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Region: Middle Tennessee
1839 Mary Malvina Gustavia Perkins
Tulip Border Group
Franklin, Williamson Co.

1612"V x 1612"H © TSS 105
fibers: silk
ground: 28 ct. linen
Mary Malvina Gustavia Perkins (1830-1885) was the only child of Thomas Hardin Perkins, Jr. and his first wife, Elizabeth Gustavia Sallard Hunt. Her mother most likely died from complications of childbirth. Thomas died in 1833, leaving Mary Malvina an orphan. It is possible that Mary Malvina’s grandfather, Nicholas (Bigby) Perkins took her into his home, Montpier, a 12,000 acre estate northwest of Franklin, Williamson County. Mary Malvina married John W. Richardson, a farmer and bookkeeper, in 1850 in Williamson County. The family relocated to Texas, where they raised four children.
Mary Malvina’s text comes from the poem “For a Very Little Child” by Jane Taylor (1783-1824). Taylor also wrote the lyrics to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. ”

O, that it were my chief delight,
To do the things I ought!
Then let me try with all my might
To mind what I am taught.

Mary Malvina stitched her sampler when she was nine years old. The border is similar to ones found on the 1836 Frances Louisa Nolen sampler (TSS 013), the 1839 Roxana M’Gee sampler (TSS 027), and the Motheral sisters’ samplers of 1840 (TSS 012 and TSS 142), and was most likely made at the same school.
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