Betsy Bucklin's Sampler

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Betsey’s sampler includes three distinguishing features of Rhode Island samplers; trumpeting angels with embroidered faces, queen stitch flowers, and a three-story house. Below the house, flanking flowers and birds is the verse:
“While hof[s]tile foes
our coaf[s]ts Invade
in all the pomp of
war arrayd Ameri
cans be not dismayd
nor fear the f[s]word
or GUn

While Innocence is
all our pride and vir
tue is our only Guide
Women would f[s]corn
to be defyd if led by
This verse on Betsy’s sampler offers a rare opportunity to discover the political thinking of a young girl during the Revolutionary War. She is showing a brave female defiance of Britain and an unwavering faith in George Washington, the commander of the Continental Army. Betsy undoubtedly was influenced by her father who was a privateer during the Revolutionary War. At the bottom of the sampler, flanked by queen stitch flowers, is a cartouche with the inscription:

Bucklin Her
Work Septe
It is not known who the author of the inscriptions is. The sampler is stitched with silk embroidery thread on a linen ground with a thread count of warp 25, weft 23/in. The stitches used are cross, crosslet, queen, rice, straight, fly, stem, tent, and gobelin.
Betsy [Elizabeth] Bucklin was born on September 20, 1768, in Providence, Rhode Island to Capt. Daniel and Eliza Carpenter Bucklin. On November 11, 1792, Betsy married Samuel Eddy. They had three children - Martha, Jonathan, and Elizabeth. She died of consumption on October 27, 1799, in Providence, Rhode Island.
Currently not on view
date made
Bucklin, Betsy
place made
United States: Rhode Island, Providence
Physical Description
linen (ground material)
silk (thread material)
overall: 16 3/32 in x 12 1/2 in; 40.894 cm x 31.75 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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