Mary P. Stabler's Sampler

This sampler features six block alphabets: five of 26 letters and one double. All the rows are separated by simple geometric crossbands. Mary Stabler’s sampler is an example of a marking sampler that consisted predominately of alphabets and numbers, and was usually the first sampler a young lady stitched. Alphabets were used to mark linens for identification. Mary included the inscription:

“Mary P Stabler’s
Aged 11 Alexandria”
The sampler is stitched with silk and cotton embroidery thread on a linen ground with a thread count of warp 28, weft 29/in. The stitches used are: cross, crosslet, four-sided, double cross, rice, Algerian eye, queen, and herringbone.
Mary Pleasants Stabler was born on January 30, 1809, to Edward and Mary Hartshorne Stabler in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1835 she married John Leadbeater and they had eight children - Edward S., Lucy, Mary G., Alice, Anna, Alice, William, and Thomas. Mary died on August 9, 1863. See her daughter Anna Leadbeater’s samplers.
Currently not on view
date made
Stabler, Mary P.
place made
United States: Virginia, Alexandria
Physical Description
linen (ground material)
silk (embroidery thread material)
cotton (embroidery thread material)
overall: 17 in x 12 1/4 in; 43.18 cm x 31.115 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Clarence Milton Yohn
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Data Source
National Museum of American History