Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

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As the Quilt World Turns

Now that 35 plus quilts have been located in the style dubbed Northern Cut-out Applique, it is time to really focus on each quilt/coverlet/quilt top to see if we can figure out that quilt’s particular story as well as how that quilt ties together with other coverlets from the grouping. This is especially true since these coverlets have inscriptions on the blocks which provide additional information. It makes sense to start with the coverlet in the Poos Collection.

The Machette/Taylor Coverlet is so named because of the two inscriptions located prominently on the quilt with matching dates of April 27th, 1840. We have a chart of all the inscriptions on the coverlet to help guide our research. Multiple Machette and Taylor family members have their names inscribed on the coverlet and all of the blocks with dates have an 1840 date in it. If a month is inscribed it falls between April 10th-May 12th, 1840.

Kay Triplett is working through Ancestry.com to see what/who she can discover. I’m approaching the coverlet research using Newspapers.com which will allow us both to research simultaneously without impeding each other. There are six locations inscribed on the coverlet, Philadelphia, Berwick, Montgomery Co, Luzerne Co, all in Pennsylvania and the farthest being about 125 miles. Trenton, New Jersey as well as Jersey are also inscribed. Knowing the locations allows me to know which newspapers to research. Since 44 of the inscriptions note Philadelphia, I’ll be starting with the Philadelphia newspapers, which also carries news of the surrounding area.

Initially, I started with the inscription on the top left and systematically worked across the top row. Researching names in the Baltimore Album Quilts prepared me to not find a lot about these people particularly because information about women appears less frequently than about men. However, this was not the case in Philadelphia. In the first few blocks I learned of a 4-year-old Sybert girl dying in a fire, a $10,000 prize fight awarded to a Hyer who was later charged for the incident, a fiancé named Musgrove that shot and killed the soon to be father-in-law. All of these last names appear on the first few blocks of the coverlet, but finding out how closely related will need to be researched. Stay tuned for more interesting stories in the lives of these coverlet inscribers as the world turns.