I've made some progress on the Polly Daggett Sampler. I started in the upper right corner and I'm working right to left. I'm on the third
Remember that the sampler has been charted to include Polly's mistakes and changes to thread thicknesses among other things.
As I read through the chart it's becoming obvious that Polly was not interested in needlework, at least not in working on this sampler!
Polly most likely was taught to stitch by a governess or in school.
We can assume this by the fact that a child would stitch her
teacher's full name or the teacher's initials somewhere in the sampler, as Polly did. She included the letters "A" and "J" near the bottom of her sampler.
Polly crossed stitches whichever way she felt like it and often did half cross stitches and left threads loose and hanging. She often crossed the wrong threads in the linen. Perhaps she was thinking about the unrest in the colonies. If Polly stitched this sampler around the age that most girls were when they worked on
them, ten years old, it would have been 1770 when she stitched this.
That was the year in Boston that British soldiers shot into a crowd
on March 5th; this has been referred to as The Boston Massacre.
Polly was born Mary Daggett, in a town called Holmes Hole (which is now Vineyard Haven) on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
She was born in the year 1760 and Polly was an affectionate nick-
name. The people of Martha's Vineyard had erected a liberty pole
on a hill that represented to the British their independence. When a British ship named HMS Unicorn arrived in the harbor her captain spied the pole and insisted that the people deliver it to the ship the next day. They needed it as a replacement spar for the ship. An island legend tells that Polly and her friends packed gun-
powder in holes that they had carved in the pole and blew it to pieces.
Polly married at the age of 19. Her husband was Peleg Hillman, a master mariner. He was quartermaster of a privateer ship named
the Oliver Cromwell. Polly only remained married for 10 years, she
divorced Mr. Hillman and lived out the remainder of her life in
the village of Tisbury. She was known as "Aunt Polly" to the island children and much loved by them.
'Nite, Primmies -