Rebecca McCamant,

Rebecca McCamant,

Salisbury Township, Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania, 1832

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sampler size: 20½” x 25½” • frame size: 26” x 31” • sold

The finest of Pennsylvania needlework made in the 1830s includes some outstanding, large samplers that feature outsized flower arrangements with folky blossoms in vases or baskets sitting on hillocks. This praiseworthy example, made in 1832 in Lancaster County, is one such portrayal with lush, richly-colored flowers, buds and leaves in a geometric basket. The composition is enhanced by a pair of willow trees draped over urns that contain the little garlands of flowers and the maker’s inscription. Much of the work was accomplished in wonderful hues of merino wool, while the border is finely stitched in silk - strawberries worked in the classic queen’s stitch.

The samplermaker was Rebecca McCamant who was born on June 3, 1816, one of the seven children of Elihu McCamant (1788-1854) and Mary Shaner. Rebecca’s grandfather and the emigrant ancestor of the family was Alexander McCamant (1674-1748) who came to America from Scotland and settled initially in Philadelphia. According to History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men by Franklin Ellis and Samuel Evans, Everts & Peck (Philadelphia, Everts & Peck,1883), Alexander McCamant purchased about 400 acres of land in Salisbury Township, Lancaster County from John, Thomas and Richard Penn in 1733. The family remained there for generations and Rebecca, whose namesake was her paternal grandmother, Rebecca McCamant, was born and raised there.

Rebecca married a successful farmer, William McConnell (1810-1888), of Honey Brook, Chester County in 1839 and they had at least three children, Mary, Rebecca and James who were born between 1842 and 1847. Rebecca died on July 25, 1892 and is buried in Honey Brook Presbyterian Cemetery in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

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

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