One American Family: A Tale of North and South

Inspired by the 2018 publication of An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery, by URI's Rachel May (PhD '15), this exhibition reveals a complex story of the social and economic relationships between the industrial North and agrarian South in antebellum America. The exhibition features objects that represent some of the more than 500 late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century textiles, clothing, and related items donated by the Cushman family of Providence, Rhode Island.

In her book, Rachel May envisions the world of the urban enslaved women owned by the Cushman ancestors in Charleston, South Carolina, and explores the oft-silenced connections and economic benefits of slavery to northern families and communities. 


Rebecca Kelly, Instructor and Susan J. Jerome, Collections Manager