Here is a quote from The Mobile Register & Advertiser, 1862: “The cause is a noble one, the effort is sublime, and the moral effect will reach far beyond the deadly projectiles which the contemplated gunboat can send. If the women take it up with a will, there is no word as fail”.
And yes, the women did take up the challenge, and a number of quilts, known as Gunboat Quilts were made and auctioned off to raise money to buy Gunboats for the Confederacy. The First White House is fortunate to own one of these priceless quilts.
Ours is currently on loan to the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts for an Exhibition: “Home front and Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War”, Feb 2012 – Jan , 2013, a sesquicentennial project.While it is there it will be undergo conservation which is badly needed
The First White House Gunboat Quilt was sold twice in Tuscaloosa for $ 15.00 and $ 500.00 respectively, once in Summerfield for $ 250.00 and once in Selma, price unknown. It was finally purchased and kept by the Rev. Joseph Johnson Hutchinson, a Methodist minister of Summerfield, Alabama. It was donated to the FWH by his granddaughter, Mrs. Mary Hutchinson Jones, in 1928.