A fine silk and linen needlework sampler Hannah Pearly Haverhill, Massachusetts Dated 1777
This sampler is illustrated in Betty Ring, Girlhood Embroidery: American Samplers and Pictorial Needlework 1650-1850, volume 1 (New York: Knopf, 1993), p.127, figure 141. Ring writes that Hannah was the daughter of John Pearley (1746-1778), a farmer and a tailor who fought in the battle of Lexington, and Hannah Green (1747-1846). Hannah Pearly married Moses Payson.
Some of the finest examples of late 18th and early 19th century embroideries were wrought at various private girls schools in Essex County, Massachusetts. Samplers made by school girls from Haverhill frequently display similar motifs, including fruit trees, grassy knolls, deer, a donkey headed spotted black dog, and a long legged bird looking backwards. Historian Betty Ring suggests a connection between Haverhill samplers and later samplers from Newburyport, Massachusetts, including several worked by the shady bower group. Haverhill examples such as this, she finds, are rarer.