Nancy Wicks,

Nancy Wicks,

Huntington, Long Island, New York, circa 1795

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sampler size: 22¼” x 8¼” • framed size: 26" x 12" • sold

A handsome and highly interesting sampler, this is signed, “Nancy Wicks was born September the 30th in the year of our Lord 1781” and further inscribed, “This I have done to let you see what care my parents took of me.” Adam and Eve appear only very rarely on American samplers, however a small but highly significant group of samplers with Biblical subject matter was made in and around New York City in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Adam and Eve feature prominently on these samplers, often in precisely the same stance as Nancy used – Eve with her arm upraised and both wearing a short skirt. A large black serpent completes the image. Nancy also included the first two letters of the names of Adam and Eve, perhaps just to be sure we all know they are.

Nancy was born September 30, 1781, as stitched on her sampler; her parents were Lemuel Wicks (1748-1825) and Anna (Carpenter) Wicks (1742-1810) who lived in Huntington, a town on the north shore of Long Island, where they were married in 1770. Notably, Lemuel served as a lieutenant in the Second Battery of Suffolk County in the Revolutionary War and his father, Josiah Wicks served in the First Regiment of Minute Men. The Wicks family in America began with Thomas Wicks (1612-1671) who was born in Devon, England and by 1635 was living in Suffolk County, Long Island. Variant spellings used by the family include Wickes, Weeks and Weekes. 

In 1805, Nancy married David Conklin (1778-1844) and they remained in Suffolk County where they had at least five children. After David died, Nancy married his brother, Daniel. Nancy died in 1864 and is buried in Commack Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery. 

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

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