An outstanding sampler featuring an unusual and handsome house and a fine graphic diamond-format border, this was made by Mary Vought Throckmorton of Freehold, New Jersey. Flanking the wreathed verse are baskets and birds, importantly one is an eagle classically portrayed as the Great Seal of the United States (link to Wikipedia) with a shield for the body and arrows and olive branch in its talons. The arrangement of the alphabets and numbers is also uncommon and highly appealing; it contributes to the composition as an outer framework.
Mary was the daughter of a farmer, Joseph Throckmorton (1790-1853) and his wife, Mary (Lloyd) Throckmorton. The family history is well documented in Throckmorton Family History (Bloomington, Illinois, 1929) and began with John Throckmorton who arrived in America in 1631, having sailed with his wife Rebecca and two young children, on the ship, Lyon, out of Bristol. John and the renowned Roger Williams became good friends while on the ship and the Throckmortons followed Williams to Salem, Massachusetts and then in 1636, when they became disenchanted with the Puritans, removed with Williams to Rhode Island where they established the first settlement at Providence Plantation. The family had many business interests and circa 1643, with a land grant from the Dutch, developed an establishment east of Manhattan. This was called Throckmorton’s Neck and the name later changed to Throgs Neck.
The family then removed to New Jersey after the Monmouth Patent was signed in 1665, and John’s sons, John Jr. and Job, became important pioneers of this area. Many members of ensuing Throckmorton generations became prominent citizens of Monmouth County, active in both business and civic affairs.
Five generations later, Mary Vought Throckmorton was born, circa 1823. She states on her sampler that she was “Aged 13 years and 8 months” when she completed it and this was likely in 1837. It seems as the date on the sampler may have been stitched somewhat later, quite possibly by Mary herself. She married a farmer, James W. Emmons, of Monmouth County and they lived in Hopewell, where they had at least two sons. She died in 1916.
The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a cherry beveled frame.