MAKER: Eleanor “Ellen” McCauley was born in 1801 to Matthew McCauley (1750-1832) and Martha Ann Johnston (1760-1848) in Orange County, North Carolina. Matthew McCauley was an emigrant from County Antrim, Ireland, to North Carolina. He was a Lieutenant, 10th North Carolina Regiment, in the Continental Army. McCauley (with his brother William) was a donor of 150 Acres of land for the founding of The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Eleanor McCauley married Reverend Wilson Atwater (1797-1885) in 1819. The 1860 census of Eleanor and Wilson reflects the ownership of 22 slaves.
DESCRIPTION: Applique quilt featuring the princess feather design on a chrome orange cotton ground. There are nine applique blocks with green sashing in between. The North Carolina Museum of History lists “Wild Cucumber” as an alternate name for the “Princess Feather” in a catalogue of its exhibit held in 1974.
RELATED OBJECTS: Another quilt made by Ellen McCauley Atwater is in the MESDA Collection (acc. 3414.2).