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Viley, Martha Ann
Place Made:
St. Catherine’s Academy Scott County Kentucky
Date Made:
silk on linen
HOA: 10″ WOA: 17 1/2″
Accession Number:
This sampler stitched by Martha Ann Viley includes cross, four-sided, rice, and eyelet stitches. Four upper-case and one lower-case alphabet sequences are included as well as a partial numeric sequence.

The following poem by Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) is inscribed:

“And what is friendship but a name
A charm that lulls to sleep
A shade that follows wealth or fame
And leaves the wretch to weep.”

The sampler features a two-story house with three bays, two chimneys and a transom over the front door.

The sampler is marked “Martha A. Viley/St. Catherine Sept. 1833”.

Stitched by Martha Ann Viley (1819-1883) at St. Catherine’s Academy in 1833. Martha Ann was born in 1819 to Willa Janes Viley (1788-1865) and Lydia Smith (b.1794) in Scott County, Kentucky. Willa Viley was one of the pioneers of Kentucky horse racing, having much success and owning many of the most notable horses of his day, including the famous “Lexington”. Martha married Squire C. Gaines in 1838 in Scott County, Kentucky. Her second marriage was to Lewis Turner Payne on October 12, 1842.

St. Catherine’s Academy was founded in Scott County, Kentucky in 1823 by Mother Catherine Spalding (1793-1858). Under Sister Ann Spalding’s guidance the school was transferred in 1833 to Lexington, Kentucky, about 16 miles away.

Credit Line:
Gift of Anna Marie and David Witmer