Yesterday I gave the background on the two quilts belonging to the First White House of the Confederacy, that we have just had conserved, the Gunboat Quilt and the Baby Quilt.
The two quilts share many similarities and although that is not absolute proof that they were made by the same person, it is strong evidence that this may be the case.
When the Baby Quilt was given to the First White House in 1979, by Nell Marshall Reid and Panthea Reid Fischer, they said that Mrs. Reid’s Grandmother, Panthea Coleman Bullock made both quilts.
Prior to that time, we had thought the Gunboat Quilt was made by Martha Jane Hatter, who married Mr. Bullock after Panthea Coleman, his first wife died. Ms. Hatter took credit for both quilts, as well as another Gunboat Quilt which is in the Birmingham Museum of Art.
The Gunboat Quilt, as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, was made to be auctioned, to purchase a Gunboat for Mobile Bay. We know it
was auctioned twice in Tuscaloosa, once in Summerfield and once in Selma. It was finally purchased by the Rev. Joseph Johnson Hutchinson, a Methodist minister, of Summerfield, Alabama.
It was donated to the First White House by Mrs. Mary Hutchison Jones, Rev. Hutchinson’s granddaughter, in 1928.