Eliza Meserole,

Eliza Meserole,

Brooklyn, New York, 1819

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sampler size: 16¼” x 20” • framed size: 20” x 23½” • sold

This excellent, large sampler is signed, “Eliza Meserole in the 14th year of her age May 24, 1819.” Alphabets and various bands are contained within a fine, solidly stitched Greek key border which is then surrounded by another border of strawberries on a stylized leafy vine as well as its original, pale blue silk ribbon. Notably, the lowermost band that also contains Eliza’s inscription is decorated with strawberries on a deep green field, all solidly-stitched in the queen’s stitch, quite a feat. The composition is very appealing, and the needlework is fine throughout.

Eliza was born in 1805 to Francis and Alletta (Brower) Meserole who lived in Bushwick, a small town in the northern part of Brooklyn. Her father served in the War of 1812 and is mentioned in A History of the City of Brooklyn by Henry Stiles (1867) as a private rifleman in the company of Captain John Dean. Another book, Early Settlers of Bushwick, Long Island and Their Descendants by Andrew J. Provost, provides genealogical information about the family. Her mother, who was known as Lettie, had her portrait painted in 1844 by James Henry Wright; this painting was given to the New York Historical Society and is published accordingly. Eliza married a Mr. Bennett and remained in Brooklyn; she died in 1890.

Here is further information about the Meserole family, from the Brooklyn Public Library: The Meserole family was one of the original five families who settled in Bushwick, then one of the five towns of Brooklyn, and  today known as the neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Jean Miserol (d.1695), a French Huguenot, immigrated to New Amsterdam (now New York City) with his young son and wife in 1663. In 1667, Jean bought a farm in New Utrecht, now the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bay Ridge. He then bought another farm, Kyckout ("the Lookout") that ran along the East River. Today, this farm would be located in Williamsburg between North 1st Street and Broadway.  Over many generations, the family became prominent land owners, eventually resulting in the ownership of nearly all of the land that comprised present day Greenpoint as well as the riverfront area of Williamsburg, from 1727-1750.

Worked in silk on linen with its original silk ribbon edging, the sampler is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a tiger maple frame with a cherry bead.



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