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Region: East Tennessee
1858 Mary (Mollie) Elizabeth Brabson
Salem Female Academy
Boyds Creek, Sevier Co.
East Tennessee Historical Society, Knoxville

18"V x 24"H © TSS 090
fibers: wool
ground: wool crepe
Mary (Mollie) Elizabeth Brabson (1840-1919) was the eldest child of Benjamin Davis Brabson and Elizabeth Berry Toole. In 1848, Benjamin and his brother, Thomas C. Brabson, inherited Brabson’s Ferry Plantation on the French Broad River at Boyds Creek, Sevier County. It was one of the largest and most successful plantations in East Tennessee. There Benjamin and Thomas ran a general store, a tannery, grist mill, blacksmith shop, and a stage coach stop. The brothers also built two nearly identical Greek Revival houses for their families. Mollie married Dr. John Wilkinson Cates in 1864 in Sevier County. They had five children. Both are buried in the Magnolia Cemetery, Maryville, Blount County.
Mollie was sent to school at the Salem Female Academy in Salem, NC. She attended school there from July 15, 1857 to May 31, 1859, as student number 3528. While there she stitched two tufted needlework pictures, one of a dog and one of a deer, in the fancy needlework class. The pieces subsequently won a silver cup at the Tennessee State Fair in 1858. Mollie’s aunt, Margaret R. Porter (TSS 087) worked a beaded sampler in 1839.
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