Monday, February 6, 2017

History Stitched onto a Sack

A sack Rose, a slave and mother, gave to her 9-year-old daughter the day she was sold away. They never saw each other again.  
The stitching on the sack was done by Ruth Middleton, who lived in Philadelphia, in 1921, to record this piece of her family history. The sack somehow ended up for sale, most likely given away to a charity shop when Ruth died in 1988. 

She was sold at age 9 in South Carolina
it held a tattered dress 3 handfulls of
pecans a braid of Roses hair. Told her
It be filled with my LOVE always
she never saw her again
Ashley is my grandmother
Ruth Middleton

It was discovered at a flea market some 20 years later, which is when the research into the names and dates was carried out. Mark Ausslander, an associate professor of anthropology at Central Washington University,was one of the researchers. The sack tells a part of American history and today it is on display in the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.

 To read more about the sack visit:
Mark Ausslander's research appeared in the academic journal Southern Spaces. Ashley's sack is on loan from Middleton Place to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. 


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, it is a very sad story, but what a wonderful way to tell it-stitching it onto the sack.

  2. This moved me to tears. What a wonderful way to tell the story and have it last for generations to come. Priceless!!!