Samplers made at Westtown School during the early 19th century reflect the educational and religious mission of the school, founded in 1799 by the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Philadelphia Quakers opened the school so that their children could have a useful education in a setting wholly in keeping with Quaker practices and the testimonies of plainness and simplicity, peace, integrity and equality. The school’s collection of over 140 flat samplers
includes many made by girls in sewing class at Westtown, others stitched by students outside of school and some made by girls not associated with Westtown. Threads of Useful Learning: Westtown School Samplers, authored by Westtown School former archivist Mary Uhl Brooks, is a fully-illustrated book examining the school’s needlework collection.