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Region: Middle Tennessee
1818 Sarah Childress
Salem Female Academy, NC
Murfreesboro, Rutherford Co.
The James K. Polk Home, Columbia

1214"V x 1412"H © TSS 022
fibers: silk, silk chenille, watercolor, and ink
ground: silk
Sarah Childress (1803-1891) was the daughter of Joel Childress and Elizabeth Whitsett. She was fourteen when her bother Anderson escorted her and her sister to the Salem Female Academy on horseback. Sarah married James Knox Polk who became the 11th president of the United States. After her husband’s death she adopted her niece Sallie Polk Jetton.
Sarah's mourning embroidery was worked in the intermediate level needlework class at Salem Female Academy. She remained proud of her accomplishment and inserted paper with her name, age, and school between the glass and the frame. (This was removed during conservation). Her stitches include colonial knots, satin, stem, and turkey work. The frame is original.
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