Monday, April 24, 2017

1841 Quilt for a Methodist Minister

I've been sorting pictures of quilts dated in the early 1840s.
This one caught my eye for many reasons. I recognized the chintz in
the edge triangles as one in my collection.

Years ago Terry Thompson and I copied it for our Coral Gardens repro fabric line.
We called it Trumpet Vine.

The chintz fills out the edges of this cut-out chintz applique sampler
quilt dated 1841 that was sold in an auction.

I saved photos of several of the inscriptions and dates.
It was a gift for
"Mr and Mrs Dandy
Presented by thier (sic)
Friends of

"Mrs. Ann H Bryan

The quilt given to the Dandys is one of the earliest date-inscribed signature quilts so I looked into it a little further. Who were those Dandy people?

I was a little surprised to find them as pillars of the Methodist Church (I was leaning towards Quakers as early album quilt signers). Reverend James H and Charlotte C. Dandy were residents of Bordentown in Burlington County, New Jersey for a short time. The New Jersey records of the church list them in Bordentown in 1840.

Mrs. Sarah Stockhom

"Mrs. Mary M. Thompson
Bordentown, N.J."

"Mrs. Elizabeth A Ferdinand

From Charlotte Temple Dandy's 1890 obituary in the Newark Conference Minutes:
"Mrs. Charlotte C. Dandy was born January 17, 1807, in Albany, N. Y., and died November 33, 1890, in Philadelphia, Pa. In youth she was converted and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was married in 1825 to the late Rev. James H. Dandy, with whom she lived for fifty seven years. Nine children were given her, only three of whom survive —General George B. Dandy, Washington, D. C; Mrs. Amelia Hadden, Perth Amboy, N. J.; and Mrs. Samuel D. Mack, Philadelphia, Pa. One of her sons, Major James H. Dandy, was killed in battle at Fort Gregg, April, 1865, at the age of 23. In commemoration of his patriotic services a Grand Army post took his name....
After her husband's death, May 12, 1882, she had several attacks of sickness, but, contrary to the expectations of her friends, recovered. At the home of Mrs. Hadden, in Perth Amboy, in 1888, she again was dangerously ill.... funeral services were held in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening, November 25, [1890] in Grace Methodist Episcopal Church. On Wednesday, November 26, another service was held at Perth Amboy, conducted by Revs. B. O. Parvin and W. E. Blakeslee. Her remains were buried by the side of her husband in Alpine Cemetery, on the confines of the latter city, there to wait the summons of the Master."

Son  Union General George Brown Dandy (1830-1911)
was born in Macon, Georgia.

James Harvey Dandy's obituary listed circuits and stations, primarily in New Jersey,  where he'd served as a Methodist Minister:
Long Branch
Mount Holly
Staten Island
Perth Amboy

I list the towns to emphasize the typical traveling life for a Methodist minister and family. Charlotte Dandy may have shown her beautiful quilt to her new friends in Bridgeton, Mount Holly, Staten Island, etc.

It's not difficult to guess how the fashion for signature quilts was spread from town to town.

See my Pinterest board picturing quilts dated 1841. If you click twice on the quilt you might find the source, but this one---I found it in an online auction somewhere, sometime.

See Charlotte Dandy's obituary here:


  1. Hi Barbara, thank you for this post, it particularly struck a chord with me; my Dad was a Methodist minister (here in Australia before it became the Uniting Church in Australia). Not much has changed over the years as we moved every 5 to 7 years to a new parish, not quite as often as the Dandy's, but still a lot of moving! Such a beautiful quilt. Thank you.

  2. Does anyone happen have any pieces of Barbara's Ragtime collection from a few years ago that they'd be willing to sell? I have some but am looking for more!