginia James enjoyed a career as a federal judge in Richmond, Virginia, nominated by President John Tyler in 1844. Tyler's first wife Letitia Christian Tyler was apparently a Halyburton cousin. James and Nannie moved to Richmond with their three children Martha, William and Fanny (there were eventually nine.)

During the 1850s the Halyburtons rented this house at 100 East Main,
still standing, called the Crozet House or the Curtis Carter House

According to the 1850 census the quiltmaker Martha Washington Halyburton
was living with her son and his family of five children in Richmond

The slave schedule for 1850 lists 8 for James Halyburton
from an 80 year old black man to a 2-year-old mixed-race boy.

Richmond's Custom House/Court House was one of the
few government buildings to survive the Civil War.

In 1861 James followed his Virginia loyalties, resigning from the Federal government and taking a similar office in the Confederate States Court in the same city and same building.

When the war began Ann was raising seven boys ages 7 to 19, presumably with the help of her two daughters, eldest Martha born in 1833 and Fanny born in 1844, neither of whom ever married. During the war the Halyburton family lived on Marshall Street between 8th & 9th, near the Davis's home, the Confederate White House, according to a descendant's book. Shirlee Morris Haizlip writes: "The neighborhood was known as Court End because it was populated mostly by lawyers and judges."

 The 1860 census lists only four slaves on Marshall Street; three were women, two 65 and one woman 45 who Haizlip believes to be her great-great grandmother. Her great-great grandfather, she thinks, is James Halyburton through his enslaved son Edward Everett Morris, named for his father's Greek professor at Harvard. That mulatto boy recorded in the 1850 census is no longer at the home in 1860. At 12 he may have been working elsewhere.

William Howell Davis (1861-1872)

Ann Halyburton was apparently not near the center of Varina Davis and Mary Chesnut's circle of powerful women. Neither Chesnut nor Davis mention Ann or her husband in their writings. But the story that accompanied the quilt is that when Varina gave birth to her son William Howell Davis in December, 1861, Ann and James gave the Washington quilt top to the Davises for Billy.  The connection to the Washington and Dandridge family was important in Confederate imagination, linking the first revolution to their second rebellion, so the quilt top was quite an appropriate gift.

William died at 11 in 1872. Towards the end of her life, his mother Varina gave the quilt top to Mount Vernon in 1899, returning it to the Washington shrine in 1899.

James Halyburton's most notable judicial action for the Confederacy was administering the oath of office in Richmond to Jefferson Davis on February 22, 1862. No photos of this second ceremony survive. Davis's wife abruptly left the scene. Varina could not bear to watch" a willing victim going to his funeral pyre."

Richmond 1865

Varina was right; it was all a funeral. When Union troops threatened Richmond in the last weeks of the war James was elected to a Committee of Citizens to welcome the victors but he thought better of that idea and escaped the city, apparently accompanying Jefferson Davis and hundreds of other Confederate officials, taking trains to Danville, Virginia. Did Ann and the children leave too?

Richmond after Union occupation.
Library of Congress
The courthouse is in the center below the horizon in this photo.

The Halyburtons lost everything.  To support the family Ann and daughter Fanny opened a school at the corner of Grace and Adams in the fall of 1867.

James received a pardon for his treasonous activities in January, 1867
with 19 recommendations.

He opened a law office with Ann's brother Thomas but Halyburton & Giles did not bring in the necessary income. James also taught law. In the mid 1870s he was afflicted with a debilitating attack of paralysis, possibly a stroke. He died in 1879.
A short obituary mentioning Edward Everett
wrongly mentioned as his classmate. Everett was his teacher.

Edward Everett (1794 – 1865)

Everett must have been quite important to Halyburton to name his illegitimate son for him.

Ann died four years after her husband.

She also left two daughters, not mentioned in her obituary.

Read Shirlee Taylor Haizlip's book about here family: The Sweeter the Juice : A Family Memoir in Black and White.