Kadella


Below is an image of a chintz cutout applique quilt made in 1810. The slave of Colonel John Carson, Kadella, made the quilt as a celebration of his marriage. She created the quilt according to traditional European applique standards of displaying ornate French lace in intricate patterns. However, she also included African tradition in her quilt by cross-stitching long, vertical, strip-like lines onto the quilt.

Kadella lived in a special house that Carson built especially for her across the river from the other slave quarters. Kadella was said to have been a princess from Barbados, and thus she was kept away from difficult labor and allowed to sew and knit. Kadella was well respected and loved not only by her master but by fellow slaves as well. She was said to have been transported by fellow slaves in a rickshaw wherever she went. The photograph below is the Carson Plantation home where Kadella spent the majority of her life. Although never found, Kadella is said also to have produced one African strip-style quilt for each of her sons who were sent away because of their shameful likeness to their master John Carson


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