Didah Besse,

Wareham, Plymouth County,
Massachusetts, 1819

sampler size: 8½” x 7½” • framed size: 12” x 11” • sold

Jedidah Besse, age twelve, was living in Wareham, Massachusetts, a small town on Buzzards Bay just east of Sandwich, when she made the charming little sampler in 1819. She signed it with her nickname, which she worked in large letters at the end of the third row from the top, and again along the bottom three rows, “Didah Besse Wrought this in the 13 year of her age Wareham, August the 3 1819 DB.”

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts by William Richard Cutter (Lewis Publishing Company, NY, 1910) includes much information about the Besse family. Anthony Besse, the immigrant ancestor, was born in England in 1609 and sailed to America on the ship, James, in 1635. He lived initially in Lynn and then removed to Sandwich, and “was a man of education.” Jedidah was born seven generations later in 1806, the daughter of Captain Silvanus and Thankful (Bates) Besse. She remained single and put her skill with needle and thread to good use; the 1860 census shows her living in Wareham and working as a tailoress. She died in 1864 and is buried in Centre Cemetery with family members. 

The sampler was worked in silk in linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into a painted frame with a gold inner liner and bead. 



contact us

If you are interested in purchasing this sampler or item, contact us by phone (215.627.7797) or email (mailbox@finkelantiques.com) or complete our quick form and we will respond promptly.  If by some chance you do not hear back from us within 24 hours after submitting your message, please get in touch as it means we didn't receive your inquiry. Thank you.

How would you like to be contacted?*
In order to reduce spam messages, this field must have at least 50 characters