20150610bc abigail doll 1
Ellen Carter holds one of her Abigail Dolls. Carter and her husband "collect Brown County." She owns two Abigail Dolls, a Nancy Hanks Doll and another doll that she believes may have been one of the first Abigail Dolls before the dolls' faces were hand painted. The Abigail and Nancy Hanks Dolls were created by Portia Howe Sperry, after her husband lost his job during the Great Depression, as a way to earn money for her family. The dolls were sold in the Brown County Folks Shop, which the Sperrys owned. Both the Nancy Hanks and Abigail Dolls will be featured in the permanent "American Enterprise" exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History this July.