Mary Ann Shuck 1830


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This sampler was made when Mary Ann Shuck was nineteen years old.  She was born on February 5th, 1811.  Several months following the completion of the main design of the sampler, she married the Rev. Thomas H.W. Monroe, an eminent Methodist preacher.  Shortly thereafter, she was taken ill and may have had a premonition of her own death, as evidenced by the morbid verses stitched in black silk at the top of the sampler and dated the following year, 1831.  She died just a year later, on February 14, 1832, at the age of twenty-one.  According to notes attached to the back of the sampler, written by her great nephew, he visited Bedford and located her grave in the Bedford Cemetery, and found that on her simple flat tombstone, the four lines from the center of her sampler had been carved, the letters barely discernible:
When the flowers of Summer bloom
Upon the grave where I shall sleep
Then come and on my silent tomb
One tear of friendship kindly weep
Executed with silk threads on a linen ground using cross and petit point stitches, the sampler measures 21-1/2″ x 17″. with the frame, which is very likely original, the outer measurements are 25-1/2″ x 21″.  The sampler is in very good condition with some fading commensurate with age but no holes.