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Cross-stitched in cotton on a loosely woven linen background. Sarah Riddick was born in Gates County about 1805, the daughter of Nathan Riddick and Joanna Hurdle Riddick. Her paternal grandfather was General Joseph Riddick (ca. 1735-1818), one of the region’s most illustrious political leaders. He was born in that part of Perquimans County that became Gates County in 1779 and during the revolution he served on the Committee of Safety for Chowan County. While early county records refer to him as “Colonel,” by 1808 he was known as “General,” perhaps in deference to his advanced age. Joseph Riddick represented Gates County in the General Assembly for an astonishing thirty-three terms between 1781 and 1816, being speaker of the Senate from 1800 to 1811. An 1880 history of North Carolina referred to him as being “remarkable for his good sense and strong will. He lived to see a whole generation pass by, while a member of the Legislature.” About 1840, Sarah Riddick married Jesse R. Kee. While their descendants have not been researched, the 1850 census of Gates County records their household consisting of Jesse (age 43), Sarah (45), daughters Martha J. (14), Esther R. (12), and Margaret (10), and son James F. W. (8).

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