American Sampler by Rachel Elizabeth Morgan, New York, New York, 1838

Rachel Elizabeth Morgan was born April 11, 1824 at 353 Pearl Street in Manhattan, New York City, near the Manhattan side of the yet-to-be Brooklyn Bridge. She was the daughter of Eliza (McClellan, 1802-1873) and George Cleesy Morgan’s (1794-1881) and the eldest of six sisters and a brother.

Her lovely tan, green and blue sampler was made in 1838 when she was fourteen years old. It features the Ten Commandments along with bold stars, a floral border and an outer Greek key border, which is a typical feature of samplers from New York City and its environs.

Rachel’s precisely rendered rhyming rendition of The Ten Commandments was oft published in the period and reads:

Renounce all other Gods but only me

And to me image bow thy heart or knee

Take not the awful name of God in vain

Nor dare his holy sabbath day Profane

Honor thy Parents and thou long shall live

Commit not murder but all wrongs forgive

From filthy lusts keep soul and body free

Nor steal tho Pressed by dire necessity

Against their neighbour ne’er false witness bear

Nor covet goods in which though hast no share

By the 1855 census, Rachel was 30 years old and still listed as living in her father’s brick house, as are all her siblings, one aunt and a servant. It appears Rachel never married. She died in 1895 was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Rachel’s paternal great-grandfather, John Morgan (1732-1787) emigrated from Wales to Long Island, New York sometime before January 1751, when he married Abidah Rogers, a marriage published in the New York Evening Post.

The sampler is worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition with one very minor area of weakness to the linen. It has been conservation mounted and is in a molded and painted frame.

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Dealer M. Finkel & Daughter
Date: 1838
Origin New York, New York
Artist/Maker Rachel Elizabeth Morgan
Measurements sampler size: 17” x 17¾” • framed size: 18½” x 19¼”
Inventory View Dealer's Inventory
Price $1200
Contact Amy Finkel, 215-627-7797 or

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