Mary Hawks was ten years old when she made this sampler in 1809. Young girls between the age of six and twelve were expected to make samplers to both improve and demonstrate their sewing skills, and as an important part of their primary education. She followed a pattern that was passed from family to family; many local young girls who sewed samplers in those years produced samplers with similar elements. Mary also produced other pieces of art, including a pair of surviving hand fire screens. "Little Mary" was well known about town, not only because of her diminutive height -she never grew taller than three feet, four inches - but also for her devoted supervision of the young women who attended Deerfield Academy.