1850 - 1860 Esther Coates Wileman's Child's Quilt

Elizabeth Coates Wileman made this pieced and appliquéd child's quilt in the mid-nineteenth century while living in Ohio. Sixteen blocks are pieced of red, green, yellow and white printed cottons in a Carpenter's Wheel pattern. These blocks are set diagonally with blue and white printed cotton squares and triangles. Two appliquéd sawtooth edges, one red and one green, complete the 5½-inch border.
Esther Coates, a Quaker, was born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania in 1817. She married Abram G. Wileman in 1844 in Massillon, Ohio, they divorced in 1858. They had two children Flora born in 1850, who died as a young child and Erasmus Darwin born in 1854. The quilt was probably made for Flora. Abram G. Wileman, a physician and war hero, served in the Civil War and was killed in 1863. Esther studied medicine at Penn Medical University in Philadelphia and received her degree in 1855. She practiced medicine in New Jersey. Esther died in 1873 and is buried in the Drumore Friends Cemetery in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The quilt was donated to the Museum in 1964 by Dr. Lorin E. Kerr, Jr. the great grandson of Esther.
Currently not on view
Object Name
quilt, crib
Object Type
Date made
Wileman, Esther Coates
Physical Description
fabric, cotton (overall material)
thread, cotton (overall material)
filling, cotton (overall material ; material)
overall: 51 in x 47 in; 128 cm x 120 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Lorin E. Kerr, Jr.
Additional Media

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