Anne Adams on Three Generations of a Quaker Family and Their Textiles

Published in the 2006 edition of the Canadian Journal of Quaker History, Anne G. Adams’ article, “‘Done Without Spectacles…’ Three Generations of a Quaker Family and Their Textiles,” follows the textile trail of the British-born Mullett family who settled in Upper Canada in 1821. The Mullett family quickly integrated themselves in the Quaker community of Adolphustown and their eleven children married into local Quaker families, including the Haights and Bowermans.

Adams’ article includes letters sent between family members across the Atlantic and their many discussions of knitting, sewing, and spinning. Of particular interest to textile enthusiasts are the letters sent between the children of William and Mary Mullett and their grandmother, Hannah Clothier, who lived in Somerset, England. In some of their early letters, the Mullett children sent samples of their own spinning and requested their grandmother send pieces of cloth in return. Adams includes an 1825 letter sent from Deborah Mullett in which she notes that her and her sisters were “becoming tailoresses since being in Canada” (39). For those who have recently taken up a craft while staying at home, the letters and diaries of the Mullett family are an exciting window into early and mid-nineteenth century textile making in Upper Canada.


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