Accounts of the incident have since established that the woman in question was Mary Quantrell, not Barbara Fritchie. Nevertheless, as a result of Whittier’s poem, a mythology emerged surrounding Fritchie, ultimately leading Ariana Trail to acquire the desk-and-bookcase on behalf of her daughter and son-in-law. The purchase importantly illustrates that collectors were interested in Southern-made objects as early as 1885, much earlier than scholars of the antiques trade have previously assumed. It also highlights the fact that items such as the desk-and-bookcase, locks of George Washington’s hair, and Benjamin Franklin’s gold-headed cane were sought after because of their associative qualities. After Fritchie’s death, her niece, Catherine Hanshew, inherited her estate. 5 Then in the 1870s or 1880s, Henry Etchison, the operator of a popular furniture store in Frederick, acquired the desk-and-bookcase. 6 Etchison dabbled in the antiques trade alongside local auctioneers who regularly advertised antiques in Maryland newspapers in the 1880s. Trail, an abolitionist and one of Frederick’s most prominent

Fig. 1. Cabinet card of Ariana McElfresh Trail, Gilbert & Bacon, Philadelphia, 1880−90. Collection of Maryland State Archives Fig. 2. Desk-and-bookcase, Frederick, Maryland, 1780−90. Walnut, poplar. Collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), Winston-Salem, NC

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