Mary Eddy's Sampler

The verse that Mary Eddy included on her sampler was written by an English poet named William Oland (1723-85) around 1763. It was probably selected by her teacher, and the verses were generally chosen to express the ideals to which young ladies should aspire to, according to her contemporary society.
“The Contraf[s]t
Virtue alone has that to give,
Which makes it joy to die or live
But vice can only that supply
Which makes it pain to live or die.”
The sampler is stitched with silk embroidery thread on a linen ground with a thread count of warp 27, weft 32/in. The stitches used are cross, crosslet, tent, Algerian eye, and stem.
Mary Eddy was born on April 16, 1804, to Samuel and his second wife Martha Wheaton Eddy in Providence, Rhode Island. Samuel Eddy’s first wife was Betsy Bucklin. (See Betsy Bucklin’s sampler.) Mary married William Chase (1786-1875) as his second wife on March 15, 1854. They did not have any children.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Eddy, Mary
Physical Description
linen (ground material)
silk (thread material)
overall: 12 11/16 in x 8 1/2 in; 32.1945 cm x 21.59 cm
place made
United States: Rhode Island, Providence
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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