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Elizabeth Lindy, Mrs. Armstrong's School, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1802

 In 1799 Sarah Holsworth embroidered a sampler while a student at Leah Galligher's school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  On it she tells that Leah Galligher and Rachel Armstrong were twins born at one birth to George and Sarah Bratten.  She goes on to tell where they were born, baptized, married and by whom and that one sister, Leah, had opened a school . . . the one she was currently attending.

After Leah's divorce from Francis Galligher and subsequent move to Harrisburg she opened another school with her then husband, Isaac Maguire while Rachel remained in Lancaster and opened Mrs. Armstrong's school with her husband William Armstrong. Leah Galligher is credited with establishing the regional characteristics of this body of work known as the Susquehanna Valley Samplers that were produced in Lancaster, York, and Dauphine counties between 1797 and 1838.

Records indicate Rachel was teaching in Lancaster in 1801 but only four samplers from the Armstrong school have been recorded and their format appears to reflect the common schooling received by Rachel and Leah Bratten according to Betty Ring in Girlhood Embroidery.


The sampler made by Ann Herbst in 1801 is the earliest known sampler from Rachel Armstrong's school and closely resembles the early work from Leah Galligher's school.  On that particular sampler Ann included a recognizable rendition of Lancaster s Trinity Lutheran Church.  The door of the church is open (un-worked) which was typical of the samplers made at Leah Galliger's school.  The border is made up of a series of squares containing different designs of baskets and sprays of flowers and strawberries along with geometric designs with birds perching atop a myriad of motifs.

In this sampler worked by Elizabeth Lindy in 1802 we find the same design elements which place it firmly in that body of work. She was a needleworker of some merit as evidenced by the variety of stitches she used. She tells us that she was the daughter of Jacob and Mary Lindy and was born the 10th of December in the year of our Lord 1790 and made this sampler in the 12th year of her age in Mrs. Armstrong's School AD 1802. 

Elizabeth married Anthony Stormbaugh Jr. and had one daughter, Ann Mary who was born 17 Jan 1815. Elizabeth lived and died in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The sampler is worked in silk on a very fine gauze-type material which accounts for some minor scattered weaknesses on the ground. Overall it is in fine condition with excellent contrast and wonderful visual impact. It is conservation mounted into a figured mahogany frame and protected with Tru-Vue glass. Sight size is 16 inches x 16 inches and 19 inches x 19 inches framed.

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