Nancy Nurse 1807
Origin and date: Danvers, Massachusetts, 1807
Linen count/finished size: 25 count, 7-1/4″x11-3/4″
Stitches: Cross, satin,
Source: The Danvers Historical Society
Nancy Nurse was born to Polly/Molly James. and Rogers Nurse in Danvers, Massachusetts on June 19th, 1798. Nancy had three sisters- Hannah, Sally and Lydia- and two brothers- Samuel and Eli. Her sampler, stitched in 1807 when she was nine years old was worked on a dark green linsey Woolsey ground unique to samplers of certain regions of New England made before 1832. It has a blue-green warp with a yellow-green weft, lending an overall dark olive color. The Scarlet Letter has replicated this linen, woven exclusively for these samplers, including Harriot Boardman, Lucy Wiggin and Mary Jones, from our collection
Nancy Nurse is a direct descendent of Rebecca Towne Nurse who was executed for witchcraft by the government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England in 1692, during the Salem with trials. She was the wife of Francis Nurse, with several children and grand children and a well respected member of the community. Although there was no credible evidence against her, she was convicted and hanged as a witch on July 19, 1692. After her death the jury eventually ruled Nurse not guilty. This occurred during a time when the Massachusetts colony was seized with hysteria over witchcraft and the supposed presence of Satan within the colony. In 1706 one of her accusers, Ann Putnam, publicly apologized to the Nurse family for accusing innocent people of witchcraft, naming Rebecca in particular.
While the original sampler measures 7-1/4″ x 10-1/4″ this reproduction worked on our exclusive specially dyed 25 count evenweave linen will measure approximately 7-1/4″ x 11-3/4″. Cross stitch over one and two threads of linen, and counted satin stitches are used in the execution of the sampler. The original sampler is in the collection of the Danvers Historical Society, and this was created in celebration of their 100th anniversary in 1989.