28 April 2015

Slave's Prayer Sampler

Some months ago, Karin Walton, Curator of Applied Art, submitted a case to The Friends to fund the purchase of a Sampler, which was worked in coloured silks on linen with the image of a kneeling slave and a verse from the ‘Negro’s Prayer’. It was signed and dated ‘Martha Hague’s Work Decr 15 1837’.

Samplers were an important part of most girls’ education from the late 16th to the early 20th centuries. Through them they learned not just sewing techniques, both decorative and functional, but also religious texts, moral concepts and geography.  In this instance, young Martha was learning about the reality of the slave trade at the tender age of just 8 or 9.