American Furniture & Decorative Arts
John Stevens Jr. Woolen Needlework Pocketbook, possibly Perth Amboy, New Jersey, 1774, the envelope-shaped pocket book worked in Irish stitch in a zigzag diamond pattern in shades of yellow, red, pink, purple, green, orange, and brown, with two compartments and a large floral-engraved silver clasp, the inner edge of the book embroidered in white woolen threads on a green background "Iohn Stevens junr November 19, 1774," (minor losses and wear),together with a paper-bound tune book inscribed on the front cover "Esther Freebody/her Book 1786" including four pages of handwritten music. Pocketbook folded dimensions ht. 4 1/2, wd. 8 in.
Note: There are two possibilities for the identity of the original owner of this pocketbook. One is John Stevens, Junior (1715/16-1792) who settled in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, in the early 1740s. He served as paymaster of Colonel Peter Schuyler's 1st New Jersey Regiment, the "Jersey Blues," 1756-1760. He was a vocal opponent of the Stamp Act and was part of a committee formed to prevent the issue of the stamps in New York City. Stevens was elected Vice-President of Council of New Jersey in 1776 and served in that capacity until 1782. He also served as president of the convention of New Jersey when the state ratified the Unites States Constitution in 1787.
The second possibility is John Stevens III (1749-1838) who was the son of John Stevens Jr. (1715/16-1792). He was an engineer and inventor who graduated from King's College in 1768. During the American Revolution he served as the treasurer for the State of New Jersey and signed New Jersey currency "J Stevens Jun." In 1791 he received a patent for a "boiler for generating steam" and later built a railroad between Trenton and New Brunswick, New Jersey.
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