1885 - 1900 Leadbeater Sisters' Crazy-patch Parlor Throw

1885 - 1900 Leadbeater Sisters' Crazy-patch Parlor Throw

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Anna (Mrs. Henry C. Slaymaker) and her two sisters, Mary (Mrs. William Boothe) and Lucy (Mrs. Thomas Speiden) worked on this slumber throw top that was never completed. Anna’s needlework is also represented by two samplers, embroidered when she was 9 and 10, that are in the Textile Collection.
Twenty blocks, 12 or 13 inches each, are pieced using silks, satins and velvets. Except for two blocks with simple embroidery, they are undecorated. The combination of geometric and crazy-patch piecing gives interest to this unfinished top.
Anna was born on October 2, 1842, to John and Mary P. Stabler Leadbeater in Alexandria, Virginia. John, her father, was the owner of the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary in Alexandria. Anna married Henry C. Slaymaker, a Confederate Civil War veteran, on November 6, 1866, and they had three children (Isabel, Henry C. Jr., and Frank).
The donor, Mrs. Clarence Milton Yohn, included a note about Anna's grandfather, Lt. Henry C. Slaymaker. “[He] was only 16 when he served as a civilian informer in 1861 and 1862, carrying messages from Alexandria and Washington, D.C., quilted in his waistcoat and pretending hunting excursions in the woods in order to get to his cousin, Gen. Robert E. Lee. He was about to be hanged in 1862, when he escaped to join the Confederate Army under age.” After the Civil War, Henry Sr. established a dry goods business, but died at 36 of consumption on February 28, 1880. Anna died on February 15, 1906.
Anna’s sister Mary was born in 1839 and married Capt. William Boothe (1818-1894). She died in 1914. Lucy, the third sister, was born about 1838 and married Thomas Speiden. The three sisters were from the family who founded the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop, which was operated by family members from 1796 to 1933, when it became a pharmacy museum. The buildings, which date to the early 1800s, have withstood four wars and a major city fire, and currently house the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum in Alexandria, Virginia.
Currently not on view
Object Name
quilt top
date made
Leadbeater, Mary Grace
Leadbeater, Lucy
Leadbeater, Anna
place made
United States: Virginia, Alexandria
Physical Description
fabric, silk, satin, velvet, cotton (overall material)
thread, silk, cotton (overall material)
overall: 64 in x 52 in; 162 cm x 131 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Clarence Milton Yohn
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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