The careful planning and attention to detail of this sampler are apparent in the execution of the naturalistically rendered flowers and two figures in period dress. The underdrawing was prepared by a teacher, while the painted faces of the figures were either executed by the teacher or the maker. This is an excellent example of a piece that was executed under the direction of a private teacher or in an academy. Clarissa Emerson (1808–?) was the youngest of 12 children born to Elias (1759–1835) and Phebe Hayward Emerson (1768 [?]–1840), who were married in 1790 in Reading, Massachusetts. Elias served in the Revolutionary War, obtaining the rank of lieutenant, and he is descended from the 1636 Emerson settlers of Ipswich, Massachusetts. The verse is attributed to the hymn writer John Newton (1725–1807) or Isaac Watts (1674–1748).
MEDIUM: Linen, plain weave; embroidered with silk in cross, satin, stem, long and short, chain, upright Gobelin, oblique Gobelin, and feather stitches; laid work and couching; painted
ART FORM: Textile