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Hundreds of schools and academies sprang up in the decades following the American Revolution. Their existence testified to the belief that only educated men and women could sustain a free republic. At the same time, educators and writers identified important differences between men and women and the spheres they occupied. A gender-based vision of what proper education for women entailed grew out of this notion of separate spheres. In addition to grammar, arithmetic, history and geography, appropriate domestic "accomplishments" for young women included embroidery, painting, music and map drawing. Caroline Stebbins simultaneously displayed her patriotism, refinement, and embroidery skills in this silk-on-silk embroidery of George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, Virginia. Caroline attended several terms at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, from 1804-07. The five dollars her proud father paid for the frame in which her embroidery hangs equaled half a year of tuition at the Academy in 1807.


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Embroidery of Mount Vernon

artisan   Caroline (Stebbins) Sheldon (1789-1865)
date   c. 1807
height   13.25"
width   16.875"
process/materials   embroidered silk on silk
item type   Art/Decorative Arts - Textiles
accession #   #1893.07.21

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See Also...

Silhouette of Caroline Stebbins Sheldon (1789-1865)

Map "The world agreeable to the latest discoveries"

"The Shepherdess of the Alps" embroidery

Caroline Stebbins Sheldon (1789-1865) Sampler

Hoyt family register

Phelps mourning embroidery

"Strictures on Female Education"

"The Advantages and Praises of Wisdom. A Sermon Delivered at Deerfield, Jan. 1, A.D. 1799, at the Opening of Academy"

Letter from second headmaster of Deerfield Academy

Deerfield Academy Student Roster

Deerfield Academy student letter to Betsey Kimberley

Deerfield Academy Student Roster

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