Abigail Elliot, Beverly,
Massachusetts, circa 1832
This appealing sampler features a wonderfully informative inscription, which reads, “Abigail Elliot Sampler wrought in the twelveth [sic] year of her age born December 26 In the year of our Lord 1821 Beverly Massachusetts.” An excellent pictorial register along the bottom centers on a large, decorative basket of flowers flanked by trees and plants on a stylized, stepped lawn. The freeform flowers and trees contrast well with the geometric patterned basket, and the use of teal blue throughout adds to the visual strength.
Abigail was the daughter of John Elliot (b.1789) and Rebecca (Cleaves) Elliot (b.1802), and was born, as she states on her sampler, on December 26, 1821 in Beverly, Massachusetts, just north of Salem. Vital Records from the town of Beverly along with the Foster Genealogy (Chicago, 1899) indicate that on December 21, 1843, Abigail married Ezra Standley Foster (1820-1886), a cordwainer and farmer. They remained in Beverly and had three sons. Abigail died on October 25, 1893; her husband predeceased her by seven years.
The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a beveled figured maple frame with a black bead.