Sarah Kurtz's Sampler

Three block alphabets; one script alphabet. Two alphabets have letters colored alternately with no "J"; numbers to 4, to 15, and to 21; all these rows separated by geometric crossbands. Surrounding verse and inscription paired motifs of trees, crowns, flower-baskets, birds, and bird in wreath; two checkered flower-baskets with handles but no flowers. Border of geometric strawberry vine on all four sides. Silk embroidery thread on linen ground. STITCHES: cross, crosslet, stem, chain, eyelet, Algerian eye. THREAD COUNT: warp 28, weft 32/in.
"When wealth to virtuous hands is giv[e]n
It blef[s]ses like the dews of heavn
Like heaven it hears the orphans cries
And wipes the tears from widows eyes
Sarah Kurtz." (written in ink after the inscription is: "Worked 1804 age 9")
Sarah was born January 20, 1795, to Christian (1751 - 1808) and Maria Gardner (1756 -1822) in Georgetown, DC. She and Thomas Orme were married by Rev. Balch in Georgetown, D.C., on June 2, 1816. They had three daughters—Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Anna. Sarah died on December 23, 1864, in Washington and is buried there in Oak Hill Cemetery. Anna's daughter Mary donated her grandmother's and aunt's samplers. See Elizabeth Orme's sampler.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Kurtz, Sarah
Physical Description
linen (ground fabric material)
silk (embroidery thread material)
overall: 21 1/8 in x 17 1/8 in; 53.6575 cm x 43.4975 cm
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Georgetown
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
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Mary E. Lyddane

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.