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Quilt

Artist/Maker:
Wood, Jane
Place Made:
Randolph County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
1820-1827
Medium:
cotton
Dimensions:
HOA: 88 1/2″ WOA: 78″
Accession Number:
5939.6
Description:
MAKER: Jane Wood was born on June 23, 1802, in Randolph County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of John Wood (1780-1851) and Eleanor Walker Wood (1775-1834).

The Wood family of early Randolph County was a prominent one. Jane’s father John Wood was the son of David Wood (1759-1830). David’s brothers Ruben Wood, Esq., (c. 1755-1812) and Zebedee Wood, Esq., (1745-1824) were scholars, were involved in the legal profession, and were political leaders in Randolph County, as well as the state of North Carolina. Both men attended North Carolina’s Constitutional Conventions in 1788 and 1789, and in 1791 the brothers were elected to represent Randolph County in North Carolina’s General Assembly. Although Ruben Wood’s burial site is unknown, Zebedee Wood, Esq., was buried at Shiloh Methodist Church near Julian in Randolph County. These two men were the great uncles of Jane Wood, the maker of the quilt, and perhaps the unusually ambitious and skilled needlework exhibited on the quilt was a reflection of Jane’s education and the Wood family’s prominence in the region.

Jane Wood’s life was short, and very little about her is known. When she died in 1827, she was not in Randolph County. Her grave is located in Hawfields Presbyterian Church Cemetery near Mebane, NC, approximately 45 miles northeast of her birthplace in Randolph County. Jane’s stone is among the oldest markers in what is today known as the Second Hawfields Burying Ground. She was probably in the Mebane area (then Orange County) because her great-uncle, the well known Presbyterian minister Ezekiel B. Currey (Currie) (1763-1851) was minister there in 1827. Rev. Currey was the brother of Jane Currey Wood (1760-1826), who was the mother of our Jane Wood’s father, John Wood. Rev. Currey had been educated by the famous Presbyterian minister/ teacher Dr. David Caldwell (1725-1824) in Guilford County, NC, and Currey was subsequently minister for both Cross Roads and Hawfields Presbyterian Churches from 1819 to 1843. Whether Jane was simply visiting Rev. Currey when she died or was in the region for some other reason is unclear at this point. Notably, Jane’s grandparents and parents were buried at Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Randolph County, and several of her siblings were buried in other Methodist cemeteries in the region, suggesting the family was Methodist, thus making Jane’s burial in a Presbyterian cemetery an anomaly.

DESCRIPTION: Jane Wood’s quilt was pieced with an indigo-ground dot fabric and with a plain white cotton. The pieced pattern is called “Touching Stars” and is alternated with stuffed and corded whitework in varying floral and medallion designs. Each block is a six-sided hexagon. It is bordered on two sides with a flying geese block style. Of particular interest, is the stuffed and corded inscription within a border of her name “JANE WOOD” in capital, Roman style lettering.

History:
HISTORY: After Jane died at the young age of 25 on August 9, 1827, the quilt passed to her much younger sister, Martitia Currie Wood (1824–1857). Martitia married Wesley A. Coe (1823—1899) in 1846. The quilt then passed to their daughter Eleanor “Ellen” Coe McCulloch (1853-1934), wife of Thomas Fillmore McCulloch (1851-1941). Their daughter Annie McCulloch Coble (1880-1957), who married John Frank Coble (1879-1952), next received the quilt, and from Annie, the quilt passed to their son, Rev. Joseph Fillmore Coble (1911-1900). Rev. Coble married Virginia B. Brittingham (1916-2008), and the quilt ultimately descended in their family to the donor who gifted the quilt to MESDA.
Credit Line:
Gift of Dawn Cook in honor of the Wood, Coe, McCulloch, and Coble families.