Learning and Godliness Cultivated Together: Early Eighteenth-Century Samplers from Boston, Philadelphia, and the South Carolina Low Country Open Access

Tinley, Lynn C. (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/44558d82z?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Learning and Godliness Cultivated Together: Early Eighteenth-Century Samplers from
Boston, Philadelphia, and the South Carolina Low Country
This dissertation explores influence and meaning in early eighteenth-century
samplers worked in Boston, Philadelphia, and the South Carolina Low Country.
Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of each region's foundational religion on the
design and content of the samplers, which were worked by elite girls under the tutelage of
women in a schoolroom setting. The overall pattern uncovered in the samplers on a
regional basis supports a strong connection between denominational influence and
sampler design. The ultimate conclusion is that female education, as evidenced by
samplers, maintained a strong relationship with Puritanism in Boston, Quakerism in
Philadelphia, and, to a lesser degree, Anglicanism in the South Carolina Low Country.
The design and content of 69 samplers were thoroughly studied for this
dissertation. In addition to the actual samplers, the colonial history of each region and
the social and religious affiliations of the sampler makers' families were also
incorporated into the analysis. The samplers reveal several layers of influence and
meaning: as an educational tool they demonstrate religious, social, and technical
training; as a religious exemplar they signify the piety of the stitcher and teacher, and the
religious heritage of the region; as an object of display they provide evidence of elite
status. As a part of the formal process of colonial female education, the samplers
functioned as a training mechanism for passing on particular attributes valued as
educationally pertinent, denominationally important, and culturally acceptable.
Despite vast surveys and research on American schoolgirl samplers, little work
has been done on the potential for denominational-specific religious influence on these
important educational tools. The religious nature of samplers has heretofore been
described in only the most general terms and not with reference to specific elements
(such as design motifs and stitched verses) or regional characteristics of samplers. I show
how overall patterns, both visually within the samplers and in terms of non-visual
considerations such as who worked the samplers and the demographics of the area in
which they were worked, exemplify female education as preparation for respectable,
virtuous, and practical adult womanhood.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter One: General Introduction





1
Chapter Two: The First Marriage That Ever Was: Salvation and

28

Original Sin in Boston Samplers


The Samplers




31


Early Boston Demographics


42


Puritan Theology




47


Colonial Boston Schools



51


Adam and Eve Samplers



54


Non-Adam and Eve Samplers


87


Conclusion





97
Chapter Three: Nurturing the Inner Light: Quaker Influence in Early

102

Philadelphia Samplers


The Samplers




106


Quakerism





122


The Friendly City




128


Education in Philadelphia



133


Quaker Female Education



136


Eighteenth-Century Quakerism


140


Building a Hedge Around the Children

143


Plainness and Sampler Design


145


Education Which Nurtures the Inner Light
147


Non-Marsh School Samplers


154


Conclusion





159
Chapter Four: See How the Lilies Flourish White and Fair: Samplers

160

from the South Carolina Low Country


The Samplers




167


Early Low Country Education


182


Low Country Colonial Culture


191


Anglicanism in Samplers



201


Conclusion





204
Epilogue









209
Appendices










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