Rural Republican Roots.

On This Day in History Quilt for March 20:

On this day in 1854 the Republican Party was founded in Ripon, Wisconsin. The group, who were form members of the Whig Party (formed in 1854 to oppose President Andrew Jackson), wanted to establish a new part party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories. The first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, was elected in 1860.


Mary Elizabeth Stark of Newburg, Iowa hand pieced and hand quilted this Ocean Waves quilt using sewing scraps between 1860-1890.  A relative of the quiltmaker documented the quilt in 1988 during the Iowa Quilt Research Project, who noted: “Mary Elizabeth was a pioneer in bringing Farm Bureau and Extension lessons to rural women. She was one of the first women active in Republican politics.”

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about it’s history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in On this Day in History Quilts series and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

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