To celebrate Women’s History Month in March, this is the story of little Nancy Snider.
Like many young girls in 1830, Nancy spent a lot of time bent over this counted cross-stitch learning to sew and read. It is a charming memento of a time gone by and is especially important because it includes the date and Botetourt County, VA, at the bottom.
Nancy also stitched this poem: “Perhaps this sampler will remain when I return to dust again, Then all my friends may read and know that shortly after they must go.”
When this fragile sampler was found in an attic in Staunton and donated to the Botetourt History Museum in 2014, it was in need of restoration. It was glued, taped and stapled to a cardboard backing and was dirty. For two years the staff at the Botetourt History Museum entered this sampler in the Virginia Association of Museums “Top 10 Endangered Artifacts” contest.
The resulting publicity enabled the museum to raise $720 for the sampler’s restoration. It was carefully packaged and sent to a textile conservation specialist company in Alexandria, Va. The sampler was cleaned, blocked, hand sewn to a special mount and custom framed using UV glass. The cost was $909.
As for Miss Snider, she married William P. Brown on February 15, 1848, at the age of 20 and had children of her own. Her restored sampler is now displayed in the Botetourt History Museum parlor where it can be enjoyed for years to come. For more information go to Bothistsoc.Wordpress.com.
~ Botetourt County History Museum