front cover

Available Now

The Sampler Consortium is pleased to announce the publication of Columbia's Daughters: Girlhood Embroidery from the District of Columbia, authored by Dr. Gloria Seaman Allen. The book is being published through a collaboration of the Chesapeake Book Company and the Sampler Consortium.

Order Now!

Limited Edition, 8.5 x 11 inches, 288 pages, 181 images, cloth bound, $65.00

You can order your copy of Columbia's Daughters in one of two ways:

  1. ONLINE: Click the "Buy Now" button below to securely purchase using PayPal:


  3. BY MAIL: Fill out our order form, print and mail with your check to:

Columbia's Daughters

c/o Sampler Consortium

1244 Walnut Street, Suite 220

Eugene, OR 97403


Your order will be shipped within 24 hours


by Susan P. Schoelwer, Amy Finkel, Linda Eaton, Lynne Anderson, and Kimberly Smith Ivey.

back cover

Read Susan Schoelwer's
full endorsement

Columbia's Daughters provides a rich and rewarding view of a fascinating but as yet under-studied center of girlhood education and embroidery production – the District of Columbia. In focusing on a single urban region, Dr. Allen takes the study of girlhood education and embroidery to a vibrant new level – offering readers a closer focus and greater depth than state-wide surveys. Unique historical circumstances render the District of Columbia unexpectedly fertile ground for investigating a variety of embroidery traditions – and their interactions within a relatively confined geographic locale. The District's creation as the site of the national capital in 1790 coincided with the blossoming of female academies aimed at educating the daughters of the new Republic. After the removal of the government from Philadelphia in 1800, the new federal city of Washington attracted a mobile and frequently well educated population. Government officials, political appointees, office workers, foreign emissaries, immigrant refugees, transient entrepreneurs, and free blacks – all rubbed shoulders with the more established residents of the District's two older communities, the Potomac river ports of Georgetown and Alexandria.

The range of curricula, teachers, and students produced a striking array of needlework – from Scottish traditions and Quaker motifs in Alexandria to French traditions and Catholic motifs in Georgetown, to Philadelphia traditions and architectural samplers from the neighborhood of the Navy Yard in Washington City. Columbia's Daughters provides a comprehensive catalogue of works that can currently be traced to the District's three communities, including a number known only from early publications. Descriptions and illustrations of the needlework are supplemented by detailed biographies of the embroiderers and their teachers, based upon years of painstaking sleuthing by Allen and her team of researchers. The resulting volume is a landmark reference in the study of early American embroidery and girlhood education, a boon to needlework collectors and scholars, and a mother lode of fresh information for students of women's history and education.

Susan P. Schoelwer, Curator
George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens
Author, Connecticut Needlework: Women, Art, and Family, 1740-1840

Order today!


Sampler Archive Project Collaboration

The Sampler Consortium is a collaborating partner on the Sampler Archive Project. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to the University of Delaware and the University of Oregon, the goal of the Sampler Archive Project is to create an online searchable database of information and images for all known American samplers and related girlhood embroideries.

For more information on the Sampler Archive Project, see its website.