A needlework sampler accomplished in half crosstitch in wool and cotton threads of red, green, pink, brown, black, cream, yellow, and blue on canvas (8 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.; 207 x 207 mm) by Isabella Chamberlain, aged 11, Punahou School, Honolulu, 1849; the yellow and cream faded. Glazed and framed in a contemporary frame of Hawaiian tiger-striped koa wood.
A child's sampler accomplished by the eleven-year-old daughter of a Congregationalist missionary. Isabella Chamberlain was born in Honolulu in 1838, the daughter of Levi Chamberlain, who arrived in Honolulu with the Second Company of American missionaries in 1823. He was appointed superintendent of secular affairs for the mission, and traveled around Oahu on foot. In 1828 he married Maria Patton, a Lahaina mission teacher; together they reared eight children. Isabella and her brother Levi were the only siblings not to be educated in the United States. Isabella married a 24-year-old tax assessor named Frederick Swartz Lyman 16 February 1861; she died in 1901 at Hilo.
Founded in 1841, Punahou School was originally a school for the children of Congregationalist missionaries serving throughout the Pacific region. The land on which the school was built was a gift of Queen Kaahumanu to the Reverend Hiram Bingham, the first Christian missionary in Hawaii. The first class, consisting of fifteen students, was held on 11 July 1842.
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