Alphabet Sampler by Loes C. Woodman
Origin: America, Maine, Lincoln County, Whitefield
Cotton threads on a linen ground of 37 x 40 threads per inch (fabric identification by textile lab)
Bequest of Grace Hartshorn Westerfield
Acc. No. 1974-684
This is a rectangular marking sampler worked in brown and black cotton threads on a linen ground. The sampler features several alphabets of different sizes and fonts, separated by lines. The first band features an upper case alphabet with letters "A" through "M." The next line continues this alphabet, with letters "N" through "Y." The next line features "Z" and an ampersand, followed by a lowercase alphabet of letters "a" through "l." The next line continues this alphabet, with letters "m" through "w." The following line concludes this alphabet, with "x," "y," and "z." It is followed by a crown motif, as well numerals "1" through "8." The next line features a cursive alphabet, with letters "A" through "G." The next three lines continues this alphabet, with the following lines reading, "H" through "M," "N" through "S," and "T" through "Y." The following line concludes the alphabet with a "Z," followed by a small cross motif and a smaller, lowercase alphabet with letters "a" and "i." The bottom of the sampler has an inscription which reads, "Loes . C Woodman/is my name America is/my nation Whitefield/is my dwelling place and/Christ is my Salvation." It is hemmed on all four sides.
Stitches: cross (looping backward movement, looping lateral movement, variation of long arm cross), cross over two, double cross, eyelet
Label:Loes (or "Lois") C. Woodman, of Whitefield, Maine, used her work to practice stitching letters. A sampler of this kind is called a marking sampler. Samplers of this sort allowed makers to practice for "marking" household linens, embroidering linens with initials for easy identification.
Provenance:Bequest of Grace Hartshorn Westerfield; no further provenance is known.
History of sampler maker:
The maker of this sampler may be Lois C. Woodman, born on February 11th, 1838 in Whitefield, Maine to John Augustus Woodman and Nancy Bailey Woodman. She married Llewellyn Palmer and the pair had two children, Flora Elizabeth Palmer Houdlette and John A. Palmer. Lois died in 1866 and is burried in Whitefield Cemetery. Sampler making was not as common in the 1840s, when Lois would have been sampler-making age, so it is unclear whether or not she is the maker of this sampler.