In 1856, Jane’s sister, Margaretta Gant, married John C. “Posey” Glass (1828-1893) and they ran a successful farm, commercially growing corn, wheat, and tobacco. Jane married a cousin of Margaretta’s husband, James M. Glass (1828-1904).
TEACHER: The Gant sisters’ samplers were worked “under the tuition of” Nancy (Western) Lotspeich (1803-1889). Design motifs on both works are similar, chiefly alphabets, and a strawberry and vine border on Margaretta’s and a flower bud and leaf border on Jane’s. Their composition’s include their names, age, date, and their teacher, Mrs. Lotspeich. Margaretta’s sampler includes the names of two friends, Sarah A. Means (b.1839) and Juliet E. Woshan (1836-1894) along with the statement “Forget me not” and “Remember me”.
Nancy Western married David Lotspeich in Christian County, Kentucky in 1819. She was widowed in 1832 with six children to support. She continued to teach in Kentucky for more than thirty years. Nancy is noted in the 1880 census living in Amite City, Louisiana with her daughter, also widowed and teaching school. She died on December 13, 1889 and is buried in Louisiana.
DESCRIPTION: Alphabet sampler with floral border; the first line has uppercase cursive letters “A through N”; second line is a continuation with “O through Z” / third line has uppercase alphabet “A through N” / fourth line has “O through Z” / fifth line has smaller uppercase “A through W” / XYZ continued on the sixth line followed by lowercase “a through z.” The alphabet is followed by “Jane E. Gant’s Sampler Wrought in / her 13th Year while under the tuition / of Mrs. Lotspeich Sept 24th 1848 / Let virtue by / A guide to thee.” A building/house is stitched centrally at the bottom. The building has sixteen rooms with the name “Aradia.”
Two-ply twisted silk on plain weave linen.
Stitches: counted cross, eyelet.
RELATED OBJECTS: The sampler of Jane’s sister, Margaretta Gant, is in the MESDA Collection (acc.5402.2).
Two additional samplers that were stitched “under the tuition of” Nancy Lotspeich are known to survive. The sampler of Elizabeth Ann White (1836-1918) is in the collection of the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, Tennessee. It is almost identical to the sampler stitched by Jane Ellen Gant also in 1848.
The earliest surviving example from this sampler group is in the collection of the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky (acc.2014.4). Stitched by the daughter of Nancy Lotspeich, Mary Magdalene Lotspeich (1832-1904) in 1843, it features a three-story red brick house which is named “Mount Vernon”. It includes a quote on friendship from the poet and author, Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) as well as her name, age, date, and the inclusion of “under the tuition of her mother”.