Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ladies' Aid Sampler #2: Prize Cows

Ladies' Aid Sampler #2 Cow by Becky Brown

E. Dezendorf's block in an 1855 quilt from Rockland County
sold at a Skinner's Auction.

Block corners in this quilt are visually connected by four sprigs
rather than four hearts.

Now, you might think a cow is an odd image for
an album quilt but not in New York, 

It's got to be a New York quilt; it has horses and cows.
From an old Quilt Engagement Calendar

#2 Cow by Barbara Schaffer

Quilt dated 1852 for Elizabeth Griffiths, attributed to members of the 
Middletown Baptist Church (now Pearl River)
Rockland County, New York
Collection of the Orangetown Museum

Orange County, just a few miles north of Manhattan, enjoyed a reputation as one of the most reliable sources of milk for the city.

Farmers who subscribed to the Rural New Yorker would
have had many images of farm animals for inspiration.

Menagerie of domestic and wild animals on a sampler dated 1860-1862
from the Blauvelt, Van Houten & Thomas families of Rockland County.

People in Rockland and Orange Counties, home to many farm families who
raised prize cattle, were fond of cows on quilts. Note Blauvelts &
Van Houtens.

When the Civil War began, the small villages in Orange County responded to the requests for soldiers' clothing and bedding. But in September 1862 the Tri-State Union chided the ladies of Port Jervis for their lack of ambition:
"In Newburgh, Middetown, Montgomery, Goshen, Warwick, and in fact---all of our sister towns 'Ladies' Aid Societies' have already been organized...In this village we believe nothing has as yet been done...."

A few days later Mrs. H. H. Farnum (Abigail St. John Farnum 1817-1874), and Mrs S.E. Cunningham, (Sarah Elizabeth Cunningham 1811-1890) formed a Port Jervis Ladies' Aid Society. Like many of the women who headed the Sanitary Commission's local agencies, these women were prominent citizens.

Port Jervis in 1860, The Germantown School
Minisink Valley Historical Society

The Farnums were rated the wealthiest people in town in a later obituary. Abigail's husband Henry was a banker and a dry goods merchant. While the Farnums raised money for the cause they also contributed their own. In 1862 Mr. Farnum offered a $10 bounty to men joining a local company.

Reunion of an Orange County regiment "The Orange Blossoms"
at their monument in Goshen.

Sarah E. Cunningham spoke for the Ladies' Aid Society towards the end of the war when they welcomed home a local regiment who marched through town and into Lockwood's Hall where they were met with a dinner prepared by the Aid Society and a rather eloquent speech by Sarah.
"Nearly three years have elapsed since you left our village a gallant band, pledged to support your country's flag, her honor, and her laws....Nobly have you redeemed that pledge; your diminished ranks attest it....the tattered remnants of your beautiful flag...attest it. Of all the brilliant constellation that once adorned that flag, but one star remains...the star of Hope."

Battle worn flags were revered souvenirs.
The ladies of Orange County had sent this hand made 
flag to the boys in 1864.
Photos were sold to raise funds.

The post-war years were not happy for Abigail Farnum. In 1867 she was seriously injured in a carriage accident and spent the next few years traveling in search of health. She died in Washington on a trip home from Florida at 56 in 1874. Her husband remarried in 1879 to his brother's widow Diana Zearfoss Farnum shortly before his death in 1879. Diana did not live long but inherited a good deal of Farnum money. In her will she left $8,000 of it to the town to construct an impressive soldier's monument.

The memorial was dedicated in 1886.

Diana Farnum's name is prominently featured

The Block

#2 Cow by Denniele Bohannon

Surly cow escapes

Print this sheet out 8-1/2" x 11".

#2 Cow by Barbara Brackman

See more Rockland County albums here:

Collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of
American History

Hester Willard , Emily Taylor and Mary H Taylor lived in Norristown, Pennsylvania. OK--- not all cows are from New York.

Hester Willard To her Sister Mary Norriston April 12 1842.
This little emblem of respect 
I send my Dearest friend to see
Trust not its motto with neglect
It is dear friend remember

About 1880 from an album in Julie Silber's inventory.
It's got to be a New York Quilt.
(Possibly New Jersey)

Quilt dated 1852 for Elizabeth Griffiths
Collection of the Orangetown Museum

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