1806 Charlotte Roe's Child's Quilt

Charlotte Merritt Roe embroidered her name as well as the place (Virgil) and date (1806) on this pieced child’s quilt. Charlotte Merritt was born in 1774 in Rye, Westchester County, New York. She married John Elting Roe in 1796. In 1797 Charlotte and her husband settled in Virgil, New York. They stayed on to rear five children. This quilt, made for one of their children, was passed down through the family before being donated to the Museum in 1984.
An anecdote in Stories of Cortland County by Bertha E. Blodgett, Cortland, New York, published in 1932, relates the arrival of Charlotte and John Roe in Virgil.
“In the spring of 1797 John E. Roe . . . came up the river and prepared a log cabin in Virgil. He . . . peeled bark for a roof and agreed with a man to put it on . . . then went down the Tioughnioga to get his wife, bringing her in a sleigh from Oxford . . . .
When they came to the river at a place called Messengerville, they saw Mr. Chaplin’s house on the opposite bank. It was winter and the river was high, and the canoe that had been used in crossing was carried away. Mr. Chaplin’s hog trough was secured, and Mrs. Roe was safely carried over on it . . . whole day was consumed in negotiating the road over the hill to Virgil . . . when they arrived they were surprised to find their house without a covering and the snow deep on the floor . . . .
In after years, Mrs. Roe enjoyed telling the story of her experience . . . and she always ended by saying, ‘And what do you think! The horses were so hungry that they ate the seats out of my nice rush-bottomed chairs.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
quilt, crib
Object Type
Date made
Roe, Charlotte
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, linen, silk (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material)
overall: 41 in x 34 in; 103 cm x 87 cm
Place Made
United States: New York, Virgil
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Domestic Furnishings
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Ruth Marie Smith
Additional Media

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