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Stephen & Carol Huber: 17th - 19th Century Needlework

CT sampler by Lewis from Huber

Frances Alvira Lewis
Middletown, CT dated 1828

An extensive family record is incorporated into this 1828 Middletown, Connecticut sampler stitched by twelve year old Frances Lewis. Along with the genealogical information, she stitched a highly developed rendition of prominent Middletown, Connecticut buildings. Her in-structress is unknown, but other Middletown samplers share similar characteristics and were likely worked at the same school. At that time, Middletown was the home of many young cadets attending the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy whose campus became Wesleyan University in 1831.

Frances Alvira Lewis (1816-?) was the daughter of Joseph Lewis (1788-?) of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Mary Strong (1788-?) of Boston, Massachusetts. Her father was a gunsmith and her youngest brother Charles became the mayor of Middletown, Connecticut.

The sampler is inscribed:

Joseph Lewis born October 15th 1788 Mary Strong born June 8th 1788
Married Oct 21st 1813 and have the following children

Births Deaths
James Strong born July 30th 1814
Frances Alvira born Feb 15th 1816
Harriet Laman born July 5th 1818 H L Died June 13th 1830
William Henry born Nov 25th 1819
Mary Ann born Nov 26th 1821
Joseph Hubbard born April 2nd 1824
Henry Augustus born May 30 1826 H A Died Feb 14th 1828
Henry Augustus Born Oct 27th 1828
Charles Ripley born July 24th 1831

(The small monument bears the initials) H A L

Frances Alvira Lewis Wrought this in the 12th year of her age Middletown 1828

Silk, cotton and wool on linen; 17 3/8" x 15".

Illustrated in the exhibition and book With Needle and Brush: Schoolgirl Embroidery From the Connecticut River Valley by Carol and Stephen Huber


(860) 388-6809


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