1845 Mary Jane Moran's Bride's Quilt

This silk quilt, delicately appliquéd and embroidered with baskets and sprays of fruit and flowers, was made by Mary Jane Green Moran when she was a young bride in Baltimore, Maryland. The blocks are set diagonally and separated by a white silk sashing appliquéd and embroidered with bud-and-leaf vines, echoed by the undulating leafy vine in the border. The silk top is closely quilted, 12 to 15 stitches per inch, to a muslin backing. It was said that 1,001 skeins of silk thread were used in the quilting. A woven and knotted golden-colored silk fringe is stitched to three sides of this example of mid-nineteenth- century needlework.
Mary Jane (Mrs. Dr. Moran) exhibited her needlework at various fairs and exhibitions. Her entries won awards. It was noted in one Maryland Exhibition in 1851 that the silk quilt with scarlet lining she made and exhibited "is entitled to notice for the labor and industry evinced." This quilt in the Collection is a fine example of her work.
At the time of Mary Jane Green’s marriage in 1846 to Dr. Jonathan J. Moran, he was a resident physician at Washington University College Hospital in Baltimore. It was in that capacity that he attended the dying Edgar Allan Poe in October 1849. Dr. Moran in later years wrote several versions of those last hours that he spent with Edgar Allan Poe, and lectured on the topic as well. From the accounts, it appears that Mary Moran also nursed the dying Poe, reading to him as well as preparing his shroud.
After the closing of the hospital in 1851, the Morans moved to Falls Church, Virginia, where they were both active in the community and the Dulin Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. Jonathan Moran became the first mayor of Falls Church in 1875 and served until 1877. He died in 1888, and Mary Jane died the following year.
Currently not on view
Date made
Moran, Mary Jane Green
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
Physical Description
fabric, silk, velvet, cotton (overall material)
thread, silk, cotton (overall material)
overall: 90 in x 95 in; 229 cm x 240 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Kate Carleton Moran Vinson
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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