DESCRIPTION: Silk on silk mourning embroidery made by Elizabeth Alston Williams in memory of her father, Joseph John Williams. The picture shows a boy and girl under a weeping willow tree; the girl is on her knees beside a pedestal topped with an urn; ink inscription on pedestal reads: “IN MEMORY OF JOSEPH JOHN WILLIAMS WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE SEPT 18 1806 IN THE 34 YEAR OF HIS AGE.” Painted faces on children and partial painting of urn. Under the embroidery was a piece of muslin (19″x 20″) wrapped around a piece of wood; a faded inscription on the muslin reads “ELIZABETH A WILLIAMS/ SALEM NC/ 1816.” The measurements given above are for the overall size of the silk. The picture itself is 8 1/2″x 11 1/4″. This piece has been conserved.
Elizabeth Alston Williams was born 6 Sept 1803 in Halifax County. Her guardian was William Williams, Warren County, executor of Joseph John Williams. She entered Salem Girls’ Boarding School 8 May 1812 and left 14 June 1816. She had a sister, Mildred L. Williams (b. 4 May 1800) who entered Salem Girls’ Boarding School 4 November 1812 and left 5 December 1814. She married Henry Hill Thorne in 1823 and died in 1830.