Margaret Miller, Heath,

Margaret Miller, Heath,

Franklin County, Massachusetts, 1817

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sampler size: 12” x 16” • frame size: 15½” x 19½” • sold

Worked in Heath, a small town in the northwest corner of Massachusetts, very near the Vermont border, this rare sampler is worked on a blue dyed linen ground and is the third known one of its type. These three samplers are all worked on blue ground, all name the town of Heath and all feature alphabets and lettering above and similar, floating pictorial images below. The samplers were made in 1816, 1817 and 1820; two include the initials, RTE, assumed to be those of the girls’ teacher.

This sampler is signed, “By Margaret Miller this was made For useful ends / intended May it be kept when she is dead And all her / works are ended Heath July 28th 1817 M. M. Aged / 11 Years.”

Born on June 29, 1807, Margaret Miller was the daughter of Caleb Miller (1765-1831) and Azubah (Curtis) Miller (1771-1850). The family lived in Worcester County, Massachusetts initially and later removed to Heath. The Vital Records of Heath publish many accounts of the family.

On May 7, 1828, Margaret married Nathan Birdseye Williston (1791-1883). He was a successful businessman and prominent citizen of Brattleboro, Vermont where he served as bank president, as published in Annals of Brattleboro 1681-1895, Volume I by Mary R. Cabot (Brattleboro, 1921). Margaret and Nathan had five children before she died at age 35; she is buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro with many family members.

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

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