Ann Harding 1821
Origin and date: Dover, Massachusetts, 1821
Linen count/finished size: 30 count, 16″x13″
Stitches: Cross, back, chain, satin
Source: The Dover Historical Society
This Dover, Massachusetts, sampler features an unusual border surrounding alphabetical and numerical tests, and a four-line verse often found on early 19th century American samplers. The colors are remarkably well preserved. The maker, Ann Harding (who was actually christened Julia Ann) was born in Dover on February 21, 1812. She grew up on her grandfather’s farm in the northwest section of town. Ann was a much beloved teacher to two generations of Dover children as well as being a very independent, public spirited woman. Although she never married, she nevertheless assumed a leadership position in both town and church affairs. When she died in 1888, her unexecuted will listed an impressive array of intentions to significantly benefit both. However, her only remaining legacy in Dover is this sampler which is on display in the Caryl House and is now reproduced for the Dover Historical Society in celebration of their 100th anniversary.