Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Young Nantucket woman paints copies of British prints of The Four Seasons 1797
Phebe Folger Coleman (1771-1857) Un receuil :containing painting, penmanship, algebra and pieces selected from various authors in prose and verse, with a few pieces in French with their translation by Phebe of Nantucket : manuscript, c 1797. MS Typ 245. Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Phebe Folger (1771-1857) was a Nantucket commonplace book author, watercolorist, poet, needlework instructor, & creator of the well-known “Nantucket sampler” style. She was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on November 10, 1771 to Walter Folger (1735-1826) & his wife Elizabeth Starbuck (1738-1821). She married Samuel Coleman (1771-1825) in Nantucket at the age of 27 on December 6, 1798. They had 2 daughters who lived to adulthood, & 3 additional daughters who died as children.
Her husband, Samuel Coleman, worked at sea. She wrote him this letter during the 10th year of their marriage. Nantucket 9th mo. 19th 1808. Dear Husband, "I have felt a little guilty that I have deferred so long to write: but I had nothing worth communicating, nothing but what thou might reasonably suppose, that is, that I am very lonesome. Why should so much of our time be spent apart, why do we refuse the happiness that is within our reach? Is the acquisition of wealth an adequate compensation for the tedious hours of absence? To me it is not. The enjoyment of riches alone could give no satisfaction to me. In company I am not happy, I feel as if a part of my self was gone. Thy absence grows more insupportable than it used to be. I want for nothing but thy company: but there is nothing but what I could do better without..."