Saturday, January 14, 2023

A Confederate Flag?


Block dated 1861 and 1776 from a sampler of applique patterns...

A variety of rather free-form florals set together with red hearts
in the corners of each block.

20 blocks bordered by a swag and tassel.

The quilt sold for $10,625 in 2018 at Freeman's Philadelphia Auction House, valued highly undoubtedly because of its "Confederate Interest."

But I am betting that's NOT a Confederate flag.

The first Confederate flag in 1861 had seven stars for the first seceding states and a consistent 3 stripe pattern in red and white over the war years. The quilt in question's flag indeed has three stripes, but did any Confederate flag sport red, white and blue stripes?

Album made for Reverend Plummer in Litchfield,

Style clues point to a quilt made in the Union in that first year of the Civil War. The use of appliqued  hearts to visually join the separate blocks is a design idea quite prevalent in New York and adjacent states New Jersey and Connecticut.

Quilt associated with Betsy Jane Young Luce from
the New York project.

Sampler dated 1877

Fortunately the blocks are signed and stamped and Freeman's
gave us some names

New York, Connecticut & New Jersey are the first places I'd look for these people. And they are buried in Bergen County, New Jersey.

From FindAGrave

Rachel A. Weeks is a key. Rachel Ackerman Weeks (ca. 1833 -1872) was married to Addison B Weeks (ca. 1809 - 1859). If the quilt was indeed made in 1861 Addison was already buried here.

This was a tight community. There are 128 Terhunes in the cemetery
and four Marias. I'd guess that Maria J. Hopper Terhune was the signer,
as she'd have been about 19 when the quilt was made in 1861, just the
age to be engaged in the idea of album quilts.

As was Caroline Ackerman Ackerman who married that year
(but didn't change her name.)

I could go on but I think the point is made. That flag is a Union symbol of some kind and forget about Confederates in any attics in Bergen County.

See the 2018 auction post here:


Peggy said...

I agree about the "Confederate flag." Although there was considerable southern sympathy in Bergen County, it didn't extend to flag-waving, particularly after the war started. C.J.T. (Charity J. Terhune), A.M.H. (Anna M. Haring), and Caroline Ackerman are Rachel Week's sisters. Ellen Ackerman is her mother. Thank you for featuring our local quilts.

JustGail said...

With the 1776 date, is it possible they are Revolutionary War era banners? If not for the colonists fighting for or otherwise supporting independence, what about English? We do tend to forget that not all were on the side of independence.