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Ellen Mordecai Sampler  

Ellen Mordecai (1820-1916) was the daughter of Moses Mordecai, a Raleigh attorney, and Margaret Lane Mordecai. As a young child she saw her home enlarged to its present size (see photo below) and the death of her father when she was only four years old. Her mother had died after the birth of her brother in 1821. Her aunts and step-uncle raised Ellen in a loving and happy atmosphere.

The stitching of the sampler at age eleven was probably done under the watchful eye of Aunt Harriet Lane, who was recognized by Ellen as an accomplished needleworker.

Ellen married a cousin, Samuel Fox Mordecai, and lived in Alabama until after his premature death in 1852. She moved back to Raleigh, and later to Durham, North Carolina, where she lived with her son, Samuel F. Mordecai, who was the first dean of the law school at Duke University.

Our model was stitched on 32 count sandstone linen with DMC floss and was hand dyed after completion. The stitch count is 113 by 121, the sampler on 32 count linen measures approximately 7 by 7 5/8 inches.

Chart:  $10.00  

The picture opposite shows the front of Mordecai House today.

Mordecai House is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was built as a small plantation home in 1785 before Raleigh was established as the State Capital. The house was enlarged to its present size in 1826 and served as the manor house for a sizeable plantation.

Five generations of the Mordecai family lived there until the 1960's. In 1967 the City of Raleigh purchased the house, and a society was formed which purchased the furnishings.

Today visitors may come six days a week to tour the house and other buildings on the site, which include a chapel, law office, kitchen, and the birthplace of President Andrew Johnson.

The house and park are operated by Capital Area Preservation. The Ellen Mordecai and Nancy Johnson samplers are on permanent display.

Threads of Gold


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