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Sampler, 1747.
Silk thread on linen.
Worked by Hannah Storer (1739-1811) of Boston, Mass.


In contrast to Lydia Little's formal and stylized sampler, Hannah Storer's marking sampler exemplifies the more accessible demands of its genre, well suited to the talents of an eight year old. Worked in simple cross and satin stitches on a linen background, Hannah's piece features geometric floral borders, an alphabet, and verses, as well as information identifying her as the maker. The verses are typical of the maxims found on samplers of the era:

In prosperity friends will be plenty; but in adversity not one in twenty.

Behold alass our days we spend how vain they be how soon they end.

The two men in the lower portion of her sampler represent the biblical story of the spies of Canaan, in which Moses sent Joshua and Caleb into Canaan. This and other biblical themes, such as Adam and Eve, appear frequently on samplers, evidence of the distinctly religious and moral bent to girls' educations at the time.

Hannah, born May 22, 1739, was the daughter of Ebenezer and Mary Storer of Boston. Her father was a successful merchant, as well as a justice of the peace. She enjoyed a privileged upbringing in Boston and later moved to Wendell, Mass., as the wife of Joshua Green. Clues about her life appear in the papers of her grandson Samuel Abbot Green at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The collection includes genealogical information, such as manuscript records concerning her birth and marriage, as well as her correspondence with various friends and family members, including letters to and from Abigail Smith, later Abigail Adams.


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Lydia Little's Sampler

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