Ellen W. Atwood,

Ellen W. Atwood,

 Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont, 1835

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sampler size: 16½” x 17½” • framed size: 22" x 21" • sold

Far fewer samplers were made in Vermont than in other New England states and we are always pleased to be able to offer a new discovery to this body of work. This is an exceptionally well composed and executed sampler made by Ellen W. Atwood in 1835. A central octagonal enclosure contains alphabets, a numerical progression, the inscription, “Ellen W. Atwood s Sampler wrought 1835 ae 11 years,” and a fine couplet used by many samplermakers, “Count that day lost whose low descending sun / Views from thy hand no worthy action done.” 

The scene of houses, barn, fence and stand of trees decorates the bottom of the sampler well and the three-sided border provides a fine framework. Notable are the paired birds in the upper corners, as these are unusual motifs. Another Vermont sampler that we owned years ago shares the overall characteristics and likely shows the influence of patterns from this area. 

Ellen W. Atwood was the daughter of Thomas (1790-1875) and Anna (Whipple Hastings 1793-1871) Atwood who married in Franklin County, Massachusetts in 1814. Shortly afterwards, they were living in Shoreham, a small town in western Vermont, on Lake Champlain, where they had several children. Ellen was born January 9, 1824. In 1848, she married Benjamin Franklin Sanford (1820-1885) of the nearby town of Cornwall. They had two children and initially lived in Vermont. By 1855 they removed to Galesburg, Illinois. Ellen died in 1879 in Galesburg. 

 Attached to the back of Ellen’s sampler was a small, fabric label with a family note, “Made by Mother of Mrs. J R Trouslot,” which allowed for confirmation of Ellen’s identity; Ellen’s daughter, Celestia (Lettie) Eliza Sanborn (b. 1855) married Julius R Trouslot. Sources used for research include Ye Atte Mode Annals, June 1928 by Elijah Francis Attwood (Atwood Publishing Company, Sisseton, South Dakota), Thomas Sanford The Emigrant to New England Ancestry, Life and Descendants by Carlton E. Sanford (The Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont), and various census and town records. 

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

(Photograph of back)



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