Collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts
I'm translating here:
"It was sometime before they could decide how to make the quilt. Some wanted Clay, and some wanted Old Zack, a few wanted Polk quilted in the center; but Sue insisted to have your Moody hat put right in the center."I don't know what a Moody hat is but the tale went on about the hat contrasting it with a flamboyant Kossuth hat with a feather. Too bad they abandoned the political quilting.
The political references are mysterious and anachronistic in 1852, a Presidential election year.
Scott on the North of the Mason Dixon line; Pierce on the South
Opponents were the successful Franklin Pierce versus Winfield Scott. By May of that year the three politicians discussed at the quilting were no longer viable choices at all. President Zachary Taylor had died in office in 1850; James K. Polk had been dead for three years while Henry Clay was on his deathbed, expiring in June, 1852.
Album quilt shown at the Virginia Quilt Museum in 2016
The figure of President Zachary Taylor as a war hero is cut from the
rainbow print at the top of the post.
Set of album blocks once in
Julie Powell's collection of political textiles
Polk must have been more inspirational as a few Polk quilts survive.
See this post on some possible Polk symbolism:
Winfield Scott, another Mexican War hero and the unsuccessful 1852 nominee, leaves no partisan quilts that I have seen, although his purported signature is on a few.
Hexagon quilt dated 1850-1856 by the Cronmiller sisters of
Baltimore. Documented in the Maryland project.
Franklin Pierce was also fairly uninspiring, if we take quilts as evidence.
Virginia Ivey's quilt with a quilted representation
of a Henry Clay statue, Kentucky.
Henry Clay who never won a Presidential election but was a perennial candidate motivated more quiltmakers than any other mid-century politico.
Detail from Mary Worrall Perry's 1844-1845 album
For the rest of the week I'll be focusing on political quilts from the mid-19th-century. Politics has never been pretty but the quilts are.
Read more about Virginia Ivey at this post.
See the South Carolina reference to political quilting at the Chronicling America site:https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026900/1852-02-26/ed-1/seq-2/