Sunday, April 24, 2011

A lovely day with Anne Maria Clark in Richmond

Hello, dear readers!

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. 
I was so excited to get into the museum and see Anne Maria that I neglected to take a picture of the front of the museum!

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!



Laurie in Iowa said...

I've enjoyed reading about the cemetery visit and your initial impressions of your visit to the museum. Looking forward to reading more.

Margaret said...

It must have been so thrilling for you to visit both the sampler and Anne's grave too! What an exciting day! I enjoyed reading your account of your visit so far and the pictures of the graveyard and all. Looking forward to more! (Did Anne get to meet Lafayette?)

pam said...

What an exciting day! You husband must be a gem (or history buff) to stick with you thru the adventure. It sounds like a great time and thanks for sharing it.


Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing your interesting and fun day! It must have been amazing to see the sampler in person!

Robin in Virginia said...

It sounds like you had a fascinating time on your adventure in Richmond! I really enjoyed reading (and hearing on Friday) your thoughts about your whole experience!

Hope you have a smooth return to school life today!

Chocolates4Breakfast (Terri Malinovich) said...

Sounds like an absolutely wonderful day!!!

Jennifer said...

Oh my, I thought I was the only one who searched old cemetaries for people I did not even know. I have vistied the graves of the builders of my house (1823), the Strout Family. It's like they are part of my family. What a wonderful and informative post. Thanks for sharing.

samplerlover said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing day. I really enjoyed reading this. I am also a history buff and I think this is one of the reasons I love antique repros. I agree with Margaret. Did she met La Fayette. Looking forward to hearing more. - Sandra.

Suzanne said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful day. It's a shame you are not able to share any photos. I really enjoyed reading about your experience.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us! I am looking forward to hearing more about you research.

It's a shame the Shockoe Hill Cemetery is in such a bad part of Richmond now. I remember going there once or twice when I was growing up in the suburbs of Richmond. It is a beautiful and peaceful cemetery. It was designed for spending Sunday afternoons walking and visiting the gravesites. I am glad the cemetery is kept up still despite the bad neighborhood.

Kelly said...

Thanks for following my Blog. I came over to visit yours. I enjoyed your experience with Maria Clarke and became a follower. I look forward to reading more. Welcome! Kelly

Katherine said...

Wow, what an exciting adventure. Your pics of the cemetery were beautiful and how nice that you went and stayed with Anne a little bit. So, you don't like Queen stitches either? Can't wait to hear more about what you learn.

Teresa said...

I noticed I had a new follower on my blog, thank you. I will enjoy following you.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Siobhán said...

How neat!!! I am sooo behind on blog reading but kept telling myself that I had to get on here and look at your post! I can't wait to read more! I enjoyed hearing about your trip to the cemetary and seeing the pics & reading about it. Thanks for including the marker--I'm the kind of person who pulls over to the side of the road to read those historical markers. ;) How sad that Anna died so young but it's wonderful how she lives on through her needlework. Sad, too, about the bad part of town that the cemetary is now in.

Thanks for sharing!

Katrina said...

I so enjoyed reading about your trip!!!! Thanks for sharing :-).

Come Explore!