Documenting Delaware's Schoolgirl Samplers (continued from page 1)

By Lynne Anderson, Ph.D.

Mary Roe

Mary Roe of Frederica, Kent County, Delaware worked this sampler in 1835. A sampler with the same format, motifs, and color palette was stitched by Elizabeth Ann Townsend, also in 1835. That sampler is in the collection of the Winterthur Museum and contains an inscription on the back indicating it was executed at “Mr. Bell's School Newark Delaware", thus also documenting the origin of Mary Roe’s sampler. An 1828 announcement in the Delaware Patriot and American Watchman indicates that the Reverend Bell’s “Young Ladies’ Boarding School” was in operation for at least seven years. Courtesy of M. Finkel & Daughter.

Sara Ralston Jones

Sarah Ralston Jones stitched this sampler at a school in Wilmington in 1822 when she was only eight years old. In spite of her young age, Sarah was already a very talented needleworker, adept at working in silk, chenille, and crewel wool. Sadly, Sarah died September 30, 1822, only five months after completing her sampler. Courtesy M. Finkel & Daughter.

 

Elizabeth Virdiin

Sampler stitched by Elizabeth Virdin of Kent County, Delaware in 1808. At the time that Elizabeth stitched this sampler she was 13 years old. Many features of this sampler are typical of needlework executed under the instruction of a Quaker teacher, including the “Extract” and the natural looking floral motifs. Courtesy M. Finkel & Daughter.

Sarah Shields

Sarah Shields from New Castle County, Delaware, stitched this sampler some time between 1822 and 1825. The multiple sets of initials are those of her parents, grandparents, and siblings. The initials of her youngest two siblings, born 1825 and 1827, are not represented on the sampler, helping to establish the time period in which the sampler was stitched. Courtesy of Cindy Steinhoff.

 

Elizabeth Virdiin

Sampler stitched by Elizabeth Virdin of Kent County, Delaware in 1808. At the time that Elizabeth stitched this sampler she was 13 years old. Many features of this sampler are typical of needlework executed under the instruction of a Quaker teacher, including the “Extract” and the natural looking floral motifs. Courtesy M. Finkel & Daughter.

Katherine Wallace

Katherine Wallace stitched this pictorial silk embroidery in Wilmington at Elizabeth Montgomery’s “Ladies English sewing and drawing school”, c. 1818. The scene is entitled Hector Taking Leave of Andromache. Courtesy of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, Washington, DC. Gift of Miss M. Louise Jaquette. Photograph by Mark Gulezian/Quicksilver.

 

Unknown

Sampler stitched by an unknown girl in 1801 at the Southern Boarding School in Duck Creek Crossing, Delaware (now Smyrna, DE). The Southern Boarding School was established about 1800 by members of the Duck Creek Monthly Meeting of the Southern Quarter. The first superintendent of the school was James Iddings, who moved to Duck Creek Crossing in 1798 with his wife Mary, and their four children. This is the earliest of the fourteen known samplers stitched at the school between 1801 and 1805 – all of which are inscribed with the school’s name. Courtesy of John Chaski Antiques.