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Mary T. Bartlett, Stratham,

New Hampshire, 1840

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sampler size: 12” x 7½” • frame size: 14” x 9½” • price: $2500

This small and handsome sampler was made by Mary Thompson Bartlett, age 12, of Stratham, New Hampshire. Mary was born on June 5, 1828 to Dr. Josiah Bartlett and his wife Helen (Weeks Thompson) Bartlett, both from illustrious New England families. Mary’s great-grandfather was a distinguished patriot, Dr. Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795) of Kingston, New Hampshire, delegate to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1779, Judge of the Supreme Court of NH and then Governor of the state, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the next person to sign after John Hancock. The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, which currently monitors policies that affect the quality of life of New Hampshire’s citizens, was named for him. The Josiah Bartlett House is a National Historic Landmark.

Mary’s maternal grandfather was Judge Ebenezer Thompson (1737-1802) of Durham who served as New Hampshire Secretary of State during the entire period of the Revolutionary War and who held other important offices. Much information about Judge Thompson and other family members is published in History of the town of Durham New Hampshire by Everett S. Stackpole. The Thompson family papers are in the Special Collections and Archives of the University of New Hampshire.

In 1853, Mary married George Frost Rollins who was engaged in the hardware business, Geo. F. Rollins & Co. in Dover. They had two children, Daniel and Hannah; Mary died in 1895 in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Mary’s sampler is unusually neatly worked and some of her techniques exhibit a fine proficiency. Worked in silk on linen, it is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into its original beveled and veneer frame. 

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