About This Artwork

Made for Ella Maria Deacon (American, 1811–1894)
United States, New Jersey, Mount Holly

Friendship Quilt, 1842

Appliquéd and pieced quilt; dyed and printed plain weave cotton fabrics; ink inscriptions
264.7 x 272.6 cm (104 1/8 x 107 3/8 in.)
Inscriptions (right to left; column 1, bottom to top): (1) Martha Haines / Rancocas / N. Jersey; (2) Sarah A. Warner / 1842; (3) Ann Whoades / 1842; (4) Charles Kemble / Philadelphia; (5) Martha H. Coles / 1841; (6) Lydia R. Kemble / 1841; (7) Sarah Elizabet Horner / 1842; (column 2, top to bottom): (8) Elizabeth B. Deacon / 1842; (9) Mary Anna Deacon; (10) Anne Marie Coles / Gloucester; (11) 4 Mo 14th 1842 / Albert[a?] Haines; (12) H Middleton / 1842; (13) Samuel Wells / Rancocas / New Jersey / 1842; (column 3, bottom to top): (14) John S. Horner, Jr. / Springfield / N Jersey; (15) Memorys Tribute / S.A.H. Deacon / 1842; (16) This little emblem of ____ / IÕll give my youthful friend to thee / And often in some lonely hour / Use them and think on me / Lydia Ann Horner; (17) Oft in tender recollection / Call to mind thine absent friend / Cherish for her that affection / Which I trust will never end / Martha Buzby / 8 Mo. 20th 1841; (18) Sarah Foster / Mount Holly; (19) William Deacon; (20) S. W. Coles; (column 4, top to bottom): (21) Ann Reeves; (22) Wm. C. Snyder / April / 1842; (23) William D. Horner; (24) Lydia R. Deacon; (25) Sarah Ann Kemble; (26) Ann R. Coles; (column 5, bottom to top): (27a) Sweet dream that winds through yonder glade, / Apt emblem of a virtuous maid -- / Silent, and chaste she steals along, / Far from the worlds busy throng; (27b) With gentle yet prevailing forces / Intent upon her [siestinad?] course / Graceful and useful all she does, / Blessing and blissful whereÕer she goes.; (27c) Pure bosomed as that watery glass / And Heaven reflected in her face; (27d) Mount Holly / 1842; (28) Va____ Reeves / Mount Holly / 1842; (29) Susan B. Haines / Rancocas; (30) Caroline _. Horner; (31) Letitia B. Hale; (32) Ruth Anna Buzby / Rancocas; (33) Jemima R. Bullock / Mount Holly / 1842; (column 6, top to bottom): (34) Permelia Deacon; (35) William D. Coles; (36) Aunt Ann Reeves / Mount Holly / 1842; (37) Ella Maria / Acquaint thyself with / God if thou wouldst know / his works / Elizabeth Horner; (38) Hope Lelley[?]; (39) William G. Deacon / 1842; (column 7, bottom to top): (40) Acrostic on Ella Maria Deacon / Ella, may this to friendship devoted, / Live in thy album quilt, thoÕ little noted; / Let its some corner have near its compeers, / And there with them rest, through the long lapse of years. / Methinks as[?] thy eye, oÕer thy quilt warns with pleasure / Amid these mementoes, thouÕll hold them a treasure. / Remembering the donors as time wings apace / In his rapid flight onward D his unerring race; / And may we dear friend, while to us it is given; / Depend not on earth, but on Father in Heaven; / Every proper enjoyment Ôtis His to bestow / And great is His goodness to mortals below, / Calling us kindly, that when time is over, / Our home, if but faithful shall be on that shore / Nigh Him, in His glory, in bliss evermore. / Susan B.[?] Haines / Rancocas; (41) John Deacon / Mount Holly / N J / 1842; (42) Deborah D Coles / 1842 / Medford; (43) Mount Holly / R.A.H. Woolston; (44) Ella Maria Deacon / 1842; (45) Charles Deacon / Evesham; (46) Sarapta[?] Wills / Mount Holly / 1842; (column 8, top to bottom): (47) Hannah Ann Reeves; (48) Martha Deacon; (49) B_______ Chapman / Mount Holly / May 27 / 1842; (50) M A Buzby / 1841; (51) Rebecca D. Deacon; (52) Amos Buzby, Jr. / Rancocas / N J; (column 9, bottom to top): (53) Charles Henry[?] Deacon / Evesham; (54) Elizabeth C. Reeves; (55) Mary ___. Deacon / 1841; (56) Sarah B. Deacon / New Jersey / 1842; (57) Drucilla C. Morris; (58) Eliza C. Rogers / Mount Holly / 1842; (59) Abigail Deacon; (column 10, top to bottom): (60) Rebecca Coles; (61) Mary S Haines; (62) Louisa W Horner / AD 1841; (63) M C Coles / Remember me / 1841; (64) Emily C Coles / 1841; (65) Elias Buzby / 1842; (column 11, bottom to top): (66) 4 Mo 14th 1842 / Richard Buzby; (67) Abigail S. Coles / N. Jersey; (68) Elizabeth H. Burr; (69) Charles D. Kemble / Jobstown / 1842; (70) Anna W Coles / Medford 1842; (71) Elizabeth H.[?] Coles; (72) Patience S Buzby; (column 12, top to bottom): (73) Don't pout when you / see this but put it / in a corner and oblige. / Margaret Bullock / Mount Holly; (74) Hannah S. Horner / Jobstown; (75) Samuel J. Deacon / 1842; (76) John Stockton Turner / New Jersey; (77) Anna Bullock; (78) Benson[?] Kemble / 1841; (column 13, bottom to top): (79) Elizabeth Buzby / 1841; (80) Samuel T. Coles; (81) Clayton Rogers / Mount Holly; (82) Sarah Kemble; (83) This block my friend I give to the in token / of my regard / It is a smalle affare, but it is / all I have to give, and hope the will accept it, / and when the looks upon it, remember / Rebecca of Philadelphia / March 4, 1842; (84) Mary Jane Buzby / 1841; (85) Samuel H___ Horner / 1841

Gift of Betsey Leeds Tait Puth, 1978.923

Inscribed with names and verses, the eighty-five unique squares of this quilt bear signs of friendship and community. Made in an era when communication and travel required significant time and effort, the quilt may have served as a farewell gift on the eve of the recipient's marriage and ensuing move. In one square, an M. C. Coles simply wrote Remember me. In another, Martha Buzby composed a short poem: Oft in tender recollection / Call to mind thine absent friend / Cherish for her that affection / Which I trust will never end. These clever, succinctly rendered compositions add a metaphorical layer of coziness to the quilt and allowed Deacon to keep those dear always near.

Making Memories: Quilts as Souvenirs, October 20, 2017-April 1, 2018

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, Making Memories: Quilts as Souvenirs, Galleries 57-59, October 20, 2017-April 1, 2018

The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, America the Beautiful: Textiles from the Permanent Collection, March 6–July 21, 1996

The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, Textile Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago's Collection, February 17–May 2, 1993

The Art Institute of Chicago, Elizabeth F. Cheney and Agnes Allerton Textile Galleries, The American Bed and Its Coverings, November 21, 1990–March 31, 1991

The Art Institute of Chicago, Quilts from the Permanent Collection, August 19–November 5, 1978 and November 8, 1978–January 21, 1979

Publication History

Christa C. Mayer Thurman. "Textiles in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1992), pp. 108-9 (Illus.), 148.

The Art Institute of Chicago: The Essential Guide (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1993), p. 236 (Illus.).

Ownership History

Ella Maria Deacon, Mount Holly, New Jersey, 1842; Betsey Leeds Tait Puth, Winnetka, Illinois, unknown date; given to the Art Institute, 1978.




View mobile website