Sampler (Alphabet or band sampler)

  • Category:

    Textiles (Needlework)

  • Creator (Role):

    Mary Ann Reilly (Maker)

    St. Peter's School (Orphanage/School)

  • Place of Origin:

    Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

  • Secondary Place of Origin:

    Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

  • Date:

    1833

  • Materials:

    Linen; Silk

  • Techniques:

    Embroidered, Woven (plain)

  • Museum Object Number:

    1991.0094 A


  • Complete Details



Object Number

1991.0094 A

Object Name

Sampler (Alphabet or band sampler)

Category

Textiles (Needlework)

Credit Line/Donor

Gift of Mrs. Samuel Borton

Creator (Role)

Mary Ann Reilly (Maker)
Dec. 25, 1824-Jan. 27, 1908
Mary Ann Reilly from Delaware, worked this linen sampler in 1833, at St. Peter's School in Wilmington, using silk threads. St. Peter's School was established in 1830 in Wilmington, Delaware as an orphanage for those whose fathers were killed in explosions while working in local powder mills. The date of Mary Ann's signature suggests that she may have been in attendance at the orphanage before it became a boarding school in 1840. It is not known how long she was in attendance. Mary Ann was born on December 25, 1824 in Delaware to parents of Irish ancestry. Their names and dates are unknown. It is also not known if she was orphaned by du Pont powder mill explosions. On January 31, 1850, Mary Ann married Angelo dos Santos at St. Peter's Church in Wilmington, and moved to Pine Ward, Philadelphia with Angelo and his two children from a previous marriage. Angelo, born in the Spanish West Indies in 1810, was a music teacher. In 1863, he is listed in the PA Septennial Census as a music professor, and also listed on the faculty of St. Mary's College (a boys' boarding school in Wilmington) as a music professor. No other listings for Mary Ann dos Santos [des Santos] can be found until her death. Mary Ann dos Santos died on January 27, 1908 from pneumonia. She is buried at New Cathedral Cemetery in Philadelphia. (Research courtesy of Cindy Steinhoff 2015)

St. Peter's School (Orphanage/School)
St. Peter's School was established in 1830 as an orphanage for those whose fathers were killed in explosions while working in local duPont powder mills. The school, or orphanage, run by the Daughters of Charity from Mother Seton's Community in Emmitsburg, Md, continued to grow and became a boarding school in 1840 and a year later, a free academy for girls, Eventually, it became the first parochial school in Wilmington, now known as St. Peter's Cathedral School. Mary Ann signed her sampler in 1833, presumably while in attendance at the orphanage. Can her lineage possibly be traced through the powder mill's records? Further research on Mary Ann and her family will be required. http://www.cathedralofstpeter.com/historyofthecathedral.html

Place of Origin

Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

Secondary Place of Origin

Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

Secondary Origin Notes

Mary Ann worked this sampler at St. Peter's School in Wilmington, Delaware.

Date

1833

Mark or Signature or Inscription or Label

1. Inscription; ; "Mary Ann Reilly St. Peter's School/ Wilmington, Del. July 9th 1833" (silk threads)

Materials

Linen; Silk

Techniques

Embroidered, Woven (plain)

Dimensions (inches)

18.87 (L) , 17.37 (W)

Dimensions (centimeters)

47.93 (L) , 44.12 (W)

Measurement Notes

Measurements are approximate due to the inherent variability of textiles.

Object Description

Web - 03/12/2014

This is Mary Ann Reilly's alphabet or band sampler embroidered with silk threads on a linen ground. Not much is known about Mary Ann except that she worked this plain sampler at St. Peter's School in Wilmington, Delaware in 1833. St. Peter's School was established in 1830 as an orphanage for those whose fathers were killed in explosions while working in local powder mills. The orphanage continued to grow and soon became a boarding school, and then eventually the first parochial school in Wilmington. Mary Ann signed her work: "Mary Ann Reilly St. Peter's School / Wilmington, Del. July 9th 1833"