The Whig's Defeat
Alabama Department of Archives and History
The Whig’s Defeat, 1858
Unknown American maker
Montevallo, Shelby County
The nineteenth-century quilt, a pattern known as The Whig’s Defeat, is dated by the maker in 1858. The red and green are complementary colors, and resonate within the organic leaf patterns and the geometric diamonds. The central diamonds reflect the popularity of plaid cloth in the mid-nineteenth century, and this cloth could have been salvaged from a lady’s fashionable dress. It is apparent that this particular quilt was used—it shows staining and wear that have as much to do with use as with age. Despite this wear, the color remains bright and fresh, suggesting that the quilt was protected from the damaging effects of light, and was gently laundered.
Little is known about the maker of this quilt. However, the name “Walter Reece Pitts” was embroidered into the center square, along with “Montevallo Shelby Cny Ala Aug 1858.” Walter Pitts was born in Alabama in 1856, and was the son of Martha Maxwell and Theodric Pitts. Sometime before 1870, the family moves west, settling first in Texas, and then New Mexico after 1890.
Back to quilt pair.