Fugitive Quilter

Elisabeth C. Jones created this unique Sawtooth Star quilt, circa 1820-1840, with a white star in the center of a field of blue stars. The Sawtooth Star pattern is one of the designs mentioned by Gracie Mitchell, and one of the earlier patterns identified in the mapping exercise. This quilt is thought to have been made in Allentown, PA.

In 1828, an Elisabeth C. Jones published a book of Fugitive Poems with Smith & Parmenter publishers in Providence, RI. Jonathan C. Parmenter, in addition to being a printer, was a contributor to an 1810 Friends (aka Quakers) document. The Jones family, as a group, was significant in the Quaker community in Pennsylvania, and the Quakers were known agents of the Underground Railroad. With more research, and access to her genealogical information, perhaps the relationships between Elisabeth, the Sawtooth Star pattern, the Quakers, and runaway slaves will become more apparent/involved.


Occurrences of "fugitive poems" in Google Books (Ngram, sm=0).


Network Map Connecting Elizabeth C. Jones, potentially, to 19th century Quakers. An interesting detail is that one of the Fugitive Poems texts was written by Ursa Major (pseudonym). Ursa Major is another name for the Big Dipper, which is an alleged”symbol” on the Underground Railroad. The song “Follow the Drinking Gourd“, also allegedly, told runaways to follow the north star.


Legend: green=person, purple=text, pink=quilt, yellow=poetry genre



Legend: white = person(s), blue = text, purple = quilt, green = publisher, yellow = relationship














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