Monday, October 23, 2017

18C Portrait of an American Woman

Mrs. Jonathan Pinkney, Jr. (Elizabeth Munroe) 1798 by James Peale (American, Chestertown, Maryland 1749–1831 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) The Metropolitan Museum of Art tells us that she lived in Annapolis, Maryland.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Costumes of Different Countries, Los Angeles County Art Museum 
Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 18C, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from clothing & costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available at the time. 

During the period in Britain & her colonies, a woman's status could be  evident in her choice of clothing materials in both quantity & quality. Did her clothes have elegant trimmings, such as lace & needlework? How many dresses did she own? Were they up-to-date in style & fit? Women who had to do physical labor, especially in the colonies, modified the elegant styles of the period for greater ease of movement, durability, & affordability. Everyday long gowns seldom survived, but prints & paintings suggest the garments were cut like fashionable dresses of the period. Usually they were, however, made of cheaper textiles & without trimmings & ruffles. When a long fitted gown was too impractical for the work to be done, working women adopted shorter garments that also required less fabric than a full gown. These included short gowns, bed gowns, & jackets. Neck handkerchiefs, gloves, & mitts protected women's bodies from exposure to cold or excessive sunlight. Kerchiefs also offered greater modesty, when fashion dictated low necklines. Workers & older women especially relied on such accessories.

Early in the 18C, proper, elite British women wore a dress known as a mantua for formal occasions. The mantua was an open-fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train & matching petticoat. The train was worn looped up over the hips to reveal the petticoat. The bodice had loose elbow-length sleeves finished with wide turned-back cuffs. A hoop petticoat & several under-petticoats wore worn beneath the outer petticoat. To give the British figure a fashionable shape, a corset often was worn under the bodice. It was made of linen & stiffened with whale bones inserted between parallel lines of stitching. The corset fastened with lacing down the back which could be laced tightly to give an upright posture to the torso & to emphasise the waist. A strip of bone, wood, or metal was sometimes incorporated into the front stays. British women wore their hair close to the head often with a small linen cap which sometimes had lace lappets, streamers that hung either side of a woman's cap. The cap was covered by a hood or hat for outerwear.

In the 1730s, the "sack back' dress worn over a hoop petticoat became increasingly fashionable in Britain & her colonies. The style remained in fashion until the 1780s. The sack back was made from 5 or panels of material pleated into 2 box pleats at the center back of the neck-band. It flowed down & was incorporated into the fullness of the skirt. It was worn over a matching petticoat as well as a hoop petticoat. The "nightgown style" or style anglaise had a pleated back. The pleats were stitched flat from the back of the neck to the centre back waist. Genteel ladies wore hoop petticoats, usually made of linen with split cane hoops stitched in at intervals & held the skirt of the petticoat & the robe out at the sides. They were at their widest in the 1740s & 1750s, when they could measure over 1.5m across. Hoop petticoats were worn on formal occasions. As with many fashions, it is hard to say why such a cumbersome outfit was popular. One reason might have been that it displayed the richly embroidered cloth of the skirt that indicated the wearer's wealth. During the 1770s, hair styles became higher, as they often were combed over a padded roll or worn over a frame.

As the New Repulic of The United States of America was finding its way between the 1780s & 1800, a very noticeable change took place in the female British silhouette. The waistline became higher, until it reached the bust. The skirt was reduced in width & hoop petticoats were discarded except at very formal occasions. In their place, crescent-shaped pads were worn at the center back waist beneath the skirt to help fill out the gathers at the back of the dress. In the 1790s, corsets were lightly boned & usually made of linen. Hair was frizzed or worn in short curls.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Baltimore Postmistress & Publisher Mary Katherine Goddard 1738-1816 & Her Rude Dismissal by George Washington

Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816) was the only daughter of Sarah Updike (1700-1770) & Dr. Giles Goddard (1703-1757), postmaster & physician in Groton & New London, Connecticut. Sarah taught her daughter & her younger son William (1740-1817) to write and read Shakespeare, Pope, & Swift among others.


After serving as a printer’s apprentice in Connecticut, William Goddard decided to try his hand at publishing a newspaper with the help of his sister & mother. Their father had died in 1757, leaving an estate of 780 pounds sterling. In 1762, William began his publishing career in Rhode Island, creating the Providence Gazette and Country Journal by using 300 pounds given him by his mother to set up a printing press in Providence. Expecting to print lots of newspapers, in 1764, Goddard entered a partnership with 3 other gentlemen and used more of his father's estate to help establish & operate the 1st paper mill in Rhode Island on the Woonasquatucket River.

A year later, William Goddard became frustrated at his lack of financial success & gave up editorship of the Rhode Island newspaper. He claimed that 2 New York gentlemen "who wished to see me employed on a more extensive theatre" enticed him to leave Rhode Island. His practical mother & sister Mary Katherine kept publishing the Providence newspaper from 1765 through 1768; after all, they owned the printing press.

Before the Revolution, Goddard, who now had moved from New York to Philadelphia "to find a more adventageous situation," had to use private carriers to get news past the prying eyes of the English Crown post. After joining others to publish the Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser —a paper sympathetic to the revolutionary cause, the local Crown postmaster kept out-of-town newspapers from the press, depriving the publisher of critical news & information.

His mother, who had stayed in Providence operating the business she had paid for; finally sold the Providence press & followed him to Philadelphia with Mary Katherine. In Philadelphia, Sarah Goddard ran a bookstore until 1768, she died in 1770.

Mary Katherine published the Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser alone under her brother's name for the last year of its existence. Her erratic brother was too busy with politics to help in the everyday production. William was frequently jailed for public outbursts and rabble-rousing articles in the paper.

The Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser was driven out of business, when the Crown post refused to accept it for distribution in the mails. William Goddard retaliated politically by designing an American postal system founded upon the principles of open communication, no governmental interference, and free exchange of ideas.

Goddard presented his plan to the Continental Congress on October 5, 1774. The representatives were intrigued but tabled Goddard's plan; until the startling battles of Lexington & Concord in 1775. Soon after, on July 16, 1775, the new "Constitutional Post" was implemented by the Congress, ensuring communication between patriots & keeping the readers informed of events during the American Revolution. The new revolutionary post system forced the Crown post out of business in America on Christmas day, 1775, becoming the foundation of the United States' postal system. Once again pulling up roots, Willliam Goddard decided to attempt a new printing venture in Baltimore. By early 1774, Mary Katherine, who had been helping her brother & mother with their bookstore, newspaper, almanac, and printing ventures, moved south to help her brother; as he began to publish a newspaper in Baltimore.

The Maryland Journal was established by William Goddard August 20, 1773, the first newspaper to be printed in Baltimore. Goddard published the paper with the help of his sister until May 10, 1775, when Mary Katherine Goddard, became the editor & publisher. Until 1784, the newspaper appeared solely under her name.

Because of the new postal system, newpapers could now flow between the colonies without censorship; but new problems arose, as the Revolutionary War created a paper shortage for publishers. The war also sparked inflation leaving subscribers with little cash. To keep her newspaper publishing regularly, Mary Katherine accepted barter in beef, pork, animal food, butter, hog’s lard, tallow, beeswax, flour, wheat, rye, Indian corn, beans and other goods she could either use or sell in her shop.

In 1775, Mary Katherine took an additional job at the Baltimore Post Office. She became the first woman postmistress in the colonies.
The First Post Office in Baltimore. Photo from the Maryland Historical Society, also located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Under Mary Katherine Goddard, the Maryland Journal openly expressed the colonials' thirst for freedom from the crown, although she was willing to take a risk and publish a variety of political perspectives. Mary Katherine published reports of Massachusetts of April 19, 1775, triggering the Battles of Concord and Lexington. Her editorial of June 14, 1775, proclaimed, "The ever memorable 19th of April gave a conclusive answer to the questions of American freedom. What think ye of Congress now? That day. . . evidenced that Americans would rather die than live slaves!"
During the lean years of the Revolution, Postmistress Mary Katherine Goddard opened a book & stationary store in Baltimore, and kept her printing press busy publishing books & almanacs as well as her newspaper.

In January 1777, she printed the first copy of the Declaration of Independence to include the signers' names, before any other newspaper in the United States. In the summer of 1776, the signers were aware that they were committing treason and submitting to an overabundance of caution, omitted their names from the original publication of the document. Six months later, finally garnering the courage to publicly stand by their professed ideals, the Continental Congress authorized Goddard’s Maryland Journal to publish the Declaration with its signers’ names.

Mary Katherine Goddard's almanacs were also popular in the Chesapeake. In her 1782 Maryland and Virginia Almanack, Mary Katherine wrote, "From the extensive sale of this Almanack last year, the publisher would presume to think that her endeavors, in some measure, met with the approbation of the Public. Nothing can be more flattering than this idea, which cannot fail to excite in her the highest sense of gratitude, attended with future diligence and perseverance."

After he married, her mercurial brother decided that he wanted to return to the Baltimore publishing business and to run the newspaper and the press himself in 1784. He had never been successful at any occupation and was jealous of his sister's success. Wrenching control of the press was not without turmoil. Mary Katherine Goddard filed 5 lawsuits against her brother before severing her interest in the printing enterprise, which she had successfully managed for 10 years. After all, she still had her position as Baltimore's postmistress to rely on for income.

However, in September 1789, Samuel Osgood, the newly appointed national Postmaster General, decided that inexperienced political appointee John White of Baltimore should replace Goddard. The Assistant Postmaster General Jonathan Burrall was dispatched to Baltimore to give Mary Katherine Goddard the news; but unable to face her in person, he sent a note to her office. She was ordered to turn over her office to White, and told, "a younger person able to ride a horse" was needed.

Over 200 merchants & residents in Baltimore sent a petition and letters objecting to her removal to the Postmaster General. They received no reply. Believing she was still capable at age 51; just before Christmas, she wrote to President George Washington to have the order reversed. She wrote the letter in the 3rd person.

Baltimore, Decemr 23d 1789.
Dear Sir,


The Representation of Mary Katherine Goddard, Humbly sheweth--That She hath kept the Post Office at Baltimore for upwards of fourteen years; but with what degree of Satisfaction to all those concerned, She begs leave to refer to the number & respectability of the Persons who have publickly addressed the Post Master General & his Assistant, on the Subject of her late removal from Office; And as Mr Osgood has not yet favoured between two and three hundred of the principal Merchants & Inhabitants of Baltimore with an answer to their last application, transmitted to him by Post on the last Day of November ultimo,
nor with any Answer to sundry private Letters, accompanying the transcript of a like application, made to Mr Burrell when at Baltimore: She therefore, at the instance of the Gentlemen thus pleased to interest themselves on her behalf, lays before your Excellency, Superintendant of that department, as briefly as possible, the nature & circumstances, of what is conceived to be an extraordinary Act of oppression towards her.


That upon the dissolution of the old Government, when from the non importation Agreement and other causes incident to the Revolution, the Revenue of the Post-Office was inadequate to its disbursements, She accepted of the same, and at her own risque, advanced hard money to defray the Charges of Post Riders for many years, when they were not to be procured on any other terms; and that during this period, the whole of her Labour & Industry in establishing the Office was necessarily unrewarded; the Emoluments of which being by no means equal to the then high Rent of an Office, or to the Attention required both to receive & forward the Mails, as will evidently appear by the Schedule, here unto annexed,
and therefore, whoever thus established & continued the Office, at the gloomy period when it was worth no Person's Acceptance, ought surely to be thought worthy of it, when it became more valuable. And as it had been universally understood, that no Person would be removed from Office, under the present Government, unless manifest misconduct appeared, and as no such Charge could possibly be made against her, with the least colour of Justice, She was happy in the Idea of being secured both in her Office, and the Protection of all those who wished well to the prosperity of the Post Office, & the new Government in general.

That She has sustained many heavy losses, well known to the Gentlemen of Baltimore, which swallowed up the Fruits of her Industry, without even extricating her from embarrassment to this day, although her Accounts with the Post Office were always considered, as amongst the most punctual & regular of any upon the Continent; notwithstanding which She has been discharged from her Office, without any imputation of the least fault, and without any previous official notice: The first intimation on that head being an Order from Mr Burrell,
whilst at Baltimore, to deliver up the Office to the Bearer of his Note; and altho' he had been there several days, yet he did not think proper to indulge her with a personal Interview, thus far treating her in the Stile of an unfriendly delinquent, unworthy of common Civility, as well as common Justice. And although Mr White, who succeeded her, might doubtless have been meritorious in the different Offices he sustained, yet, She humbly conceives, he was not more deserving of public notice & protection in his Station, than She has uniformly been in hers: It must therefore become a matter of serious Importance & of peculiar distress to her, if Government can find no means of rewarding this Gentleman's Services, but at the Expence of all that She had to rely on, for her future dependence & subsistence.


That it has been alledged as a Plea for her removal, that the Deputy Post Master of Baltimore will hereafter be obliged to ride & regulate the Offices to the Southward but that She conceives, with great deference to the Post Master General, this is impracticable, & morally impossible; because the business of the Baltimore Office will require his constant Attendance, & he alone could give satisfaction to the people, if therefore the duties of the Assistant, Mr Burrells' Office are to be performed by any other than himself, surely it cannot well be attempted by those who are fully occupied with their own; and as two Persons must be employed, according to this new Plan, She apprehends, that She is more adequate to give Instructions to the Riding Post Master, how to act than any other Person possibly could, heretofore unexperienced in such business.She, therefore, most humbly hopes from your Excellency's Philanthropy and wonted Humanity, You will take her Situation into Consideration; and as the Grievance complained of, has happened whilst the Post Office Department was put under your auspicious Protection, by a Resolve of Congress, that Your Excellency will be graciously pleased to order, that She may be restored to her former Office, and as in duty bound, She will ever pray &c.
Mary K: Goddard


George Washington promply responded.

New York January 6th.1790
Madam,

In reply to your memorial of the 10th of December, which has been received, I can only observe, that I have uniformly avoided interfering with any appointments which do not require my official agency: and the Resolutions and Ordinances establishing the Post Office under the former Congress, and which have been recognized by the present Government, giving power to the Post-Master General to appoint his own Deputies, and making him accountable for their conduct, is an insuperable objection to my taking any part in this matter.

I have directed your Memorial to be laid before the Post-Master General who will take such measures thereon as his Judgment may direct.

I am, Madam. Your Most Obedt. Servt. Go: Washington


Puffing himself up, Postmaster Samuel Osgood responded the next day giving no reason for the appointment of White except the following: "From mature Consideration, I am fully convinced that I shall be more benefitted from the Services of Mr White than I could be from those of Mrs Goddard."

After receiving Washington's dismissive letter, she pressed her appeal for reinstatement & for payment of a claim against the United States in both the Senate and House of Representatives. She was unsuccessful in obtaining either compensation or reinstatment.

The 1790 Maryland Census reported she owned four slaves and had one other free person living in her household. From 1790 to 1802, she operated a bookstore in Baltimore.

By the canvass of the 1810 Maryland Census, Mary Katherine Goddard was living with just one female slave in her household. Mary Katherine died in Baltimore in August of 1816, at the age of 78, leaving all her personal possessions & real property to her African American servant Belinda Starling & releasing her from slavery.

Friday, October 20, 2017

18C Portrait of an American Woman

Mrs. Francis Brinley (1698–1761) and Her Son Francis (1729–1816).  1729 by John Smibert (American, Edinburgh, Scotland 1688–1751 Boston, Massachusetts) The Metropolitan Museum of Art tells us that she was born Deborah Lyde,  & that Mrs. Francis Brinley (1698–1761) was the daughter of Edward and Catherine Lyde and the granddaughter of Judge Nathaniel Byfield. When she married Francis Brinley in 1718, she was a woman of wealth and social prominence. An entry in Smibert's notebook dated May 1729 identifies the infant as the Brinley's son Francis (1729–1816). Mrs. Brinley holds a sprig of orange blossoms, a gesture which may have been taken from an 18C print by Sir Peter Lely. The white orange blossom symbolizes both marriage and purity, while the fruit, a sign of fertility, emphasizes Mrs. Brinley's role as a mother. Orange trees, although fashionable in Europe, were expensive rarities in the colonies. The presence of one here reinforces the sitter's wealth.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Costumes of Different Countries, Los Angeles County Art Museum 


Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 18C, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from clothing & costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available at the time. 

During the period in Britain & her colonies, a woman's status could be  evident in her choice of clothing materials in both quantity & quality. Did her clothes have elegant trimmings, such as lace & needlework? How many dresses did she own? Were they up-to-date in style & fit? Women who had to do physical labor, especially in the colonies, modified the elegant styles of the period for greater ease of movement, durability, & affordability. Everyday long gowns seldom survived, but prints & paintings suggest the garments were cut like fashionable dresses of the period. Usually they were, however, made of cheaper textiles & without trimmings & ruffles. When a long fitted gown was too impractical for the work to be done, working women adopted shorter garments that also required less fabric than a full gown. These included short gowns, bed gowns, & jackets. Neck handkerchiefs, gloves, & mitts protected women's bodies from exposure to cold or excessive sunlight. Kerchiefs also offered greater modesty, when fashion dictated low necklines. Workers & older women especially relied on such accessories.

Early in the 18C, proper, elite British women wore a dress known as a mantua for formal occasions. The mantua was an open-fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train & matching petticoat. The train was worn looped up over the hips to reveal the petticoat. The bodice had loose elbow-length sleeves finished with wide turned-back cuffs. A hoop petticoat & several under-petticoats wore worn beneath the outer petticoat. To give the British figure a fashionable shape, a corset often was worn under the bodice. It was made of linen & stiffened with whale bones inserted between parallel lines of stitching. The corset fastened with lacing down the back which could be laced tightly to give an upright posture to the torso & to emphasise the waist. A strip of bone, wood, or metal was sometimes incorporated into the front stays. British women wore their hair close to the head often with a small linen cap which sometimes had lace lappets, streamers that hung either side of a woman's cap. The cap was covered by a hood or hat for outerwear.

In the 1730s, the "sack back' dress worn over a hoop petticoat became increasingly fashionable in Britain & her colonies. The style remained in fashion until the 1780s. The sack back was made from 5 or panels of material pleated into 2 box pleats at the center back of the neck-band. It flowed down & was incorporated into the fullness of the skirt. It was worn over a matching petticoat as well as a hoop petticoat. The "nightgown style" or style anglaise had a pleated back. The pleats were stitched flat from the back of the neck to the centre back waist. Genteel ladies wore hoop petticoats, usually made of linen with split cane hoops stitched in at intervals & held the skirt of the petticoat & the robe out at the sides. They were at their widest in the 1740s & 1750s, when they could measure over 1.5m across. Hoop petticoats were worn on formal occasions. As with many fashions, it is hard to say why such a cumbersome outfit was popular. One reason might have been that it displayed the richly embroidered cloth of the skirt that indicated the wearer's wealth. During the 1770s, hair styles became higher, as they often were combed over a padded roll or worn over a frame.

As the New Repulic of The United States of America was finding its way between the 1780s & 1800, a very noticeable change took place in the female British silhouette. The waistline became higher, until it reached the bust. The skirt was reduced in width & hoop petticoats were discarded except at very formal occasions. In their place, crescent-shaped pads were worn at the center back waist beneath the skirt to help fill out the gathers at the back of the dress. In the 1790s, corsets were lightly boned & usually made of linen. Hair was frizzed or worn in short curls.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sarah Updike Goddard (c. 1701-1770) Printer & Mother of a Spoiled Son & a Fine Daughter

Printer's workshop (18th century woodcut). British Library. Shelfmark Harl.5915.(215.)

Sarah Updike Goddard (c. 1701-Jan. 5, 1770), printer, was born at Cocumscussuc, one mile north of the village of Wickford, R.I., to Lodowick & Abigail (Newton) Updike. Her grandfather, Gysbert op Dyck, had emigrated from Wesel, Germany, to Lloyd’s Neck, Long Island, in 1635. In 1643 he was married to Katherine Smith, daughter of an early Rhode Island settler, Richard Smith. Their son, Lodowick (1646-1737), moved in 1664 from New Amsterdam to Kingston, R.I., where he anglicized his surname to Updike, became a substantial landowner, & held several public offices. He had one son & five daughters, Sarah among them; the son, Daniel, served for several years as attorney general of the colony of Rhode Island.

Sarah’s education included not only the subjects usual to the day but also French & Latin from a French tutor in the Updike household. On Dec. 11, 1735, she was married to Dr. Giles Goddard of Groton, Conn., like herself a member of the Church of England, & he practiced medicine & was for many years postmaster. Of their four children, only two, Mary Katherine & William, lived to adulthood. Presumably Mrs. Goddard taught the two children herself, though William later mentioned having in a school as a child. On Jan. 31, 1757, Giles Goddard died, leaving an estate valued at 780 pounds. When William Goddard in 1762 started Providence’s first printing shop & newspaper, the Providence Gazette, the money (300 pounds) too set up the business came from his mother, who in the same year moved from New London to Providence. Both Mrs. Goddard & her daughter doubtless worked in the shop, since both became accomplished printers.

Lacking enough subscribers, William Goddard temporarily ceased publication of the Providence Gazette on May 11, 1765, & moved to New York, but the Providence printing office continued to function under the supervision of his mother. During the rest of 1765 the shop issued the annual West’s Almanack & various pamphlets under the imprint “S. & W. Goddard.” When, on Aug. 9, 1766, the Providence Gazette was revived, it was under the auspices of “Sarah Goddard & Company,” Sarah thereby becoming Providence’s second printer. She continued to print the weekly newspaper & run a bookstore & bookbindery until Nov. 5, 1768, when the business was sold to a partner, John Carter, for $550. Her bluestocking inclinations are revealed by her printing in 1766 the first American edition of the Letters of the Right Honourable Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

After the sale of her Providence business Sarah Goddard joined her son in Philadelphia, where he was printing the Pennsylvania Chronicle; her financial assistance aided him in his struggle with his silent partners, Joseph Galloway & Thomas Wharton. In Philadelphia, Sarah Goddard remained mostly in the background, though she occasionally supervised the shop during William’s frequent trips to New England in 1769.

She died in Philadelphia & was buried in the Christ Church burial ground. An obituary in New-York Gazette of Jan. 22, 1770, eulogized “her uncommon attainments in literature,” “sincere piety,” “unaffected humility,” “easy agreeable chearfulness & affability,” & “sensible & edifying conversation.” In spite of her restless & selfish son, her daughter, Mary Katherine Goddard, carried on the family tradition. 

This posting based, in part, on information from Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

18C Portrait of an American Woman

 Mrs. John Dart, Henrietta Isabella Sommers (1750–1783).  1772 Jeremiah Theus (American, Chur, 1716–1774 Charleston, South Carolina)  The Metropolitan Museum of Art tells us that Henrietta Isabella Sommers (1750–1783) was the daughter of Humphrey Sommers, a successful building contractor in Charleston, South Carolina. She was married to John Dart. The costume in this portrait was probably based on a print, since it is unlikely that Mrs. Dart possessed an ermine-trimmed robe. Theus probably painted her face from life and the clothing in his studio, with a mezzotint before him.

Monday, October 16, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Costumes of Different Countries, Los Angeles County Art Museum 


Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 18C, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from clothing & costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available at the time. 

During the period in Britain & her colonies, a woman's status could be  evident in her choice of clothing materials in both quantity & quality. Did her clothes have elegant trimmings, such as lace & needlework? How many dresses did she own? Were they up-to-date in style & fit? Women who had to do physical labor, especially in the colonies, modified the elegant styles of the period for greater ease of movement, durability, & affordability. Everyday long gowns seldom survived, but prints & paintings suggest the garments were cut like fashionable dresses of the period. Usually they were, however, made of cheaper textiles & without trimmings & ruffles. When a long fitted gown was too impractical for the work to be done, working women adopted shorter garments that also required less fabric than a full gown. These included short gowns, bed gowns, & jackets. Neck handkerchiefs, gloves, & mitts protected women's bodies from exposure to cold or excessive sunlight. Kerchiefs also offered greater modesty, when fashion dictated low necklines. Workers & older women especially relied on such accessories.

Early in the 18C, proper, elite British women wore a dress known as a mantua for formal occasions. The mantua was an open-fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train & matching petticoat. The train was worn looped up over the hips to reveal the petticoat. The bodice had loose elbow-length sleeves finished with wide turned-back cuffs. A hoop petticoat & several under-petticoats wore worn beneath the outer petticoat. To give the British figure a fashionable shape, a corset often was worn under the bodice. It was made of linen & stiffened with whale bones inserted between parallel lines of stitching. The corset fastened with lacing down the back which could be laced tightly to give an upright posture to the torso & to emphasise the waist. A strip of bone, wood, or metal was sometimes incorporated into the front stays. British women wore their hair close to the head often with a small linen cap which sometimes had lace lappets, streamers that hung either side of a woman's cap. The cap was covered by a hood or hat for outerwear.

In the 1730s, the "sack back' dress worn over a hoop petticoat became increasingly fashionable in Britain & her colonies. The style remained in fashion until the 1780s. The sack back was made from 5 or panels of material pleated into 2 box pleats at the center back of the neck-band. It flowed down & was incorporated into the fullness of the skirt. It was worn over a matching petticoat as well as a hoop petticoat. The "nightgown style" or style anglaise had a pleated back. The pleats were stitched flat from the back of the neck to the centre back waist. Genteel ladies wore hoop petticoats, usually made of linen with split cane hoops stitched in at intervals & held the skirt of the petticoat & the robe out at the sides. They were at their widest in the 1740s & 1750s, when they could measure over 1.5m across. Hoop petticoats were worn on formal occasions. As with many fashions, it is hard to say why such a cumbersome outfit was popular. One reason might have been that it displayed the richly embroidered cloth of the skirt that indicated the wearer's wealth. During the 1770s, hair styles became higher, as they often were combed over a padded roll or worn over a frame.

As the New Repulic of The United States of America was finding its way between the 1780s & 1800, a very noticeable change took place in the female British silhouette. The waistline became higher, until it reached the bust. The skirt was reduced in width & hoop petticoats were discarded except at very formal occasions. In their place, crescent-shaped pads were worn at the center back waist beneath the skirt to help fill out the gathers at the back of the dress. In the 1790s, corsets were lightly boned & usually made of linen. Hair was frizzed or worn in short curls.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Clementina Rind 1740-1774, Printer for Thomas Jefferson & Editor of the Virginia Gazette

Clementina Rind (1740-1774), printer & newspaper editor, wife of William Rind, public printer in Maryland & Virginia, is said to have been a native of Maryland. She may have been the daughter of William Elder (1707-1775) & his wife Jacoba Clementina Livers (1717-1807) of Prince George’s County, Maryland. The name Clementina often referred to James, the Old Pretender to the English throne, & his wife Jacoba Clementina.

Her husband, born in Annapolis in 1733, was reared there as apprentice to the public printer, Jonas Green. During the 7-year period of his partnership with Green (1758-65) young Rind acquired town property, a home, & his wife, Clementina. In 1758, that the firm of "Green & Rind" was formed for the purpose of carrying on the newspaper. The junior partner, it seems, did not enter into the ordinary business of the establishment; his name appeared on none of its imprints except that of the Maryland Gazette. To protest the Stamp Act the partners suspended publication of the Maryland Gazette in October 1765, & shortly thereafter Rind accepted the invitation of a group of Virginians to publish a “free paper” in Williamsburg.

"Until the beginning of our revolutionary disputes," wrote Thomas Jefferson to Isaiah Thomas 43 years later, "we had but one press, & that having the whole business of the government, & no competitor for public favor, nothing disagreeable to the governor could be got into it. We procured Rind to come from Maryland to publish a free paper."
The first issue of Rind’s Virginia Gazette appeared May 16, 1766, under the motto: “Open to ALL PARTIES, but Influenced by NONE.” The press, the paper & the printer quickly established a good reputation. The fall assembly chose Rind as public printer, & in spite of rising costs of paper & other supplies the business prospered. When the editor died in August 1773, his family was living on the Main street in the present Ludwell-Paradise House & the printing shop was operated in the same handsome brick building.  His widow Clementina immediately took over the editorship & business management of the press for her “dear infants”- William, John, Charles, James, & Maria. The household included also a kinsman, John Pinkney; an apprentice, Isaac Collins; & a Negro slave, Dick who probably worked as a semiskilled artisan.
As editor Mrs. Rind was careful to preserve the integrity of the newspaper’s motto & purpose. Reports of foreign & domestic occurrences, shipping news, & advertisements were supplemented by essays, articles, & poems accepted from contributors or selected from her “general correspondence” & from London magazines & newspapers. During her short tenure as publisher, Rind's periodical highlighted new scientific research, debates on education, & philanthropic causes, as well as plans for improving educational opportunities-especially those relating to the College of William & Mary.

Clementina Rind Rind was not hesitant to express her own voice in the Virginia Gazette. She wrote articles that expressed her patriotic ideals, which supported rights of the American colonies & denounced British authority.  During her tenure, the Virginia Gazette carried an unusual number of poetic tributes to ladies in acrostic or rebus form, literary conceits, & news reports with a feminine slant. As conventional fillers she used sprightly vignettes of life in European high society, in rural England, & in other colonies.

Mrs. Rind was peculiarly sensitive to the good will of contributors & usually explained why specific offerings were not being published promptly. Sometimes, however, contributions were summarily rejected. Scarcely three months after Rind’s death her competitor, Alexander Purdie, published an anonymous open letter criticizing her refusal to print an article exposing the misconduct of some of “the guilty Great.” Her dignified reply, published in her own paper the next week, demonstrated independence, good sense, & literary skill.  She had rejected the article, she wrote, because it was an anonymous attack on the character of private persons & should be heard in a court of law, not in a newspaper; yet she promised: “When the author gives up his name, it shall, however repugnant to my inclination, have a place in this paper, as the principles upon which I set out will then, I flatter myself, plead my excuse with every party.” In later issues of her gazette contributors often expressed healthy respect for her standards & literary judgment.  Her bid for public favor was so well received, that she expanded her printing program & in April 1774, after 6 months as editor, announced the purchase of “an elegant set of types from London.” A month later the House of Burgesses appointed her public printer in her own right, & they continued to give her press all the public business in sprite of competing petitions from Purdie & Dixon, publishers of a rival Virginia Gazette.
In early 1774, she printed Thomas Jefferson's A Summary View of the Rights of British America just after Peyton Randolph read it aloud in his home to a gathering of Virginia patriots. George Washington was among the first to purchase a copy, writing in his diary that it cost him 3 shillings and ninepence. The pamphlet was reprinted in Philadelphia and London, and its importance has been described as "second only to the Declaration of Independence." It was a document Jefferson had drafted at Monticello for the guidance of Virginia's delegates to the Continental Congress. The colony's House of Burgesses considered the composition too radical for official endorsement, but a group of Jefferson's friends persuaded the Widow Rind to issue it as a pamphlet. Thus A Summary View of the Rights of British America appeared in August 1774. The future author of the Declaration of Independence later wrote: "If it had any merit, it was that of first taking our true ground, and that which was afterwards assumed and maintained."  At the end of August, however, she became ill & found it difficult to collect payments due her; yet her pride in her work & her optimistic plans for the future were undiminished. She died in Williamsburg a only a month later & was probably buried beside her husband at Bruton Parish Church.  Her readers prepared a number of poetic eulogies & a formal elegy of 150 lines. Although Clementina Rind lived only about 34 years, her brief obituary read, "a Lady of singular Merit, and universally esteemed."

This posting based, in part, on information from Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Costumes of Different Countries, Los Angeles County Art Museum 

Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 18C, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places might also dress from clothing & costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available at the time. 

During the period in Britain & her colonies, a woman's status could be  evident in her choice of clothing materials in both quantity & quality. Did her clothes have elegant trimmings, such as lace & needlework? How many dresses did she own? Were they up-to-date in style & fit? Women who had to do physical labor, especially in the colonies, modified the elegant styles of the period for greater ease of movement, durability, & affordability. Everyday long gowns seldom survived, but prints & paintings suggest the garments were cut like fashionable dresses of the period. Usually they were, however, made of cheaper textiles & without trimmings & ruffles. When a long fitted gown was too impractical for the work to be done, working women adopted shorter garments that also required less fabric than a full gown. These included short gowns, bed gowns, & jackets. Neck handkerchiefs, gloves, & mitts protected women's bodies from exposure to cold or excessive sunlight. Kerchiefs also offered greater modesty, when fashion dictated low necklines. Workers & older women especially relied on such accessories.

Early in the 18C, proper, elite British women wore a dress known as a mantua for formal occasions. The mantua was an open-fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train & matching petticoat. The train was worn looped up over the hips to reveal the petticoat. The bodice had loose elbow-length sleeves finished with wide turned-back cuffs. A hoop petticoat & several under-petticoats wore worn beneath the outer petticoat.  To give the British figure a fashionable shape, a corset often was worn under the bodice. It was made of linen & stiffened with whale bones inserted between parallel lines of stitching. The corset fastened with lacing down the back which could be laced tightly to give an upright posture to the torso & to emphasise the waist. A strip of bone, wood, or metal was sometimes incorporated into the front stays. British women wore their hair close to the head often with a small linen cap which sometimes had lace lappets, streamers that hung either side of a woman's cap. The cap was covered by a hood or hat for outerwear.

In the 1730s, the "sack back' dress worn over a hoop petticoat became increasingly fashionable in Britain & her colonies. The style remained in fashion until the 1780s. The sack back was made from 5 or panels of material pleated into 2 box pleats at the center back of the neck-band. It flowed down & was incorporated into the fullness of the skirt. It was worn over a matching petticoat as well as a hoop petticoat. The "nightgown style" or style anglaise had a pleated back. The pleats were stitched flat from the back of the neck to the centre back waist. Genteel ladies wore hoop petticoats, usually made of linen with split cane hoops stitched in at intervals & held the skirt of the petticoat & the robe out at the sides. They were at their widest in the 1740s & 1750s, when they could measure over 1.5m across. Hoop petticoats were worn on formal occasions. As with many fashions, it is hard to say why such a cumbersome outfit was popular. One reason might have been that it displayed the richly embroidered cloth of the skirt that indicated the wearer's wealth. During the 1770s, hair styles became higher, as they often were combed over a padded roll or worn over a frame.

As the New Repulic of The United States of America was finding its way between the 1780s & 1800, a very noticeable change took place in the female British silhouette. The waistline became higher, until it reached the bust. The skirt was reduced in width & hoop petticoats were discarded except at very formal occasions. In their place, crescent-shaped pads were worn at the center back waist beneath the skirt to help fill out the gathers at the back of the dress. In the 1790s, corsets were lightly boned & usually made of linen. Hair was frizzed or worn in short curls.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Jane Aitken (1764-1832) Philadelphia Printer, Publisher, Bookbinder, & Bookseller.

Neues Bilderbuch für Kinder, 1799

Jane Aitken (1764-1832) was an early American printer, publisher, bookbinder, & bookseller.  Aitken was born in Paisley, Scotland, on July 11, 1764. She was the 1st of 4 children that grew to adulthood in the family. Her father was Robert Aitken (1734–1802), a Scottish stationery & book merchant who later became a Philadelphia printer & bookbinder. Her mother’s maiden name was Janet Skeoch. Aitken & her family were among several Scottish families that emigrated to colonial British America in 1771. The Aitken family settled in Philadelphia, their port of importation. Aitken was involved with her father's Philadelphia publishing business, which consisted of a print shop & bindery. Her handwritten bookkeeping notes show that the print shop printed a newspaper, journals, books, & stationery. She inherited the printing business from her father's estate after his death in 1802 when she was 38 years of age. The publications were thereafter in her own name as Printed by Jane Aitken from her printing business, which she ran on Third Street in Philadelphia. Her father's estate came with a heavy debt of $3,000. Her brother, Robert Aitken Jr., who was a year younger than she & had been disowned by their father, was financially incapable to assist in this debt. Jane, being the oldest child, assumed the responsibility of caring for her 2 younger sisters, as her mother had previously died. She never married.

She was responsible for printing a number of publications after she took over her father's business, including contracts from the American Philosophical Society, the Philadelphia Female Association, & the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, to name just a few. At least 60 of her published works are known from the period 1802 to 1812. Her most important work, according to the contemporary historian of printing Isaiah Thomas, was the four-volume Thomson Bible of 1808, which firmly established Jane's Aitken's reputation. This Bible was a new translation prepared by Charles Thomson, former secretary of the Continental Congress, the first English translation from the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament). 

Aitken's bookbinding business sometimes gave more support to the family than the actual printing part of the business. She bound many of the author's books she printed up, work for the Athenaeum of Philadelphia & some 400 volumes for the American Philosophical Society. Binding work of the 1780s to 1802 from her father's shop shows similarity to her binding work she did from 1802 to 1812 & shows that perhaps she did most if not all the binding work from his shop when she was younger.

John Vaughan, a friend & a librarian from the American Philosophical Society, gave her much work & even some financial assistance, but her business failed in 1813, & her equipment was sold off. Vaughan bought the equipment at a sheriff's sale & leased it back to her at under the going market rate, however after she failed again in 1814, she was put into debtors' prison at the Norristown Jail, 20 miles outside Philadelphia. She basically is unheard of in historical records other than the "late printer," until her death record of 1832, appearing in an obituary in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Her burial place is assumed to be in the destroyed cemetery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, of which she was a member.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

18C Portrait of an American Woman

Mrs. John Winthrop 1773 John Singleton Copley (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1738–1815 London)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art tells us that Hannah Fayerweather (1727–1790) was the daughter of Thomas and Hannah Waldo Fayerweather. She was baptized at the First Church in Boston in February 12, 1727. She was married twice, in 1745 to Parr Tolman and in 1756 to John Winthrop, a professor of mathematics and natural history at Harvard University and a noted astronomer. Although this portrait has traditionally been dated 1774, a receipt dated June 24, 1773, places its execution in the previous year. The portrait is one of a number in which Copley prominently featured a beautifully reflective tabletop.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Costumes of Different Countries, Los Angeles County Art Museum


Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 18C, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from clothing & costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available at the time. 

During the period in Britain & her colonies, a woman's status could be  evident in her choice of clothing materials in both quantity & quality. Did her clothes have elegant trimmings, such as lace & needlework? How many dresses did she own? Were they up-to-date in style & fit? Women who had to do physical labor, especially in the colonies, modified the elegant styles of the period for greater ease of movement, durability, & affordability. Everyday long gowns seldom survived, but prints & paintings suggest the garments were cut like fashionable dresses of the period. Usually they were, however, made of cheaper textiles & without trimmings & ruffles. When a long fitted gown was too impractical for the work to be done, working women adopted shorter garments that also required less fabric than a full gown. These included short gowns, bed gowns, & jackets. Neck handkerchiefs, gloves, & mitts protected women's bodies from exposure to cold or excessive sunlight. Kerchiefs also offered greater modesty, when fashion dictated low necklines. Workers & older women especially relied on such accessories.

Early in the 18C, proper, elite British women wore a dress known as a mantua for formal occasions. The mantua was an open-fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train & matching petticoat. The train was worn looped up over the hips to reveal the petticoat. The bodice had loose elbow-length sleeves finished with wide turned-back cuffs. A hoop petticoat & several under-petticoats wore worn beneath the outer petticoat. To give the British figure a fashionable shape, a corset often was worn under the bodice. It was made of linen & stiffened with whale bones inserted between parallel lines of stitching. The corset fastened with lacing down the back which could be laced tightly to give an upright posture to the torso & to emphasise the waist. A strip of bone, wood, or metal was sometimes incorporated into the front stays. British women wore their hair close to the head often with a small linen cap which sometimes had lace lappets, streamers that hung either side of a woman's cap. The cap was covered by a hood or hat for outerwear.

In the 1730s, the "sack back' dress worn over a hoop petticoat became increasingly fashionable in Britain & her colonies. The style remained in fashion until the 1780s. The sack back was made from 5 or panels of material pleated into 2 box pleats at the center back of the neck-band. It flowed down & was incorporated into the fullness of the skirt. It was worn over a matching petticoat as well as a hoop petticoat. The "nightgown style" or style anglaise had a pleated back. The pleats were stitched flat from the back of the neck to the centre back waist. Genteel ladies wore hoop petticoats, usually made of linen with split cane hoops stitched in at intervals & held the skirt of the petticoat & the robe out at the sides. They were at their widest in the 1740s & 1750s, when they could measure over 1.5m across. Hoop petticoats were worn on formal occasions. As with many fashions, it is hard to say why such a cumbersome outfit was popular. One reason might have been that it displayed the richly embroidered cloth of the skirt that indicated the wearer's wealth. During the 1770s, hair styles became higher, as they often were combed over a padded roll or worn over a frame.

As the New Repulic of The United States of America was finding its way between the 1780s & 1800, a very noticeable change took place in the female British silhouette. The waistline became higher, until it reached the bust. The skirt was reduced in width & hoop petticoats were discarded except at very formal occasions. In their place, crescent-shaped pads were worn at the center back waist beneath the skirt to help fill out the gathers at the back of the dress. In the 1790s, corsets were lightly boned & usually made of linen. Hair was frizzed or worn in short curls.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ann Donavan Timothy 1727-1792 - 2nd Female Publisher of the South Carolina Gazette

Ann Timothy (c1727-1792), printer & newspaper publisher, was born Ann Donavan, probably in Charleston, S.C. At St. Phillip’s Church in Charleston, on Dec. 8, 1745, she married Peter Timothy (1725-1782), who about this time became publisher of the South Carolina Gazette, the colony’s first permanent newspaper, earlier published by his father, Lewis Timothy, & his mother, Elizabeth.

The Gazette had been founded in 1731, by Thomas Whitmarsh, a protege of Benjamin Franklin. He was replaced in 1734, by another Franklin protege, Lewis Timothee (Timothy), a Huguenot. When Lewis died in 1738, his widow Elizabeth, with the help of her son Peter, continued the paper as the 1st woman editor & publisher in America. 

Later Peter Timothy, aided by his wife, the former Ann Donovan, made the South Carolina Gazette a major Patriot organ. For that reason, its publication was suspended during the British occupation, 1780-83.  Displaced by the British occupation of Charleston, the patriot Peter Timothy & his family went to Philadelphia in 1781. In the following year, Timothy & two of his daughters embarked for Santo Domingo & were lost at sea. Ann Timothy returned in 1782, to Charleston, where on July 16, 1783, like her widowed mother-in-law 43 years before, she resumed publication of the Gazette of the State of South Carolina (Peter Timothy had renamed the paper in 1777). With the assistance of one E. Walsh, she published the newspaper (renamed again in 1785, the State Gazette of South Carolina) until her death in 1792.
The South Carolina Gazette was published in this house at 106 Broad Street in Charleston.

Ann Timothy was the 2nd woman in South Carolina & the 2nd in her family to become the publisher of a newspaper. In addition to publishing the Gazette, she obtained the post of “Printer to the State,” which she held, apparently, from 1785 until her death. At least 15 imprints were issued under her name from 1783 to 1792. One of the first seals of South Carolina appeared on March 28, 1785, in the nameplate of the State Gazette of South Carolina, a Charleston newspaper. The paper was published by Ann Timothy, the official state's printer.Ann Timothy died in Charleston in 1792, at the age of 65. At the time of her death, her living children were Sarah (unmarried), Robert, Elizabeth Anne (Mrs. Peter Valton), Frances Claudia (Mrs. Benjamin Lewis Merchant), & Benjamin Franklin Timothy. Benjamin Timothy inherited the Gazette & published it, until his retirement from the printing business in 1802, at which time the 69-year-old South Carolina printing & newspaper family dynasty came to an end.

This posting based, in part, on information from Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971

Saturday, October 7, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1770s Bunka Fashion College in Japan. Underneath the illustration the word Dutch is handwritten in pencil. Netherlands

Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 18C, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from clothing & costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available at the time. 

During the period in Britain & her colonies, a woman's status could be  evident in her choice of clothing materials in both quantity & quality. Did her clothes have elegant trimmings, such as lace & needlework? How many dresses did she own? Were they up-to-date in style & fit? Women who had to do physical labor, especially in the colonies, modified the elegant styles of the period for greater ease of movement, durability, & affordability. Everyday long gowns seldom survived, but prints & paintings suggest the garments were cut like fashionable dresses of the period. Usually they were, however, made of cheaper textiles & without trimmings & ruffles. When a long fitted gown was too impractical for the work to be done, working women adopted shorter garments that also required less fabric than a full gown. These included short gowns, bed gowns, & jackets. Neck handkerchiefs, gloves, & mitts protected women's bodies from exposure to cold or excessive sunlight. Kerchiefs also offered greater modesty, when fashion dictated low necklines. Workers & older women especially relied on such accessories.

Early in the 18C, proper, elite British women wore a dress known as a mantua for formal occasions. The mantua was an open-fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train & matching petticoat. The train was worn looped up over the hips to reveal the petticoat. The bodice had loose elbow-length sleeves finished with wide turned-back cuffs. A hoop petticoat & several under-petticoats wore worn beneath the outer petticoat. To give the British figure a fashionable shape, a corset often was worn under the bodice. It was made of linen & stiffened with whale bones inserted between parallel lines of stitching. The corset fastened with lacing down the back which could be laced tightly to give an upright posture to the torso & to emphasise the waist. A strip of bone, wood, or metal was sometimes incorporated into the front stays. British women wore their hair close to the head often with a small linen cap which sometimes had lace lappets, streamers that hung either side of a woman's cap. The cap was covered by a hood or hat for outerwear.

In the 1730s, the "sack back' dress worn over a hoop petticoat became increasingly fashionable in Britain & her colonies. The style remained in fashion until the 1780s. The sack back was made from 5 or panels of material pleated into 2 box pleats at the center back of the neck-band. It flowed down & was incorporated into the fullness of the skirt. It was worn over a matching petticoat as well as a hoop petticoat. The "nightgown style" or style anglaise had a pleated back. The pleats were stitched flat from the back of the neck to the centre back waist. Genteel ladies wore hoop petticoats, usually made of linen with split cane hoops stitched in at intervals & held the skirt of the petticoat & the robe out at the sides. They were at their widest in the 1740s & 1750s, when they could measure over 1.5m across. Hoop petticoats were worn on formal occasions. As with many fashions, it is hard to say why such a cumbersome outfit was popular. One reason might have been that it displayed the richly embroidered cloth of the skirt that indicated the wearer's wealth. During the 1770s, hair styles became higher, as they often were combed over a padded roll or worn over a frame.


As the New Repulic of The United States of America was finding its way between the 1780s & 1800, a very noticeable change took place in the female British silhouette. The waistline became higher, until it reached the bust. The skirt was reduced in width & hoop petticoats were discarded except at very formal occasions. In their place, crescent-shaped pads were worn at the center back waist beneath the skirt to help fill out the gathers at the back of the dress. In the 1790s, corsets were lightly boned & usually made of linen. Hair was frizzed or worn in short curls.

Friday, October 6, 2017

1738 South Carolina Newspaper Publisher - Immigrant & Widow Elizabeth Timothy

Elizabeth Timothy (d. 1757), printer & newspaper publisher, was born in Holland. She left Holland in 1731, with her husband Lewis & their 4 young children, all under the age of 6, sailing from Rotterdam in 1731, with other French Huguenots fleeing the Edict of Nantz, arriving in Philadelphia that September.

The family settled in Philadelphia, where Timothée, fluent in French, advertised in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette that he would like to tutor French. The ever-practical Franklin saw a potential opportunity with the multi-lingual Timothee & persuaded him to become the editor of the 1st German newspaper in the colony Philadelphische Zeitung, but the operation lasted only for 2 months. Although the German paper failed, Franklin must have been impressed with Timothée, for he next became librarian of Franklin’s Philadelphia Library Company, & a journeyman printer at Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin was teaching Timothee the printing business.Franklin had contracted with Thomas Whitmarsh, to Charles Town to establish the South-Carolina Gazette. Not long after the paper began publication, Whitmarsh died of yellow fever & Timothée was persuaded to take his place.

Franklin & Timothée signed a 6-year contract with Franklin furnishing the press & other equipment, paying 1/3 of the expenses, & receiving 1/3 of the profits from the joint venture. The contract included a clause declaring that if Timothee died, his son Peter would take over the operation.

In 1733, Timothée did revive the South-Carolina Gazette, the colony’s first permanent newspaper. The early issues of the Gazette listed Louis Timothée as the publisher, but he soon anglicized his name to "Lewis Timothy."  The following year, his wife & children joined him in Charles Town, where they became members of St. Philip's Anglican Church. Timothée also helped organize a subscription postal system originating at his printing office &, in 1736, obtained a land grant of 600 acres & a town lot in Charles Town.  But 2 years later, Lewis Timothy died in an accident in December 1738. Without missing an issue, his widow continued publication of the Gazette in the name of her eldest son, Peter, who was then about 13 years old. A year remained on the contract with Franklin.  Because of her son's youth, Elizabeth Timothy assumed control of the printing operation. The publisher, however, was listed as Peter Timothy to comply with the contract. She asked the paper’s readers "to continue their Favors and good Offices to this poor afflicted Widow and six small children and another hourly expected."

As official printer for the province, Elizabeth Timothy printed acts & other proceedings for the Assembly. In addition to the Gazette, she printed books, pamphlets, tracts, & other publications. The colophon "Peter Timothy" appeared after each. However, she made most of the decisions in the operation of the business.  In addition to the newspaper, at least 20 imprints were issued during the years (1739-45) of Elizabeth Timothy’s connection with the printing business. According to Benjamin Franklin, the widow was far superior to her husband in the operation of the business.

In his autobiography, Franklin described Timothy as "a man of learning, & honest but ignorant in matters of account; & tho' he sometimes made me remittances, I could get no account from him, nor any satisfactory state of our partnership while he lived."  On the other hand, Franklin found that Elizabeth Timothy “continu’d to account with the greatest Regularity & Exactitude every Quarter afterwards; & manag’d the Business with such Success that she not only brought up reputably a Family of Children, but at the Expiration of the Term was able to purchase of me the Printing House & establish her Son in it.”

When Peter Timothy turned 21 in 1746, he assumed operation of the Gazette, & his mother opened a book & stationery store next door to the printing office on King Street.  In a Gazette ad published in October 1746, she announced the availability of books such as pocket Bibles, spellers, primers, & books titled Reflections on Courtship & Marriage, Armstrong's Poem on Health, The Westminster Confession of Faith, & Watts' Psalms & Hymns. She also offered bills of lading, mortgages, bills of sale, writs, ink powder, & quills to local South Carolinians.

She operated her shop for about a year, but during that time she advertised in the Gazette that she planned to leave the province & asked that anyone who owed money to her or to her husband's estate settle their debts within 3 months.  It is unclear when she left Charles Town or where she made her new home. But by 1756, she had returned to Charles Town: & on April 2, 1757, she wrote her will & died within a month. Her property included 3 houses, a tract of land, & 8 slaves.

Lewis & Elizabeth Timothy had 6 children: Peter, Louisa (Mrs. James Richards), Charles (d. September 1739), Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. Abraham Bourquin), Joseph (d. October 1739), & Catherine (Mrs. Theodore Trezevant). Their son Peter Timothy (c.1725-1782) continued to publish the South-Carolina Gazette, gained distinction as one of the leading American printers of his generation, & was prominent in South Carolina’s Revolutionary movement.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

18C Portrait of an American Woman

1795 Mrs. Joseph Anthony Jr. (Henrietta Hillegas) Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755–1828)

The Met tells us that Mrs. Joseph Anthony Jr., born Henrietta Hillegas in 1766, was one of ten children of Michael and Henrietta Hillegas of Philadelphia. Her father made his fortune in sugar refining and iron manufacturing, and served as the first treasurer of the United States. Henrietta married Joseph Anthony in 1785. As with many of Stuart’s portraits of Philadelphia society women, Mrs. Anthony’s likeness is endowed with an individuality and a sensuousness rare in American portraiture.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1770s Bunka Fashion College in Japan. Underneath the illustration the word Dutch is handwritten in pencil. Netherlands

Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 18C, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from clothing & costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available at the time. 

During the period in Britain & her colonies, a woman's status could be  evident in her choice of clothing materials in both quantity & quality. Did her clothes have elegant trimmings, such as lace & needlework? How many dresses did she own? Were they up-to-date in style & fit? Women who had to do physical labor, especially in the colonies, modified the elegant styles of the period for greater ease of movement, durability, & affordability. Everyday long gowns seldom survived, but prints & paintings suggest the garments were cut like fashionable dresses of the period. Usually they were, however, made of cheaper textiles & without trimmings & ruffles. When a long fitted gown was too impractical for the work to be done, working women adopted shorter garments that also required less fabric than a full gown. These included short gowns, bed gowns, & jackets. Neck handkerchiefs, gloves, & mitts protected women's bodies from exposure to cold or excessive sunlight. Kerchiefs also offered greater modesty, when fashion dictated low necklines. Workers & older women especially relied on such accessories.

Early in the 18C, proper, elite British women wore a dress known as a mantua for formal occasions. The mantua was an open-fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train & matching petticoat. The train was worn looped up over the hips to reveal the petticoat. The bodice had loose elbow-length sleeves finished with wide turned-back cuffs. A hoop petticoat & several under-petticoats wore worn beneath the outer petticoat. To give the British figure a fashionable shape, a corset often was worn under the bodice. It was made of linen & stiffened with whale bones inserted between parallel lines of stitching. The corset fastened with lacing down the back which could be laced tightly to give an upright posture to the torso & to emphasise the waist. A strip of bone, wood, or metal was sometimes incorporated into the front stays. British women wore their hair close to the head often with a small linen cap which sometimes had lace lappets, streamers that hung either side of a woman's cap. The cap was covered by a hood or hat for outerwear.

In the 1730s, the "sack back' dress worn over a hoop petticoat became increasingly fashionable in Britain & her colonies. The style remained in fashion until the 1780s. The sack back was made from 5 or panels of material pleated into 2 box pleats at the center back of the neck-band. It flowed down & was incorporated into the fullness of the skirt. It was worn over a matching petticoat as well as a hoop petticoat. The "nightgown style" or style anglaise had a pleated back. The pleats were stitched flat from the back of the neck to the centre back waist. Genteel ladies wore hoop petticoats, usually made of linen with split cane hoops stitched in at intervals & held the skirt of the petticoat & the robe out at the sides. They were at their widest in the 1740s & 1750s, when they could measure over 1.5m across. Hoop petticoats were worn on formal occasions. As with many fashions, it is hard to say why such a cumbersome outfit was popular. One reason might have been that it displayed the richly embroidered cloth of the skirt that indicated the wearer's wealth. During the 1770s, hair styles became higher, as they often were combed over a padded roll or worn over a frame.


As the New Repulic of The United States of America was finding its way between the 1780s & 1800, a very noticeable change took place in the female British silhouette. The waistline became higher, until it reached the bust. The skirt was reduced in width & hoop petticoats were discarded except at very formal occasions. In their place, crescent-shaped pads were worn at the center back waist beneath the skirt to help fill out the gathers at the back of the dress. In the 1790s, corsets were lightly boned & usually made of linen. Hair was frizzed or worn in short curls.