Betsey T. Hammond,

Betsey T. Hammond,

Carver, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts, 1832

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sampler size: 16¾” x 17½” • framed size: 20¾” x 21½” • sold

The samplers of Plymouth County, Massachusetts include an important group defined by a central octagon that contains alphabets, inscriptions, and a verse. The corners are filled with graceful flower arrangements and the borders are formed of smaller flowers on leafy vines. The stitching on these samplers can be extremely fine and precise and these samplers are some of the most interesting made in New England in the early 19th century. And while the borders and two of the corners of this particular one are unfinished, Betsey T. Hammond’s sampler, made in 1832, is an interesting and beautifully worked example of this group.

The year 1803 is stitched on the sampler, at the end of the alphabets and, in fact, Betsey was born on December 1 of that year. She was the daughter of Thomas and Persis (Cobb) Hammond who lived in Carver, a town just south of Plymouth. The earliest Hammond ancestor in America was William Hammond (1575-1662) who settled in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1636 and became one of the town’s largest landowners; further information is published in History and Genealogies of the Hammond Families in America 1000-1902 by Frederick Stam Hammond (Oneida, NY, 1902) and included in the file that accompanies this sampler.

Interestingly, Betsey was 28 years old when she worked her sampler and we feel that there’s a good chance that she was a teacher, working a sampler as a prototype for her students. Research into Betsey’s life provides a clue as to the unfinished nature of her sampler, as she was married on May 15, 1832, just three months after the date on the sampler. Her husband was Daniel Reed (1797-1878), a carpenter from Easton, Massachusetts and he had been married to Betsey’s younger sister, Persis, who died on March 31, 1831. Betsey and Daniel had five children between 1833 and 1841. Betsey died on October 11, 1848 and is buried in Central Cemetery in Easton, along with her husband and younger sister.

Worked in silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a   beveled cherry frame with a black outer bead.  

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