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Dick, Elizabeth ||Lindsay, Martha Emily Hamilton
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
silk on linen
HOA: 15″; WOA: 12 1/2″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Sampler fragment with elements stitched by each of the makers. Presumably Elizabeth Dick began this sampler when she was a student at the Salem Girls’ Boarding School (December 2, 1807 through July 13, 1808). The fragment includes motifs such as a wreath at the top, an oak tree at the bottom, several flowers, small yellow birds, and a chair that are commonly seen on Salem samplers from the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The colors of these elements closely resemble the colors of similar elements on other Salem examples from the period. At some point in its history, Elizabeth apparently cut her unfinished Salem sampler in half and allowed her daughter, Martha Emily Lindsay (1817-1856), to practice her own stiching on empty parts of one half of the linen canvas. Elizabeth might have given the other half of her sampler to one of her other six daughters.

The portrion of the sampler stiched by Martha includes a partial alphabet of upper case letters followed by a partial alphabet of lower case letters (these stitched in thread that has faded to gold) with two partial alphabets stiched in black (upper then lower case letters) above her name, “Martha E. Lindsay” also cross-stitched in black. Below this name is additional stitching, but much of this stitching is damaged or missing. Martha’s portion is framed on two sides with a simple black cros-stitched border. It appears that Martha also added her mother’s initials and the date her mother completed her portion of the sampler (ED 1808) to the center of the wreath stitched at the top in 1808 by Eliza. The initials and date are upside down given the orientation of the rest of the sampler. Martha may have also embellished her mother’s portion of the sampler with additional birds and small dogs.

MAKER: Elizabeth Dick (1793-1845) was the daughter of Thomas and Jane (Erwin) Dick of Guilford County, North Carolina. Thomas was a merchant and a prominent political figure in Guilford County. Eliza attended Salem Girls’ Boarding school between December 1807 and July of 1808. In 1812, she married Andrew Lindsay (1786-1844) and the couple had nine children, six girls and three boys. The sampler descended in the family to the donor who is a great-great-great granddaughter of Elizabeth Dick Lindsay.

Martha Emily Lindsay probably attended the Greensboro Female Academy, a Methodist-affiliated school where her father was a trustee, and she later married the Reverend James Jamieson (1802-1880), a Methodist minister in Danville, Virginia.

Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift