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Catalog Number 10046-19
Title Comforter; Fur; Beaver Pelts; Red Wool
Object Name Comforter
Description Bed comforter made of pieced beaver pelts. The beaver pelts have been sheared or plucked to remove the long guard hairs, leaving the plush underhair exposed. According to the file, there are approximately 84 pelts used for this comforter. The pelts were cut into rectangular shapes, using the lightest, softest part of the fur, then stitched together by hand with white thread. The back side of the comforter is covered with red wool flannel fabric that has a black woven stripe running through the edges. There are two sections of wool yardage stitched together for the backing. The wool is machine stitched together with a lock-stitch sewing machine. The wool is stitched to the fur using thick black thread and hand-stitching.
Year Range from 1855
Year Range to 1875
Culture North American Indian?
Material Beaver Fur; Wool; Thread
Place of Origin USA or Canada
Used USA: Nebraska (Hall), Grand Island
Length (in) 70.5
Width (in) 53.25
People Abbott, Othman Ali, 1842-1935
Abbott, Elizabeth M. (Griffin), 1845-1941
Other Name Comforter, Fur
History According to donation records this is a beaver fur bed comforter made sometime between 1855 and 1875. Only the prime portion of the pelts were used, approximately 84 in all. It is backed with red outting flannel. It was brought to Nebraska by Mr. O.A. Abbott in 1867 or Elizabeth Griffen Abbott in 1873 or Mrs. Abott's mother.

From the NSHS Archives Finding Aid: The Othman Ali Abbott family has roots in America beginning in 1640 at Andover, Massachusetts. Othman was born at Hartley, Canada, September 19, 1842. The family moved to DeKalb County, Illinois. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Othman enlisted in Co. I, 9th Illinois Cavalry. He moved up in rank and was discharged October 31, 1865 as a First Lieutenant, having been wounded twice in battle. After the war he settled at Grand Island, Nebraska, and was admitted to the Nebraska Bar in 1867. Abbott was a member of the state's first and second Constitutional Conventions in 1871 and 1873. In 1876 he was elected the first Lt. Governor of Nebraska and served from 1877-1879. He was a member of the G.A.R., the Loyal Legion, and the Grand Lodge of Nebraska. He died at Grand Island in June of 1935.

Mr. Abbott married Elizabeth M. Griffin of Sycamore, Illinois, February 9, 1873. Elizabeth was born January 20, 1845, in DeKalb County, Illinois and was raised in a log house. She was a pioneer teacher in Illinois and was teaching in Iowa at the time of her marriage. She had been president of the first woman suffrage association organized in Grand Island; served as president and a member of the Women's Park Association in the early 1900's; was a member of the public library board of Grand Island for 48 years; an officer in the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association; and an officer of the State Federation of Women's Club. In 1886 she was appointed as a delegate to the 13th National Conference of Charities and Corrections at St. Paul, Minn. Elizabeth died in 1941 at the age of 96.
Credit line Charlotte E. Abbott, San Francisco, California
Collection Abbott, Charlotte E.