“We Didn’t Wait For Freedom”: Civil War Narrative Quilts by Vera Hall

August 26, 2023 – February 18, 2024

The Upcountry History Museum is honored to host a selection of quilts created by quilter and history maker, Vera P. Hall.

A retired educator and councilwoman from Baltimore, Maryland, Hall is described by Baltimore residents as a “trailblazer”.  In her We Didn’t Wait For Freedom quilt series, Hall bridges the gap between history and her love of textiles with her quilt creations, honoring the lives of famous African Americans whose actions inspired change in America.

An activist in her own right, Hall studied Education at Coppin College.  She became the first African American teacher assigned to an all-white school in Baltimore’s Little Italy and taught in Baltimore City elementary schools as a reading specialist.  Her concern for improving public education led her to work with the Maryland Department of Education and then to run for public office.  She served on the Baltimore City Council from 1985-1992.  In 1992 she made history when she was elected Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, becoming the first African American female chair of a state Democratic Party.

Following her retirement, Hall became an active member of the African American Quilters of Baltimore, and created “We Too Sing America,” focused on her desire to teach other quilters black perspectives on Civil War History. Since then, she has created numerous story quilts, including a series of black history quilts, focused on her interest in Blacks during the transition from slavery to freedom.

The We Didn’t Wait for Freedom exhibition features 5 quilts from Hall’s We Didn’t Wait For Freedom quilt series, plus a sixth quilt hand and machine pieced by Hall using original Civil War era quilt blocks.

In its commitment to “connecting people, history, and culture,” the Upcountry History Museum will include Black History, Civil War era materials from its permanent collection.


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