At the First White House of The Confederacy here in Montgomery, we have two beautiful and rare quilts of the 1861 period. Fortunately, each of them have been recently conserved by the expert Conservators in Rochester, MA. The “Baby Quilt”, so named because it was made for a baby, has been returned to us, and we have marveled at the improvement, as it had been badly damaged by water before it was ever given to u s by Mrs. John Reid and her daughter, Panthea Mary Reid Fischer of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The “Gunboat Quilt” was thus named because the women of the South made them to raffle off as a way of raising money to buy Gunboats for the Confederacy. It was on display at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, as part of a Sesquicentennial Exhibition called Home Front and Battle Field from June 30, 2012 through November of 2012. It is in storage now and will be in three traveling exhibits in New York City, Shelburne, Vermont and Lincoln Nebraska. before it is returned to the First White House in June of 2015.
We are extremely proud of the restoration of these fine quilts. As for the controversy, I have to save that for tomorrow. Today is the background, to whet your appetite over the real question, which is Who Made These Two Quilts?????