Needlework Exhibit~Coverlets

Coverlets were popular in the mid 19th century in East Central Indiana.  A number of coverlet weavers settled in and around Henry County, and a great number of their woven coverlets survive.  HCHS is fortunate to have some of these priceless treasures on display.  Samuel Graham was a Henry County weaver.  He was born near Manchester, England, in 1805 and immigrated to the United States in 1830.  He first lived in Delaware County, Indiana, then moved to Henry County where he married his wife Elizabeth in the late 1840s.  When the Civil War was about to break out, he moved his family back to England.  The Grahams lived in England through the course of the War, and, while there, one of their children died.  Mrs. Graham, being very upset by this, wanted to leave England and return to Henry County, which they did.  The Grahams are listed on the 1870 census, living in Henry Township, Henry County, IN, with the post office listed as Millville.  Samuel died in 1871.  A mystery remains as to where Samuel and his wife are buried.

Coverlet weavers usually “signed” their handiwork with a block in the corner, unique to them.  Samuel Graham used the place and date but never his name.















coverlet1Woven the year President Zachary Taylor died; the only Indiana coverlet with an attempt portraiture.  Reads “Old Rough and Ready,” Taylor’s nickname.




























coverlet room


















The Ann Rockwell Commemorative Coverlet Conservation Closet, where our coverlets have been lovingly and carefully stored by long-time volunteer Ann Rockwell.


hchs00026Portrait of Samuel Graham

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