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Home | Dealers | Finkel, M. & Daughter | Adelia Ann Goshorn
Adelia Ann Goshorn
Artist: Not Available 
Category: Needlework
SubType: Samplers
Origin: America-USA
Era: 19th Century
Height: 22.5 inches
Width: 17.25 inches
Adelia Ann Goshorn, the daughter of a dry goods merchant, Nicholas Goshorn and his wife Lorenia (Cutter) Goshorn, was born on June 24, 1824. She was their eldest daughter and was baptized in December at the Old Stone Methodist Church, the first church built in the Ohio Valley. The Goshorn family in America began when Johann Georg Goshorn, who was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1725, came to America on the ship Two Brothers, sailing in 1750 and arriving in Philadelphia. He was Adelia's great grandfather and the family settled in Pennsylvania. Nicholas Goshorn was born in Westmoreland County in 1801 and in 1805 the family removed to Cincinnati, then a pioneer village formed around the extensive military outpost, Fort Washington. In 1823 he married Lorenia Cutter, a descendant of an early New England family. Lorenia was the daughter of Seth Cutter who had left Boston in the late 18th century to move west, settling as well in Cincinnati.

Adelia Ann was the eldest of their 7 children. She worked this large, handsome sampler when she was 9 years old, circa 1833. It is formed of two pieces of linen which were joined by a seam, much of which was then covered by needlework, directly under the large basket. A strong and somewhat stylized arrangement of flowers within this sawtooth-decorated basket dominates the composition of this sampler, with little dogs, pine trees, stars and pairs of birds providing further embellishment. The verse is one that was used by samplermakers by American samplermakers throughout the 18th and early 19th century, extolling Virtue as a "guiding star." Ohio samplers have been wonderfully and thoroughly researched by the late Sue Studebaker, however no sampler that resembles Adelia Ann's has been recorded.

Of additional interest is information that came to light as our researcher was working on this family. An article entitled "The Higher Education of Women in the Ohio Valley previous to 1840" was written by Jane Sherzer and published in 1916 in Ohio Archaeology and Historic Quarterly. Letters quoted in this article refer specifically to Adelia Ann Goshorn as a student, in 1837, at Pickett's Boarding School of Cincinnati. This was a highly regarded institution which was also known as Cincinnati Female College with a curriculum that included the study of Latin, Greek and Mathematics. While we don't know what school Adelia Ann attended when she worked this sampler, we do know that she furthered her education while attending this college, when she was 14 years old.

Adelia Ann died young, at age 20, in 1844. Amongst her brothers was Alfred Traber Goshorn who served as Director General of the Centennial Exhibition of the United States, held in Philadelphia 1876 and he was knighted by Queen Victoria for this accomplishment. Another brother was Edwin Clarence Goshorn, who served as general manager of the National Lead Company and is noted in published histories of Cincinnati as a leading businessman.

The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a molded cherry frame.

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