Susan W. Ruggles, East Bridgewater,

Susan W. Ruggles, East Bridgewater,

Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1816

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sampler size: 9¾” x 10” • frame size: 12” x 12¼” • price: $850

Young schoolgirls often worked their first sampler between age 5 and 8, learning the alphabet, some wording and basic stitching techniques at the same time. This carefully stitched little sampler is signed “Susan. W. Ruggles. Born Aug. 23. 1809. Aged 7 years,” and survives as an endearing example of this type of work. It also provides a window into the early childhood of Susan Willard Ruggles, who was born in Barre, a small town in mid-state Massachusetts.

Indeed, as she stitched on her sampler, Susan was born on August 23, 1809; she was the second child of Willard and Susanna (Packard) Ruggles. Sadly, she was orphaned by her second birthday. Her late mother’s sister, Mary (Packard) Robinson and her uncle, Benjamin Robinson, Jr. later adopted her. They lived in East Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts where Susan was christened in 1816. At age 21, she married Isaac Sampson Washburn (1805-1838) and they remained in East Bridgewater, becoming the parents of three children. After Isaac’s death, Susan removed to Boston, and died there in 1853.

The sampler was worked in linen on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a black painted, molded frame. 

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