Betsy Bruce's Sampler

The name “Betsy Bruce” appears at end of one alphabet. Below the alphabets is the inscription:
"Seize Mortals seize the present hour Lifes a short summer
Man’s a flower he dies alas how soon he dies. E. B. 14 Y.”
The “E.B.” may stand for her sister Eveline Bruce who died July 21, 1817.
Betsy Bruce’s inscription is an adaptation of an Ode for Winter by English poet Samuel Johnson (1709-1784). The sampler is stitched with silk and cotton embroidery thread on a linen ground with a thread count of warp 22, weft 22/ in. The stitches used are cross, Algerian eye, and crosslet
Betsy Bruce was born on September 2, 1809, in Marlborough, Vermont to Rev. Mansfield and Grace Goddard Bruce. She married Origen Smith (1810-1884) on May 11, 1837. They had two children - Irenaeus OP born on February 5, 1841, and Elizabeth, born c.1845. Betsy died on October 4, 1882.
Currently not on view
Object Name
embroidery, sampler
date made
Bruce, Betsy
Physical Description
linen (ground material)
silk and cotton (threads material)
overall: 12 in x 12 1/4 in; 30.48 cm x 31.115 cm
place made
United States: Vermont, Marlboro
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 Miss Grace L. Temple

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