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Sampler

Artist/Maker:
Spratt, Elizabeth M.
Place Made:
Yorkville Female Academy York County South Carolina
Date Made:
1819
Medium:
silk on linen
Dimensions:
HOA 25″; WOA 21 1/2″
Accession Number:
4977.2
Description:
Large sampler made by Elizabeth M. Spratt while attending the Yorkville Female Academy. The ground is linen and the stitching is done in silk. The colors consist of various shades of green, blue green, taupe, cream, brown and black. Twenty-two blooming roses with leaves and a geometric-type pattern frame the written verse in the center.

Two verses are central in this sampler. The first, “The Universal Prayer” by Alexander Pope was first published in 1738. It begins “If I am right thy grace impart still in the right to stay If I am wrong O teach my heart to find that better way. Teach me to feel anothers wo to hide the fault I see That mercy I to others show that mercy show to me.”

This verse is followed by another poem called “A Fair Lady’s Wish – Verses by Stella” that was first published in 1779 in “The Works of Jonathan Swift”. “If it be true celestial powers that you have formed me fair And that in all my vainest hours my mind has been my care. Then in return I beg this grace as thou are ever kind What envious time takes from my face bestow it on my mind.”

The sampler is enscribed “Wrought at Yorkville Female Academy AD 1819 by Elizabeth M Spratt aged 11 years.”

MAKER: Elizabeth M. Spratt was born in 1808 to James Spratt (1771-1843) and Margaret McRee Spratt (1775-1848) of York County, South Carolina. She died in 1844 at age 36 in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

History:
The Yorkville Female Academy was incorporated by an Act of Assembly in December 1819. Benjamin Chambers became the principal of the school in 1823. The school was located in the McCaw house, the former home of Judge William Smith. According to Robert Mills’ STATISTICS OF SOUTH CAROLINA (1826), the male and female academies of Yorkville were “in a flourishing state. The same branches of useful education are taught here as in the most respectable seminaries of learning in the state.”

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