Elizaeth Scudder (1800-1878)
Attributed to the Trenton Academy, Trenton, New Jersey
Silk thread on linen ground
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Ormsby Scudder
BESET with snares on ev'ry hand,
In life's uncertain path I stand
Father divine diffuse thY light
To guard my doubtful foot Steps right.
Elizabeth Scudder Aged 7 1808
At the age of seven, Elizabeth skillfully created this charming sampler that has now been attributed to the Trenton Academy. It contains a two-story brick structure (likely the school house) on a striated and stepped lawn, a unique rose bush, tiny barking dog, a simple arcaded border, and a verse by Phillip Doddridge, D.D. (1702-1751), all elements known from this school.
The other extant embroidery from the Trenton Academy, stitched by Eliza Hazard, names the school. It can be found here: Eliza Hazard (1812)
The Scudder family of Scudders Falls, Ewing (formerly Trenton) Township, Hunterdon (now Mercer) County has a history rich with Revolutionary Patriots. Amos Scudder (1739-1824), Elizabeth's paternal grandfather, served as a guide to George Washington at the Battles of Trenton and Monmouth. Her maternal grandfather, Jacob Keen (d. 1796), served at the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and was with General Lafayette at the surrender of Yorktown.
Amos' son John (1765-1830) married Mary Keen (1766-1839) on November 21, 1790, and had about eight children; Elizabeth, born April 9, 1800, was the third. Elizabeth married John Story Chambers (1782-1834) on November 28, 1832. John was in the mercantile and lumber business, and was a trustee of the Trenton Academy from 1830 to 1834. Their only child, John Story Chambers (1832-1901), served in the Civil War and was also a trustee of the Academy.
After her husband died, Elizabeth married a second time in 1844 to her deceased sister Hannah's widower, Thomas Johnson Stryker (1800-1872), a wealthy banker in Trenton. Elizabeth helped raise her step-son, General William Scudder Stryker (1838-1900) who graduated Princeton University, served in the Civil War, and later became Adjutant General of New Jersey.
Elizabeth died on December 24, 1878, outliving her husband by six years, and was buried at the Riverview Cemetery in Trenton. Her inscription simply reads "Widow of Thomas J. Stryker".
Description adapted from Hail Specimen of Female Art! New Jersey Schoolgirl Needlework, 1726-1860, Morven Museum & Garden (2014)