MIDDLE HADDAM, CONNECTICUT NEEDLEWORK SAMPLER, silk on linen, five alphabet rows above a numeral row, lower half signed "Jes[s]ie. Medora. / Norton. 1857. / Middle. Haddam. / At. the. age. of. 13", surrounded by an applied ribbon border. Housed under glass in a modern frame, later applied handwritten note to back that reads "This sampler was given to EHL and JES by Helen Pendleton of Falls Village, Ct. in April 1985. The sampler was done in 1857 by a member of Helen's family. Helen's grandfather was sea captain Jabez Clark Norton. Helen didn't know who the woman was who did the sampler (Norton name)". Dated 1857. 8 1/2" x 12 1/8" sight, 9 1/2" x 13 1/4" OA.
Catalogue Note: Jessie Medora [Madora] Norton was born on December 22, 1843 to parents Capt. Joseph Marvin Norton (1808-1867), who was a sailor, and Adeline Strong (1807-1881). She had four siblings named Dwight Smith, who did not survive childhood, Jabez Clark (1838-1923), who is named in the note, Frances Wilcox, and Isabella Marvin. Jessie married John Leverett Brainerd (1842-1934) on March 23, 1864 and had one daughter, Adaline Norton Brainerd, who did not survive childhood. The couple divorced probably some time prior to 1870, because Jessie was living with her mother and two sisters as listed on the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Middletown, CT. Jessie died on March 10, 1880, is listed as divorced on the 1880 U.S. Federal Census mortality schedule for Middlesex Co., CT, and is buried at Union Hill Cemetery in East Hampton, CT.
Very good visual condition with some light toning and minor spotting to linen, thread with fading/fugitive color and possible losses or missed stitching, frame with minor wear. Not examined out of frame.
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From the William D. Annable estate, Oberlin, OH.