This past Saturday I went to the Adamstown Extravaganza, and in Pennsylvania. There were lots of dealers and some great primitives. I bought a few new items for the store, prostate and something for me, nurse a carpetbag. It’s not in the best condition but I don’t mind at all, I love it anyway. I hung it on my peg rack and I love the way it looks. The colors in the carpetbag, gold, red green and blue, match the colors in my collection of stone fruit and my sofa and chairs.  If you are wondering what a carpetbag is, here’s a brief history. I think you’ll find it interesting.


With the rapid expansion of railroads in the 1840’s and 1850’s, ordinary people were traveling in large numbers, and there was a need for cheap luggage, so thousands of carpetbags were manufactured. They were made by saddle makers in many towns and cities and were many sizes and shape. They were called carpetbags because the makers would buy old carpets and construct the bags from the pieces of carpet that were not completely worn out. This how carpet bags could be manufactured cheaply. They sold in Dry Goods for $1 to $2 apiece.

During the Civil War Reconstruction Period (1865-1870) many people from the Northern States moved South because there were many opportunities for a person to earn a little money there. You could own a farm by paying the past due taxes for as little as $25. These opportunities attracted all sorts of people from honest, hard-working farmers, to crooks, charlatans, con artists and, of course, crooked politicians. All of these outsiders were called “Carpetbaggers” and this is a term still used in many places today. It also became a term to refer to a Yankee who moved to the South. Probably the worst Carpetbaggers were the politicians who used their positions in the corrupt Reconstruction of government to enrich themselves through bribes, graft and other despicable acts at the expense of native Southerners. Sound familiar? Today the dictionary defines a Carpetbagger as “ an outsider involved in politics.”



12 Responses to “Carpetbaggers”

  1. Jenny Says:

    Hi Carole!

    Nice find… I love it and reading about the history too! I wish I lived nearby!

  2. Barbara Melotto Says:

    Well, wouldn’t I have loved to prowl around THAT house for treasures. How lucky you are to have such friends. Love the carpet bag! It reminded me of an old knitting bag I have and the need to dig it out.

  3. carolemurals Says:

    Hi Barbara. If your old sewing bag has a nice look, yes, go find it and display it! I am happy to have reminded you of it.
    Great hearing from you as always

  4. Cindy Says:

    Nice bag you go there, Such a unique bag using carpet materials impressive!, Thanks for sharing this information it is a informative article

  5. Carbon Footprint Calculator Says:

    Nice find… I love it and reading about the history too! I wish I lived nearby!

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