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York Weaver Offers Reward for Stolen Coverlets

Martin Hoke Coverlet
York weaver Martin Hoke was so upset that a thief made off with four of his “coverlids” in 1843 that he offered quite a substantial reward for their return. They wouldn’t be too hard to identify as they had both Hoke’s name and the name of the client woven into each one.
If you have coverlets of your own, you have an opportunity to register them on Saturday, October 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at York County Heritage Trust’s first ever coverlet documentation day. Coverlet experts will document the pattern, history and details of the weaver. You can also view the 42 coverlets on display in the From Old Looms to Heirlooms: York County Coverlets exhibit through November 28. The documentation will be held at 250 East Market Street.
See Martin Hoke’s descriptive ad from the May 16, 1843 York Gazette below.


Was taken from the house of the subscriber in the borough of York, on Friday night last. FOUR COVERLIDS, viz: Two of them are of the Style Patern with House Borders, and the owners’ names and coverlids in the coverlids on each. Mary Ann Overdeer, Red, Blue and White–Matilda Beck, Red, Blue, Green and White;–and the other two are what is called the Beauty Patern, with Deers around the Border, and the owners; names and colors on each of the coverlids. George Eyster, Red and Blue–Susan Feiser, Red, Blue, Green and White. The subscribers’ name is on each of them, and were all manufactured in 1843. The above reward will be paid for the recovery of the stolen goods and detection of the thief, or a proportional amount for either.
York, April 4, 1843.”

Click here for more on York County coverlets.

Hoke Coverlet in “Beauty” Pattern