An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery

Rachel May (Author)

Product Details

Pegasus Books
Publish Date
May 01, 2018
5.9 X 9.1 X 1.7 inches | 0.01 pounds
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About the Author

Rachel May is the author of Quilting with a Modern Slant, a 2014 Library Journal and Best Book of the Year. Her writing has received multiple awards, and she's been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony and The Vermont Studio Center. She's an Assistant Professor at Northern Michigan University and lives in Marquette, Michigan.


Deeply researched and vividly written, May's creative achievement casts new light on the often ignored contributions enslaved people made to American society.
May draws both history lessons and intimate secrets from her analysis of letters and domestic objects in the antebellum world. Her commitment to recovering the experiences of the enslaved people at the story's heart is admirable.
In this far-reaching history, the discovery of an unfinished antebellum quilt becomes an investigation of the fragile scraps of documents used to make its backing. A meticulous and insightful account of slavery's role in early mercantile America.
An American Quilt is a scholarly accomplishment.
An American Quilt cleverly weaves together the disparate fields of material cultural, northern industrialization, mercantilism, trade and slavery. Deeply researched history, May reveals the multifaceted economic and personal relations between northern textile manufacturers and southern enslavers. Moreover, May reminds us that the handmade quilts of white antebellum slave-holding and non-slave-holding women carry unlikely histories, including those of enslaved African Americans whose labor and stories are usually unacknowledged or overlooked.--Christy Clark-Pujara, Associate Professor of History in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, author of Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island