Hidden in Plain Sight:
The Material World of Early Springfield


Yarn flowers

c. 1775-1840
Collection of the Springfield Art Association

The note accompanying these flowers reads:

by Annie Rodney, daughter of Ceasar Rodney who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and a personal friend of George Washington. He was born in 1728 died 1784.
Annie Rodney gave the flowers to a friend the grandmother of Mrs. Prickett who brought them to Springfield Illinois back in 1830s.

These flowers were likely purchased at the Prickett family's estate sale in 1917, after the last child of Charlotte and David Prickett died. Clearly some information was lost or misunderstood along the way: Ceasar Rodney did not have any children. He did, however, have a nephew named Ceasar Augustus Rodney, whose daughter Anna Caesaria Rodney lived in Springfield and was reportedly a bridesmaid in Mary Lincoln's wedding. It is possible that Anna Caesaria Rodney made these flowers and gave them to Charlotte Prickett, as the two women were contemporaries. Ladies' magazines of the time were full of instructions for creating handcrafts such as these, which allowed women to demonstrate their creative talents while creating ornaments for the home.