Thursday, August 13, 2009

Embroidered in 1843

Here is a real treasure - a sampler that was done by my husband's great grandmother, Mary Anne Wiley Rusk, when she was ten years old. It is dated 1843. It would be possible for you to read it by enlarging the photo but it would be much easier if I just type it. If you don't care to read it, just skip past it. I read in a book on old samplers that they were usually sad and this one is no exception.
The poem reads

My age is now half a score
And I perhaps may see no more
Remember death to all is nigh
Youth as well as aged may die

Alsas, I am an orphan left
Now of parents I am bereft
Now then O Lord I look to thee
Each of thy orphan's help to be

We once were six in family
In death's cold bed thou hast laid three
Lord teach us to improve each day
Ere thou dost call the rest away
Yea in thy love remember me

Mary Anne Wiley 1843

Also embroidered at the bottom were the birthdates of her parents, their wedding day and Mary Anne's birthday. I thought it was so sweet that if she ran out of room as she was crossstitching a word she just carried the next letter over to the line below.

Here is Mary Anne and her husband William A. Rusk. They had ten children, one being Samuel who was Ray's maternal grandfather. This sampler is absolutely wonderful and such a treasure.
(Click pictures to enlarge)


  1. How wonderful to have that beautiful embroidery. You are right the poem is sad. I am so glad there have been so many medical advances! Do you know if she wrote the poem?

  2. I don't know for sure whether she wrote that or not - she was so very young when she did the sampler. I have always felt she might have since it was so specific about the parents and one sibling being gone, but there is no one that could ever vouch for that. How life has changed. Carol

  3. Carol - this is really a treasure to have - you are very luck - I know I've seen it hanging in your place...J