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November, 1977 

Volume III, Number 2 

The Museum of Early Southern 

Decorative Arts 


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all the privileges of a Member of MESDA. 

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per annum at the rate of $5.00. 


Members of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts will receive 
advance notification of all regular classes and programs offered by the Museum. 

Also members will be invited to attend a special lecture during the year 
devoted to new discoveries or research concerning southern antiquities. 

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts is owned and operated by Old Salem, 
Inc., the non-profit corporation that is responsible for the restoration and operation of 
Old Salem, Moravian Congregation Town founded in 1766. MESDA is an educational 
institution with the established purpose of collecting, preserving, documenting and 
researching representative examples of southern decorative arts and craftsmanship for 
the period I600's to 1820. The Museum exhibits its collection for public interest and study. 

For further information please write to MESDA, Drawer F. Salem Station, Winston- 
Salem, North Carolina 27108. Telephone (919) 722-6148. 



November, 1977 

Volume III, Number 2 

Published twice yearly in 

May and November by 

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts 


Dorothy Welker, Chairman 
Frances Griffin 
Bradford Rauschenberg 

Copyright© 1977 Old Salem, Inc. 
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27108 

Printed by Hall Printing Company 
High Point, North Carolina 




An Elegant Schoolgirl Embroidery 1 

Betty Ring 

A Study of Baroque- and Gothic-Style 

Gravestones in Davidson County, 

North Carolina 24 

Bradford L. Rauschenberg 

Charles Peale Polk: Gold Profiles on Glass 51 

Whaley Batson 

Members of Mesda 58 



45#f^^ . 

Figure 1. "The Sacrifice of Isaac" worked in silk tent stitch upon silk 
canvas of approximately 38 to 40 threads per inch. Embroidered 
inscription beneath the picture states that "Elizth Boush Workd this 
Peice at E. Gardners 1768 9" Elizabeth Boush lived in Norfolk, 
Virginia, and her needlework appears to be the only Southern colonial 
embroidery known to have been made at a specific school. Approx- 
imately I9V2XIIV2 inches. 
Collection of the Museum, of Early Southern Decorative Arts. 

For Persons of Fortune Who Have Taste: 
An Elegant Schoolgirl Embroidery 

Betty Ring 

E^ A R M S T O N (or perhaps better known 
* by the Nam* of GARDNER) continuet the School At /»««/ 
P/esfaat, Ncr/tlk Borough, where ii a large aixl convenient Houif proper 
to accommodace young Ladie* as Boafderij at wKkh School ii taught 
Petit Point in Flowen, Fruit, Landfcaj-ea, and Sculpture, None Work, 
Embroidery in SiJk, Gold, Silver, Pt«r||, ^ embofled, Shading of all 
Kind», in the various Worki in Vogue, trtfdn Point Work, Lace Dife, 
Catgut in different Modes, flouriihing MuAin, »fter the neweA Taftc, 
and moft elegant Pattern, Wucwork in Figure, Fruit, or Flowers, Shell 
Ditto, or grotesque, Painting in Water Coloors and Mexzotinto) a^b(^« 
ArtoftAkmg off Foliage, with feiwral other EmbeUlihmeDts neceffar/ fcr 
the Amu(iement of Pedbns of Fortune who have T»ffe. Spccimcnt ot tli« 
Subfcriber't Work may be fcenat her Houfc, as alfo of her Scholars | 
having taught feveril Yean in mr/$U. and elfe where, to general Satif. 
fadton« She Aatters herdelf that thote Gentlemen and Ladies wlio have 
hitherto employed her wUl grant her thetr farther Indulgence, as no En- 
deavours (hall be wanting to complete what is above mentioned, with a 
AhA Attemioa to the Behaviour of thofe Ladies intruded to her Care. 

Rea<fing will be her peculiar Carej Writing and Anthmetick will be 
uught by a Ma(Hr property qualified j and, if defired, will engage pro- 
ftcients in Moftck and Dating. 

This extravagant advertisement of a colonial girls' school 
appeared in the Virginia Gazette of February 20, 1772, and it 
has attracted the attention of historians for half a century or 

more;' but the "embellishments" that E. Armston proposed 
to produce for "the amusement of persons of fortune who have 
taste" have been unknown to their posterity. It is therefore 
exciting to report that the Museum of Early Southern Decorative 
Arts has recently acquired a canvas-work Biblical embroidery 
which is clearly identified in stitchery with the words "Eliz*'^ 
Boush Work d this Peice at E. Gardners 1768 9" (Fig. 1). 

This small needlework picture, in rather poor condition, 
would warrant little attention but for the inscription which 
lifts it from oblivion to a position of importance among 
surviving colonial textiles. Although there are, indeed, a number 
of New England embroideries which predate it, beginning 
with Rebecca Wheeler's needlework view of Queen Esther 
and King Ahasuerus worked in 1664,* this Virginia rendition 
of "The Sacrifice of Isaac" appears to be the only needlework 
picture which is clearly identified as having been made at a 
specific girls' school in British colonial America. 

The seventeenth century was the period when amateur 
embroidery of a purely pictorial nature reached its peak of 
popularity in England but it is logical that little attention 
was devoted to such luxuries during the first rugged years of 
English colonization in America." Pictorial embroideries were, 
in fact, the peculiar province of the girls' school, and the vast 
quantity of such work made between 1640 and 1840 was 
almost entirely the product of school instruction. 

The high standard for women's education which was 
achieved in England during the Elizabethan era declined under 
James I and more so during the Puritan dominance of the 
Reformation. Nevertheless, instruction in ornamental needle- 
work flourished with fascinating vigor and thrived particularly 
with the restoration of Charles II. This was the golden age of 
naive pictorial embroideries by English schoolgirls. Their 
needlework pictures had an exuberance and spontaneity which 
were never again equaled in England, but their appealing 
qualities may be compared to the delightful originality and 
naivete found in American schoolgirl needlework of the 
Federal period, even though the styles of embroidery are 
otherwise totally different. 

By the early eighteenth century the prospering American | 
colonies were better able to indulge in the luxuries of more 
female education and household decoration. Schools of all 
types appeared in increasing numbers. Teachers newly arrived 

from abroad advertised their services in newspapers of the 
major colonial towns, and none were more numerous than 
those offering instruction in the ornamental needle arts." 

Figure 2. "The Sacrifice of Isaac" worked almost entirely with twisted 
silk upon ivory satin. At the top in red cross stitches is the name 
"M. Hull" and the date "Feb 16th 1733." This needle tvork may be 
of Neiv England origin although New England schoolgirls obviously 
favored bucolic scenes over Biblical subjects, and a tvealth of mid- 
eighteenth pastoral embroideries survive from, that region. Here the 
basic design was probably derived from the Bernard Salomon ivoodcut 
of 1333 (Fig. 7). This embroidery is the subject of an article by 
Gertrude Townsend in American Collector, May 1943. 
Satin, long and short, oriental, stem, and cross stitches. 19V2 x I8I/2 
inches. Courtesy, fAuseum of Fine Arts, Boston. 

Figure 3. "The Sacrifice of Isaac" embroidered by an unknoivn English 
girl, circa 1660. Probably one hundred years earlier than the work of 
Elizabeth Boush, this piece represents the prevailing style of em- 
broidery during England's most prolific period of pictorial needlework. 
Biblical subjects were exceedingly popular with the Stuart embroideress 
and it was quite typical to clothe the central figures in contemporary 
garments and to crowd them, with designs from nature in dispro- 
portionate array. Silk tent stitch and couching on canvas. 
15x1114 inches (framed). Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 


Elizabeth Boush's needlework picture of Abraham and 
Isaac is so closely related to English embroideries of the mid- 
eighteenth century that we would have no suspicion of its 
colonial origin if it bore no specific identification. Its style 
reflects the naturalism in composition which came into favor 
early in the eighteenth century and which is also evident in a 
''Sacrifice of Isaac" worked in 1733 (Fig. 2). Both of these 
embroideries reveal a departure from the English style of the 
seventeenth century seen in Fig. 3. This "Sacrifice of Isaac" 
exemplifies that "horror of empty space"' which characterized 
Jacobean decoration, and clothing Abraham as a Cavalier was 
also typical of the period. 

Due to its pleasing proportions and exquisite shading, 
Elizabeth Boush's embroidery is less provincial in feeling than 
an English rendition of the same subject worked in 1778 
(Fig. 4). In fact, its style and design seem considerably more 
abreast of current fashion than a contemporary pastoral view 
done at an English boarding school ( Fig. 5 ) . A comparison 
of these pieces reminds us of how seldom we can depend 
solely on style or technique when trying to assign an English 
or American origin to needlework of this period.' In this case, 
both the flawless execution and the elegant materials tend to 
belie a Virginia history. We are inclined to associate perfection 
with the relentless discipline of the English schoolmistress,* and 
the carefully blended colors, particularly in the foreground of 
this piece, reveal a luxurious variety of shaded cottons and an 
artistic skill in combining them. 

Elizabeth worked her picture entirely in cotton petit point, 
and it is surprising to find that E. Gardner Armston's 1772 
advertisement included this now familiar term rather than 
the more common allusion to tent stitch or tent work. However, 
the most extraordinary feature of Elizabeth's embroidery is its 
ground material. Instead of the usual linen canvas, careful 
analysis has revealed that she stitched her picture upon an 
evenly woven silk textile of 38-40 threads per inch. She com- 
pletely covered her ground material, including the selvage edges, 
and she must have finished with her inscription and the date. 
At that time there was a growing tendency to include the name 
of the school with the signature of the embroideress,' but her 
manner of dating was atypical. 



• •, 





Perhaps she wished to indicate that two years had been devoted 
to this accompHshment. 

The custom of working tent stitch in horizontal rows may 
have caused the diagonal stretching now evident in Elizabeth's 
needlework. Proper blocking should have corrected this when 
the piece was completed, but this shape could have reoccurred, 
and particularly if the picture was not squarely secured in a 
frame. There is, however, nothing to indicate that it was ever 
framed except the softened hues of its many colors which 
suggest some exposure to light. Quite possibly it was removed 
from a frame in later years, and the breaks in the material 
probably resulted from folding. 

Biblical embroideries were particularly popular with Eng- 
lish schoolgirls throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, and the custom of depicting episodes from the Old 
Testament reflected a stress on the second commandment 
brought about by the Reformation. Embroidered versions of 
Christ, the Virgin, or the saints were strictly forbidden, but 
the familiar figures of earlier Bible stories were quite acceptable. 
Enduring favorites for interpretation in needlework were Adam 
and Eve, Abraham and Hagar, the Sacrifice of Isaac, David 
and Bathsheba, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Susannah 
and the Elders, and Esther and Ahasuerus. 

The "Sacrifice of Isaac" embroidered by Elizabeth Boush 
was probably derived from an engraving published by Gerard 
de Jode in the Thesaurus Sacrarum Historiarum Veteris Testa- 
ment in Antwerp in 1585 (Fig. 6). This volume became an 
important design source for needlework, as did the woodcuts of 
Bernard Salomon in Quadrins historiques de la Bible which 
was published by Jean de Tournes of Lyons in 1553 and 
copied in many languages (Fig. 7). In spite of the enormous 
time gap, sixteenth-century Bible illustrations influenced the 

Figure 4- "The Sacrifice of Isaac" in an English needlework picture 
signed "E W" and dated "1778". Here the embroideress identified her 
Biblical episode u'ith an appropriate verse from the Bible (Genesis 
22:10). This composition is believed to be derived from Gerard de 
J ode's Thesaurus Sacrarum (Fig. 6). This and other English Biblical 
embroideries are featured in an article by Lynn E. Springer in The 
Magazine Antiques of February 1972. 

Silk on tabby weave linen; primarily tent stitch with satin and 
long-and-short stitches. 9x8 inches. 
McDonnell Collection, St. Louis Art Museum. 

* *» ^A % 

Figure 3. English needlework picture of a harvest scene worked in 
the same year that Elizabeth Boush completed her Biblical embroidery 
(Fig. 1) and sigfied in a similar manner. Here the embroidered in- 
scription reads: "Eleanor Mattick done at Mrs. Roscos Boarding School 
March 1769". Beginning in the seventeenth century, English school- 
girls occasionally included the name of their instructress on their 
signed embroideries. From the late eighteenth century until the 
close of the schoolgirl needlework era, they often named their school. 
If undated, this piece would probably be assigned an earlier eighteenth 
century date, for it lacks the delicacy of design found in Elizabeth 
Boush's work, and it bears no hint of forthcoming neoclassicism. Wool 
and silk on canvas; tent stitch, Irish stitch and couching, 25xl9V2 
Courtesy, Benjamin Ginsburg, Antiquary. 



iju&.Ti i.'i(t!rrem 


Figure 6. "Sacrifice of Isaac" from the Thesaurus Sacrarum Historiarum 
Veteris Testamenti, (Vol. I, page 23), published by Gerard de J ode, 
Antwerp, 1383. These Bible illustrations by Flemish artists greatly 
influenced the compositions of English embroideries throughout the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The engraving pictured here 
was most likely the source from which the Elizabeth Boush embroidery 
was ultimately derived. Spencer Collection, The New York Public 
Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. 

patterns of Biblical embroideries throughout the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries." Over the years the principal elements 
of the compositions were rearranged in numerous ways. In 
fact, the needleworker quite possibly might never have seen 
the original print, but perhaps composed her embroidery from 
another piece which had likewise evolved from a series of 
previous adaptations. 

Elizabeth's teacher, Elizabeth Gardner Armston, may have 
had prints or sample designs from which she created patterns 
for her students. It is also likely that English sources of printed 
and tinted textiles for needlework were known to her," or she 

could have employed a pattern drawer. In 1784, Richard Morris, 
then in Richmond, advertised his services as an "EMBROID- 
lately arrived from LONDON."'^ With the many ships arriving 
in Norfolk, there were doubtless other itinerants offering these 
talents at an earlier date.'" On the other hand, many Virginians 
had fine libraries and good art collections in which Elizabeth 



^Irahdm 'willeth for to fleafe godes highnes, 
Of hli dearejonne to make immolation: 
7^ tit god l^noivmg his ivount true righteoujhes, 
Makerh him to leauefuche an execution. 

Figure 7. "Sacrifice of Isaac" from a woodcut by Bernard Salomon as 
it appears in The true and lyvely historyke purtreatures of the Woll 
Bible. This is the English version of ]ean de Tournes' Quadrins 
historiques de la Bible published in Lyons in 1333, and it contains 
Pierre Derendel's translations of the original quatrains by Claude 
Paradin. When illustrated books became widely available in the 16th 
century, they formed a popular source for eynbroidery designs and the 
publications of Jean de Tournes of Lyons were among the most 
By permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University. 


Boush could have found her own inspiration for embroideries. 
Before 1728, her kinsman, Colonel Maxmilian Boush, owned 
an impressive assortment of portraits and prints,'^ and in 1745 
William Bering of Williamsburg owned forty-four pictures and 
about two hundred prints." 

Elizabeth Boush belonged to a well established and in- 
fluential Virginia family. The daughter of Samuel Boush III, 
she was born in Norfolk or on one of her father's nearby 
plantations about the year 1753. Elizabeth's ancestors were 
among the first settlers in the region which became known as 
Lower Norfolk County in 1637. Among them were Francis 
Bacon, who came to Virginia on the John and Francis in 1613, 
and Henry Seawell, who was living in Elizabeth City in 1630. 
Their granddaughter, Ann Mason, married Samuel Boush I,'' 
who served briefly as the first Mayor of the Borough of Nor- 
folk before his death in 1736.'* 

In his will, Samuel Boush I devised the bulk of his con- 
siderable estate to Samuel Boush III, who was the eldest of 
his three grandsons." Following his marriage in about 1748, 
Samuel Boush III also shared in the estate of his father, who 
died in 1756. Elizabeth was the third of Samuel's four children 
and his only daughter. 

Within the same year that Elizabeth finished her needle- 
work picture, her portrait was painted by John Durand (Fig. 
8)." Elizabeth posed in a turquoise blue dress trimmed in 
white lace.*' Her necklace and earrings, (shown in the portrait 
and which still survive) are smoothly polished pale aquamarines 
mounted in gold filigree, and the necklace is tied with a ribbon 
matching the color of her dress, as do the feathers in her hair. 
The delicate flowers above her brow, the rosy flower at her 
bosom, and the beribboned, rose-colored garland in her hands 
may exemplify her skill in making "artificial flowers" or the 
"Art of taking off Foilage" as described by her schoolmistress. 

Elizabeth Boush was married on November 28, 1772," and 
the Virginia Gazette noted the union of "Champion Travis, 
Esq. Representative for Jamestown, to Miss Betsy Boush of 
Norfolk, Daughter of Mr. Samuel Boush, Clerk of that 
County and Borough."" 

Elizabeth's husband, like her father and grandfathers, was 
active in the civic affairs of Virginia. They lived in his father's 
old homestead on Jamestown Island, and Champion Travis 
was a Burgess until he became a representative at the revolu- 


tionary conventions. He later became a colonel in the state 
regiment, a naval commissioner, a justice, sheriff, etc. " 

Elizabeth Boush and Champion Travis had three daughters 
and four sons. Their daughter Susan married the well-known 
agriculturist, Edmund Ruffin.^^ The four sons were named in 
the will of their grandfather, which was written in 1779, and 
to his daughter, Elizabeth Travis, Samuel Boush III devised 
one thousand pounds and two Negro women. ''* 

Samuel Boush III died in 1784. He had been an active 
supporter of the Revolution, and his participation, along with 
the devastation of Norfolk, divested him of much of his 
fortune. Among many other services, it was he who removed 
the Records of Norfolk County to safety before they could be 
destroyed by the British."^' 

Neither did the property of Champion and Elizabeth Travis 
go unscathed during the early hostilities. The Virginia Gazette 
reported that on Thursday, November 16, 1775, a British 
man-of-war "fired a few shot at Col. Travis' houses at James- 
town one which went through the kitchen chimney." * 

Some time later the Travis family moved to Williamsburg, 
and on October 6, 1797, Champion Travis purchased a house 
from Robert Andrews which is the present Travis House be- 
longing to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The death 
of Elizabeth Boush Travis is unrecorded, but the home in 
Williamsburg is known to have become the property of 
Samuel Travis after the death of his father, Champion Travis, ° 
on August 22, 1810."" 

There is scant evidence of the first schools in Norfolk and 
no record of Elizabeth Boush's earliest education. Quite possibly 
her first instruction was similar to that of a contemporary 
Norfolk girl who has left a revealing account of her youth." 
Helen Calvert Maxwell was born in Norfolk on June 20, 1750 
and her memoirs relate that she attended the dame school of 
a Mrs. Drudge. 

... To be sure she did drudge to teach me my 
letters . . . spelling and reading after a fashion. . . . 
She taught me, good soul, to read the Bible and the 
stories in it pleased me greatly. I remember, par- 
ticularly, the story of good old Isaac and his sons. . . . 
After I had learned out here, I was sent to a Mrs. 


Figure 8. Elizabeth Boush by John Durand, 1169. This elegantly 
garbed sixteen-year-old daughter of Samuel Boush III posed for her 
portrait within the same year that she completed her Biblical em- 
broidery at E. Gardner's School in Norfolk, Virginia. The flowers 
shown here probably represent more handiwork made under the 
instruction of E. Gardner. The schoolmistress mentioned "artificial 
flowers" among the many "embellishments" she proposed to teach, 
and "flowers for the head" were often mentioned in advertisements 
18th century girls' schools. 
Oil on canvas, 30x23 inches. Private Collection. 


Johnson. . . . She taught me needlework and marking 
on the sampler. 

After this, as I was shooting up, my father, who 
thought me a very fine smart girl, wished to send me 
to a fashionable boarding school that there was then 
in Williamsburg, but my mother would not consent. 

. . . Shortly afterwards Donald Campbell imported a 
schoolmaster from Scotland, by the name of Buchan,^' 
who opened a select school and I was sent to him 
to learn the higher branches. . . , Here perhaps I 
might have learned something, but I was in my teens, 
and too fond of talking and doing nothing to get 
my lessons, and my teacher used to humour me and 
spoil me. So my education was very imperfect, and I 
have always regretted that my opportunities for learn- 
ing were so poor . . . though I must confess that I 
might have improved them better than I did. 

Except for the teachers mentioned by Helen Calvert Max- 
well, there is nothing to indicate what educational oppor- 
tunities were available to girls in Norfolk before the following 
advertisement of March 21, 1766. 

The Subscriber begs leave to inform the publick that 
she has taken a house in Norfolk borough, for the 
accomodating young Ladies as boarders: where are 
taught the following things, viz. Embroidery, tent 
work, nuns do. queenstitch, Irish do. and all kinds of 
shading; also point, Dresden lace work, catgut, & c. 
Shell work, wan work, and artificial flowers. 
No endeavors will be wanting to complete them in 
any or all of the above particulars, to the satisfaction 
of those Gentlemen and Ladies that may please to 
commit their children to the care of 

Their humble servant, 
E. Gardner 
N.B. She professes teaching the French language.^* 

Here was a boarding school primarily dedicated to teach- 
ing the ornamental needle arts. These accomplishments were 
the criteria of a finished education for the young gentlewoman 
throughout the seventeenth century and the custom continued 


despite the hue and cry of the intellectuals during the Age of 

In 1720 Daniel Defoe deplored the fact that women's 
"youth is spent to teach them to stitch and sew, or make baubles. 
They are taught to read, indeed, and perhaps to write their 
names, or so; and that is the height of a woman's education." 
In the 1740s, a writer in The Female Spectator decried the 
custom of "compelling young ladies of fortune to make so much 
use of their needle, as they did in former days. ... It makes 
me smile when I hear mothers of fine daughters say "I always 
keep my girls at their needle.' "" The Spectator carried the 
comments of Addison who belittled the "employment and 
diversions of the Fair Ones. . . . Their more serious Occupations 
are Sowing and Embroidery and their greatest Drudgery the 
Preparation of Jellies and Sweetmeats." 

From England this criticism spread to America and in 
1787 Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia felt that it was "in- 
cumbent upon us to make ornamental accomplishments yield 
to principles and knowledge in the education of our women." 
His sentiments were echoed a generation later by Timothy 
Dwight of Yale.^' 

These were, however, mere ripples of displeasure upon the 
sea of established custom. The vogue for teaching ornamental 
arts continued undiminished until its demise was brought about 
by the upheaval of the industrial revolution, rather than the 
liberal thinkers. 

Particularly in the South, proficiency in the graces of life 
was considered essential for gentlemen's daughters. While the 
Sage of Monticello fostered advancements in education and en- 
couraged his Martha to master her Livy, he also reminded her 
that "In the country life of America there are many moments 
when a woman can have recourse to nothing but her needle 
for employment.""" One of Thomas Jefferson's descendants 
said "Very little from books was thought necessary for a girl. 
She was trained to domestic matters . . . the accomplishments 
of the day ... to play upon the harpsichord or spinet, and to 
work impossible dragons and roses on canvas." 

Thus, the appearance of Elizabeth Gardner in Norfolk may 
have been a boon to those parents who wished to have their 
daughters properly "finished" without sending them far from 
home. The absence of any other important girls' school in the 
vicinity may have led Elizabeth Gardner to choose Norfolk as 


a likely place for a fashionable boarding school. Certainly it 
was not a typical Virginia town, although it was the largest one 
in the colony. It was a bustling commercial port of close to six 
thousand people, many of whom were tradespeople and tran- 
sients representing companies abroad.** 

Where Elizabeth Gardner was born and educated and why 
she established herself as a schoolmistress in Norfolk are all 
unknown. She evidently devoted herself to teaching rather than 
combining this with other efforts to secure a livelihood as was 
often the case. For instance, in sophisticated Charleston, among 
the first to advertise a school for young ladies was Mrs. Phil- 
lipene Henning. In 1734 she offered to teach "French and 
English, also all sorts of Needlework to perfection. She also 
makes and dresses all sorts of Head-cloths after the nicest 
fashion."*' In a similar vein, John Walker, a schoolmaster 
"LATELY arriv'd in Williamsburg from London," advertised 
his services in 1752 and mentioned that Mrs. Walker "teaches 
young Ladies all Kinds of Needle Work; makes Capuchins, 
Shades, Hats and Bonnets."** It does, in fact, appear that 
teaching young ladies was often an additional effort of the 
milliner, seamstress, or hairdresser. 

Elizabeth Gardner's advertisement of 1766 suggests that 
she commenced teaching in Norfolk at that time, and possibly 
she came from Scotland as a member of one of the many 
merchant families who settled there. If so, however, it seems 
unusual that she failed to advertise her recent arrival with a 
knowledge of all the latest styles and newest patterns from 
abroad, for this was invariably enticing to colonial patrons. 
In her advertisement of 1772, she mentioned teaching "else- 
where" but apparently she did not feel that specifying her 
previous location would add prestige to her current pursuits. 
The subjects she listed, and the confidence she evinced in 
offering them, hardly suggest a young provincial maiden. Yet 
the various arts she proposed to teach had all been taught in 
the colonies for at least a decade if not much longer,*' so it was 
not impossible that she learned her skills in America. 

The location of Elizabeth Gardner's school in Norfolk is 
unknown; she never purchased property, and there is scarcely 
a trace of her presence there. In March of 1769 she went 
to court to recover a debt due to her from the estate of Robert 
Tucker,** and on November 25, 1769, she married a merchant 
named Freer Armston.*' 


Freer Armston, the son of William and Ann Freer Armston, 
was born in Blaby, Leicestershire, England in 1738.* In 1765 he 
sailed for America with nearly four hundred pounds of goods, 
and he established himself as a merchant and soap boiler on 
Church Street in Norfolk." He was obviously extending his 
business in April of 1769 when a newspaper notice stated that 
"Freer Armston, Chandler and Soap Boiler in Norfolk, For the 
better convenience of supplying the town of Williamsburg, has 
opened a Shop between Mr. Carter's great brick house and Mrs. 
Rathell's, where may be had TALLOW CANDLES as Good as 
any on the continent." He also mentioned that he had "WEST 
INDIA and DRY GOODS at the lowest prices for ready 



Evidently Armston and his wife prospered. In 1771 his 
tithables were himself, an indentured servant boy,* a Negro 
named Sue, and one chair. It was the following February when 
Elizabeth Armston composed the lengthy advertisement about 
her school at Point Pleasant, but this location cannot be deter- 
mined today. 

Nothing further reveals their activities or attitudes until 
March of 1774 when Armston ran a notice in the Gazette 
stating that "The Subscriber intending to leave the Colony for 
a few months, requests the Favour of those indebted to him 
to settle their Accounts immediately," etc." This was the typical 
forerunner of the departure of the alarmed Loyalist on the 
eve of the Revolution. 

Armston was, indeed, a Loyalist. In fact, Norfolk was the 
stronghold of the Tories in southeastern Virginia, for the many 
Scottish merchants who lived there had never intended be- 
coming permanent residents of the colony. " With other Tories 
who were driven from their Norfolk homes in December of 
1775, the Armstons sought refuge with Lord Dunmore and 
the British fleet. At this time they had a fourteen-month-old girl, 
and Elizabeth was "then Big with Child."" The Loyalists and 
slaves who joined the royal governor suffered bitter depriva- 
tions; provisions were scarce and disease became rampant.*' 
Elizabeth must have had her child under these difficult cir- 
cumstances, for they continued with the fleet until they reached 
Bermuda in July of 1776. However, Armston could not support 
his family there, so they went to England, arriving on August 
26, 1777, and they were received in Leicester by friends who 
had known them in Norfolk.*' 


William Armston died at Blaby in September of 1777, and 
in his will he left one hundred pounds to his son Freer." This 
must have been welcome assistance, for Armston claimed that 
his losses in Virginia amounted to £1,001, and for the following 
nine years he sought compensation from the British govern- 
ment." Armston had owned no land in Virginia, but he cited 
the loss of Negroes, working tools, household goods and un- 
collected accounts. Samuel Boush and other prominent Norfolk 
names were among his long list of debtors. 

The very appearance of Elizabeth Boush's embroidery 
arouses fresh speculation concerning the Jong observed absence 
of any homogeneous "school" of Southern needlework com- 
parable to the easily recognizable forms which developed in 
New England and the Middle Colonies in the mid-eighteenth 
century.*° The dearth of such Southern embroideries has piqued 
the curiosity of scholars, perplexed Southerners, and vexed col- 
lectors for many years, but no satisfactory explanations have 
been found. A climate unfavorable to conservation and the 
depredations of war have been considered, while an agrarian 
economy which led to a tutorial system of education has often 
been cited. The latter is the most logical explanation, for the 
completion of such tasks was more likely to occur under the 
discipline of the classroom; and it was often the teacher who 
took responsibility of framing the student's needlework, which 
helped to assure its preservation. However, there is ample 
evidence that finishing schools and boarding schools which 
stressed the ornamental needle arts were available to the daugh- 
ters of affluent Southern planters just as they were for the 
children of wealthy New England merchants.*' It does, in 
fact, seem logical that the agrarian life would have fostered 
the patronage of boarding schools more than the convenient 
conditions of city dwelling.*' 

One point must not be overlooked: that decorative em- 
broideries were created by children of the upper classes, and 
if Southern girls devoted less attention to embroidery than 
their New England cousins, it was possibly because a variety 
of other pleasing diversions were open to them — diversions 
forbidden under the Puritan aegis.*^ The consequences of 
sinful idleness did not hover over them and the enforced 
industry of Puritan New England was foreign to their world. 

It cannot be denied that the chmate of the South was 
more conducive to outdoor pursuits, for there was not the 


forced confinement of Northern winters. Then too, the climatic 
effects upon industriousness have often been remarked upon, 
and references to Northern energy and Southern indolence 
abound. They are usually more legendary than factual; yet 
they tempt one to consider the opinion of the dashing Colonel 
Dandridge of Virginia. After viewing the sampler of Phila- 
delphia's Sally Wister in 1778, he bewailed the lack of such 
"needle wisdom" among the young Virginians with the un- 
flattering comment that they were the "laziest girls in the 

In any case, it may be logically assumed that Elizabeth 
Gardner Armston conducted a school in Norfolk from 1766 
through the year 1772 and possibly until 1775.'* Since Eliza- 
beth Boush worked a signed and dated Biblical embroidery 
while in attendance there, it is practically certain that her 
classmates created similar examples. Surely they, too, were 
English in character, and if they are unsigned, it will now be 
difficult or impossible to determine their origin with certainty. 
However, the emergence of Elizabeth Boush's needlework 
picture reminds us, that even at this late date, a group of 
Southern schoolgirl embroideries coidd yet appear. 

Mrs. Ring collects early American Schoolgirl embroideries 
and is particularly interested in research pertaining to their 
regional characteristics. She is a docent at the Bayou Bend 
Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. 


1. Thomas Woody, A History of Women's Education in the United 
States, 2 vols. (New York: Reprint by Octagon Books, 1974), 

2. Collection of the Concord Antiquarian Society, Concord, Mass. 

3. Lydia Hoopes of Goshen Township, Pa. embroidered a band 
sampler in 1765 which names Mrs. Hollis's School (Margaret 
B. Schiffer, Historical Needlework of Pennsylvania, Charles 
Scribner's Sons, New York 1968, p. 24). 

Hannah Foster of Evesham, N. J. signed a genealogical sampler 
in 1743 and stated "Elizabeth Sullivan taught me." This could 
have been a governess or a schoolmistress. A reference to a "Union 
Academy" in Salem, Mass. on the 1748 sampler of Mary Crowin- 
shield is questionable. (Ethel Stanwood Bolton and Eva Johnston 
Coe, American Samplers, The Massachusetts Society of the Colonial 
Dames in America, Thomas Todd Co., Boston 1921) pp. 40, 45. 


4. The earliest surviving colonial needlework may be Loara Standish's 
sampler. The daughter of Miles Standish, she was born in Ply- 
mouth in 1623. (Bolton & Coe, Frontispiece and p. 4). A canvas- 
work embroidery of the Southworth arms recorded in the 1657 
inventory of William Bradford may have been worked earlier 
in Plymouth by Alice Carpenter Southworth Bradford. {The 
Magazine Antiques, Nov. 1941, p. 280). 

The daughters of Gov. John Leverett of Massachusetts, born in 
Boston in 1651 and 1655, made an embroidered casket, probably 
about 1670. (Gertrude Townsend, "Notes on New England 
Needlework before 1800," The Bulletin of the Needle and 
Bobbin Club, 1944; Frontispiece and p. 7). 

5. Woody, 1: pp. 150-151, 219, 282-283. 

6. John L. Nevinson, Victoria and Albert Museum Catalogue of 
English Domestic Embroidery (London: His Majesty's Stationery 
Office, 1950) p. 38. 

7. Several exceptional groups of 18th century American embroideries 
are identifiable by style and technique. Among these are the 
following: an enormous group of canvas-work "Fishing Lady" 
pictures of the Boston area; Boston's Adam and Eve samplers 
of the 1740s; crinkly silk, long-stitched embroideries of Salem, 
Massachusetts, c. 1750-1790; Rhode Island samplers, c. 1760-1799; 
the band-type samplers and Dresden-work embroideries of Phila- 

8. Beginning in the Middle Ages, English embroidery became re- 
nowned for its perfection. In accord with these traditions, the 
English schoolgirl was forced to correct mistakes until her sampler 
or picture displayed flawless execution. Evidently, greater per- 
missiveness quickly developed in the colonies, and the resulting 
child-like qualities and naive imperfections found in American 
work are appealing to 20th century collectors. 

9. Averil Colby, Samplers (London: B. T. Batsford Ltd., 1964) 
pp. 118-124. Samplers were the first embroideries to mention a 
teacher and some, like the following, (Colby, p. 119) were worked 
in rhyme: 

Mary Wright is M(y) 
DL I wrought the sa 
me and Gooddy Readd wa 
s my dame 1669- 

10. Nevinson, p. 38. 

11. Nancy Graves Cabot, "Pattern Sources of Scriptural Subjects in 
Tudor and Stuart Embroideries" Bulletin of the Needle and 
Bobbin Club, Vol. XXX, New York 1946, p. 4. 

12. Homer Eaton Keyes, "The Editor's Attic" The Magazine Antiques, 
August' 1929, pp. 101-102. 

13. The Virginia Gazette or the American Advertiser, Richmond, Va. 
4 Sept. 1784, 1, col. 3. 


14. Pattern drawers for embroidery advertised in the Boston Gazette 
in 1737 and 1758. (Hope Hanley, Needlepoint in America, 
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1969, pp. 54-55). 

15. Mary Newton Stanard, Colonial Virginia Its People and Customs, 
(Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1917) p. 317. 

16. Thomas Thorne, "Eighteenth Century Painting in the South" 
The Magazine Antiques, March 1951, p. 205. 

17. Annie Lash Jester, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia 
1607-1623, (Sponsored by the Order of the First Families of 
Virginia, 1607-1624, second edition, 1964) pp. 241-242. 

18. Charles F. Mcintosh, Abstracts of Norfolk County Wills, 2 vols. 
(Richmond: The Colonial Dames of America in the State of 
Virginia, 1914-1922) 2: p. 139. 

19. Ibid. 

20. "1769 Aged 16" was written on the back of the portrait and 
copied when it was relined in recent years. See Carolyn J. Weekley, 
"Artists Working in the South" The Magazine Antiques, Vol. CX, 
No. 5, November 1976, pp. 1046-1047. 

21. The lace on Elizabeth's dress is typical of costly 18th century 
European lace. The light and open effect at the neckline suggests 
a bobbin lace. The artist must have taken some liberties, making 
it impossible to identify the type of lace with certainty; also, 
that on the sleeves appears to be a different type from the lace 
at the neckline, but this would not be especially unusual. I am 
grateful to lace authority, Virginia Churchill Bath, for this opinion. 

22. "Norfolk County Marriage Bonds" William and Mary Quarterly, 
Vol. 8 (2nd Series) Jan.-Oct. 1928; (Williamsburg, Va.: In- 
stitute of Early American History and Culture) p. 108. 

23. The Virginia Gazette, (Purdie & Dixon) Williamsburg, 3 Dec. 
1772, p. 2, col. 2. 

24. William and Mary Quarterly. Vol. 18, No. 2, Oct. 1909, p. 143. 

25. Ibid. 

26. Norfolk County Will Book No. 2, Will of Samuel Boush III, 
p. 232; (Court House, Chesapeake, Va.) In 1779 Samuel Boush was 
living in Brunswick County where he had evidently moved after 
the destruction of Norfolk in 1776. In 1779 he owned at least 
six plantations and much town property in Norfolk. 

27. Henry Read Mcllwaine, ed., Journals of the Council of the State 
of Virginia, 3 vols. (Richmond: The Virginia State Library, 
1931) 1: pp. 77-78. 

28. The Virginia Gazette, (Purdie) Williamsburg, 17 Nov. 1775, 2, 
col. 1. 

29. In May of 1793, no white person resided on the Travis plantation 
at Jamestown Island except the overseer, Joel Gathright, who was 
murdered by two Negro women named Daphney and Nell. 
( Virginia Calendar of State Papers, 1 1 vols., Wm. P. Palmer, ed., 
Virginia State Library, Kraus Reprint Corp., New York 1968) 
6: pp. 521, 532, 543. 


30. Research Department Files of the Colonial Williamsburg Founda- 
tion, Williamsburg, Va. 

31. DAR Patriot Index, (Washington: National Society of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution, 1966) p. 686. 

32. Charles B. Cross, Jr., ed.. Memoirs of Helen Calvert Maxwell Read, 
(Norfolk County Historical Society of Chesapeake, Va., 1970) 
pp. 39, 41. 

33. William Buchan taught in the public school of Norfolk Borough 
from 1761 until 1762. (Henry S. Rorer, History of Norfolk 
Public Schools, 1681-1968, typescript, 1968; Virginia State Library) 
pp. 4-5. If this was the same Buchan, it must have been following 
his year with the public school that he opened a "select school" 
attended by Helen Maxwell. It is not recorded elsewhere. 

34. The Virginia Gazette, (Purdie) 21 Mar. 1766, 3, col. 3. 

35. Woody, 1: p. 30. 

36. G. E. and K. K. Fussell, The English Countrywoman A. D. 
1300-1900, (New York: Benjamin Blom, Inc., 1971) pp. 106-107. 

37. Ibid., p. 107. 

38. Woody,!: p. 303. 

39. Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and Neiv York, 4 vols. 
(Cambridge, Mass., The Belknap Press of Harvard University 
Press, 1969), 1: p. 372. 

40. Edward Boykin, To the Girls and Boys, (New York: Funk and 
Wagnalls Co., 1964) p. 28. 

41. Woody, 1: p. 271. 

42. Isaac Samuel Harrell, Loyalism in Virginia, (Durham, N. C: 
Duke University Press, 1926) p. 33. 

43. South Carolina Gazette, 15 Feb. 1734/5, p. 3, col. 2. 

44. The Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, (Hunter) 17 Nov. 1752, 
p. 2, col. 2. 

45. All the skills E. Gardner Armston proposed to teach were 
mentioned .in advertisements of earlier colonial newspapers ex- 
cepting "wan work" which appeared in her advertisement of 
21 Mar. 1766. This term seems to be unknown and it was probably 
an error in printing "wax work." 

46. Norfolk County Court Order Book No. 1, p. 219 (21 Mar. 1769). 

47. "Abstracts from Norfolk County Marriage Bonds," Lower Norfolk 
County Antiquary, Vol. 4, Pt. 2, 1902, p. 61. 

48. Freer Armston was baptized 25 July 1738; Bishop's Transcripts 
for Blaby (1 D41/3) Leicestershire Record Office, Leicester, 

49. British Public Record Office Reference A.O. 13/27; Virginia 
State Library, Richmond, Va. 

50. The Virginia Gazette, (Purdie & Dixon) 11 July 1766, 2, col. 3. 

51. Ibid. 27 April 1769, 4, col. 1. 


52. Norfolk County Tithables 1750-1785, (Members of the Borough 
of Norfolk Chapters, National Society, Daughters of the American 
Revolution, 1954) p. 76. Armston advertised for the return of his 

"Irish Servant man who goes by the name of THOMAS FAY. 
He is about eighteen years of Age, wears his own Hair tied behind, 
walks bad," etc. {The Virginia Gazette, Purdie & Dixon, 11 
July 1771, 3, col. 3.) 

53. The Virginia Gazette, (Purdie & Dixon) 31 Mar. 1774, 3, col. 1. 

54. Harrell, p. 33. 

55. British Public Record Office; Virginia Survey Report No. 2391; 
Claim dated 30 Aug. 1777, (24 pages). 

56. William S. Forrest, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Norfolk 
and Vicinity, (Lindsay and Blakiston, Philadelphia 1853) p- 80. 

57. British Public Record Office; Virginia Survey Report No. 2391. 

58. Leicester Probate Court; Will of William Armston, dated 1 Nov. 
1776; PR/T/ 1777/8. Leicestershire Record Service. 

59- British Public Record Office; Virginia Survey Report No. 3243, 
13 Feb. 1786, pp. 405-409. 

60. See Note No. 7. 

61. Woody, 1: pp. 282-285. 

62. "Tutors frequently advertised for positions, but a majority of 
advertisements were inserted by families desiring teachers." 
(Woody, 1: p. 279). 

63. Woody, 1: p. 251. 

6A. Albert Cook Myers, ed., Sally Wister's Journal, A True Narrative, 
Philadelphia 1902, p. 159. 

65. Perhaps Elizabeth Gardner Armston had closed her school or 
had a rival when the following advertisement appeared in The 
Virginia Gazette or Norfolk Intelligencer of 4 August 1774. 

A Boarding School 

Mrs. Campbell begs leave to inform the Ladies, that 
she has taken a House near the Church, and intends 
opening a Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies, 
on Monday the 18th of July, where those who will please 
to favor her with the care of their Children, may 
depend on the strictest attention from their 

humble servant 

Susanna Campbell 
Norfolk, July 13 

Textile analysis courtesy of Mr. J. Frank King, 
Hanes Research and Development Laboratories. 


A Study of Baroque^ and GothicStyle Gravestones 
in Davidson County, T^orth Carolina 

Bradford L. Rauschenberg 

Next to architecture, one of the most permanent forms of 
decorative art is the gravestone. These sedentary art forms, at 
times clustering, thus prominent within a graveyard, are oc- 
casionally so different in appearance that one takes a second 
look. So is the case under study within the county of Davidson, 
south and adjacent to Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Fig. 1 ). 
Of the people settling the Piedmont in the eighteenth and early 
nineteenth centuries, the Germans and Swiss proportionately 
produced the most visually recognizable decorative art. Some 
is termed folk art. Such is the material culture of this study, 
in which gravestone carving is analyzed for its spatial and 

Figure 1. Location of Davidson County, North Carolina. 


temporal placement within its own self-imposed boundaries 
of Davidson county.' 

In recording these gravestones, two distinct styles of carving 
appeared: Baroque and Gothic;* both are retarditaire. This 
retention of style is what one should expect in most of the arts 
of the early Piedmont. These two styles were being produced 
in the first four decades of the nineteenth century. The purpose 
of this study was to photograph and record the 305 gravestones 
which exhibit characteristics of the Baroque and Gothic styles, 
all within ten cemeteries in Davidson County, carved between 
1803 and 1843. Many other graveyards in Davidson and 
neighboring counties were investigated, and there was always 
the desire that some forgotten family plot would yield other 
examples. Further search was unrewarding. 

The availability of stone determined to what extent the 
design element could be executed. In this case steatite (soap- 
stone), which occurs locally, was used exclusively. Geologically, 
soapstone is rich in talc, one of the softest minerals (hardness 
1-1.5), thus carving could be effected with ease. Carved edges, 
undoubtedly sharp at the time of execution, have worn with 
weather. Lichen also has its effect on gravestones. Vandalism 
and the careless use of lawnmowers are constantly taking 
their toll. 

The availability of an ideal medium set the stage for the 
development of the Baroque and Gothic styles as dictated by 
the traditions of the German and Swiss settlers. Welsh, English 
and Scotch-Irish also settled the area but, with the exception of 
names, no immediate decorative art influence can be observed 
in these gravestones. 

The transmission of concepts and traits is largely oral, as 
would be the case for travellers to the New World. However, 
in family Bibles and fraktur work, especially taufscheine (birth 
and baptismal certificates), were safely kept in Bibles and 
chests.* If these hand-decorated documents are studied, it is 
apparent that symbolism was highly developed and based both 
on religion and social custom. Proverbs, folk tales, folk songs, 
and superstitions also provide an excellent oral transmitter for 
symbolism. In expressing their culture through the decorative 
arts such as fraktur, ceramics, metalwork, furniture, and stone- 
work, these people began an immediately recognizable art 
style which today many call folk art. To some extent this may 
be true, but for the most part their art is as constant as the 







Figure 2a. Baroque Style Development (see text for explanation). Un- 
named, dated 1799 (backdated?), Bethany Church. Front vieiv. 



r J 

"cvL LAR 






i/^U !i ii i-iL; '' \ ' 


Figure 2b. Baroque Style Development (see text for explanation). 
Felix Gladfelter, 18 January 1814, Bethany Church. Front view. HO A 
181/2, WO A 165/4, DO A 2 inches. 





Figure 2c. Baroque Style Development (see text for explanation). 
Jones, 11 December, 1828, Abbotts Creek Church. Rear view. 
28, WO A 14V2, DO A 21/2 inches. 





Figure 2d. Baroque Style Development (see text for explanation). 
Daniel Wagoner, 12 October, 1827 , Bethany Church. Rear view. HOA 
26V2, WOA IW4, DO A 2V4 inches. 


Figure 2e. Baroque Style Development (see text jar explanation). Eliz- 
abeth Idol, 10 June, 1843, Abbotts Creek Church. Front view. 


" ". •» ? *••*■- ii .-"^ -> 

Figure 2f. Baroque Style Development (see text for explanation). Lucy 
DeLap, 12 May, 1834, Bethany Church. Front view. 


"factory" products of urban centers along the eastern seaboard. 
Thus, this combination of material and oral culture produces 
recurrent symbols in all of the Germanic decorative arts. 

One of the most prominent symbols is the swastika or 
fylfot, which is in actuality a cross and can also be interpreted 
as a sun. Another symbol is the tree of life, which is constantly 
being combined with the heart, the tulip, and the Ur-bogen or 
the concept of rebirth so often found at the base of many 
designs, often as a rising or setting sun. These are but a few of 
the major symbols, while the moon, putti, animals, vases, and 
endless compass-executed geometrical designs fill in spaces. 

One of the major transmitters of design is the aforemen- 
tioned taufschein. Numerous examples exist in Pennsylvania, 
Virginia and, to a lesser extent, in North Carolina. A major 
"school" of fraktur work in Piedmont North Carolina has 
been researched and may well center on an area quite near the 
center of the Baroque-style gravestones of this study. It is 
natural, as in birth, that gravestones should reflect the use of 
these same symbols. In Pennsylvania, the Valley of Virginia, 
and North Carolina this is true in decreasing order of intensity. 
The Baroque- and Gothic-style gravestones of Davidson County 
are an exception. Here the design elements are prominent. 
Abbots Creek Baptist and Pilgrim Lutheran and German Re- 
formed graveyards represent the major centers for the two styles. 

The Baroque style offers itself best at Abbotts Creek 
graveyard. Surviving examples from 1803 to 1843 chronologic- 
ally illustrate total development within a style, which also, like 
the Gothic, follows a three-part evolution: a definite beginning, 
peak development, and a decline as stronger styles are intro- 
duced by new carvers. The first phase of the Baroque is the 
solid gravestone with the simple ogee scalloped top, relying on 
the one line arched lettering for surface decoration (Fig. 2a). 
In the second phase arched lettering expands to several lines 
and fills the top half as does the history of the deceased the 
bottom half. The important element of piercing is added in this 
phase as a negative fylfot (Fig. 2b). This phase is twofold. 
A transition of carvers occurs and pedimentlike tops appear, 
complete with piercing, complex moldings, surface carving, and 
a no-two-alike enthusiasm to create showpieces unrivaled else- 
where (Figs. 2c, d). Phase three illustrates the decline of the 
Baroque style and the introduction of the Gothic style from 
Pilgrim Church (Figs. 2e, f). 


The Gothic style at Pilgrim graveyard evidences itself from 
1810 to 1843. The phases of its evolution, while not as ap- 
parent as those of the Baroque, are perhaps reflective of the 
more orthodox Lutheran religion. Here also are three phases. 
The first, reflecting Gothic architecture' with its variety of 
arch forms, yet simple and restrained, emerges (Figs. 3a, b). 
Phase two illustrates a further development of the Gothic style 
with its foils at the shoulders, reflective of church architecture 
and its tracery components (Figs. 3c, d). Also in this phase is 
seen the arched lettering (Figs. 3, c, d) as at Abbotts Creek. 
The third phase illustrates the decline of the Gothic style 
and the influence of the Baroque style from Abbotts Creek 
(Figs. 3e, f). 

The diffusion of the Baroque (Fig. 4a) and Gothic 
(Fig. 4b) styles throughout Davidson County is recognized 
in diminishing influence the further one travels from those 
two centers. The frequency of use of symbols or features and 



Figure 3a. Gothic Style Development (see text for explanation). 
Caderina Sauer, 12 December, 1816, Pilgrim Church, front view. 
no A 251/4, wo A 11 1/2, DO A 11/2 inches. 



Figure 3b. Gothic Style Development (see text for explanation). Henry 
Dorr, 11 May, 1816, Pilgrim Church. Front view. 

the volume of gravestones is shown in the graphs (Figs. 5a, b, 
c). Only three graveyards are shown because of space limita- 
tions, as were only the gravestones with the most pure and 
prominent features plotted. Of the 305 gravestones recorded 
173 were selected for this article. The remaining gravestones 
exhibit influences from other minor unidentified style centers 
and retain only minor Baroque- and Gothic-style features. 
Bethany Lutheran and German Reformed Church graveyard 
is included because of its volume of stones and geographical 
location between Abbotts Creek and Pilgrim (Figs. 4a, b). 
It is not considered a style center, however, as its designs are 
sporadic and diffused because of various subinfluences, evidenc- 
ing minor carvers. The influence of other carvers and styles is 
recognized in increasing amounts as one travels further from 
Abbotts and Pilgrim churches. The ten' graveyards and the 


Figure 5 
See fold-out page opposite 

Figure 3. Graphs of feature frequency. Width of line indicates volume. 
Dotted line indicates feature continues with no examples. A. Abbotts 
Creek, B. Bethany, C. Pilgrim. 










Figure 3c. Gothic Style Development (see text for explanation). George 
Spricker, 11 August, 1818, Pilgrim Church. Front view. HO A 25 Va, 
WO A 14, DO A 2 inches. 




■ ''■vi 

'- Mi 

Figure 3d. Gothic Style Development (see text for explanation). Adam 
Hetrich, 16 December 1813, Pilgrim Church. Front vieiv. HO A 20, 
WOA 13V4, DOA 21/4 inches. 


Figure 5e. Gothic Style Development (see text for explanation). Peter 
Lapp, 1827, Pilgrim Church, Front view. HO A 31, WO A 16, DO A 2 

Figure 3f. Gothic Style Development (see text for explanation). Sarah 
Zink, 22 October 1843, Pilgrim Church. Front view. 



7 miles to Salem 


Map of Davidson County 

Figure 4a. Map of Davidson County. Diffusion of Baroque Style to 
other graveyards from Abbotts Creek Church. Width of line indicates 
amount of influence. 


7 miles to Salem 














Map of Davidson County 

Figure 4b. Map of Davidson County. Diffusion of Gothic style to 
other graveyards from Pilgrim Church. Width of line indicates amount 
of influence. 


volume of Baroque- and Gothic-style examples are: 

Baroque Gothic 

Lutheran and German Reformed: 








St. Lukes 




Fair Grove 


Good Hope 
Spring Hill 




Abbotts Creek 





A single example of symbol debasement based on distance 
from the original source, time lapse, and the carver's ability 
and background is in order. The two gravestones (Figs. 6a, b) 
are but one example of this process common to all motif or 
symbol diffusion studies. Jersey Church, located twenty-six miles 
from Abbotts Creek Church, has a gravestone dated 1843 
(Fig. 6b). When compared with the 1822 gravestone of 
Abbotts Creek (Fig. 6a), it immediately becomes apparent that 
the tree-of-life symbol has been drastically diluted and the 
complex molding so reduced that both elements are vestigial. 

A comparison of the graphs (Figs. 5a, b, c) will illustrate 
the chronological decline of design elements. If the graphs of 
the other graveyards were illustrated, it would be seen that 
many examples exhibit this symbol debasement. 

Aside from the prominent pedimentlike top of the Baroque- 
style gravestones, the fylfot is the most recognizable symbol, 
and its use has an interesting effect on a Baroque stone (Fig. 
2d). This piercing produces a tracerylike effect which is of 
Gothic concept. 

When the fylfots are compared in all of the graveyards, the 
variations are reflective of the carver's ingenuity (Fig. 7). 
It will be noticed that the variation is in a positive ( Figs. 7c, d, 
e, f) and negative (Figs. 7a, b) attitude. Also there is a right 
or left direction of the fylfot and the number of arms varies. 
The method of centering the fylfot with either a shaft (Fig. 7c) 
or with lobes (Figs. 7a, b), in combination with the other 


variations, produces a most pleasing interpretation of the basic 

The epitaphs on the gravestones in this study can be sum- 
marized in one graveyard — Abbotts Creek (Figs. 7a, c). 
This was the only graveyard which exhibited verse epitaphs. 
All the others contain only the briefest information (Fig. 7b), 
with an occasional place of birth (Fig. 2b, Zurrick). That 
Abbotts Creek Baptist Church is essentially Calvinist is in- 
teresting, as today in Switzerland there are no Lutherans, only 
Calvinists and Zwinglians.* The epitaphs bear a strong re- 
semblance to New England gravestones and Protestantism. 

Most of the verses are in couplet form: 

Loving husband and children dear 
It was in my prime I left you here 
On earth our time was spent in love 
In hopes again to meet above 
I am gone into that happy place 
Where I shall see you face to face.' 

The gravestone of the child Joseph S. Williams (Fig. 7c) is an 
exception to the couplet verse. It is a quatrain: 

Farewell my parents here below 
Though much you do me love 
My Jesus calls and I must go 
To reign with him above. 

Comparison of epitaphs found on published New England 
gravestones cannot be made here, but it appears that the North 
Carolina carver had a source-book' for verses, the family of 
the deceased gave the carver the verse or we have found a 
Piedmont poet. 

While discussing epitaphs it should be noted that Abbotts 
Creek did not contain gravestones with German wording. The 
carvers utilized Roman letters on most gravestones. One of the 
exceptions is Peter Lapp's 1827 Gothic gravestone at Pilgrim 
Church (Fig. 3e) which exhibits lettering of the Schwabach 
type" so often seen on fraktur work. This is a good example of 
Gothic style lettering on a transitional Gothic style gravestone. 

It is a problem to analyze the many hands which carved 
epitaphs. Time lapse between the carving of the stone design 
and the lettering is difficult to determine. Also is the question 
of when the gravestone was placed after' interment. On some 


finely carved gravestones it is apparent that an amateur added 
the words. In a few instances it was noted that a Baroque style 
gravestone of the 1830 phase was backdated for a grave of a 
much earlier death. Also noted were stones obviously made by 
late nineteenth century stonecutters to match 1830 Baroque 
styles, perhaps to complement other family stones. 

As to the carvers of gravestones, it should be recognized 
that, in the case of Davidson County stones, 1803 to 1843, we 
are dealing with a rural setting as compared with an urban 
coastal city such as Newport, Rhode Island or Charleston, 
South Carolina,'* with a high population and an inconsistent 
death rate.''' In the urban centers gravestone carvers were also 
involved in making architectural parts for the building trades. 
The rural gravestone carver worked that trade only parttime, 
and he usually had a more stable economic base. 

Wfl*^' • y ) ,^ K 

Figure 6a. Tree of Life debasement. Sarah Davis, 20 January, 1822, 
Abbotts Creek Church. Rear view. HOA 24V2, WOA 14V2, DOA 
21/2 inches. 


Figure 6b. Tree of Life debasement. Jane Park. 7 November, 1843, 
Jersey Church. Rear vieiv. 

In Salem, North Carolina, for example, Traugott Leinbach, 
silversmith and clockmaker, was advised by the Elders of the 
Moravian Church in 1831 "not to bring the large gravestone 
on which he has been working for the grave of a gentleman 
from South Carolina, who died here [Salem], on the grave- 
yard."'* It had previously been emphasized to Leinbach that 
"It would be a pity if the simplicity and equality which has 
hitherto characterized our stones in the graveyard were to be 
marred by the contemplated setting of a [large] stone."'* 
The early Salem Moravians maintained a controlled society 
which today is still recognized in the graveyards throughout 
Moravian communities." Because of the simplicity of the 
gravestones several craftsmen could engage in this side oc- 
cupation with uniform results. 

In another Piedmont town, Salisbury, North Carolina, a 
turner was also involved with gravemarkers. William R. 
Hughes advertised in 1833 "that he still carried on the Chair & 
Bedstead Making Business . . . and will make head and foot 
boards for Graves complete; lettered or plain."' ^ Occasionally 


Figure 7. Variations in fylfoi designs. 

Figure 7a. 


,1 HI.'.j,,! I I Of'/;, 
. IJKH, , ,, , ^/Vi3 

Figure 7b. 

V «-;.X 



Figure 7d. 

Figure 7 e. 

Figure 7/. 


wooden markers are found in graveyards, long illegible. There 
is evidence of European graves being marked with wood and 
iron'* markers, and it was probably also done in back-country 
Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

It is of particular interest to relate the finding of a white 
paint laid over a yellow paint layer on the base of the Baroque- 
style gravestone of Deliah Roberts at Abbotts Creek, dated 
1836. After extensive examination of most all the gravestones 
of this study no other evidence of paint was found. In Salem, 
however, the Elders in 1803 recorded that "In regard to the 
gravestones, we think that the Brethren and Sisters may choose 
the type of lettering they prefer, and the color of the paint."" 
The author has been unable to locate further evidence of painted 
gravestones in America. 

It must have been a visually exciting view to see a grave- 
yard ablaze with color, especially with the Baroque style of the 
Davidson County gravestones. If the stones were in polychrome, 
it would bring the parallel even closer to that of the taujschein 
where life begins. 

Though not painted, the Swisegood school of furniture 
made in Davidson County bears strong resemblance to the 
Baroque gravestones of that county. Like the gravestones, no 
two corner cupboards are identical, though more restrained 
in detail. 

The Swisegood school of cabinetmakers began as early as 
1809 with Mordica Collins (born March 22, 1783), who, in 
1810, took John Swisegood as apprentice to the cabinetmaker 
and joiner trade. In 1816 or 1817 Collins moved to Indiana 
and Swisegood subsequently took Jesse Clodfelter and Jonathan 
Long as apprentices. Long continued the school for thirteen 
years after Swisegood moved to Illinois in 1845. The exact 
location of Swisegood's shop has been impossible to spot. Land 
transactions point to the Reedy Branch, a prong of the Brushy 
Fork of Abbotts Creek (Fig. 4). This area is no more than 
twelve miles from Abbotts Creek graveyard. If this is not the 
site for the shop, it was probably closer, as we find that Swise- 
good ran a sawmill in sight of Abbotts Creek graveyard. 

The furniture of the Swisegood school is best represented 
for our purpose by a corner cupboard attributed to Collins 


Figure 8a. Corner cupboard attributed to Mordica Collins, ca. 1810. 
Walnut with yellow pine. HO A 94 inches. MESDA acquisition number 

Figure 8b. Detail of pediment in 8a. 


?}Vt ."«;;•.> ,'^ 

Figure 8c. Rear view of gravestone from Bethany Church showing 
similarity with door shape as in 8a. 

Figure 8d. Front view of gravestone from Bethany showing pediment 
similarity with 8b. 




.,--■•■- " - 


Figure 9a. Molding comparison between side of gravestone (1) from 
Abbotts Creek Church and medial ?nolding of Sivisegood corner cup- 
board (2), MESDA Research Files S-333. 

(Figs. 8a, b). Similar cupboards were also produced by 
Swisegood, but the details and moldings of this particular 
cupboard best compare with the Baroque-style gravestones 
(Figs. 8c, d, 9a, b). 

The final comparison can be made with the time period of 
the Baroque style and the same time period for the Swisegood 
school (Figs. 5a, b, c). They are identical. Further, this is 
the only school of furniture known from Davidson County. 

It is regrettable that research has not located a single stone 
that was signed, nor were any carvers' names found in estate 
settlement records. "" All evidence points to the conclusion that 
the Swisegood school cabinetmakers either produced the Baroque 
style gravestones or were very influential in their design. 

The Baroque- and Gothic-style gravestones from Davidson 
County, North Carolina, represent a unique development in 
the United States. They are the only examples of pierced work 
known to the author. It is hoped that this article will stimulate 
scholars to research and publish more on Pennsylvania, Virginia, 
and North Carolina gravestones, an often overlooked decorative 
art manifestation, very important to the interpretation of our 
past culture. 


Figure 9b. Profile comparison between rosette of Collins corner cup- 
board (1, 2) and side of gravestone from Abbotts Creek Church (5, 4). 
Profile of gravestone (3). 

Air. Rauschenberg is Research Fellow at the Museurn of 
Early Southern Decorative Arts. 



1. Davidson County was formed from Rowan County on December 
9, 1822, with Lexington as the county seat. See M. Jewell Sink and 
Mary Green Matthews, Pathfinders Past and Present: A History 
of Davidson County North Carolina (n.p., 1972), pp. 33-44. 

2. These terms were decided upon because two distinct shapes were 
recognized and reflect patterns of the Baroque and Gothic European 
periods of material culture. In lieu of the term provincial before 
Baroque and Gothic, style will be used after each term as an under- 
standing that we are dealing with a back-country interpretation' 
of the two styles. For a discussion and interpretation of "provincial 
Baroque" as it relates to New England gravestones see Allan I. 
Ludwig, Graven Images (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 
1966), pp. XXIX, 237. Also see John Bivins, Jr., "Baroque Ele- 
ments in North Carolina Moravian Furniture," Journal of Early 
Southern Decorative Arts, 1976 Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 38-63. See also 
Klaus Wust, Folk Art in Stone (Edinburg: Shenandoah History, 
1970). This is an excellent short survey of gravestones and 
symbols of southwestern Virginia. For a short article which pictures 
ceramic gravemarkers see J. Roderick Moore, "Folk Crafts," Arts 
in Virginia (Richmond: Virginia Museum, 1971), Vol. 12, No. 1, 
pp. 26, 27, Figs. 8, 9, p. 28, Fig. 10. Preston A. Barber, Pennsyl- 
vania German Tombstones (Allentown: The Pennsylvania German 
Folklore Society, 1954), Vol. 18. For an archaeologist's viewpoint 
see Edwin Dethlefsen and James Deetz, "Death's Heads, Cherubs, 
and Willow Trees: Experimental Archaeology in Colonial Ceme- 
teries," American Antiquity (Salt Lake City: University of Utah 
Printing Service, 1966), Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 602-510. 

3. Thomas L. Watson and Francis B. Laney, "The Building and 
Ornamental Stones of North Carolina," North Carolina Geological 
Survey (Raleigh: E. M. Uzzell, 1906), Bulletin No. 2, pp. 126-127. 

4. Klaus Wust, Virginia Fraktur: Penmanship as Folk Art (Edinburg: 
Shenandoah History, 1972), p. 27, Figs. 41, 42. 

5. John Joseph Stoudt, Pennsylvania German Folk Art (AJlentown: 
The Pennsylvania German Folklore Society, 1966), Vol. 28, 
pp. 99-126. 

6. John Bivins, Jr., "Fraktur in the South: An Itinerant Artist," 
Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts. 1975, Vol. I, No. 2, 
pp. 1-23. 

7. See, for example, John Harris and Jill Lever, Illustrated Glossary of 
Architecture 850-1830 (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1966), 
Figs. 44-67. 

8. Letter, Robert Wildhaber, Basel, Switzerland, to author, 27 
August, 1977. 

9. Epitaph of Elisabeth Bodenhamer, born June 2, 1772, died August 
12, 1803. This gravestone is at Abbotts Creek and is an example of 
backdating. For other examples see Ludwig, op. cit., p. 409. 


10. New England gravestone designs indicate that emblem books, 
woodcuts and engravings were source material for designs on 
decorated gravestones. See Ludwig, op. cit., pp. 274-283- 

11. Franz Sales Meyer, Handbook of Ornament (New York: Dover 
Publications, Inc., 1957), pp. 534, 537. 

12. Such a gravestone carving shop in the urban town of Newport 
has been discussed in Esther Fisher Benton, "The History of the 
John Stevens Shop," Bulletin of the Neivport Historical Society 
(Newport: Wilkinson Press, Inc., 1963) No. 112, October pp. 
3-33. In the City Gazette of the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S. C., 
October 13, 1791, p. 4, Robert Given, stonecutter, advertises that 
"he has on hand a general assortment of Gravestones, of different 
sizes and qualities, some of them richly ornamented. . . ." This is 
a good example of pre-cut gravestones. 

13- In Charleston the death rate varied abruptly because of the yellow 
fever. The Raleigh (N.C ) Register, September 12, 1817 reported, 
for example, that the "Mortality in Charleston — from the 24th 
to the 31st of last month, there were 62 deaths, 32 of which were 
of yellow fever." MESDA Research Index. 

14. Minutes of the Elders Conference, Salem, November 30, 1831, 
Moravian Archives, Winston-Salem, N. C. 

15. Minutes of the Aufseher Collegium, November 28, 1831, Moravian 
Archives, Winston-Salem, N. C. 

16. The Moravian graveyards are laid off according to choir groups 
into squares for married women and widows, married men and 
widowers, single men and boys and single women and girls. All 
gravestones are the same: square in shape and flat lying, with little 
wording, a symbol of the equality in death. 

17. James H. Craig, The Arts and Crafts in North Carolina (Lynch- 
burg: J. P. Bell Co., Inc., 1966), as quoting the Western Carolinian, 
Salisbury, N. C, May 27, 1833. 

18. lona Plath, The Decorative Arts of Sweden (New York: Dover 
Publications, Inc., 1966), p. 86. 

19- Elders Conference, March 16, 1806, Moravian Archives, Winston- 
Salem, N. C. Here also might be mentioned evidence found at 
Abbotts Creek of letters being filled in with melted sulphur. Six 
were found, all of the 1840s and 1860s. None were of either the 
Baroque or Gothic style. This could well be the end evidence of 
filling in letters wtih putty such as the mention in the records of 
the Congregational Conference of Salem, N. C, January 16, 1783, 
that "We shall carefully maintain the harmony so far kept up 
with gravestones in our Salem Grave Yard. . . . We shall also try 
to find some putty to fill the letters with." This use of putty or 
sulfur in gravestones is also seen in the furniture of Pennsylvania, 
Virginia and occasionally North Carolina. 

20. Frank L. Horton and Carolyn J. Weekley, The Swisegood School of 
Cahinetmaking (Winston-Salem, N. C., The Museum of Early 
Southern Decorative Arts, 1973)- 


21. This probably indicates that the gravestone was ordered, made and 
placed on the grave long after the estate was settled. Several entries 
were found in estate settlements for all the master cabinetmakers in 
the Swisegood school as being paid for a coffin, Swisegood himself 
being the most often mentioned. 

Appreciation for assistance in the preparation of material 
associated with this survey and article is extended to Jean, my 
u'ife, for listening and riding long hours in search of grave- 
stones: Miss Paula Welshimer also for many miles in the 
country: Miss Louise Stevenson for artistic u'ork in preparing 
the maps and graphs: to Miss Betty Dahill for searching the 
estate records in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Frank Horton 
for his special insight. 


Charles Peak Pol}{: Gold Profiles on Glass 

Whaley Batson 

From shadow tracing on cave walls to the invention of a 
profile drawing machine by Gilles-Louis Chretien of France 
in 1786, the profile drawing passed from amateur execution 
into the hands of the professional artist. The invention of the 
machine known as the physiognotrace, introduced a further 
refinement, making it possible to turn out likenesses quickly 
and inexpensively. Not all profiles were the familiar miniature 
black cutouts. Working in New York in the 1750s was an 
expatriate Frenchman, Charles Balazar Fevret de Saint-Memin. 
He developed his own physiognotrace' and travelled from New 
York to Charleston, South Carolina, and cities in between, 
making life-size portraits with his machine. Saint-Memin crayon- 
ed in the physical features of his sitters to produce a likeness 
closer to a portrait. Other artists working in pastels^ and oil 
show a reliance on a profile machine. In 1806, Cephas Thomp- 
son patented what he called a "delineating machine,"^ and he 
painted a number of full-sized portraits in oil on canvas at 
this period in Richmond which look as if they might be based 
on outlines drawn by his machine. Such a machine was also 
used in outlining on glass or on gold leaf on glass. 

The Field Research Program of the Museum of Early 
Southern Decorative Arts has in the last years photographed 
eight of these verre eglomise profiles. Three are signed "C. P. 
Polk Fecit" and the other five are stylistically attributed to 
Polk. Two other signed gold profiles by Polk are in the col- 
lection of the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester, 
Massachusetts. The profiles were done on gold leaf on glass. 


The lines were engraved in reverse from the back. The gold 
leaf outside the profile outline was carefully scraped away 
and the details were shown by hatching and cross-hatched 
lines. The glass was then painted black to throw the engraving 
in relief. An article discussing this art form referred to the 
medium as "very rare indeed."" Although more such engravings 
are now documented, they are still relatively rare. The fragility 
of the medium probably accounts for this rarity, as glass break- 
age, except for clean break, destroys the image. Also the 
black paint used as a background for the gold relief deteriorates 
with age, humidity, and general lack of care. 

The technique of verre eglomise was used in the decorative 
arts of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century as well 
as in portraiture. Rectangular looking glasses of the period 
were decorated in this fashion, often using color rather than 
black and gold. Baltimore cabinetmakers incorporated the black 
and gold glass panels in various furniture forms. Usually the 
figures were allegorical. (Fig. 1). Inasmuch as Polk started 
his career in Baltimore,^ he was probably familiar with the 
technique employed there. His Baltimore advertisements from 
1785 to 1798, however, deal with his solicitations for portrait 
commissions, his drawing school, his real estate, and his 
merchandising involvements. Competition in and around Balti- 
more was keen; and listed in the MESDA Research Index are 
the names of about thirty artists working in and around Balti- 
more at this period. Three of the most prominent were Charles 
Willson Peale and his sons Rembrandt and Raphaelle, uncle 
and cousins of Polk. As a result, Polk was obviously having 
his problems establishing himself. Between the years 1785 
and 1806 he advertised in Alexandria and Richmond, Virginia, 
and Hagerstown and Baltimore, Maryland. However, until his 
Richmond advertisement of 1806,' there is no mention of 
his working in gold profiles on glass. 

On June 10, 1803, John Wesley Jarvis and his partner, 
Joseph Wood, advertised in the New York Herald the use of 
a physiognotrace to "execute Likenesses . . . either on glass or 
on paper."' Later, in correspondence with William Dunlap, 
Jarvis wrote that he made profiles on gold leaf "shadowing a 
little by hatching."* Also, a Mr. Morden, a miniature painter 
in Savannah, Georgia, in 1804 advertised a machine for 
taking profiles "on glass, gold leaf."' Prices varied from five 
dollars charged in New York by Jarvis to the three dollar 


Figure 1. Baltimore table, mahogany and ma- 
hogany veneer, ivith poplar and ebony inlay and 
painted glass panels. The panels are signed 
"Mitchell" and are at present the only known 
signed panels. HO A 57 Vs, WO A Vs, DO A 19 
inches. MESDA Research File S-40^2. Private 


charge advertised by Polk. Compared to miniatures painted on 
ivory, profiles, even gold profiles on glass, were less expensive 
probably contributing to their popularity. 

Charles Peale Polk was the nephew of the celebrated artist 
Charles Willson Peale. After the death of Polk's parents in 
the 1770s, he became a member of the Peale household. Peale 
felt that, with intelligence and persistence, talent in painting 
could be developed. Accordingly, he instructed the members 
of his household in drawing correctness. "After years of patient 
tutelage, Polk still painted with harshness of line and color, 
a stiff and awkward effort at precision. "'° Perhaps it is just this 
"stiff and awkward effort at precision" that makes the gold 
profiles so delightful. 

Polk's use of a difficult medium requiring infinite patience 
and care in execution does show confidence on his part. Here 
the drawing correctness taught him by his uncle was put to 
good use. Polk never mentions using a profile machine, but 
his outlines do look as if that could have been the case. Seven 
of the profiles which have been photographed are round and 
measure either 3V2x3V2 inches, sight, or 4-3/16x41/8 to 
3/16 inches, sight. The rectangular one is 6^x4 5^ inches. 
The round profiles are framed in period wooden frames gilded 
and the rectangular one has a yellow pine frame, also gilded. 

Polk's placement of the profile and his meticulous attention 
to details such as eye and lash delineation are good. His use 
of hatching and cross hatching to indicate costume detail com- 
pletes the total effect. The subjects in Polk's engravings are 
representative of what we like to call the "solid middle class." 
Mrs. Norris (Fig. 2) wears an empire dress with a high neck 
and her hair is modestly covered with a soft beribboned cap. 
Her costume, complete with cap was typical of the dignified 
matron as opposed to the younger Milly Garnett (Fig. 3). 
Miss Garnett was engraved wearing her hair swept upward 
from the nape of her neck over the crown of her head and 
held in place a la mode with a decorative comb. The wisps 
of hair on the forehead were an attempt at curls — a simple 
type of coiffure compared to those in the Saint-Memin profiles." 
The profiles of the men show no hair worn in the high fashion 
curly topknots; rather, the hair comes straight down from the 
crown in sharply delineated lines (Fig. 4). Two sets of the 
round profiles are conversational portraits of husbands and wives. 



Figure 2. MRS. RICHARD NORRIS. nee 
Sarah Newley, Lancaster County, Virginia, 3 ^/? x 
3V2 inches, sight. The black-painted surface of 
the glass shoivs considerable deterioration. MES- 
DA Research File S-6780. Private collection. 

Figure 3. MILLY GARNETT. c. 1810, 4-3/16 
x4V8 inches, sight. Fortunately the break in 
the glass is to the right of the figure. In the 
profile engraving of her sister (Susan Wood, 
nee Garnett), the same type of name strip 
appears. The sisters' profiles are companion 
portraits. MESDA Research File S-4^51. Pri- 
vate collection. 


Figure 4. MR. RICHARD NORRIS, Lancaster 
County, Virginia, 5V2 x 3V2 inches, sight. The 
striped vest shows an emphasis on costume 
unusual in Polk's profiles. Signed. MESDA 
Research File S-6779. Private collection. 






HVV *''^ ^^V 





^■B^ " % 



Figure 3. "C. P. Polk Fecit." This inscription 
appears on the profile of HENSHEA GILLIAM, 
Prince George County, Virginia. CYs x 4V8 
inches, sight. This close-up also shows the 
hatching and cross-hatching used to distinguish 
the sleeve from the ivaistcoat. The black spots, 
center, and toward the right are due to loss of 
the gold leaf. MESDA Research File S-7169. 
Private collection. 


Of the three signed profiles photographed by MESDA Research 
and the two signed ones owned by the American Antiquarian 
Society, all are men. 

In these profiles we see an elegance in medium handled in 
a realistic style. Small, intimate drawings like these are close to 
the personal tradition of miniatures on ivory. As such, these 
little pieces of art must have been cherished by the sitters and 
members of their families. They reflect the importance of the 
individual in the new American republic — a focus on the 
person with minimal distractions of dress and accoutrements of 
social standing. 

Mrs. Baison is a Senior Hostess at the Museuvi of Early 
Southern Decorative Arts. 


1. Fillmore Norfleet, Saint-Memin in Virginia: Portraits and Bi- 
ographies (Richmond, Virginia: The Dietz Press, 1942); p. 13 
gives a good description of the physiognotrace. 

2. Harold E. Dickson, John Wesley Janis. American Painter 1780- 
1840 (New York: The New York Historical Society, 1949), 
p. 66. 

3. Shown in a watercolor rendering in The Smithsonian, Vol. 6, No. 6, 
September 1975. 

4. Alice Van Leer Carrick, "Novelties in Old American Profiles," 
Antiques, Vol. CIV, October 1928, p. 322. 

5. MESDA Research Index. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Dickson, op. cit.. p. 65. 

8. William Diinlap, History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of 
Design in the United States (New York: George P. Scott & Co., 
Printers, 1834), Vol. II, p. 77. 

9. MESDA Research Index. 

10. Charles Coleman Sellers, The Artist of the Revolution: The Early 
Life of Charles Willson Peale (Hebron, Connecticut: Feather and 
Good, Publishers, 1939), p. 264. 

11. Norfleet, op. cit., p. 101. These photographs provide an interesting 
comparison in costuming and hair styles to some Saint-Memin 


Members of Mesda 

(as of October 1, 1977) 


Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Adams 

Miss Ada H. Allen 

Miss Annie Allen 

Mr. Carl Barnes 

Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Butler, Jr. 

Mr. John Caldwell 

Mrs. Anna Cooper 

Mr. James Craig 

Mr. and Mrs. John deBraganza 

Mr. G. Wilson Douglas, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. 

Douglas, III 
Mr. Edward Durell 
Dr. and Mrs. H. Frank Forsyth 
Mrs. John C. Goddin 
Mrs. Bahnson Gray 
Mr. Thomas Gray 
Miss Drewry Hanes 
Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge C Hanes 
Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. Hanes 
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes 
Mr. and Mrs. James G. Hanes, III 
Mr. and Mrs. John W. Hanes 
Mr. and Mrs. R. Philip Hanes, Jr. 

Mrs. Ralph P. Hanes 

Mr. and Mrs. Miles C Horton 

Mr. and Mrs. George Kaufman 

Mr. and Mrs. Otto E. Liipfert 

Mrs. Alfred Marks 

Miss Grizzelle M. Norfleet 

Mr. and Mrs. Bradford L. 

Mrs. Nancy Susan Reynolds 
Mr. and Mrs. Norwood Robinson 
St. Joe Minerals Corporation 
Mr. G. Gray Simpson, Jr. 
Mrs. William Spach 
Mr. and Mrs. David Stockwell 
Mrs. James Stone 
Mr. and Mrs. William B. 

Mrs. Philip Wallis 
Dr. and Mrs. George Waynick 
Mrs. William Wilkins 
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Williams 
Mrs. J. Saunders Williamson 
Mr. and Mrs. William T. 

Wilson, Jr. 


Mr. Bernard Gray 

Mr. and Mrs. Earl F. Slick 


Brunschwig & Fils, Inc. 

Cozart Packing Company, Inc. 



Dr. Laurence S. Alspaugh 
Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Bergman 
Mr. and Mrs. Joe S. Byerly 
Mr. and Mrs. Alex. Henderson 

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Gray 
Mrs. S. Wilson Gray 
Mr. Henry D. Green 
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald E. Griffin 
Mrs. Spencer B. Hanes, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. Cleve Garrett Harris 
Mrs. Robert Powell Holding, Jr. 

Dr. and Mrs. S. Edward Izard 
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Millhouse 
Mr. and Mrs. Victor L. Minter 
Dr. and Mrs. John Monroe 
Mrs. Joe S. Rice 
Mr. and Mrs. John S. Rider 
Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Schwerin 
Mrs. Henry Stultz 
Mr. and Mrs. Meade H. Willis, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. 
Wright, Jr. 


Dr. and Mrs. Eben Alexander, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Archie G. Allen, Jr. 

Dr. and Mrs. William B. Alsup, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. George H. Aull, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Martin L. Ball, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Carl O. Blakley, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Sam L. Booke, Jr. 

Dr. Richard B. Boren 

Mr. and Mrs. Henry P. Bridges, Jr. 

Mrs. DeLeon Britt 

Mrs. Charles R. Brown 

Mrs. Mary Leake Caine 

Mrs. Francis G. Carter 

Mr. Campbell Cawood 

Mrs. Hugh G. Chatham 

Mr. and Mrs. Karl H. Clauset 

Mr. and Mrs. Giles Cromwell 

Mr. and Mrs. George Daniel 

Mr. and Mrs. David E. Day, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Judson D. DeRamus 

Miss Evelyn Byrd Deyerle 

Dr. and Mrs. Henry P. Deyerle 

Dr. and Mrs. Franklin Dill 

Mr. and Mrs. James S. Dowdell 

Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Dunn 

Mrs. W. H. Entwistle, Jr. 

Mrs. James Fenwick 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Gant 

Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Gardner 

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Gray 

Mr and Mrs. Lyons Gray 

Dr. and Mrs. W. Ken Haisty, Jr. 

Mrs. P. Huber Hanes, Jr. 

Mrs. C G. Hill 

Mr. and Mrs. William K. Hoyt 

Dr. and Mrs. Allen W. Huffman 

Mr. and Mrs. Victor G. Jamison, Jr. 

Mr. James L. Jefferson 

Mr. Matt Ransom Johnston 

Mr. and Mrs. Theodore C Kerner 

Dr. Stewart E. Kohler 

Mrs. O. K. LaRoque, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Lockwood 

Mr. Chilton H. McDonnell 

Mr. Samuel E. Mcintosh 

Dr. and Mrs. E. H. Martinat 

Mr. and Mrs. Karl E. Miller 

Dr. and Mrs. Lee Potter 

Dr. and Mrs. Richard C Proctor 

Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Reynolds 

Mrs. June S. Rhea 

Mrs. Gregg Ring 

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Sears, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Emil N. Shaffner 

Mr. John M. Shank 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles N. Siewcrs 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Simms 

Mr. Albert W. Smith 

Dr. and Mrs. Gordon Smith 

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph E. Spaugh 


ACTIVE MEMBERS (continued) 

Mr. and Mrs. R. Arthur 

Spaugh, Jr. 
Mrs. Frederic Sturmer 
Mr. and Mrs. Mills Taylor 
Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Teague 
Mrs. Ann F. Thorne 
Miss Elizabeth Trotman 
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Vogler 
Mr. Leslie E. Warrick, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. John F. 

Watlington, Jr. 
Dr. and Mrs. David Welker 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wellman 

Mr. and Mrs. Wyndham 

Mr. and Mrs. John R. Williams 
Mrs. T. Ben Williams 
Mr. and Mrs. John W. 

Dr. and Mrs. Roger M. 

Winborne, Jr. 
Mrs. William F. Womble 
Mr. and Mrs. George Wright 
Dr. and Mrs. R. Lewis Wright 
Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Wright 


Mr. and Mrs. E. Osborne 

Ayscue, Jr. 
Dr. and Mrs. Philip Bach 
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick G. 

Mr. and Mrs. James C. Barrow 
Mr. and Mrs. William C. Batson 
Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Beardsley 
Mrs. R. P. Bivins and 

Miss Sidney Holmes 
Mr. and Mrs. Rufus G. Bost 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Brim 
Mr. Gene R. Buck and 

Mr. Ralph H. Mann, Jr. 
Dr. and Mrs. Lindley Butler 
Mr. and Mrs. Zachary T. 

Bynum, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. Michael O. Cheek 
Colonel and Mrs. Charles F. Collier 
Dr. and Mrs. Merrimon 

Mr. and Mrs. Harry B. Dennis, Sr. 
Mr. and Mrs. Larry E. Elliott 
Mr. and Mrs. Howell M. Epperly 
Mr. and Mrs. Armand W. Estes 
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Fagg 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Frackelton 
Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Gavin 
Mr. and Mrs. James M. Gaynor 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles N. 

Gignilliat, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. William T. Graham 
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Gray 
Mr. and Mrs. William W. Griffin 
Mr. and Mrs. F. Borden Hanes, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Hicklin, Jr. 
Dr. and Mrs. Dale Higbee 
Mr. and Mrs. C. Roger Hill 
Mr. and Mrs. John H. Hill 
Mr. and Mrs. A. Cleaver Hillman 
Dr. and Mrs. Alanson Hinman 
Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Hofheimer, II 
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Holstein 
Dr. and Mrs. Jay Hopkins 
Miss Sarah Norman Jones and 

Mrs. R. Ferdinand Jones 
Mr. and Mrs. William F. Kayhoe 
Mr. and Mrs. David Lindquist 
Mr. and Mrs. Albert C. Littlejohn 
Mr. and Mrs. William McGehee 
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Mann, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Mason 
Mr. and Mrs. John G. Medlin, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander M. Moore 
Mr. and Mrs. William T. Mowery 
Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Murphy 
Mr. and Mrs. William L. North 
Mr. and Mrs. John B. Parker 


JOINT MEMBERS (continued) 

Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 
Mr. and Mrs. 

O. C. Pennington, Jr. 
Wayne E. Keynolds 
Thomas B. Rice 
Bob L. Robertson 
Robert D. Shore, Jr. 
Edgar Sittig 
Eugene Smith 
James E. Smith 
R. Arthur Spaugh 
G. Edwin Spitzmiller 

Mr. and Mrs. Willis Stallings 
Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Stewart 
Mr. and Mrs. John E. Tankard, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. Dan Taylor 
Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Wade, Jr. 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Whitton 
Ms. Kay P. Williams and 

Dr. E. Newsom Williams 
Mr. and Mrs. Clyde C Yancey 


Mrs. Carlisle Adams 
Mr. C. Ralph Arthur, Jr. 
Mr. H. Parrott Bacot 
Miss Barbara C Batson 
Mr. Fairfax M. Berkley 
Mrs. Dorothy Baker Billings 
Mrs. Alfred E. Bissell 
Mrs. Bates Block 
Mrs. W. L. Bond 
The Reverend William Hill 

Brown, III 
Mr. John A. Burrison 
Mrs. Ruth L. Butler 
Mrs. Saul Caston 
Mrs. Warren H. Channel 
Mrs. j. B. Cheshire, Jr. 
Mr. Wilford P. Cole 
Mrs. G. Dallas Coons 
Mr. Edward V. Copeland 
Mrs. R. Wells Covington 
Mrs. John C. Daughtridge 
Ms. Dixie Deal 
Mr. Frank P. Dickinson 
Mrs. Patric Dorsey 
Mr. A. J. P. Edwards 
Ms. Helen E. Edwards 
Mrs. Nancy Goyne Evans 
Mrs. Gayle J. Farlow 
Mr. James A. Fitch 
Ms. Rebecca Talbert Fouche' 
Mrs. W. K. Francis 
Reverend Thomas A. Eraser 

Mrs. Stephen W. Frontis 
Mrs. James S. Gant 
Mrs. Muscoe Garnett 
Mrs. James N. Garrett, Jr. 
Mrs. Noel Garvin 
Mrs. W. Floyd Gaskins 
Mrs. Archer Glenn 
Mrs. Genevieve Glenn 
Ms. Rachel M. Glenn 
Mrs. Ronald Goldman 
Mrs. Harriet C Goldweitz 
Mr. Barry A. Greenlaw 
Ms. Cynthia E. Gubernick 
Mrs. Melvie G. Haas 
Mrs. Joseph E. Hardee 
Mr. Steve Harvey 
Mrs. Lloyd E. Hawes 
Mr. David R. Hayworth 
Mr. Donald G. Herold 
Dr. Victor G. Herring, III 
Mrs. Kenneth R. Higgins 
Mrs. James Hind 
Mrs. Thomas B. Hooker 
Mrs. E. W. House 
Mrs. W. B. Hull 
Mrs. Samuel Jackson 
Mrs. Crystal B. Jarman 
Dr. H. G. Jones 
Mrs. Joye E. Jordan 
Mr. Walter J. Kachelski 
Ms. Patricia E. Kane 
Mrs. J. A. King, Jr. 



Mr. Ralph Kovel 
Mr. Hugh S. Larew 
Ms. M. A. Leight 
Miss Linda LeMieux 
Mrs. Thomas A. Little 
Miss Sara McCorkle 
Miss Milly McGehee 
Mr. DeCourcey E. Mcintosh 
Mrs. Julius W. McKay 
Ms. Betty J. McNairy 
Mrs. George K. Mack 
Dr. Houck M. Medford 
Mr. Daniel J. Mehn 
Mr. Charles F. Montgomery 
Miss Elizabeth Vann Moore 
Mr. William J. Moore 
Mrs. Jeane J. Morris 
Mrs. Parker W. Morris 
Mr. Luther O. Moser, Jr. 
Mrs. Lucille Munford 
Mr. Robert A. Murdock 
Mrs. John Gordon Myers 
Mrs. Barbara J. Navratil 
Mrs. Charles E. Nesbitt 
Mrs. C. Wesley Newkirk 
Mrs. R. S. O'Connell 
Mrs. Charles Oldham 
Mr. Ray C Olivier 
Mr. John W. Pearsall 
Mr. Eldridge Pendleton 
Mr. Hiram Perkinson, III 
Mrs. Ferguson Peters 
Mr. Harold L. Peterson 
Mrs. Graydon O. Pleasants 
Mrs. William Pollard 
Mr. Sumpter T. Priddy, III 
Mrs. William L. Putney, Jr. 
Dr. Alan S. Rapperport 
Mrs. Robert L. Remke 
Ms. Patsy Ridenhour 
Mrs. Charles Rutherford 
Mr. Elmer W. Sawyer, Jr. 

Mr. Herbert SchifFer 
Mrs. Catherine S. Schlesinger 
Mr. Charles B. Simmons 
Mrs. Carter Smith 
Dr. Lawrence E. Southworth 
Mrs. Philip Sowers 
Mrs. G. Richard Stonesifer 
Mrs. Diana Stradling 
Mrs. Julie Wendler Strong 
Mr. Robert M. Stuckey 
Mr. John A. H. Sweeney 
Mr. Robert H. Talley, Jr. 
Mr. Samuel V. Tallman, Jr. 
Ms. Nancy H. Tomberlin 
Mr. J. Ives Townsend 
Mrs. Albert S. Tufts 
Mr. John Edward Tyler 
Mrs. C. Braxton Valentine 
Mr. William R. Wallace, Jr. 
Mrs. Hiram H. Ward 
Mrs. J. Marshall Watkins 
Dr. Robert J. Watson 
Miss Carolyn J. Weekley 
Ms. Gregory R. Weidman 
Mr. Mac Whatley 
Mrs. John C. Whitaker 
Mrs. Morgan Whitney 
Mr. W. L. Whitwell 
Mr. Kemble Widmer, II 
Mrs. Robert L. Wilbur 
Mr. James H. Willcox, Jr. 
Mr. Ben F. Williams 
Mrs. John Snowden Wilson 
Ms. Nancy Brantley Wilson 
Mr. William E. Wiltshire, III 
Miss Alice Winchester 
Ms. Sally C Witt 
Mr. Lupton Wood 
Mrs. Luke Wright 
Mrs. Wesley Wright, Jr. 
Mr. David E. Zeitlin 


Old Wilkes Jail 

Tryon Palace Restoration 

Back issues of The Journal 
are available. 

Photographs in this issue by Bradford L. Rauschenberg, the 
Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, except where 


Thomas A. Gray, Director 

Frank L. Horton, Senior Research Fellow 

Bradford L. Rauschenberg, Research Fellow 

Mrs. James F. Hind, Educational Coordinator 

Mrs. William L. Putney, Jr., Associate in Education 

Mrs. Armand W. Estes, Registrar 

Mrs. Shelby Hill, Secretary / Receptionist 


Mrs. Christine Minter-Dowd 
9852 Fairfax Square 
Apt. 222 
Fairfax, Virginia 22030 

Miss Ann W. Dibble 
Charleston, South Carolina 

Miss Edith Culpepper Potter 
Savannah, Georgia 

Miss Deborah Lee Miller 
Beaufort, South Carolina 

Miss Mary Witten Neal 
Georgetown, South Carolina 

Field representatives are in the process 

of moving into the 

South Carolina and Georgia areas