Posted by: sandra | August 18, 2011

Letter to Aunt Pitty Pat

Aunt Pitty Pat is a woman, from the Civil War era, who teaches many quilting classes in our shop!  (Don’t think about that too much…).

Occasionally we get letters from friends of hers telling of life in and around the Civil War.  Let me share with you a recent correspondence.

Modern grammar and spelling are used to help 21st century readers


Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania

August 5, 1872

Dear Pitty Pat,

Once again, I take up my pen to write to you, dear friend.  I hope that this will find you well.

In your last letter, you wrote of the times before the war and the death of your dear uncle.  Oh, the things that happened between the abolitionists and the slave owners.  Yet, how could we have known that they would lead to even more terrible events in a war that took so many lives and split states, friends, and families.

You asked what I remembered from those years before the war. I must say that I had to think hard to answer as I was just a child and noticed little of what was happening. Just as I was thinking that I had nothing to write, mother and father came to visit their new granddaughter Ellen Elsie who was born in July.  Yes, John and I have now been blessed with six children, three boys and three girls. 

I asked father what he remembered about the abolitionists.  He was very proud to tell me that one of his ancestors, Abraham Up Den Graeff, signed the first formal protest against slavery in 1688 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. 

Mother said that she remembered the women of the church talking about the Anti-Slavery Fairs that were held to raise money to help the fugitive slaves. She said some of the women in Pine Grove made crib quilts to send with Henry Rothermel, the teamster, to the fair in Philadelphia.  One of the quilts had the slogan “Think of the Negro mother, when her child is torn away” stitched into it.  Henry’s wife, Rebecca, worked on the quilts and made him take them even though he protested he had no room in the wagon.  Mother said that Rebecca and Henry had just lost a child and Rebecca cried when she worked on the quilt.

I can not remember if I told you that John’s brother Emanuel left for Nebraska.  He said that with his war enlistment money, he could buy a farm.  But, John said that he thought Emanuel was just running away from his memories of the war and Aaron’s death.   Thinking of Aaron is still painful even after almost ten years.

Ellen Elsie has begun to fuss and I must see to her. 

Goodnight, dear friend,


Here is a beautiful finished quilts from a recent Aunt Pitty Pat series.

Jerri, your quilt is fabulous!!!!

Off to get ready for the staff party. (Can you read the excitement in my voice)?

Later, Sandra



  1. That was so nice Sandra……………

  2. That Jeri is an amazing woman! Hope I have half her engergy when I am her age. Go Jeri, Go Jeri……

    • I wish I had half her energy now!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: