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Region: Middle Tennessee
1859 Mary Jane Stevens
Isabella S. Wallis Slate, Teacher
Union Academy

1714"V x 1814"H © TSS 016
fibers: wool
ground: 28 ct. linen
Mary Jane (Mattie) Stevens (1845-1916) was the daughter of a blacksmith in Rutherford County. When her father died, her mother remarried and moved to Williamson Co. where the sampler was made. Mattie married twice. Her first husband abandoned her and their child, and she remarried Randal Mayberry Cunningham, her step-brother, and led a long, full life.
The couplet on Mattie's sampler, entitled "Candour," reads "With pleasure let us own our errors past/And make each day a critic on the last." The lines come from Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Criticism," published in 1711. Pope is a frequent source for sampler verses, as his pithy aphorisms are quickly stitched.
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