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Sampler

Artist/Maker:
Johnson, Mary
Place Made:
Ohio County Kentucky United States of America
Date Made:
1810-1815
Medium:
silk on linen
Dimensions:
HOA: 18″; WOA: 13″
Accession Number:
5829.3
Description:
MAKER: Stitched by Mary Johnson (b.1804) in Ohio County, Kentucky, this rare family register sampler tells the story of an American family’s migration in the 18th century down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley and later through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky.

The sampler focuses on Amelia Webb, who was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on May 12, 1765, moved to the Shenandoah Valley with her family in 1775, and married John Smith in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1785. The Smiths had three children, Thomas (b.1786), James (b.1787), and Mary (1788-1791). In 1793, Amelia and John moved to Jessamine County, Kentucky. After her husband’s death, Amelia married John Johnson – a widower. By 1810, John and Amelia Johnson and their three children, Finley (b.1803) and twins Mary and Elijah (b. 1804), were living in Ohio County, Kentucky. This was likely when the sampler was made by Mary Johnson. By 1820, the family had crossed the Ohio River and moved to Owen County, Indiana; however, no further record has been found of the young needle worker, Mary Johnson.

Through her grandmother Mary (Boone) Webb (1699-1774), Amelia and her family were close cousins to Daniel Boone (1734-1820), the pioneer who paved the way through the Cumberland Gap for Kentucky’s earliest settlers. The sampler records the births of Amelia (Webb) Smith Johnson in 1765, her six children born in Virginia and Kentucky, and her second husband John Johnson, born October 9, 1762.

DESCRIPTION: Family Register sampler featuring two sequential alphabets and one short numeric sequence. A family geneology is stitched in silk thread on linen.

AMELIA * SMITH * BORN MAY *12 * 1765 */ THOMAS * SMITH * BORN * JANUARY * THE * 9/ JAMES * SMITH * BORN * DECEMBER * THE * 1/ MARY * SMITH * BORN * JUNE * THE * 11 * 17/ JOHN * JOHNSON * BOR * OCTOBER THE * 9 * 1762 */ FINLY * JOHNSON * BORN/ DECEMBRTHE * 17 * 1803 */ MARY * AND * ELIJAH * 1804 * JOHNSON * BORN * MAY * 16 *

Credit Line:
Gift of David and Anna Marie Witmer