Molley Russell's Sampler

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Block upper-case alphabet; letters colored alternately; no "J" or "U." Numbers 1 to 0. These rows, together with rows containing verse, all separated by narrow crossbands, including sawtooth and dentil patterns. Below verse, three wide crossbands: one of flowering plants, birds, and sheep or goats, and two wide geometric bands in patterns that appear often on eastern Massachusetts samplers, especially in Boston area. At bottom of sampler spies, from Canaan, wearing knee-breeches and flared coats, identified by letters "Ja" and "Ca" and flanked by trees, flowering plants, and small birds. Below them, 1 5/8" strip with geometric strawberry vine solidly worked in cross-stitch. Border of geometric flowering vine on top and two sides. Silk embroidery thread on linen ground. STITCHES: cross, satin, Algerian eye. THREAD COUNT: warp 38, weft 42/in.
"When Stern Affliction Waves her Rod
My heart Confids in the my God
When Nature Shrinks Oppresd with woes
E en then in thee She finds Repose
Affliction flyes and hope returns
Her Lamp with brighter Splendor burns
Gay Love with all his Chearful Train
And Joy And peace are here again
Molley Ruff[ss]ell
Ad 12 1776"
Mary (Molley) was born on June 19, 1765, to Peter and Molly Russell of Bradford, Massachusetts. Her father was a distinguished shipbuilder. She married Ephraim Emery on September 17, 1785. He enlisted as a fifer on April 19, 1775, at the Lexington alarm, and entered the service in William Rogers's Company on April 27, 1775. Ephraim was in the assault on Stony Point and the battle of White Plains. After the war, in 1799, he was appointed captain in the United States Army, 14th Regiment, which was disbanded in 1800. He served successively as captain, brigade major, and inspector in the state militia. The couple had four children—Mary, John, Thomas, and Hannah.
Mary died on March 3, 1843, in Newbury, Massachusetts.
Currently not on view
Date made
associated dates
Russell, Molley
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, Haverhill, Bradford
associated place
United States: Pennsylvania, Lower Merion Township, Rosemont
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
linen (overall material)
brown (overall color)
blue (overall color)
green (overall color)
pink (overall color)
yellow (overall color)
tan ground (overall color)
embroidery (overall production method/technique)
overall: 17 3/4 in x 11 3/4 in; 45.085 cm x 29.845 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fielding Pope Meigs, Jr
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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