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Samplers by Tapley and Johnson

Samplers by Tapley and Johnson

These two samplers were made by young girls living in Danvers. Mary Tapley finished hers on April 30, 1824. She made a list of the birthdays of her brothers and sisters as well as her birthday. Caroline Louisa Johnson made her sampler when she was 7 years old, but we don’t know what year she made it.
A sampler is a piece of cloth with sewing and embroidery stitches. The earliest samplers were created in Europe in the 16th century by professional needle workers. The samplers were a way to sew their favorite stitches and patterns for later use.
By the 17th century young girls usually five or six years old were taught to learn to make a Marking Sampler. They practiced their stitches to make letters of the alphabet or numbers and maybe a few geometric shapes. When the girls were older, they learned to stitch verses from a poem or create simple scenes with animals, trees, flowers and even people. A Marking Sampler was important because as a homemaker, you needed to stitch numbers on all your linens to keep track of them.