Books & Stitching > An American Quilt

Pegasus Books, May 1, 2018
Barnes & Noble

"In An American Quilt, Rachel May is able to draw out the entire story of southern slavery and northern complicity from a remarkable discovery--a quilt top created in Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1830s, and a notebook containing a cache of letters associated with it. From these materials, May weaves an extraordinary account of the families of the quilt makers--a Rhode Island woman descended from slave traders and the slave-holding husband who had brought her South to live. She also is able to invoke the lives of the enslaved population whose labor produced the cotton of which the quilt top was made--which fueled the rise of the New England textile industry. This is a terrific story, well researched and beautifully written, that both reveals the history associated with the quilt top and traces the author's efforts to unearth it."
- Joanne Pope Melish, author of Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and 'Race' in New England, 1789-1860