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Sesquicentennial 1864 Slave Emancipation Quilt

The Sesquicentennial 1864 Slave Emancipation Quilt commemorates Maryland’s shared history that holds fast the stories of our collective Maryland contributions for future generations to know. Fiber artist Gaither calls the process used to create this monumental size quilt “quilting from the soul” that utilizes anything and everything necessary to tell the story of the emancipation of slaves in Maryland.


With the passage of the 1864 state constitution, Maryland slaves were freed under Article 24. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of slavery in Maryland, Dr. Gaither worked with Lydra Pratt Marshall, the Vice Chair of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, the Annapolis 1864 Commission, and over 400 representatives from every county in the state to create a quilt documenting this momentous event. The quilt, laid out like the Maryland State Flag, shares the stories of African Americans in each county as told by residents in those counties. 

Emancipation Quilt
Black-Eyed Susan
Community Stitching
Bald Eagle
County Squares
Quilting Session
Putting it All Together
Quilt Layout
Folded back
Allegany County
Anne Arundel County
Baltimore City
Baltimore County
Calvert County
Caroline County
Carroll County
Cecil County
Charles County
Dorchester County
Frederick County
Garrett County
Harford County
Howard County
Kent County
Montgomery County
Prince George's County
Queen Anne's County
Somerset County
St. Mary's County
Talbot County
Washington County
Wicomico County
Worcester County
Center detail
A Path to Freedom
A Path to Freedom
Maryland Angel
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