Charlotte Reed, Milton,

Charlotte Reed, Milton,

Massachusetts, 1813

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sampler size: 12¾” x 12” • framed size: 16¼” x 15½” • sold

An appealing sampler, this was made by fourteen-year-old Charlotte Reed in Milton, Massachusetts, a town just south of Boston. It features a wonderful, lengthy poem that addresses the maker directly and uses the sampler itself as a metaphor for the actions that should guide one’s behavior in life, “So my sweet girl the path of life survey / And tread with caution o’er the devious way.” Two lines later Charlotte is cautioned by name. A delicate teal green vine with buds and leaves embellishes the lettering, with two of the buds at the lower right corner remaining unfinished.

Born on February 26, 1799 to shoemaker, Noah Reed, and his wife Mehitable (Wild) Reed, Charlotte was the fourth of their five children. The History of Milton, Massachusetts 1640 to 1887 by A. K. Teele (1887) includes much information about the Reed family, which had settled in Massachusetts in 1636. Noah Reed moved to Milton in 1795 and bought a homestead about which it was noted, “Its walls were packed with seaweed – a common custom in early times.” In 1829, Charlotte married a farmer, Jason Wadsworth, from another early Milton family. In her later years, Charlotte was a widow, living with her sister Rachel, in Milton.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a cherry and maple frame. 

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