Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Herbarium #4: Poplar Flower for Julia Hieronymous Tevis


Herbarium #4: Poplar Flower for Julia Hieronymus Tevis
by Denniele Bohannon

The Tulip Poplar is Kentucky's official state tree, perfect to recall Julia Tevis who left a mark on American women's education with her school in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Filson Historical Society Collection
Julia Ann Hieronymous Tevis (1799 - 1880)
She headed the Science Hill Female Academy from 1825 to 1879.

The building still stands in Shelbyville. The school closed in 1939.

Filson Historical Society Collection
Julia seated left with students and teachers (possibly her son and daughter
among the teachers.)

Poplar Flower by Becky Brown

Julia had enjoyed a fine education in Washington City & Georgetown, first under Mrs. Simpson who emphasized needlework:

She next boarded at Mrs. Stone's where she continued learning to be an ornament to society in the teens. She made use of her experience when her father suffered a financial reverse and she was forced to support herself. Mrs. Stone sent her off with patterns for art classes and white velvet for her students to paint with floral designs for fancy dresses and reticules.

Julia taught piano and French too.  

Filson Historical Society Collection
John Tevis (1792-1861) at about 68 by Charles V. Bond
Julia wrote she had never seen him laugh during their courtship.

She married John Tevis a Methodist circuit riding minister in 1824 and the following year they worked with the Methodist Church to start a Kentucky school when there were at least two other Kentucky female academies with good reputations, staffed by Catholic nuns. "A good Protestant school was much needed," she recalled in her autobiography. "Young ladies of Protestant family, educated in Romanish institutions of learning, returned to their families thoroughly imbued with Romanism."

Science Hill was in the city of Shelbyville in Shelby County.

1840, Louisville Courier

Poplar Flower by Becky Collis

Julia intended her students to be more than ornaments to society. Aside from Methodist piety, philosophy and theology, she added a science curriculum of geology, chemistry and astronomy although botanizing does not seem to have been stressed.

MESDA Collection
Julia wrote of spending her evenings drawing patterns for student needlework.
This sampler by Shelbyville resident Amacettee Younger (1811-1826) might have been
worked at Science Hill in the school's first year.

The Block

Three poplar flowers in our eight similar quilts,
only one colored the way a poplar bloom actually looks.

 The tree's flowers and leaves resemble
yellow tulips.

Liriodendron tulipifera distribution

Fast growing and one of the tallest hardwoods in the U.S.

The tulip tree or tulip poplar grows throughout the eastern United States. Knowing its habitat doesn't help at all with figuring out where the botanizers who created the quilts found their "Poplar Flower." "Eastern U.S." but we knew that.

Print the pattern sheets on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of paper. 
Check the inch square for accuracy and adjust if necessary.

Julia doesn't mention quilts often; she seems more interested in embroidery but when she was a girl at Mrs. Stone's Washington City school she had to put up with the younger boarders---like having 7 little sisters:

Trying to use the Tulip Tree's natural color in my very busy black & white
background might not be the best design.
What if I added a red dot?

It all may be too much.

We'll just hope the finished top works as a whole.

Robyn Gragg redrew the tulip flower to fit a pentagram for
her prizewinning Gloria.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Hyperbole in a Civil War Memory- Compass


The Stockman's Journal published an ad for this pattern in 1934 telling us the contributor had copied it from one her Civil War veteran grandfather used to piece into quilts he sold to support his family. The man (Union or Confederate, she doesn't say) lost a leg at the Battle of Manassas (there were two battles) and crawled home 80 miles. He made over a hundred quilts in this block.

Well, we can buy very little of that story. But it is an interesting and challenging pattern. It's not in BlockBase+ so I drew it in EQ8 by importing various parts. Here's a pattern for a 16" block. The pattern may have been from the Aunt Martha Studios, but I haven't located it there.

We'll consider it a favorite of a Civil War veteran and leave the story at that.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Ribbons for Susannah's BOMs


Cassandra's Circle
Susannah Pangelinan with a prize winning quilt at last week's
Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival.

Susannah added her own set and border to a pattern we did here a few years ago. She won two 2nd prizes at the show.

Hospital Sketches earned a nice ribbon in Applique Artisan Quilts/Small

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Susan Sheppard Allen's Civil War

Hexagons smaller than a penny

Pictured in Quilts of Virginia 1607-1899
"Made by the daughters of John Mosby Shepherd....25,389 hexagons"

John Mosby Sheppard (1775-1831) had at least two daughters: Elizabeth Mosby and Susan Ann with his wife Mary Glenn Crenshaw Austin Sheppard (1786-1851.)

Elizabeth and Susan were born in the farmhouse constructed by
their father in the early 19th century at Meadow Farm with the 
Greek Revival porch and its columns an 1840s addition.
 The Sheppard-Crump house is preserved in a Henrico County park.

John Mosby Sheppard died in 1831 leaving son John Mosby II and daughters Elizabeth 16 and Susan  6 years old. Elizabeth Sheppard (1815-1855) married Dr. Benjamin Duval in the house in 1832. Her younger sister Susan (1825-1895) married another Benjamin, Benjamin Bunbury Allen here in 1845.

Perhaps the bedcover was begun in anticipation of Elizabeth's marriage in 1832. The style of cotton hexagons pieced over paper was fashionable in the 1830s. With the stitches basting the cotton to the paper templates still in place, we might consider this an unfinished project. Mother Mary's death in 1851 at 65 and Elizabeth's death at 40 in 1855 may have caused the long term project to be set aside.

The top, bordered with two chintz stripes,
seems to be in the collection of the Patrick Henry home
Scotchtown but is loaned to other museums on occasion.

Virginia Anne Young Sheppard (1824-1889) & Susan's brother
Dr. John Mosby Sheppard (1817-1877)

When the Civil War began Susan's brother John II was living at Meadow Farm with wife Virginia Anne Young Sheppard (1824-1889.) Susan and Benjamin were childless but John and Virginia's 12 children provided an abundance of nieces and nephews. Susan and Benjamin lived in a home on Mountain Road they named Glen Allen for mother Mary's name Glenn and Benjamin's family name. Benjamin at 44 caught diphtheria in the summer of 1862 and died in August.

Glen Allen today

The country north of Richmond, the Confederate capitol, was a continual battle ground throughout the war. Union troops under Phillip Sheridan recorded an encounter at Glen Allen in May, 1864. 

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded during
the nearby battle of Yellow Tavern in May, 1864

Susan's home near the railroad route known as Allen's Crossing was said to have served as a hospital. Among the many Confederate soldiers who passed through the area was John Cussons of the Fourth Alabama. After his capture at Gettysburg and imprisonment he returned to Allen's Crossing and married Susan in May, 1864. Cussons was 26, Susan 39.

John Cussons (1838-1912) from
Men of Mark in Virginia 
in which his land-owning wife called 
Sue Annie Allen is almost a footnote. 

Cussons was a flamboyant version of the classic post-war Southern veteran. Reported to have served in the Great Plains before the war, he claimed to be a friend of Buffalo Bill Cody's. Cussons borrowed the showman's style.

The 1870 census shows John and Susan and their Black neighbors,
people who may have once been enslaved by the Sheppards & Allens
 listed with 17 slaves in the 1860 census..

Cussons made a good deal of money off his printing innovations
including the "Cussons Calendar Pad," for advertising.

Cussons's label factory was a large Henrico County employer in the late 19th-century.

He spent years building an expansive frame building he hoped
would be a popular resort but the economic realities of the 1890s 
worked against him. It is no surprise to find he became more eccentric
as the years went on, alienating the neighbors.

Cussons-style real estate ads in 1909

Susan's relationship with him before her death in the fall of 1896???

Read more about hexagon & sexagon quilts here:

Thanks to Vicki Welch & Neva Hart for taking such good detail photos.

Further Reading

Cary Holladay,"John Cussons (1838–1912)," Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia (1998– ), published 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Atlanta Garden #6: The Hand of War

Atlanta Garden #6: The Hand of War by 
Jeanne Arnieri

General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) 
from the Brady Studios, 1864 
According to Atlanta's Intelligencer: "The barbarous chief of barbarian hordes."

Although painted as a rampaging villain in Lost Cause narratives recalling the Southerners' war, Sherman knew the consequence of his invasion in the summer and fall of 1864. Each step was planned and defended articulately.
“We are not only fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.”

The Hand of War by Denniele Bohannon 

Sherman, who'd once lived in Georgia, gave much thought to his Atlanta strategy. He knew the country; he knew the city's importance to the Confederacy's supply lines.
"All that has gone on before is mere skirmishing---The War now begins.” Sherman to his wife before taking Atlanta.
Sherman (right) leaning on a Parrott cannon
used to shell Atlanta. Batteries were stationed north and west of town.
Sherman's order: "Fire slowly and with deliberation between 4 p.m. and dusk."

Carrie's diary for August 15, 1864, transcript from the Atlanta History Center

The shelling's purpose was to convince Atlantans to abandon the city and to demoralize those remaining (except perhaps slaves hoping for deliverance and Unionists like the Berry/Markham/Healey family.) 

Unionist Cyrena Stone was in her garden in May, 1864 when she heard Union cannon in the distance: “O that music….Never fell on my ear any sound half so sweet.”

The Hand of War by Becky Collis

Carrie Berry experienced Sherman's assault nightly as did Sam Richards, worried more about his shop's inventory than his safety.
"Sallie and I walked out Marietta street this morning to see the devastation caused by the bombardment, and truly that part of the city is badly cut up." Sam Richards, August 29, 1864.

At the same time destruction of rail lines outside Atlanta rendered the city useless as a Confederate source for munitions and weapons. Die-hard residents were in danger of starvation as supplies were halted. General Hood pulled all Southern troops out of the city on September 2, leaving it open to Union occupation. 

Confederate General John Bell Hood (1831-1879), Brady Studios

Buildings & tracks in the Western & Atlantic Railroad yards,
the line founded by Carrie Berry's family. This roundhouse
was near their home.

Hood had given responsibility for moving a trainload of ammunition and armaments out of Atlanta but despite repeated instructions his quartermaster, Colonel M. B. McMicken failed to act.
"He had more than ample time to remove the whole.... I am reliably informed that he is too much addicted to drink of late to attend to his duties." General John Bell Hood, September 4, 1864.
Hood realized it was too late to move those railroad cars stuck on tracks near the Iron Mill and the Atlanta Machine Company. Rather than leave the armaments to Sherman's Army, Hood ordered the cars burned.

Jeanne Arnieri's second set of blocks.

The Rolling Mill, a combustible factory, was adjacent
to the tracks.
"The Ammunition Train was fired and for half an hour or more an incessant discharge was kept up that jarred the ground and broke the glass in the windows around."  First person account: September 1

The fictional Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara leaving the burning city

Well, Margaret Mitchell will tell you what happened next. One of the most memorable scenes in movie history is Gone With the Wind's burning of Atlanta after Hood ordered the munitions cars destroyed. The explosions set the factories (and a good deal of the neighborhood) afire. Neighbors had been warned to leave.

The Hand of War by Becky Brown

The Markhams' Rolling Mill as it appeared when Union armies 
entered the city. The only remains of the box cars were wheels and axles.

Carrie's account of the Confederates burning the box cars

Despite all the eye-witness accounts, local Atlanta history too often remembers that it was Sherman not Hood who blew up the train and the Markham factory. Here is a paragraph from Franklin Garrett's mid-20th-century history Atlanta and Environs

The Block

BlockBase #1879, about 1880-1900
A bird's foot, a cat's paw or a human hand?

Pennsylvania-German quiltmakers called the pattern Batsche, a reference to hands. Ruth Finley in 1929 published the nine-patch as Hand of Friendship but for Carrie Berry in Atlanta it can stand for the hard Hand of War.

The Hand of War by Addie

Above the cutting instructions for 10" and 15" blocks.

About 1910