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Pocahontas Virginia Gay

Pocahontas Virginia Gay (about 1830-about 1922), daughter of Neil Buchanan Gay and his wife, Martha Talley, was a young woman during the Civil War. At that time she lived with her sister, Ann Caroline Gay, at the home of their brother, Neil Buchanan Gay, at "Mill Farm" in Fluvanna County, VA. Neither of the sisters ever married.

"Aunt Poca" was a favorite of her nieces and nephews, for whom she made such toys as wax squirrels and birds mounted on tiny pillboxes from the druggist. During the Civil War, she made one of her nephews a Confederate uniform (size 5) of homespun. Wearing this and armed with a wooden sword, he played at being a soldier and cut off dandelion heads with great delight.

White-haired but still erect and slender in the early 1900s when she made the quilt, she based her designs on Southern heroes, popular illustrations of sentimental vignettes, and the Victor dog trademark adopted in 1901 by the Victor Talking Machine Company. Proud to be a seventh-generation descendent of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, Aunt Poca included on the quilt a likeness of the Indian princess as she appears in a 17th-century engraving frequently reproduced in genealogies.



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Quilt detail
Quilt detail

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