Hannah Hoopes Quilt, d. 1844-1845. Photograph courtesy of Laurette Carroll.
Collection of Laurette Carroll.
As we begin a new year (2020!), I am pleased to introduce you to this ‘new” historical quilt. Excitingly, it is directly related to the Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt dated 1844-1849. That quilt, which is owned by Glorian Sipman, was featured in this blog’s previous post of November 25th, 2019.
Connections between the Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt and the Hannah Hoopes Quilt, d. 1844-1845, were discovered when Glorian brought her quilt in to show her Southern California quilt study group. Upon seeing the quilt, Laurette Carroll (another member of the group) mentioned that she had a quilt inscribed with the name of the same “London Grove, Pennsylvania” locale. London Grove is home to a Quaker Meeting that was founded in 1714, and that just celebrated its 300-year anniversary.
A Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt, dated 1844-1849. Photograph by Emily Musser.
Collection of Glorian Sipman,
During the decade I had the pleasure of exchanging research with quilt historian Lynda Salter Chenoweth, we often discussed “sister quilts.” We found them particularly fun to study, since they always provided so much basis for comparison.
We loosely defined them as quilts sharing multiple overlapping inscribed identities, but that was just a starting point. For example, did the same patterns, fabrics, backing, borders and quilting designs appear in two (or more) historical quilts? When one community made several quilts at the same time, what were the differences between them, and why? Our conversations were as wide-ranging as our mutual curiosity, and I feel sure she would have been keenly interested in this post’s “new” historical quilts.
Glorian and Laurette quickly discovered their quilts shared eight of the same inscribed names. To quote a November 25th, 2019 email from Glorian, “What are the odds that 2 related quilts from Pennsylvania would both end up in Southern California?!”
Besides sharing the same basic album block pattern, the quilts do not appear to have identical fabrics. However, they do have nine of the same names inscribed. Most of the inscribed identities were members of the Religious Society of Friends.
The Hannah Hoopes Quilt is so-named because of the following inscription: “Memento, Hannah Hoopes, March 20th, 1844, Philadelphia.”
Hannah Hoopes Quilt, detail. Block inscribed, “Memento, Hannah Hoopes,
March 20th, 1844, Philadelphia.”
Glorian’s Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt also has a block inscribed with the name, “Hannah Hoopes”:
Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt, detail. Block inscribed, “Hannah Hoopes,
Philadelphia, December 28, 1845.”
With so many “Hannah Hoopes” appearing in mid-nineteenth-century records, identifying the correct “Hannah” might have been impossible. However, every one of the Hannah Hoopes Quilt’s twenty-three other inscriptions notes a relationship to Hannah, as in, “My Friend,” My Sister,” my brother-in-law,” and even, “My Parents, Benjamin & Kezia Eastburn, Philadelphia, 1844.” (This inscription is a good reminder that sometimes, signature quilts are inscribed in memory of the deceased; Benjamin and Keziah reportedly died in 1806 and 1831, respectively.)
It is interesting to see the style of script used on this quilt. A glance through Kip Sperry’s book, Reading Early American Handwriting, suggests it resembles quite old (seventeenth-century) Legal and Chancery hands. It is also interesting that – although most of the inscribed identities are readily found in Quaker records -- the dates are not written in a Quaker-style. For example, on the block inscribed with the name of Ann Eliza Hoopes, the date is written as, “March 19th, 1844,” as opposed to 19th 3rd mo. 1844. (Quakers avoided naming months because those names derived from Pagan gods.) We ca only speculate, but perhaps the inscriber did not use Quaker-style dates because he or she was not a member of the Religious Society of Friends.
Hannah Hoopes Quilt, detail Block inscribed, “My Granddaughter, Ann Eliza Hoopes,
Aged 3 years, March 19th 1844, Philadelphia.
Noting that Ann Eliza was just three years old at the time strongly suggests the inscriptions observed on the Hannah Hoopes Quilt were allographs (names signed by someone for another) vs. autographs. Further proof resides on the block from Hannah to, “My Parents,” since both of her parents were deceased long before her quilt was made.
Hannah Hoopes Quilt, detail. Block inscribed, “My Parents, Benjamin & Kezia Eastburn,
Searching Quaker records on Ancestry.com, one can find several Quaker Minutes concerning Hannah ’s parents. In 1778, at a Monthly Meeting of Women friends held at the Buckingham Monthly Meeting in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, “the friends appointed to attend the marriage of Benjamin Eastburn & Keziah Ross report they were at the marriage and saw nothing but what was orderly.”
In 1798, Benjamin and Keziah (who also appears in old records as “Kezia, Kesia, etc.) transferred their Quaker membership from Buckingham Monthly Meeting to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, along with their six daughters. Hannah was the youngest at the time, but Benjamin and Keziah subsequently had three more children: eight daughters and (their youngest) one son, in total.
Hannah Eastburn Hoopes, (1796-1878) married Francis Wilkinson Hoopes in 1817. They had three sons, all of whom are named on the quilt, as well as their wives and some of their children.
Their youngest, Joseph Ross Hoopes (1822-1859) is described by a contributor to the Find A Grave website (citing the Hoopes family record, Vol. I, 1979) as a, "Merchant in a drugoods store on 8th and Market St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also offered the first delivery service in Philadelphia, Pa. for customers."
As for the Hannah Hoopes Quilt and the Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt being representations of “sister quilts,” research and comparisons could continue for years but charmingly, Hannah actually included blocks dedicated to her sisters, and two of their names – Frances and Rachel -- also appear on the Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt.
Hannah Hoopes Quilt, detail. Block inscribed, “My Sister, Frances R. Eastburn,
Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt, detail. Block inscribed, “Frances R. Eastburn,
Hannah Hoopes Quilt, detail. Block inscribed, “My Sister, Rachel Kinsey,
London Grove, Penn, 1845.”
Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt, detail. Block inscribed with the names,
Samuel and Rachel Kinsey.
March 9th 1844
View these few lines
And think of us
When we are laid in to the dust
In our swiftly-moving world, we might all pause to appreciate the time and efforts it takes to compile remembrances-in-quilts. Then, because as time marches on I once again bring my former co-host, Lynda, into to this blog post with her most oft-uttered written closing, “Ever Onward!”
All photographs in this post are courtesy of Glorian Sipman. All Rights Reserved. Text ©Mary Holton Robare 2020.
Special thanks to Glorian Sipman and Laurette Carroll for so generously sharing their quilts.
Additional thanks to Glorian Sipman for sharing her the extensive research as well as her detailed photographs of both quilts.
To learn more about the collection and studies of Laurette Carroll, visit: https://www.antiquequilthistory.com/ (Retrieved 1 January 2020.)