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Title:needlework: mourning picture
Date Made:ca. 1810
Materials:textile: silk; watercolor, wood, gilding, glass
Place Made:United States; New York; Oneida County; Whitesboro
Measurements:framed: 18 1/4 x 17 1/8 x 1 3/8 in.; 46.355 x 43.4975 x 3.4925 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2002.10
Credit Line:Gift of Mary Jaene Edmonds
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Mourning picture emroidered in silk on silk and inscribed: "Sacred to / the memory of / Maria & Eliza / Moseley" and "MM" and "EM" in the two urns set on top of the memorial stone. Embroideries depicting motifs associated with death and mourning (including willow and linden trees, funerary monuments incorporating urns and grieving figures dressed in black “mourning weeds”) became popular subjects for schoolgirl embroideries around 1800. Some examples survive with blank tablets awaiting the later insertion of names. Born in Westfield, Massachusetts, Elizur Moseley (1765-1833) was the youngest of the 10 children of Daniel Mosely (1714-1777) and Anne Abbott Moseley (1721-1803). Elizur attended Yale College in 1786, studied medicine after graduation, married Caroline Harrison (1770-1822), and settled in Whitesboro, NY, around 1790. He was described as "the first physician, the first merchant, and the first postmaster of the place." The Moseleys had five surviving children, one son, William Abbott Moseley (1799-1877) who graduated from Yale in 1816, and four daughters: Mary Ann (b.c.1788-d.c.1865) who married Julius C. Guiteau (1793-1845) in 1814; Caroline (c.1800-1831) who married Roderick Norman Morrison (1800-1856) in 1825; Maria (1803-1861) who married Roderick Morrison after Caroline's death in 1831 and before 1838; and Eliza (1807-1878) who married Charles Valentine Morris (1802-1887) in 1831. Mary Ann, Caroline, or Maria Moseley probably have worked this embroidery, which appears to commemorate their deceased sisters who died in infancy possibly at a female boarding academy, such as the Cherry Valley Academy which either or both Caroline and Maria attended in 1822. They pasted an annotated engraving of Cherry Valley Academy in the scrapbook (HD 2002.1), documenting that either one or both of them attended this school before 1822. HD also has a coat-of-arms (HD 2002.64) attributed to Mary Ann Moseley.


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