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Margaret (Peggy) Williams Andrews Sampler

Andrews, Margaret (Peggy) Williams
Place Made:
Salem NORTH CAROLINA United States of America
Date Made:
silk on linen
HOA: 24″; WOA: 21″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Silk on linen sampler Wide (3 1/2″) leaf and floral border surrounds center. Center of sampler is composed of the following: Top line includes the following initials which are the initials of the teachers in the school while she was a student: MSM [Maria Saloma Meinung] IEP [Johanna Elizabeth Praezel] ISS [Johanna Sophia Shober] SDR [Sohpia Dorothia Reichel] ASP [Agnes Susanna Praezel] PC [Philpene Christman] BL [Barbara Lineback] SALEM BS [Salem Boarding School]. Below this line are a flower and a basket of flowers. Near the center of the composition is a wreath which enclosed the following: PWA/SSIBA/ 1806 ES [?]. PWA are Peggy’s initials (Peggy Williams Andrews) The SS and A of the second grouping may refer to her parents: Stephen and Selah (in other documents Cecelia) Andrews. To either side of wreath are a pair of birds. The left pair have a flower between them; the right pair have a heart between them. Beneath each set of birds are additional initials. Beneath these are another large flower on the left and a another basket of flowers on the right.
The daughter of Stephen Andrews and Cecelia Tyler Andrews of Bertie County, North Carolina, Peggy Williams Andrews (1793-1857), was a student at Salem Girls Boarding school between 1805 and 1807 (documented in school records). Orphaned when her father died in 1800 (her mother had apparently already died), Peggy became the ward of William Seay of Bertie County (thought to be the WH cabinetmaker by some scholars) before John Andrews (her father’s brother) took over guardianship. Lewis Powell is the person who delivered her to Salem. William’s wife Elizabeth Seay is listed as the correspondent on matters pertaining to Peggy in the summaries of letters written by the Salem GBS inspector and parents/ guardians. Elizabeth Carter, the niece of Lewis Powell (and also from Bertie County) came to Salem with Lewis Powell at the same time that Peggy did (October 21, 1805). Both Elizabeth Carter and Peggy left at the same time as well (September 4, 1807). Elizabeth was the orphaned daughter of Lazarus and Mary Carter (Mary was Lewis Powell’s sister).

In 1808 Peggy married Thomas Norfleet. The couple had 10 children. They built Woodbourne Plantation outside of Roxobel, NC, on property Peggy had inherited when her father died. This property passed to Stephen Andrews Norfleet (1822-1910) the seventh child of Peggy and Thomas. The Norfleet Papers in the UNC Southern Historical Collection include extensive records of the management of the plantation under Stephen Andrews Norfleet. Copies of some of these documents are in the Accession file. See also pp 118-122 of WH CABINETMAKER: A SOUTHERN MYSTERY SOLVED (Newbern and Melchor) for additional information about Woodbourne Plantation.

The composition of this sampler is somewhat different than the other Salem examples from this early period. While most known samplers made in Salem the early 19th century include primarily family initials, the initials worked on this sampler include teachers (top row). The other initials throughout the sampler do not appear to be known family members. With luck, additional research will help us to determine whose initials Peggy worked into her sampler. In addition, the size of the sampler is unusually large (21” X 24”) for the period, and Peggy stitched a wide floral border rather than the delicate narrow borders usually seen on Salem samplers from the early nineteenth century.

It appears that while the top row of initials on Peggy’s sampler represent teachers (see description), at least some of the other initials may be those of students who attended at the same time that Peggy was a student.

Possible matches for the initials on Peggy’s sampler are as follows (date in perenthesis is date of enrollment):

RC Rebecca Carter (1804) or Rachel Clark (1806)
BC Elizabeth Carter (referred to as Betsy in other school records 1805)
WCP This and the next set could possibly be WC and PGC–no matches for either
GC yet
AG Attona Gales (1806)
HC or NC Nancy Chapman (1806) or Nancy Carleton (1806)
SWI Sally Jones (1805)
ETI Elizabeth Jones (1805)
DCD Dorothy Dewitt (1806)
ACC Cynthia Copeland
MF Polly and Elizabeth Fulenwinder both came in 1805–they are the only students whose last names start with an “F”
SWS Sarah Woods Sanders (1805)
IM Julia or Julianna Moore (1805)
MAS Mary Adelaide Stokes (1805)
SG Sophia Graham (1806)
ETO Eliza Osburn (1805)
MS Malvinia Smith (1805)
EC Coulf also be Elizabeth Carter (1805).

Credit Line:
Katherine Babcock Mountcastle Purchase Fund