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Needlework Picture

Class from Girls’ Boarding School
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
silk on silk
HOA 1/2″; WOA 9″; LOA 11″
Accession Number:
A silk embroidered oleander flower in brown, greens, and reds, finely executed and stretched on a board. The back is covered with a paper with an inscription.

According to the inscription, this piece was made by students in Miss Sally Fetter’s embroidery class as a gift for the inspector, Abraham Steiner. Fetter came to Salem in 1809 from Lititz, Pennsylvania, where she had been a teacher in the Moravian Girls’ Seminary. By 1815, she was the head teacher at at the Salem Girls’ Boarding School. Sally drew needlework patterns and painted watercolors on needlework in Lititz, talents she no doubt used in Salem.

Abraham Gottlieb Steiner (1758-1833) was Inspector ofthe Girls’ Boarding school in Salem from October 1806 to approximately May of 1816. At this time he retired because of poor health, his retirement having been announced in January of that year. Salome (Sally) Fetter came to Salem from Lititz to fill a vacancy in the school in 1809. She is listed as the first (or head) teacher in 1815. She retired in 1819 due to poor health but apparently continued to teach. The Elders’ Conference records indicate that she was “to receive for her subsistence besides free room [in the Sisters House], firewood and light, $1.00 weekly and 4 cents for every hour’s teaching in the Girl’s Boarding school, the same as other teachers who teach there by the hour.” Sister Fetter married Brother Eberhard Freytag from Pennsylvania.
RELATED NAME: Fetter, Salome
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Rex Freeman