Rhoda Ann 1814
Origin and date: New York, 1814
Linen count/finished size: 30 count, 17″ square
Stitches: Cross, rice, four-sided, eyelet, queen, stem
Source: Private collection
Typical of so many late 18th and early 19th century New York samplers, this American rendition of Adam and Eve sprout up larger than life, and very sharp-edged beside a small country house. Overtones of sin cloud the scene as Eve grasps an apple. The curious verse seems to refer to our New World Garden, as America was perceived by its new immigrants. As the 19th century progressed and immigrants continued to flood in, it was felt by many Americans that the land and the country were losing their purity and innocence. Materialism, manifest destiny, the growth of large cities, somehow boded ill for the world’s wild winderness (how prophetic!). Since religion was the organizing principle of their lives, it is not surprising to see this odd juxtaposition of Biblical sentiment beside domestic/materialistic comfort; unified in one rather distinctly American version of Paradise.