By: Mary Bywater Cross
The Church Museum of History and Art in Salt Lake City, Utah, has a quilt made for U.S. Senator George Edmunds, Republican from Vermont, by the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of Ogden in 1882. This quilt became a visual record of the effort to end the practice of polygamy and improve the quality of human life in this Western territory in the period following the Civil War. Based on data in archives and libraries across the country, this paper is a cultural analysis and interpretation of how the quilt connects to the social and political issues faced by a second wave of settlers in the late nineteenth-century American West.