The Nine Partners School was a very early and well-regarded Quaker school, established in 1796 and located in the village of Mechanic, Dutchess County, New York. The school attracted students from local families and many who traveled quite a distance to attend. Samplers made by female students there exhibit the strong Quaker characteristics found on samplers from the other fine Friends schools and are sought after by collectors today.
Rebecca C. Fritts was the daughter of George and Rebecca (Cromwell) Fritts; she was a member of the Cornwall Quaker Monthly Meeting in Orange County, New York and attended the Nine Partners School in 1826. Within the archives of the School is an 1826 handwritten copybook that belonged to a fellow student who entitled a page, "Names of the Girls at Nine Partners School 1826." Included on this list of many students is our samplermaker, Rebecca Fritts of Orange, County. Scanned copies of these pages accompany the sampler. Rebecca's fine and precisely stitched sampler features a verse entitled "Religion" and surrounded by a curvilinear border of leaves and buds; this sampler is very similar to another Nine Partners School sampler worked by Eliza Bowne in 1821.
Using the precisely worked and classic block lettering taught within Quaker schools, Rebecca stitched two passages of poetry onto her sampler; quotations from Robert Burns and John Scott, both were highly regarded 18th century Scottish poets.
In 1832, Rebecca Fritts married a farmer, Samuel Brown at the Cornwall Monthly Meeting. Their daughter Mary Brown was born in May, 1833 and Rebecca died in October of the same year. Copies of the Quaker monthly minutes are in the genealogical file that accompanies the sampler, as well. Additionally, a publication entitled Pioneer Families of Orange County, New York (1993) documents the Cromwell family. Rebecca's mother, Rebecca (Cromwell) Fritts was born to a Quaker blacksmith and farmer, James Cromwell and his wife Charlotte (Hunt) Cromwell.
The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in its fine original mahogany frame with an outer bead.