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Unfinished Sampler by Letitia P. Gregory

1816
Origin: America, Virginia
OW: 14 1/4" x OH: 21 1/2"
Silk embroidery threads on a linen ground of 34 warps x 32 wefts per inch (microscopically identified)
Gift of Susan W. Redd and Martha W. McMurran
Acc. No. 2015-170
This is a large unfinished rectangular sampler worked in faded shades of green, gold, pink/peach, cream, and black silk embroidery threads on a natural color linen ground. From the top the sampler consists of:
Band of cross stitch
"A-H" "K-Z" upper case block in cross stitch
Band of cross stitch
"AB DC EF GH IK LM NO" upper case script in cross stitch
Band of double cross
"PQ RS TU VW XYZ" upper case script in cross stitch
Band of cross stitch
"A-J I" upper case block in double cross stitch
Band of double cross
"K-U" upper case block in double cross stitch
Band of cross stitch
"V-Z" upper case block, "1-3" in double cross stitch
Band of cross stitch
"A-O" Quaker-style block upper case in cross stitch
"P-Z" Quaker-style block upper case in cross stitch, unfinished letter "A" in eyelet stitch
Band of cross stitch
"a-z" lower case block, "&", "1-7" in cross stitch
Band of tied cross stitch
The sampler is signed "Letitia P Gregorys Sampler finished/ in her tenth year. 1816 JMG JMG."
Most of the bottom half of the sampler is unfinished. There is a centered monument worked in green cross stitches with the initials "MG" and "LPG" in black stitches. Beneath the monument worked in green stitches is the unfinished verse: "Lostasiteyet/ton [possibly an unfinished "m"]".
An uppercase block letter "M" is to the left of the monument. In the left bottom corner is a stylized floral motif.
The sampler is hemmed at all four sides with a 3/16" hem.

STITCHES: cross, double cross, eyelet, tied cross
Label:Letitia Power Gregory's unfinished schoolgirl sampler may have been intended as a memorial to her deceased parents. The monument in the lower portion of the sampler contains the initials "LPG", possibly for Letitia's mother for whom the sampler maker was named, and "MG", possibly for her father, John Munford Gregory. By the early nineteenth century, it was not unusual for Virginia samplers to commemorate deceased family members or commemorate other life passages.
Provenance:This sampler descended in the Gregory and Warburton family of Charles City and James City Counties and Williamsburg, Virginia. The donor’s father’s family lived at Pinewoods in James City County until the beginning of the 20th century when they moved to the Peyton Randolph House in Williamsburg. Later in the 20th century they moved to 402 Scotland Street.

History of sampler maker:
Born in Charles City County, Virginia in 1807, Letitia Power Gregory was the daughter of John Munford Gregory (1774-1828) and Letitia Power Graves (1785-1810). The sampler maker's brother was John Munford Gregory (1804-1884) who was a judge, lieutenant governor (1842), and acting governor (1843) of Virginia. Letitia Power Gregory married William Walker Ware (1803-1884) on April 20, 1831. They had at least four children: Martha Gregory (1832-1862), Edmund (b. 1835), Lucy (b. 1837), and Adaline (b.1840).The 1850 census for York, Virginia, records Letitia as 41 living with Wm. W. Ware age 46; Martha Ware age 17; Edmund Ware age 15; Lucy Ware age 13; and Adaline Ware age 10. The 1870 census for James City County, Virginia, records Letitia as 66 and a night watchman for the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Williamsburg.
Martha Gregory Ware married on November 24, 1854, in Williamsburg, Virginia, to Robert Warburton (1829-1890). Their son, John Cowles Warburton (1859-1935) lived at Pinewoods in James City County, Virginia. It is likely that the sampler descended through Martha to John, and then to John G. Warburton (b. abt. 1896-1966), and finally to his daughters Martha Lenell and Sue Gregory Warburton.

Inscription(s):"Lostasiteyet/ton [or "m"]"