John LaTourette; Jacquard, double-cloth coverlet; 1844;

Description
The blue and white, Jacquard double-cloth coverlet features a carpet medallion centerfield design composed of floral medallions and scalloped foliate-filled diamonds. The border is a meandering/running floral design and unique to the maker, John LaTourette. There is a self-fringe at the lower edge of the coverlet. A stylized flower trademark is woven into each of the lower corners, and below it, the date 1844. This flower trademark is associated with the LaTourette family of Fountain County, Indiana, and the 1844 date suggests that John (Jean) S. LaTourette was the weaver.
The LaTourette family immigrated to Staten Island, New York in 1685, just after Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes, when French Protestants, known as Huguenots, were forced to either convert to Catholicism or leave the Kingdom of France. As a result, there was a mass exodus of craftspeople to Protestant Europe and the British American colonies. John (Jean) S. LaTourette (1793-1849) was born in New Jersey to a weaver and Revolutionary War veteran also named John G. Latourette (1749-1813). After serving in the War of 1812, John married his wife, Sarah Schenck (1799-1873) in 1816.
The couple immediate headed west, first settling in Germantown, Ohio were the first half of fourteen children were born. In 1828, John LaTourette purchased eighty-acres in what would become Wabash Township, Fountain City, Indiana. The LaTourettes were among the first European settlers in the area. The family initially lived in a log cabin and spent most of their energy clearing the land, farming, and weaving a variety of goods for their neighbors.
After 1840, the weaving began to shift to exclusively coverlets and the log cabin became the loomhouse as the family built a larger brick home on their farm. This is also the time that two of his children, Sarah (1822-1914) and Henry (1832-1892) began to weave with their father. There are several extant accounts that there were at least three looms on the property. In an interview, John’s youngest son, Schuyler LaTourette described the looms the family used to weave the coverlets, indicating that they used punch-cards associated with the Jacquard loom introduced to the United States during the 1820s. John S. LaTourette died in 1849, leaving the booming weaving business in the able hands of his daughter Sarah and son Henry who continued to weave coverlets until 1871.
This coverlet is in excellent overall condition and is a wonderful example of one of Indiana’s famous coverlet-weaving dynasties. We can attribute this coverlet to John because of the 1844 date during his lifetime and the omission of the word “year” from the cornerblock. His children would continue to use the same cornerblock as their father but added the word “year” to differentiate their work from that of their father.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1844
possible maker
LaTourette, John
maker
LaTourette, John
place made
United States: Indiana, Fountain
United States: Indiana, Fountain
Physical Description
jacquard, double-cloth (overall production method/technique)
figured and fancy (overall style)
wool, cotton (overall material)
blue, white (overall color)
Measurements
overall: 88 in x 72 in; 223.52 cm x 182.88 cm
ID Number
TE.T14001
catalog number
T14001.000
accession number
269209
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Maris M. Proffit, in memory of Mrs. Maris M. Proffit
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Coverlets
Domestic Furnishings
Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History

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