"Andrew and Mary Corsa 1836" jacquard double-cloth coverlet, New York

"Andrew and Mary Corsa 1836" jacquard double-cloth coverlet, New York

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Description
This coverlet with floral sprig and dotted centerfield, grapevine borders, and 8-pointed starburst cornerblocks features a woven inscription, "Andrew and Mary Corsa 1836.” It is double-woven with two sets of cotton and indigo wool warps wefts. The coverlet was woven in 1836 most likely in Suffolk, Nassau, or Westchester Counties, New York. Susan Rabbit Goody wrote the book on Long Island, NY coverlets and the same grapevine border with names inscribed in the vine, and starburst cornerblocks are all common features of a yet-to-be-identified weaver.
Andrew Corsa (1762-1852), the customer, lived in Fordham Manor in the Bronx. His grandfather established a family farm on what is today the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University. Andrew's father, Isaac (1733-1822) held a commission in the British military. During the Revolution, Isaac remained loyal to the British, fleeing to Nova Scotia where he would spend the rest of his life. Andrew, however, was a patriot. He was the youngest and longest lived of the "Westchester Guides" who served as navigators, scouts, and spies for Gens. Washington and Rochambeau during the 1780-82 campaign of the American and French armies. The family farm was lost due to lawsuits and debt settlement. Andrew bought land adjacent to the family farm and started over, eventually developing his own pear cultivar, the "Corsian Vergaloo." Mary Poole was Andrew's second wife. They were married in the Fordham Dutch Reform Church in 1792. Corsa Ave. in the Bronx is named in Andrew's honor for his service during the Revolutionary War. The weaver of this coverlet is still unidentified. Goody listed a table of known grapevine border coverlets in her book. Further genealogical research on the inscription names on those coverlets shows that most of the names that are possible to accurately identify are associated with either Suffolk or Nassau Counties on Long Island, particularly the town of Southold, NY. Goody also pointed out that there is an as of yet unidentified connection between the communities of Westchester and Bronx Counties and the counties of Long Island.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
coverlet, figured
Date made
1836
maker
unknown
place made
United States: New York, Suffolk
Physical Description
Figured and Fancy (overall style)
double cloth (overall production method/technique)
blue (overall color)
natural (overall color)
wool (overall material)
cotton (overall material)
ID Number
TE.T16366
catalog number
T16366.000
accession number
301344
Credit Line
Gift of Miss Dorothy A. King
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Coverlets
Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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