Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Colin F. Baxter

Committee Members

Dale M. Royalty, Marie Tedesco


This thesis explores the evidence for handweaving in antebellum Washington County, Tennessee. The author examines probate inventories, wills, store ledgers, and census and tax materials to determine the identities of the weavers, the equipment and raw materials available to them, and the kinds of textiles that women wove. The author discusses the reasons many women continued to weave cloth at home although commercially woven textiles were available in local stores.

The author concludes that many of Washington County's antebellum weavers wove as a contribution to the country goods the family bartered at the local store. Others may have been responding to an ethnic or family tradition or seeking an outlet for creative expression. For many, a combination of factors influenced them to weave. By adding to our understanding of women's household activities in East Tennessee, this study adds to the history of the wider Appalachian region.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

History Commons