Pair of Samplers made by Sisters
Henrietta Amelia Hidden and Anna Louisa Hidden,
1828 and 1837, New York, New York
We’re pleased to offer this excellent pair of samplers made by sisters, both depicting fine pictorial scenes and naming New York. Henrietta Amelia was the older sister, born in 1819, and her sampler was made when she was 9 years old. Anna Louisa was born in 1829 and made her sampler when she was only 8 years old. They very likely attended the same school, although nine years apart. The samplers exhibit appealing horizontal formats with richly worked lawns and trees. Notably, the buildings, two houses and a church with a weathervane on the steeple, and the fences are very finely stitched. The fact that these samplers are together is quite fortunate.
Henrietta and Anna were the daughters of Enoch (1790-1876) and Anna Louisa (Morgan, 1799-1888) Hidden. There were ancestors of the Hidden family in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for many generations and their grandfather, Jeremiah Hidden (1745-1813) served in the Revolutionary War.
Enoch Hidden was born in New England, removing to New York as an adult where he had a machine shop and brass foundry. Published information is available from many sources. The Ottoman Dynasty A History of Sultans of Turkey from the Earliest Authentic Record to the Present Time by Alexander W. Hidden (New York, 1912) provides the following about Enoch, “He was a very ingenious man. Among his several inventions was that of the cannon-lock, which was adopted by the United States Government and in the early part of 1837 he obtained a contract for 2,500 cannon-locks and other articles which amounted to $40,000. It was also adopted by the Russian Government through the efforts of his Excellency Baron de Krudener, the Russian ambassador, who was in Washington, D. C., at that time; also he invented the nautical ventilators and the side lights, which are capable of being instantaneously removed and new glasses immediately inserted. Mr. Enoch Hidden died December 12, 1876, at his residence, 9 West 28th Street. New York City in the ninety-second year of his age … His eldest daughter, Henrietta Amelia Hidden, married Mr. William Henry Webb, the noted shipbuilder of New York Citv and founder of Webb's Academy and Home for Shipbuilders at Sedgwick Avenue and 188th Street, Borough of Bronx, New York City, N. Y. Mr. William H. Webb died October 30, 1899, and Mrs. Webb on the 5th of April, 1902 at their residence, 415 Fifth Avenue.”
Henrietta’s husband, William H. Webb, is noted as America’s first true naval architect. He designed some of the fastest and most successful sailing packets and clipper ships ever built along with some of the largest steamships of the era. Upon his retirement, he turned to philanthropy and civic projects. Henrietta and William had at least two children.
Anna Louisa married Dr. Augustus Kinsley Gardner (1821-1876), an esteemed physician who graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1844. The Bellows Genealogy by Thomas Bellows Peck (Keenes, NH, 1898), includes a biographical sketch of him, stating that along with a great many professional contributions and accomplishments, including the invention of valuable medical instruments, he was interested in public health and was the first to propose establishing drinking fountains or hydrants in New York. He was said to have great literary talent, contributing many articles outside of his medical field to New York daily papers. Anna and Augustus had three children and she died in 1914.
These samplers were in the collection of Joanne Foulk, a noted sampler collector and researcher who was responsible for the 1990 sampler exhibition, Lessons Stitched in Silk: Samplers from the Canterbury Region of New Hampshire, at the Hood Museum, Dartmouth College.
Both of the samplers are worked in silk on linen and are in excellent condition. Anna seems to have removed the last two digits from the date of her sampler at some point. They have been conservation mounted and are in cherry frames.
Henriette Amelia Hidden (above)
Anna Louisa Hidden (above)