MAKER: Margaret Muse (1792-1834) was the daughter of Margaret Tate (1765-1830) and her husband, Battaile Muse (1751-1803), an agent for several large Virginia planters, including George Washington, in Jefferson County, West Virginia.
In 1794, Battaile Muse helped to establish The Union School for boys in Jefferson County. His agreement with the school’s other trustees included that he would provide the teacher with a home on his property with a dwelling house, kitchen, and stable. In 1802, Union hired Frederick Hurst as its new teacher, and Mrs. Hurst began a school for girls, presumably on Muse’s property. A surviving account, dated December 31,1802, noted that Muse owed Hurst twelve pounds for “the Tuition of 3 young Ladies with Mrs. Hurst,” plus separate charges for his daughter Polly’s geography book, tambour needle, and two black lead pencils.
(Battaile Muse Papers, Jefferson County Historical Society.)
This is one of only two known samplers from Mrs. Hurst’s School in Jefferson County. Another work with an eagle, a house, and figures was stitched by Peggy Castleman (b. 1790) of neighboring Frederick County, Virginia, and dated November 12, 1802, just three days before Margaret Muse’s sampler.
In 1811, Margaret Muse married as his second wife, Hierome Lindsay Opie (1758-1839), a wealthy planter who represented Jefferson County in the Virginia state legislature and lived at Woodburn Plantation.