Collections › MESDA Collection › Map Sampler

Map Sampler

Hartt, Mary Elizabeth
Place Made:
Steele Creek Female School York County South Carolina
Date Made:
silk on silk –chenille –paint on silk
HOA 20 3/16″; WOA 22 1/16″
Accession Number:
Mary Elizabeth Hartt was born in1804 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina to David Hartt (1776-1812) and Dinah McRee Hartt (1778-1823). Her map sampler was worked at Steele Creek Female School in 1820. Lower Steele Creek Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church was located in York District, South Carolina near Fort Mill, where her family attended. Mary Elizabeth died in 1826 at 22 years of age.

This sampler is part of the group referred to as the “Bethel Group”, a collection of needlework made in schools affiliated with Bethel Presbyterian Church in York District, South Carolina.

The “Western Carolinian” newspaper published on December 12, 1820 that “M. E. Hartt ” won an award for “Embroidery and Embroidered Maps”.

The Steele Creek Female School was under the direction of Miss Dorcas J. Alexander in 1820.

Map samplers, especially Southern examples, are extremely rare. The map portion is stitched with exceptional detail, highlighting waterways. The painted wreath of flowers in the bottom right corner of the work is signed “M. E. Hartt/1820”.

Silk on silk map needlework with chenille and silk thread embroidery. The thread is black-brown in color and the chenille thread consist of greens, yellows and reddish-pinks. The map depicts the Eastern United States and a few Midwestern states. The states are outlined with the chenille thread; rivers, tributaries and wording are the black-brown thread. The states represented are: Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Delaware, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut. Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are represented. The follwoing bodies of water are represented: Great Lakes, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. The numbers for longitude and latitude are embroidered along the sides and bottom, separated by a twisted cord of chenille. A painted floral wreath is located in the lower right corner with writing in the center, “United States / by / M.E. Hartt / 1820”.

Credit Line:
Given in memory of Nell Rankin Spratt and Bess White Rankin