Mary Ann Goodrich (1806-1828)
family register sampler dated 1816
Silk thread on linen ground with the addition of later handwritten text on paper glued to linen. Sight size:
20" W x 11-1/2" H. Framed size: 24-1/2" W x 16" H. Reproduction black painted frame with gold
A particular style of samplers, started by Abigail Goodrich in Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1804, was continued
and embellished by two former students of hers, Marty Porter Butler and Charlotte Butler, daughters of Frederick
Butler who ran a private school out of the Wethersfield Academy building by 1811. The Butler sisters were schooled
by Goodrich and then went on to attend the famous Miss Patten's school in Hartford. This alter group features a
more elaborate garland at top and a more complex landscape along the bottom. Here. Mary Ann has depicted the cove
at Wethersfield, with four tiny boats upon the water. A cluster of dwellings stand prominent in the right foreground
while the Congregational Church appears in the distance at left. Mary Ann's family register tells the tale of many
hands and many years.
Mary Ann's ancestors settled in Wethersfield in the mid-1600s. Mary Ann, born in 1806 was the daughter of William
Goodrich (1776-1830) and Mary Stoddard (1778-1858), and had only one sibling, a brother named William Wells Goodrich.
When Mary Ann died unmarried in 1828 at age 22, her mother picked up the sampler and stitched the death date on
the linen. In 1830, when the father of the family passed away, Mary Stoddard Goodrich added her husband's death
information below that of her daughter and again, two years later, when son William died she did the same, squeezing
her stitched words among the building and trees in the landscape. What makes the sampler all the more poignant
is that she then, in preparation for her death, sewed her own name tightly squeezed around the church steeple,
leaving room for someone else to add the date of her passing. Was it son William's wife or her own sister with
whom she lived later in life? Whoever it was, they chose not to stitch the information, instead it was written
on paper and glued to the sampler alongside her name.
The sampler is in excellent condition and has been preservation framed.
Provenance: The sampler was in the collection of West Coast collector Blanche W. Moss and was exhibited at the
Concord Antiquarian Museum in 1982 and the Wethersfield Historical Society from 1982 to 1983. It was then purchased
by needlework collector Mary Jaene Edmonds from antiques dealer Estelle Horowitz in 1985. It was then exhibited
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1991-92 and featured in the catalog/book, Samplers & Samplermakers:
An American Schoolgirl Art 1700-1850. The sampler was in the January 2013 sale of Mary Jaene Edmonds's needlework
collection but remained unsold. Lastly, it was purchased a few months later from Stephen & Carol Huber by the
Campanellis. A feature article, Mary Ann Goodrich's sampler, "Chronicling the Beginning and End of a Wethersfield
Sampler" appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of American Ancestors, the quarterly magazine of the New England
Historic Genealogical Society.
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER
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