CONNECTICUT SAMPLER WITH IDENTIFIED INSTRUCTRESS
Rachel Brewster’s Sampler, Sally M. Hebbard, Instructress
Silk on linen
New London or Windham County, Connecticut
Condition: toning with some fading and water stains
In addition to the house and figures, this charming sampler includes not only information about the young maker, but also, the instructress and a presumed teaching assistant. At center is worked “Rachel Brewster’s Sampler made in the 13th year of her age Sally M. Hebbard her Instructress 1826 FCH.” In a modern frame. 21.5” high, 16” wide (overall).
Rachel Day Brewster (1813-1843) was born in the town of Franklin to Darius Brewster (1778-1856) and Elizabeth Nichols Brewster (1784-1845). In 1841, she married Abner L. Otis. Two years later, she gave birth to a son, Abner Day Otis. Sadly, likely due to a difficult labor, Rachel died less than two weeks later. Years later, at the outset of the American Civil War, Abner would enlist, serving for two years in the 10th Massachusetts Infantry. He died of typhoid in 1863.
Rachel’s instructress was Sally Mary Hebbard (1807-1876). Just a few years after teaching Rachel, Sally married Oliver Deacon (1797-1872). The couple soon moved west, ultimately settling in Michigan, where Sally died.
After the central inscription, the initials “FCH” likely stand for Frances Caroline Hebbard (1808-1887), Rachel’s younger sister. It seems likely that Frances helped Rachel in her teaching duties and was thus memorialized on Rachel’s sampler.
Joe Irvin, Wayne County, Ohio