Rachel Kester's Sampler

Block alphabet no "J." Each letter worked in different color. Letters in row, initials for family members "HKAKR / PKAKMKSKBKAKBWW," "R" that should go with last "W" out of order. Each pair of letters worked in different color, six sets being worked in black. These rows separated by simple crossbands. In center section, flanking one of verses, two large flowers, and initials "SK," "SK," "SK," "IK," "IW," and "RW" split with one on each side of flower. Below verse, wide crossband with flowers and strawberries. Another wide crossband at bottom of sampler, with two large flowers and urn of flowers. Border of geometric vine with strawberries and carnations on all four sides. Silk embroidery thread on linen ground. STITCHES: cross, satin, tent, eyelet, stem. THREAD COUNT: warp 28, weft 30/in.
"Love the Lord
And he will be
A tender father
Unto the
The lof[s]s of treaf[s]uref[s] much
The lof[s]s of truth is more
The lof[s]s of Chrif[s]t if[s] f[s]uch
Af[s] no one can ref[s]tore
The lot of f[s]aintf[s] have alway been
Affliction here and f[s]cornf[s]
And he that was the bef[s]t of men
Waf[s] mock and crown with thornf[s]
Rachel Kester her samPler
made in the 14th year of her age
1788 H T"
Rachel was born on June 16, 1774, to Paul and Anna Webster Kester in Kingwood, New Jersey. The family moved to Millville, Pennsylvania, in 1780. There Rachel married Chandlee Eves on January 5, 1797, and they had ten children—Anna, Elizabeth, Yeatman, John K., George Fox, Benjamin, Charles, Sarah, Rachel, and Chandlee. Rachel died in Pennsylvania on May 22, 1835, and her husband died on December 30, 1836. The initials "HT" following the date in the inscription could be those of a teacher.
The first set of initials are her grandparents Heranus and Anne Kester; her parents Paul and Anna Kester; her siblings Mary, Sarah, Benjamin, and Arnold Kester; and her grandparents Benjamin and Rachel Webster. It is not clear to whom the other initials belong.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Kester, Rachel
Physical Description
linen (ground fabric material)
silk ( embroidery thread material)
overall: 15 3/4 in x 12 1/8 in; 40.005 cm x 30.7975 cm
Place Made
United States: Pennsylvania, Millville
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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