Quilt Center Square
STORY OF THE QUILT CENTER SQUARE BY A FRIEND OF THE LIBRARY
FOR HARNETT COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT, 1989
The Quilt Center Square
center circle of the Harnett County Historical Quilt was designed by
Paul Soublet, artist for most of the other quilt squares, and
embroidered and appliquéd by Mary Jane Matthews, (Mrs. Alvis), a
representative of the Friends of the Library.
circle, with the design of Harnett County therein, covers four fifteen
inch squares. Just inside the golden circle, at top left, is the name of
the county, the year (top right) the county was formed, and the year
(top right) the quilt was made.
the county name is a branch of blooming dogwood, North Carolina State
flower, with a red bird (Cardinal, State Bird) perched on a branch
overlapping the outer edge of the county. This map, outlined in black,
shows the Cape Fear River running northwest to southeast, embroidered in
blue, and other names of creeks, towns, and communities in black. Names
of the sixteen Extension Homemakers Clubs are also in black, but their
location is indicated by a red dot.
the lower right quadrant inside the circle is an embroidered compass.
The contributor’s name: Friends of the Library, lies inside the circle
at its base.
names of historical importance are located outside the circle in each of
the four quadrants. The name of Cornelius Harnett for whom the county
was named, a Revolutionary War hero, who never set foot in Harnett,
according to Malcolm Fowler, in They Passed This Way, is in the
lower left corner. In the lower right, is the name of Alexander
Lillington, for whom the county seat was named, also one who never came
to the county.
names of two outstanding women pioneers, who lived in the section that
later became Harnett, grace the upper portion of the squares, Jennie
Bahn McNeill, and Flora MacDonald.
Bahn McNeill, born Janet Smith, daughter of John Smith, from the
Longstreet section of Cumberland County was known for her beauty, a
trait that acquired her the name, Bahn, a Gaelic word for fair. She
married Archibald McNeill of the Barbecue section of Harnett. Not only
for her beauty, she "was known for her sprightliness, her wit,
unusual talent for business, and was regarded as second to none in the
Scottish settlement for energy of character, second only to Flora
MacDonald." (1). Her name is in the upper left quadrant of the
square. For more details see (3).
MacDonald, whose name is in the upper right quadrant, was born in
Scotland's Isle of Skye. She and her husband, Allan MacDonald, two sons
and a daughter, came to America in August, 1774, landed in Brunswick
near Wilmington, North Carolina, and were hopefully looking for better
prosperity. Already an important person, she remained loyal to King
George despite her embarkation. The family stopped shortly at Cross
Creek for welcoming festivities before coming to live at Mount Pleasant
(later called Cameron Hill) with her half-sister, Anna Bella MacDonald,
with whom she lived for nine months. While there she was a regular
attendant at Barbecue Presbyterian Church. Eventually her husband,
Allan, found land for a home in what is now Montgomery County (then
American Revolution broke before they could plant their first crop. For
their loyalty to the King, Allan and son Alexander joined the Loyalist
forces that were later captured by the Patriots at Moore's Creek Bridge
and sent to New York as prisoners. Meanwhile, their home at Cross Creek
was ransacked and Flora and son James fled to Moore County to make their
home on Nick's Creek, on land owned by Kenneth Black, three miles from
her daughter Anne's home at Glendale, near Carthage.
1778, Anne's husband, Alexander MacLeod, arrived under a flag of truce
to take his wife and family, Flora and her son James, to New York to
join her husband and son Alexander, who had been paroled. Later in the
year, she, and family traveled to Nova Scotia where Allan was stationed
with the Royal Highland Emigrants.
1779, all the family, except Allan, returned to London and to Scotland
the following year, 1780. It was not until 1785 that Allan rejoined
Flora, who was living with her daughter Anne MacLeod, at Dunvegan
Castle. On the Isle of Skye, Allan and Flora spent the remainder of
died March 4,1790, and Allan two years later, in 1792. "The
greatness and appeal of Flora MacDonald lies not in what she did, but in
what she was. She survives more as a symbol than a historical figure.”
Written by: Evelyn
Page 123, Colorful Heritage: Documented, edited by Lt.
Col. Victor E. Clark, Jr. USAF (RET) FSA SCOT
Page 36, Colorful Heritage: Documented, based on an Informal
History of Barbecue and Bluff. Presbyterian Churches, by Rev. James
Donald MacKenzie's 1969 Book:;-
Pages 40 to 43, They Passed This Way, written by Malcolm