STYLE: Peter Eddleman’s work is indicative of the mainstream development of style in North Carolina’s southwestern piedmont; his furniture possesses design features suggestive of a Delaware Valley influence as well as distinctly non-academic characteristics. For example, he is known to have constructed port-holes in the central stiles of case pieces. The principle key, associating this table with other Eddleman examples is the unsophisticated techniques used in applying the inlay. The diamond band on the top, for example, is formed by inlaying directly into the tabletop rather than being formed separately and let into the top by a single channel cut. These same techniques are found on a China press and a corner cupboard attributed to Eddleman.
MAKER: Peter Eddleman (1764-1845) was born in Bucks County, PA, and came to Rowan County, NC, when as a very young boy. During the Revolutionary War he fought in the place of his brother-in-law Leonard Clifford for five months, then served two tours of duty between 1780 and 1781, fighting in the place of Michael Holdshouser. After the war, he moved to Leepers Creek in Lincoln County, now part of Gaston County, where he was a resident the rest of his life.
A Peter Eddleman is listed in the 1790 Lincoln County census, but not in the 1800 census. In 1803 Peter was recorded in the Lincoln County estate records for James Abernathy as having purchased iron. He was listed in the 1810, 1820, 1830 and 1840 Lincoln County Census reocrds. He took at least two trips west, one to Tennessee in 1809, where he was recorded as having purchased an item at an estate sale, and another to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1817.
In 1821 he took John Henry White as an apprentice “to learn the art trade and mystery of a Shop joiner.” This indenture was subsequently given to MESDA by the Eddleman family and now hangs in the Catawba Parlor. In 1830 at age 65, Peter Eddleman married Dicia Swanson Clippard, a widow with three young children. Peter and Dicia had two sons of their own: David Franklin (1831-1904) and William Peter (1833-1862). Peter Eddleman made his will in 1847, the year he died.
RELATED OBJECTS: The MESDA Collection includes a desk and bookcase commissioned from Peter Eddleman by the Thomas Rhyne family of Gaston County (Acc. 2564) as well as a chest of drawers that descended in Peter Eddleman’s family (Acc. 5740.1). Eddleman family papers ephemera given to MESDA by his descendants include a receipt for a horse while he was in Missouri (Acc. 5750.6), the indenture with John Henry White (Acc. 5750.4) , and daguerrotypes of his sons David Franklin and William Peter in their Civil War uniforms (Acc. 5750.2-3). Both of Peter’s sons fought in the Civil War in Company H, 52nd Regiment, NC Troops, known as the Spring Hill Guards. This regiment was raised in Lincoln County and enlisted in Lincoln County on March 25, 1862. William Peter died in hospital at Petersburg, VA, Oct. 16, 1862, of “gastritis acuta.”