Emigrant's foot stool

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

Emigrant's foot stool

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

MEVAGISSEY MUSEUM. This faded and battered stool tells the story of a Cornish family who emigrated to America. John Varcoe, a Mevagissey carpenter and master builder, left Cornwall and travelled to North America and worked on the railroad. He settled in Kansas City and set up a high class building contractor's business. Back in Mevagissey, John's widowed mother embroidered in wool a needlepoint pattern of an American eagle and sent it to her son and his family. John made a stool with turned legs to display the tapestry and when he and his wife retired to Mevagissey in the 1890s, the American eagle stool naturally came back with them.

It was not only miners who emigrated for a better life. At least half a million people left Cornwall in the years 1840-1900, just over half going overseas to America, South Africa or Australia. The rest went to other parts of England and Wales.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

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About this object

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Location

Cornwall, also North America

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
36cm
W:
35cm
D:
35cm
Colour
Material

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