Monday, April 27, 2015

Civil War Tidbit, Peace and Plenty, Yankee Puzzle

Patriotic envelopes were used to boost morale and support the war effort; many depicted women and their special hardships as wives and mothers.

The sentence on the envelope reads:  My only support—both boys gone to the war. I wonder if they would take me?

(From the University of Virginia Library)

This block is called Peace and Plenty

Post-Civil War orators often called for a reunified American peace and plenty. This biblical phrase was borrowed by Shakespeare.  King Cymbeline’s reunion with his sons, torn away by war, promised his country peace and plenty. A Scottish song published in 1776 carried the words in the new world as a symbol for reunion:

“Lay your disputes all aside…May peace and plenty be (our) lot.”

(From the Barbara Brackman Civil War Sampler)

This block is probably a little bright for a Civil War quilt and I don’t have much more of the green to put elsewhere. I had it in my stash and I do like these colors together so I used them…

Yankee Puzzle

I liked these colors together so I used them in just two colors for this block.
This block recalls the basic problem with the Union's initial war philosophy:  The Civil War was a war to maintain the Union--not to free the slaves.  Abraham Lincoln explained the challenge in a letter to newspaper Horace Greeley (a lawyer's letter to be sure):
"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving other alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save (the) Union...  I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free."
A few months later Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves in the rebellious states and continuing the process of untangling the complex knot of slavery and union.  Recall the conflict between Lincoln's official and personal views with an old block called Yankee Puzzle by Ruth Finley in her 1929 quilt book, "Old Patchwork Quilts and the Women Who Made Them".
Reference from  Edward McPherson, The Political History of the United States of America during the Great Rebellion (Washington: Philp & Solomons, 1865), p.334 and used in Barbara Brackman's Civil War Sampler book to explain this block.

 Till next time, Hugs, LJ


  1. I like the new block. Pretty colors!

  2. I like the first block the best. I did not know about the envelopes!

  3. Such beautiful blocks ,both colorful and aptly named.
    The Civil War had such a lasting impression on this nation.

  4. Interesting and sad about the envelopes. I like your blocks and the color choices accentuate the patterns well.

  5. The lime green works nicely in the first block. Oh, the envelope is so sad. So much suffering during war times.

  6. Lovely. A very interesting post!

  7. Excellent post and tells the truth about the War. It was never about slavery; it was about keeping the country united and financially stable. Lincoln was a good man and great President; I wonder what would have happened had he lived longer.

  8. Hi Lady Jane...I am enjoying watching your quilt blocks! I finally went got my blog post up on your lovely cards! Thank you again. I sure love them. You are such a wonderful crafter!

  9. I knew something of the envelopes, thank you for sharing the blocks and the info on Lincoln.

  10. I love your sweet header! Interesting post! My grandma was born in 1929.
    happy weekend to you!