COLLECTION: Costume Accessories

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Printed Cotton Work Bag

Origin: America, Virginia, Warm Springs
OD: 13"
Gift of Perlista Y. Henry
Acc. No. 2017.610.1
This is a drawstring work bag constructed of heavy floral printed cotton. The bag has a circular bottom to which the sides are stitched by machine.
Label:This work bag was owned by Elizabeth Morris Bolden (1872-1948), a Virginia African-American woman who lived in Warm Springs. Elizabeth was the daughter of Annie Crawford Morris, who was born into slavery, and Randall Cornelius Morris, a freeborn mulatto cooper. According to family history, Elizabeth made a good living working as a seamstress. She likely used this work bag to store her sewing supplies. Two Log Cabin quilts along with the work bag descended in the family of Elizabeth to her great granddaughter who gave them to the museum.
Provenance:This work bag , along with two quilts (2017.609.1 and 2), were made by Elizabeth Morris (Mrs. Charles Bolden) (1872-1948) and descended through the family to Elizabeth's great-granddaughter Perlista Henry who donated them to the museum.

History of Elizabeth Morris Bolden:
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Morris Bolden (1872-1948) was the daughter of Annie Crawford (1832-1917) and Randall Cornelius Morris, a freeborn mulatto. Annie Crawford was born into slavery in Warm Springs, Virginia. Her father was William Ervin (white) and her mother was African-American and Native American. Elizabeth Morris grew up on Fort Dinwiddie Farm in Warm Springs, Virginia. She married Charles Bolden, a coach driver for the Homestead Resort, and they had a daughter named Alice. In 1902, Charles, Lizzie, and Alice moved from the farm to a house in Warm Springs where Lizzie's great-granddaughter Perlista Henry lives today. Lizzie attended Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church. She provided clothes for her family and paying clients, which provided a good living. The family remembers that she used a Singer treadle sewing machine.