Probably made by Mary Mize (American,
born about 1834)
Quilt, about 1850-1855, cotton.
Purchased with funds from the Alice Speed Stoll Accessions
Trust and gift of Shelly Zegart 2006.3
During the Civil War, Mary Mize and her multiracial
family moved from Claiborne County, Tennessee to Clay
County in southeastern Kentucky. In time this free family
along with other African-American and multiracial families,
formed a small community near the county seat of Manchester.
This quilt was likely among the possessions brought
to Kentucky by the Mize family. Evidence from census
records and the family’s oral history suggests
that it was probably crafted by a young Mary Mize. The
pattern is an exceptional example of the “Princess
Feather” pattern, a design that was popular at
the time. The pattern typically has a small eight pointed
star with four, six, or eight plumes radiating around
it. This heirloom carries with it a history that reflects
the complex patterns of change that affected the lives
of Kentuckians at the time.