Hannah Middleton,

Hannah Middleton,

Westfield School, Burlington County,
New Jersey, 1810

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sampler size: 21¾” square • framed size: 26¼” square • price: $11,000

Westfield School was established in Cinnaminson, New Jersey in 1788 under the care and supervision of the Westfield Friends Meeting. In 1790, a stone schoolhouse was built, which remained in use until 1840, when it was replaced by a larger brick building. There are only three samplers known to have been made at the school. Ann Lippincott’s 1809 Westfield School sampler is mentioned in Quaker records, Sarah Lippincott’s 1810 Westfield School sampler is catalogued and described in the 1921 book, American Samplers, by Bolton & Coe and our newly discovered sampler made by Hannah Middleton in 1810 is the third. While the Lippincott samplers have been noted, there are no known depictions of either of them. Hannah’s large, praiseworthy piece is an excellent Quaker sampler with a classic composition of many finely stitched quintessential Quaker motifs and a centered cartouche with an Extract verse. The sampler indicates the high level of instruction in the needle arts that was taught at Westfield School, at least for that brief period. Quaker Education in the Colony and State of New Jerseyby Thomas Woody (Philadelphia, 1925) contains further information about the early years of the school. We are delighted to be able to offer this rare and beautifully worked sampler.

There is a close relationship between this sampler and others made at well-documented Quaker schools in the same area, as is obvious from a study of Betty Ring’s section entitled “Quaker Samplers of Burlington County” in Girlhood Embroidery 1650-1850 Vol. II (Knopf, New York, 1993). Hannah was 20 years old when she made this sampler and the sophisticated stitches, such as the queen’s stitch which forms some of the large flowers and all of the strawberries in the border, indicate that she was a talented needleworker.

The date, 1810, was stitched in tan colored silk just below the name of the school and the initials of her parents appear on either side of “Extract.” Notable also are the initials, “AM” that Hannah stitched inside the small wreath-like enclosure centered near the bottom of her sampler. They can be presumed to be those of her teacher, who may have taught elsewhere in the county at other times.

Hannah was born on October 23, 1790, the daughter of Nathaniel Middleton (1746-1822) and his second wife, Sarah Elkington Conrow Middleton (1759-1832), who were lifelong Quakers living in Burlington County, New Jersey. They were married in 1790 at Evesham Monthly Meeting. Nathaniel’s first wife was Sarah Lippincott (1748-1786) and the great likelihood is that the two other Westfield School samplers were made by her nieces, the daughters of her brother, Micajah Lippincott.

On February 11, 1819, Hannah married a farmer, Joseph Haines (1786-1856), at the Moorestown Monthly Meeting; a copy of their handwritten marriage intention and marriage certificate from that Meeting is in the extensive file that accompanies this sampler. They remained members of Quaker meetings and had three sons and a daughter. Joseph died in 1856 and is buried at Westfield. Hannah remained a widow and died in 1887.

Information regarding the family is published in many sources including Richard Haines and His Descendants A Quaker Family of Burlington County, New Jersey Since 1682, complied by John Wesley Haines, and Lippincott Five Generations of the Descendants of Richard and Abigail Lippincott by Judith M. Olsen.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a cherry beveled frame. A photo of the reverse (below) of the sampler taken prior to the mounting indicates that it retains almost all of its original color. 

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