DOROTHY LANCASTER, Scarborough, Cumberland, ME, c. 1793
"Dorothy Lancaster / Born Oct 18 1781" in Scarborough, Cumberland, ME. The third daughter of 8 children born to Rev. Thomas Lancaster of Rowley, MA, and his first wife, Lydia Jones, of Beverly, MA. Thomas Lancaster graduated Harvard College in 1764. Following his graduation he was contracted to direct a grammar school in Beverly, MA. He married Lydia Jones on Feb 1, 1767. He was ordained as a minister, Nov 8 1775, in Scarborough, ME. For 56 years, he served as pastor of the First Parish of Scarborough. He was also a founder and trustee of Bowdoin College. Dorothy never married, and like two of her brothers, died young, on Apr 29, 1806.
Dorothy worked her endearing sampler around 1793 in Scarborough, ME. A free flowing vine border surrounds a central panel that is edged in a small checkerboard trim with light blue and pale salmon saw-tooth sides. The bottom register features a pair of birds perched on strawberry plants facing a central strawberry plant. Dorothy's sampler is a precious example of late 18th c. Maine schoolgirl needlework. The charm of those big eyed birds eyeing the fruit, with the backdrop of playful fluid vines and the simple graphic geometric edges. Worked in 10 colors of silk thread on a linen ground in cross, satin, queen's, eyelet, and chain stitches. Part of Glee's collection since the early 1980s.
"Let spotless innocence / and truth / My ev'ry action guide / And guard my inexperi / enc'd youth / From vanity and pride"
Scarborough did not develop around a town center. Scarborough’s extensive salt marsh and rivers served as boundaries separating settlements that sprang up around their perimeters. Settlements didn’t begin to move inland from the rivers and seacoast until after roads were developed in the early 1800s.
Scarborough, ME, was an important shipping and trade port. After the Revolution, Maine was again the new frontier. and shipbuilding, farming, fisheries and sawmills offered opportunities. A lack of good overland routes resulted in Scarborough remaining a town of separate villages, each with its own church and school.
"In Grandfather Tales of Scarborough, 1925, Augustus F. Moulton related information passed down to him by his grandfather, Ezra Carter, who moved to Scarborough in about 1800. Ezra noted that Maria Libby, Lucy Hunnewell, and Statira Staples all kept schools in Scarborough in the Federal era." - I MY NEEDLEWORK PLY WITH SKILL: Maine Schoolgirl Needlework of the Federal Era, by Leslie Rounds
Birth: 18 Oct 1781, Scarborough, ME
Father: Rev. Thomas Lancaster (24 Jan 1743 - 12 Jan 1831) b. Rowley, MA #107504730
Mother: Lydia Jones (28 Jun 1746 - 12 Nov 1815) b. Beverly, MA, m. 1 Feb 1767 #94824585
Death: 29 Apr 1806, Scarborough, Cumberland, ME
Burial: Black Point Cemetery, Scarborough, Cumberland, ME
Memorial ID: #94824536
Sarah “Sally” Lancaster McLellan: (27 Nov 1767 - 29 Apr 1797) #101663641
Mary Lancaster: (12 Aug 1777 - 1884)
Maj. Sewall Lancaster: (1 Jul 1779 - 23 Dec 1812)
Thomas Lancaster: (25 Mar 1778 - )
John Lancaster: (30 Apr 1786 - )
***Further genealogical work provided.
Frame: 20" x 14" x 1.25"
Sight: 16" x 10"
Sheila & Edwin Rideout, Wiscasset, ME
Spotting and staining to ground around strawberry plants and near letter "U". Preliminary ink drawing visible in places. Small hole in lower right corner. It is conservation mounted and finished in a Perry Hopf gold fillet molded black frame.