Happy Easter to all! The weather could not have been better in the Shenandoah! Sunny skies and gentle breezes. The smell of lilacs filled the air and it was bliss!
I am afraid that I may be a little long-winded in this post so grab a cup of tea or coffee and join me for a spell while I tell you of my trip to visit Anne Maria Clarke.
My trip to Richmond was AMAZING! I wish that I could share pictures of Anne Maria Clark (Richmond Sampler) with you but due to understandable copyright issues, I cannot post them on the blog. I am so sorry!! I know that many of you were hoping to see the real Anne Maria and I am very sorry to disappoint you. The staff at the Valentine Museum were the epitome of kindness and very helpful but in order to take pictures I was required to sign a waiver that I would not publish the pictures. However, I was able to conduct a lot of research, specifically on the Anne Maria Clarke sampler, and I will share it with you once I have my notes in order.
My husband and I started the day in Richmond at Shockoe Hill Cemetery. I read in Kimberly Smith Ivey's book, In the Neatest Manner: The Virginia Sampler Tradition that Anne Maria Clarke was buried there. I knew that Anne Maria Clarke married George K. Crutchfield and might be buried in his family plot. This was a long shot since Anne was George's second wife (sometimes the second wife ends up in her parent's plot and I had no idea who they were.) I procured an old and barely legible, handwritten map of Shockoe Hill Cemetery and found three Crutchfield plots. While researching Shockoe Hill Cemetery I also discovered that a man was found shot to death in front of the gate to the cemetery LAST WEEK. Further investigation uncovered that Shockoe Hill Cemetery is located in a VERY BAD part of town. So, hubby and I were very careful walking around!
As luck would have it we found Anne Maria with little trouble. She is buried in the Crutchfield plot with George K.'s two other wives. While George was thrice married, it appeared as though her was gracious toward his wives. All three, including Anne, had very nice obelisk tombstones and all three women were buried in his family plot. Here is Anne Maria's final resting place
Her tombstone reads: To the memory of Anne M. Wife of Geo. K. Crutchfield
Born Apl 9th 1812 Died March 31 1851
Anne is buried next to George K.'s first wife, Wilhelmina (on left.) George and his third wife are buried on the right (not pictured.)
Although the area around the cemetery is questionable, it is important to note that the cemetery itself is well take care of. The graves are maintained and it is a very peaceful setting. It was so nice to visit Anne Maria; I now feel a special kinship with Anne Maria as I stitch her beautiful sampler.
For the history buffs in the group, I have also included a picture of the Shockoe Hill Cemetery Landmark sign. Yes, Chief Justice John Marshall is also buried there!
After our sojourn to the cemetery, hubby and I ate a quick lunch in the gardens of the Valentine Museum. It was a glorious day and the weather was perfect.
After lunch we made our way to the front of the Valentine Museum. It is located on Clay Street, which is lined beautifully with trees.
Once in the museum, I checked in at the front desk and was quickly ushered upstairs to the Archive Room. I was greeted warmly by one of the archivists named Autumn. She had already pulled several needlework books for my perusal as well as the Conservator's Report on Anne Maria Clarke's sampler. As I thumbed through the pile of delicious books, Autumn called the curator to bring in the samplers. I viewed two samplers, Anne Maria Clarke and a sampler stitched by Mary Washington (not sure if there is a kinship to George Washington) commemorating the Richmond Theater fire of 1811. I was allowed to view both samplers for several hours and I took copious notes as I poured over each one. Since the archives were only open from 12 to 4, I did not have enough time to read all of the research articles that Autumn pulled for me. I did, however, get to make copies of most of the articles and I am continuing to read them and take notes.
One thing is for sure, I got goosebumps looking at Anne Maria's sampler. The sampler did not disappoint and I promise to share with you my notes as well as historical research regarding the piece. There are many interesting facts about Anne Maria's sampler and I did find it interesting that she was not picky about ending her crosses with the same leg! Heck, after all those queen stitches, who can blame her?
Thank you for sticking with me through my extensive post. I promise to have a full report on Anne Maria very soon! Until then, happy stitching!