Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Woman

1759 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Hannah Upham (Mrs. John Haskins). Brooklyn

Mrs. Haskins (née Hannah Upham daughter of Phineas Upham & Hannah Waite ) (1734-1819) was the grandmother of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  She followed the Congregationalist faith; while her husband, Captain John Haskins (1729-1814), was a devout Episcopalian, & on Sundays they led separate contingents of their children to their respective churches. 

The Maternal Ancestors of Ralph Waldo Emerson with Personal Reminiscences by The Rev David G Haskins. 
From Literary World, Volume 17, S R Crocker. 1886. page 

John Haskins was born in Boston, in 1729. "At the time when he was sixteen months old" he & his father had the small-pox the natural way. His father died, & the child was so reduced by the disease, that he was laid in the same room with his father, apparently dead. By opening the windows the child was revived, & spared in mercy to his widowed mother... though he wished to go to sea he determined never to leave his mother until she had another friend." In early youth he applied himself to acquiring a knowledge of his father's trade, that of a cooper...

John now resolved to gratify his long cherished desire to go to sea. He accordingly embarked in a letter-of-marque vessel that was bound for the West Indies & commissioned to act against France & Spain, which were then allied in hostilities against England.  He was absent two years, sailing from one island to another, & supporting himself by working at his trade...he returned home...

On the twenty-third anniversary of his birth, March 12, 1752, Mr. Haskins married Hannah, daughter of Phineas & Hannah (Waite) Upham of Maiden. Mrs. Haskins was about five years younger than her husband... 

Mr. Haskins attended King's Chapel, & became deeply interested in the Episcopal church, of which for the more than fifty remaining years of his life he was a prominent & respected member... He allowed his wife to worship according to the Puritan forms under which she had been educated...

Mr. Haskins took high views of the duties which pertain to the head of a family to provide for the Christian training of the children...His daughter Ruth (afterwards Mrs. Emerson) was, I believe, one of the children who expressed a preference for the Episcopal worship..

Mr. Haskins was over seventy years of age when he retired from active business...His son Ralph, in the entry in his diary which records his father's death, says of his father & mother: "No couple ever lived more happily together during their married life, a period of nearly sixty-three years..."

Mr. Haskins died in Boston, October 27, 1814..Mr. Haskins's wife, & thirteen of his children survived him, besides forty-six grandchildren...The following lines) were written upon Mr. Haskins's death by his grandson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, then a lad of eleven years:


See the calm exit of the aged saint, 
Without a murmur & without complaint; 
While round him gathered^ all his children stand, 
And some one holds his withered, pallid hand. 
He bids them trust in God, nor mourn, nor weep; 
He breathes religion, & then falls asleep. 
Then on angelic wings he soars to God, 
Rejoiced to leave his earthly, mortal load; 
His head is covered with a crown of gold, 
His hands, renewed, a harp immortal hold; 
Thus clothed with light, the tuneful spirit sings — 
He sings of mercy & of Heavenly things. 

The subject of the portrait above, Hannah Upham, the wife of John Haskins, came of good old New England stock, a typical Puritan family. Her ancestor, John Upham, came from England, probably in 1635, & settled in Weymouth; but later removed to Maiden, where the family lived for many years, & where Hannah herself was born. The Uphams were evidently men of ability...One of them was Town Treasurer. Another, Lieutenant Phineas Upham, son of the first settler, was mortally wounded in the great swamp fight with the Narraganset Indians at Canonicus, in 1675. Through her mother, Hannah Waite, Miss Upham was descended from Captain John Waite, one of the leading men of Maiden, who was captain of the military company, Speaker of the House of Deputies, & one of the compilers of the first body of the Colony Laws; she was also descended from Rose Dunster, a sister of the Rev. Henry Dunster, the first President of Harvard College; from Thomas Oakes, cousin of the Rev. Mr. Oakes, the fourth President of the same institution, & from John Howland, the famous Mayflower Pilgrim. Hannah's father, Phineas Upham, was one of the ten children of Phineas & Tamsen Upham of Maiden, & was born in that town in 1707-8...

When Hannah was about four years old, the throat distemper prevailed in Maiden & many died. Among these were Mr. Upham & three of his four children. Hannah, the surviving child, was brought very low...After some time, she was restored, to the great joy of her afflicted mother, with whom she lived alone in the house for seven years...

Monday, April 29, 2019

In Business - 1738 South Carolina Newspaper Publisher 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.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Tornadoes & Whirlwinds in 18C America

1750 Joseph Badger (American Colonial Era artist, 1798-1765) Mrs. Nathaniel Brown (Anna Porter Brown) Beneath the Gathering Clouds

I had suspected that tornadoes were usually called whirwinds in 18C America. As one man wrote in the 1739 Boston Newsletter, "...we had a violent Whirlwind or Tornado (as some all it)." But when I searched, I found mention of 851 torandoes in American newspapers from 1733 to 1800. Whirlwinds were noted in the same newspapers 1054 times between 1719 and 1800. I was surprised.

The 1st time the English word "tornado" appeared in print was in Richard Hakluyt's (c 1552-1616) Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries in 1589, when W Towerson noted, "We had terrible thunder and lightening, with exceeding gusts of raine, called a Ternado." The term "whirlwind" had been used in print since 1340.
Jan Francois Dryfhout  Detail of Plate III Tornado near Hague, July 1751 (courtesy of Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent)

Saturday, April 27, 2019

1793 Portrait of American Mother & Child

Lady Williams and Child 1793 Ralph Earl (American, 1751–1801)

As the New Republic of The United States of America was finding its way between the 1780s & 1800, a very noticeable change took place in the female British/American silhouette. The waistline climbed higher, until it reached the bust. Textiles were lighter. The skirt was reduced in width & hoop petticoats were seldom seen.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Woman

1759 Benjamin West 1738-1820 Jane "Jenny" Galloway 1745-1801 Hist Soc of PA Phil

Jane Galloway (1745-1801) married Colonel Joseph Shippen (1732-1810) of Philadelphia in 1768. Jane Galloway was the daughter of John Galloway & Jane Roberts, wealthy Quakers living in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Between 1756 and 1760 Jane Galloway resided in Philadelphia, at which time her portrait was painted by the artist Benjamin West (English, born America, 1738-1820). When she was young, Jane lived at Tulip Hill in Southern Maryland.

A young man, John Thomas, who would later become a Maryland State Senator , at age 19 & still unmarried, penned a love poem titled “Written Under a Young Lady’s Picture at Tulip Hill 1762 ”:
 "... When Jenny's picture was seen, the Youth said,
'No Maid on Earth could boast so fair a Face',
... But when he saw fair Jenny's lovely form, 
Superior far he found her blooming face.    
Raptured, the youth awhile the Fair beheld,
Then cry'd, 'To Nature... Art must yield.’ ”

In 1808, 3 yrs after his death, John Thomas' poem was published anonymously in a volume of verse. In 1960, the poem resurfaced, & a search was undertaken to learn the identities of “Jenny”, “the Youth”, and the “Picture.”  “Jenny” turned out to be Jane Galloway, 12 yrs old in the portrait, 17 at the time of the poem.  Her uncle & guardian was Samuel Galloway, builder of Tulip Hill on West River.  

Thursday, April 25, 2019

In Business - Ann Donavan Timothy 1727-1792 - 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

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Woman

1762-6 John Singleton Copley 1738-1815 Lydia Lynde (Mrs William Walker) New Britain Mus of Art

Lydia Lynde (1741-1798), painted by John Singleton Copley shortly before her marriage to the Reverend Dr. William Walter in 1766. When Lydia Lynde was born on November 14, 1741, in Salem, Massachusetts, her father, Benjamin Lynde (1700-1781), was 41, and her mother, Mary Bowles (1709-1791), was 32. She married William Walter on September 30, 1766, in her hometown.  He married Lydia, & they had 8 children together. William Walter was the rector at the Anglican Trinity Church in Boston from 1767-1776.

Reverend Walter tried to maintain a neutral stance between the Loyalists & Revolutionaries within his congregation. As such, Reverend Walter remained in the good graces of Patriots & Loyalists alike until an unfortunate incident occurred. In February 1776, just as Paine’s Common Sense was making a splash, Reverend Walter was accused of trying to spread smallpox within the Patriot army. A vaccine for smallpox had recently been invented, but there was great controversy as to whether the vaccine did more harm than good. People who were inoculated could spread the disease to others for a period of time, so the vaccinated had to go into temporary quarantine.

The incident in question involves a small boy who accused Reverend Walter of forcing inoculation on him. The boy claimed that Reverend Walter then instructed him to go to a Patriot army base where the boy came down with the pox. This placed the Patriot army in danger of contracting the disease. Some Bostonians apparently accepted the story & accused Rev. Walter of trying to spread smallpox within the Patriot armed forces. They branded him a Loyalist & traitor.  As a result, Rev. Walter’s house was ransacked & the couple was forced to leave the colonies in 1776, fleeing to Nova Scotia with British forces.

The coming of the American Revolution had made smallpox more widespread. Soldiers arriving from England & Germany frequently brought smallpox to American shores. In addition, recruits from all over North America joined the Continental Army, increased the possibility of the disease. Within days of taking command of the army at Cambridge, Massachusetts during the summer of 1775, Washington wrote to assure the President of the Continental Congress that he had been "particularly attentive to the least Symptoms of the Small Pox," quarantining anyone suspected of having the disease in a special hospital. Washington further promised that he would "continue the utmost Vigilance against this most dangerous enemy." By the fall of 1775 Boston--which was under British occupation--suffered from a widespread smallpox epidemic that threatened to spread throughout the ranks of Washington's army. Reports even surfaced that the British deliberately sent infected people out of the city to expand the epidemic into American lines. "By recent information ... General Howe is going to send out a number of the inhabitants ... A sailor says that a number of these coming out have been inoculated with the design of spreading the smallpox through this ... camp." In response, Washington forbade refugees from Boston to come near the American camp in order to avoid the risk of exposure."Disease has destroyed ten men for us, where the sword of the enemy has killed one," wrote John Adams to his wife Abigail, April 13, 1777. Washington eventually instituted a system where new recruits would be inoculated with smallpox immediately upon enlistment. As a result soldiers would contract the milder form of the disease, as they were enlisting.

Lydia & her husband returned to Boston in 1791, the year her mother passed away. In 1796, her husband was invited to deliver the Dudleian lecture at Harvard College; and in 1798, he pronounced the anniversary discourse before the Massachusetts Humane Society, which was published.

Lydia died on September 25, 1798, in Middlesex, Massachusetts, at the age of 56. Her husband died on December 5, 1800, at the age of 63, & was buried in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

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

Neues Bilderbuch für Kinder, 1799

The American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia tells us that Jane Aitken (1764-1832) was a longtime citizen, bookbinder, & printer of Philadelphia, the eldest daughter of Robert & Janet (Skeoch). She was born on July 11, 1764, in Paisley, Scotland, where her father ran a stationer's store & circulating library until 1771 when he moved his wife Janet, Jane, & second daughter Margaret, to Philadelphia. She is known for her extraordinary skill as a printer & a bookbinder, the only great woman bookbinder of the early American republic. Her greatest printing achievement was the Thomson Bible of 1808.

Her father Robert Aitken was a talented printer & bookbinder. Within one month of his arrival in Philadelphia, he had established a large & successful bookstore. In 1773, he published Aitken's General American Register, & the Gentleman's & Tradesman's Complete Annual Account Book, & Calendar...for the Year of Our Lord, 1773 which proved his proficiency in the book arts. Based on her own proficiency & the similarity & continuity of bookbinding & printing styles sustained long after her father's death, Aitken must have learned the bookbinding & printing trades at an early age.

Despite Robert Aitken's hard work & established reputation he died leaving to his daughter Jane an enormous amount of debt of $3,000. Aitken's debts, as revealed in the Aitken-Vaughan papers, were largely those incurred by Jane's late brother-in-law Charles Campbell, a clock & watchmaker, for whom Robert Aitken had signed a number of notes. The debts did not, as was long believed, result from the printing of the Aitken Bible of 1782—the first English language Bible printed in America.

Aitken was thirty-eight years old, when she inherited the family printing & bookbinding business. Like her father, Jane Aitken was an extremely talented & prolific printer & bookbinder. 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 sixty 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). It is also likely that it was the only Bible ever printed by a woman in America. The typeface Aitkens used for the Thomson Bible was an attractive & utilitarian type developed in 1796 by two Scotsmen named Binney & Ronaldson at their Philadelphia type foundry. It is a Transitional typeface, between Old Style & Modern.

Jane Aitken never married. Although her youngest sister Mary Ann managed to get married & have children, Jane's single status might have had more to do with her independent & ambitious nature than a lack of opportunity. A lack of marriage prospects also might have resulted from the family's financial instability. Also, as the oldest & the second most experienced printer in the Aitken family Jane might have decided to remain unmarried in order to better assist her father with the printing business. At any rate, Jane spent the entirety of her adult life struggling to contend with her father's legacy: a solid reputation for printing, enormous debt, & the responsibility of two younger sisters, one recently widowed with three children. It is unknown whether Jane's mother, Janet, was still alive at her father's death in 1802. Jane also had an older brother Robert Aitken Jr., a printer, whom her father had disinherited some time before his death in 1802. Considered only a minor talent, Robert Aitken Jr. was apparently incapable of providing assistance to his overburdened sister.

One person who did provide assistance for many years after her father's death was her friend the American Philosophical Society's Librarian John Vaughan (1756-1841, APS 1784). Nevertheless, the relationship between him & Aitken is ambiguous. Although he is described as a tireless supporter of Aitken, Vaughan couldn't - or wouldn't -- prevent her printing equipment from being seized & sold at a Sheriff's sale in 1813. Afterward, he bought most of her equipment & leased it back to her, albeit on advantageous terms. In spite of continuous printing work, Jane was sometimes forced to rely on bookbinding for her livelihood. The extant bound editions of her work include some four hundred volumes for the American Philosophical Society, a number of author's presentation copies of her imprints & the first receipt ledger for the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. The bindings of these volumes reveal extraordinary skill & taste. Also, the similarity of these bindings to those issued from her father's shop from the 1780's to 1802 raises the possibility that she was responsible for much of the bindery output, in design, if not production. The quality of the examples of her bindings qualifies Aitken as a distinguished practitioner in the history of American bookbinding; in fact, the only woman bookbinder with such skill known from this period.

Aitken's great skill, hard work, & even Vaughan's generosity as a benefactor were not enough to overcome the burden of her inherited debts, because in 1814 Jane served time for her debts in a Norristown, Pennsylvania, prison. While it is uncertain exactly how long the prison term lasted, Aitken is recorded as doing binding work in 1815. After 1815 the record of her activities becomes very sparse. The 1819 city directory lists her as "late printer," & she died on September 5, 1832 at the age of 68. It is difficult to determine exactly when & why Aitken finally retired from printing & bookbinding; but this appears to have been shortly after 1815 for the health-related reasons given in her obituary. It reported that she died after a "long & painful illness."

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Hot Cross Buns from 18C Britain to British America

A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten during Easter Week, especially on Good Friday, in the United Kingdom and some parts of the Americas. Hot Cross buns are older than Christianity - pagan celebrants ate wheat cakes at their spring festivals, and the Greeks, Romans and Ancient Egyptians all had buns with a cross etched on the top. The round bun represented the full moon, and the cross divides the bun into the four lunar quarters. Traditional buns have the cross cut into the dough or pricked out with a pin. The crosses of icing are a more recent thing.
"Hot cross bunns, two a penny bunns" Thomas Rowlandson; Cries of London. Met Museum
One a penny, two a penny, Since before medieval times, marking baked goods (like breads, buns and cakes) with the sign of a cross was a common thing for a homemaker or a baker to do – the cross was said to ward off evil spirits which could affect the bread and make it go moldy.  In the time of Elizabeth I of England (1592), the London Clerk of Markets issued a decree forbidding the sale of hot cross buns and other spiced breads, except at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. The punishment for transgressing the decree was forfeiture of all the forbidden product to the poor. As a result of this decree, hot cross buns at the time were primarily made in home kitchens.
Kate Colquhoun, writes in her book, Taste: The Story Of Britain Through Its Cooking (2007), "In honor of Easter, goddess of spring and the dawn, [Anglo-Saxon] bread dough could be studded with dried fruits and baked into small loaves that, as Christianity spread, began to be marked with a cross by monks: the earlist form of hot-cross bun.”

Although the first name for these buns were Good Friday Buns or Cross Buns the earliest written instance of the name ‘Hot Cross Buns’ comes from 1733 A.D. The name is recorded in a popular rhyme which includes the old reason and superstition for making the sign of the cross in baked goods:
“Good Friday comes this month—the old woman runs
With one or two a-penny hot cross buns,
Whose virtue is, if you believe what’s said,
They’ll not grow mouldy like the common bread.”

Hot Cross Buns; Thomas Rowlandson’s Characteristic Sketches of the Lower Orders. British Library
Bread, leavened and unleavened) and religion have been intricately linked for thousands of years, well before Christianity, going back even to the stone age. However, in the 1700s, ‘buns’ were specifically looked at by scholars, who thought they could be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman customs …

The 1778 book A View Of Northumberland written by William Hutchinson and Thomas Randal, explains, "I intimated in the preceding pages, an intention of remarking the Sweet Bread used in religious rites. Small loaves of bread, peculiar in their form, being long and sharp at both ends, are called Buns. This name takes place where old religious ceremonies have been solemnized, derived from the consecrated sweet bread, which was offered on high festivals … the offerings which people in ancient times used to “present to the Gods”, were generally purchased at the entrance of the temple; especially every species of consecrated bread, which was denominated accordingly. One species of sacred bread which used to be offered to the Gods, was of great antiquity, and called Boun .… The custom of Hot Cross Buns in London, on the morning of Good Friday, seems to have relation to these ancient practices. We only retain the name and form of the Boun; the sacred uses are no more."
The sign of the cross marked into breads was acceptable on Good Friday to the English Puritans, because it commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. Good Friday And Easter Sunday fall at the end of the Season of Lent, which lasts forty days (not counting Sundays), beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday, the last day before Easter.

The Christian traditional preparation for Easter Sunday consists of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. So Good Friday, and the food consumed on this day – Good Friday Buns / Hot Cross Buns – are also traditionally a part of Lent fasting. Dr. Johnson kept this Good Friday breakfast tradition by eating cross buns. From The Life Of Samuel Johnson, by James Boswell, published 1791: “On the 9th of April [1773], being Good Friday, I breakfasted with him on tea and cross-buns … On April 18 [1783], (being Good-Friday) I found him at breakfast, in his usual manner upon that day, drinking tea without milk, and eating a cross bun to prevent faintness”.

By the 1700s, in many English towns, these Cross Buns were sold on the streets all day long by street sellers crying, “One-a-penny, two-a-penny, hot-cross buns” Some did not find the cries very sacred. From The Country Magazine Published in 1788, Observations On The London Cries - Hot Cross-Buns—although they occur but once a-year, are cried to a tune which has nothing of that majesty which would accompany sacred music —There is a slur upon hot which destroys the effect; and, indeed, gives the whole a very irreverent sound.

Recipe from The Art Of Cookery, By Hannah Glasse, Published 1740:
To make Buns. TAKE two pounds of fine flour, a pint of good ale-yeast, put a little sack [white wine] in the yeast, and three eggs beaten, knead all these together with a little warm milk, a little nutmeg, and a little salt; and lay it before the fire till it rises very light, then knead in a pound of fresh butter, a pound of rough carraway comfits, and bake them in a quick oven, in what shape you please, on floured paper.
Recipe from The Complete Confectioner, By Frederick Nutt, Published 1789:
Water Cakes. Take three pounds of powdered sugar and four pounds of sifted flour, mix the flour and sugar together on a clean dresser with half water and half whites of eggs, and as many carraway seeds as you think proper, mix all together so as to make it a very fine paste, that you can roll it on the dresser and the thinner the better, cut out the shape you like with a tin cutter; round and scolloped is the general fashion, but vary the shape to your own fancy … put them on a sheet of [buttered] paper and … bake them very little so as just to change the colour of them..

Easter Bunny - 18C Pennsylvania Fractur

This drawing is an example of a Pennsylvania German tradition of decorated manuscripts known as fraktur.  This delightful image is attributed to tailor, sailor, & schoolmaster Johann Conrad Gilbert (1734–1812), who emigrated from Germany in 1757, and ultimately settled in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  John Conrad Gilbert b: 4/29/1734 in Hoffenheim, Germany d: 1/26/1812 in Schuylkill County, Orwigsburg, PA. married Anna Elizabeth 'Stoltz' 4/19/1757 in Trappe Lutheran Church, Montgomery County, PA.  Gilbert served as a private on an armed war vessel during the Revolutionary War on boats CEEagle and on the CEVulture commanded by Jacob Hance, July 1, 1776-Jan 21, 1777.  His place of residence during the war was Orwigsburg, Berks/Schuylkill, PA.  The Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County, PA, indicate that Conrad was a tailor in his early manhood. He became a schoolmaster & an artist who produced a number of drawings in color (Fraktur) on laid paper, some with texts or other writings.  The first Easter Bunny depictions in America are attributed to him. Drawings are in Abby Rockefeller Folk Museum in Williamsburg, VA & at Winththur in Delaware.

These are some of the earliest known American depictions of the Easter Bunny. Together with the Christmas tree, the custom of the Easter rabbit and colored eggs was brought to America by immigrants from southwestern Germany in the 1700s, and has become a favorite American tradition.  He likely made the drawing as a gift for one of his students.  Pennsylvania German tradition of decorated manuscripts known as fraktur, which include birth and baptismal certificates, family records, writing samples, and bookplates.

1785 John Adams (1735-1826) & Abigail Adams (1744-1818) write of Easter Week celebrations in France

John Adams by William Winstanley, 1798

John Adams noted in his journal Easter Week activities in France.
Good Friday.  Went in the afternoon to Longchamps. This is the last Day. Every year; the wednesday, thursday, and friday, of the week preceding Esther, which is called Semaine Sainte, there is a kind of procession in the Bois de Boulogne, and it is called Longchamps. There are perhaps each of those Days a thousand carriages, that come out of Paris to go round one of the Roads in the wood one after the other. There are two rows of carriages, one goes up and the other down so that the People in every carriage, can see all the others. Every body that has got a splendid carriage, a fine set of horses, or an elegant Mistress, send them out on these days to make a show at longchamps. As all the Théatres, and the greatest part of the public amusements, are shut all this week, the concourse is always very considerable for those, that cannot go there to be seen, go to see, and as it commonly happens upon the like occasions, there are always twenty to see for one there is to be seen. It is very genteel, for there are always there some of the first people in the kingdom. The hours are from five to seven, by which time very few carriages remain there; for they all go off together, so that one quarter of an hour before the place is entirely deserted, the concourse is the greatest. The origin of this curious custom, was this. There is a convent of women called Longchamps, somewhere near the Bois de Boulogne, where formerly, there was some very fine music, performed on these days, which drew a vast number of Persons out from Paris to hear it: but one year there was an uncommon concourse, and some disorders happened, which induced the Archbishop of Paris, to forbid this music on these days, but the Public, who had commonly taken a ride round part of the wood after hearing the music, continued taking the latter part of the amusement, when they were deprived of the first, and the custom has been kept up, to this day. After it was over we went and drank tea with Dr. Franklin. Saw Mr. Dalrymple there. The weather is very cold and disagreeable yet.

See:  The Adams Papers, Diary of John Quincy Adams, vol. 1, November 1779 – March 1786, ed. Robert J. Taylor and Marc Friedlaender. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981, p. 239.

John Thaxter (1755-1791) had written to his cousin Abigail Adams (1744-1818) of the pre-Easter celebrations at Longchamps in 1783. Thaxter was a law student of John Adams, tutor to the Adams children, and John Adams's foreign secretary. 
Paris 18th April 1783  Madam
For about three Weeks in the Time of Lent, the Play Houses are shut up, on account of its being a Season for the Care (not Cure) of Souls. To a City so much accustomed to Amusements as Paris, this is a Time of Mourning and Sadness. Horse racing and Bull baiting have been invented to fill up a part of this Interval of Sorrow. But what is called the Fête des longs Champs, or long Fields, is the most brilliant. About five Miles from Paris, there is a Place by the Name of Longs Champs, where formerly there was a Chapel, to which the Citizens and others peregrinated in this holy Time, to hear Mass. They made this Pilgrimage three times a Year, on the 16. 17. and 18th. of April.1 But as all human Institutions are imperfect and perpetually subject to Change, even this holy one has not been exempt from the common Lot. From a Pilgrimage to hear the word of God and sing his Praises, it has been metamorphosed into a Procession, to shew elegant Carriages, splendid Liveries and Equipage, &c. &c. Whether the Transition is natural or not, I am not to determine, but I believe one to be quite as rational as the other. They are both ridiculous enough. Upon the whole, I think the Procession much more sensible than the Pilgrimage. I am an Enemy to all Pilgrimages, except those which a Lover is obliged to make to a distant Mistress. There is good Sense in this, but to travel under Pretence of praying to this Saint or that Apostle, is a mere blind, and a villanous Tax on the Charity of the benevolent, given to the Drones of Society. But to return to Longs Champs—I went yesterday to see the Procession. All the Beauties of the Court and City were there, many of them in elegant Carriages, with Horses beautifully harnessed, and Servants in Livery. There were several thousand Carriages. The Crowd of People was immense. There were all Sorts of Characters of both Sexes. A ragged Coachman, an old or dirty Carriage or a slovenly ill dressed Servant, were objects of Ridicule and Hissing. It was diverting enough to hear the Speeches that were made yesterday, and to see the different Effects they produced on different Characters. The Crowd press so near the Carriages as they pass, that one hears every Observation they make on Men, Women, Servants, Horses and Carriages. Whoever can brave Laughter and Ridicule may venture out with an old Coach and poor Horses, but the bashful and timid had better remain at home. In one word, they are three days of Show of new Carriages, new Harness for Horses and new Livery for Servants. There is a kind of Emulation and Rivalry among them. And very often a Miss surpasses every one in Elegance and Brilliancy. Last Year, I was told, there appeared a Miss, in an elegant Carriage drawn by six superb Horses. She so far exceeded in Grandeur and Splendor every one else, that She was forbid ever appearing at Longs Champs again. I dare say, You will think this Circumstance a sufficient Comment on the whole Business, and that it is unnecessary to give any Opinion about the Matter. There are Hints enough as to Origin, Change and present Stage of the Amusement of Longs Champs. Your own Reflections will be infinitely more judicious than any I can make, and therefore I will be silent as to the Impressions this Entertainment has made on my Mind. I am happy to close this Account of the Entertainment of yesterday, by informing You, that notwithstanding the Crowd of Gentlemen on Horseback and Carriages was so prodigious, yet the excellent Arrangement of the Foot Soldiers and Dragoons was such, that not a single Accident happened. This was the Work of the Police, who at other Times experience as large a Share of Maledictions as any Class of People whatever.

See: The Adams Papers, Adams Family Correspondence, vol. 5, October 1782 – November 1784, ed. Richard Alan Ryerson. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993, pp. 127–130.
Abigail Adams by Gilbert Stuart

Later in the 1785 spring, Abigail Adams  (1744-1818) wrote to her niece Elizabeth Cranch, 8 May 1785.
Auteuil May 8 1785
Yes my dear Neice, it was a Ceremony that one must study Some time to find out either utility or pleasure in it. I own tho I made one in the procession I could not help feeling foolish as I was parading first up one side of a very wide road, for a mile and half and then turning, and following down a vast number of Carriages upon the other as slow as if you was attending a funeral. By this adjustment you see, one row of Carriages are constantly going up, whilst the others are comeing down, so that each calvicade have a fair view of each other, and this is call’d going to Long Champs.
About the 3d of Feb’ry the Carnival begins. During this time there is great festivity amongst the Parissians, the operas are more frequent, and Mask’d Balls succeed them. The Theaters are crowded, and every place is gay. But upon the 27 of March, or the Sunday upon which the celebration of the passion of our Saviour commences, the Theaters are closed, and continue so during 3 weeks. Lent lasts six weeks, all of which is fill’d up with Church ceremonies, one of which is the Kings washing the feet of a dozen poor Boys, and the Queen as many Girls, after which they give them a dinner in the Palace at which their Majesties and the princiss of the Blood, attend them at table, the princes and Lords carrying the plates. There is an other ceremony which is call’d the day of Branches. The people go very early to mass, before day light and continue a long time at it, after which the Priests go forth preceeded by some Church officer, with a large picture of our Saviour, and an other with a silver cross. The people follow two, and two, Men Women and Children with Branches in their hands, and Book[s] chanting their prayers. They go to kneel and pray before the crusifix one of which is placed upon the Road in every villiage. There are 3 days also when a peice of the Real and true Cross, as they say is shewn in the holy Chapel of  Paris, and every good Catholick kisses it. Then comes holy Sunday when every body goes to Church and the Night it begins the Clergy make a solemn procession into the Halls of the palace at 3 oclock in the morning, and as nothing is performed here without the assistance of the Military, the Commandant of the Watch sends two Companies to escort this procession. But neither the Concert Spiritual which is held three times a week in the Château des Tuileries, nor all the ceremonies of the Church can compensate with the sad Parissians for the absence of the Plays. To fill up the time and vary the Amusement, this parade at Long Champs was invented. It continues 3 days. The place is about one mile from hence. It is a fine plain upon each side of which are rows of trees, like Germantown Woods. Here the Parissians appear with their Superb equipages drawn by six fleet Coursers, their Horses and servants gayly drest. All kinds of Carriages are to be seen here, from the clumsy fiacre to the gilded Chariot, as well as many Gentleman on horse Back and swarms of people on foot. The city Gaurds make no small part of the shew, for the Maré Chaussee6 as they are call’d are placed along in rows between the Carriages, and are as despotick as their Master. Not a Coach dares go an inch from its rank, nor one carriage force it self before an other, so that notwithstanding there are many thousands collected upon this occasion, you see no disorder. But after all it is a senseless foolish parade, at which I believe I shall never again assist.

See:  The Adams Papers, Adams Family Correspondence, vol. 6, December 1784 – December 1785, ed. Richard Alan Ryerson. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993, pp. 130–132.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Woman

1757 Robert Feke 1707-1751Mary Channing (Mrs. John Channing).

Friday, April 19, 2019

In Business - Clementina Rind 1740-1774, Printer for Tho Jefferson & Editor of the Virginia Gazette

Clementina Rind (1740-1774), 

Clementina Rind (1740-1774), printer & newspaper editor, was the wife of William Rind, public printer in Maryland & Virginia. She sailed to the Maryland colony with her father John Grierson in 1757.  Her father died on that voyage. 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 John Pinkney; an apprentice, Isaac Collins; & a Negro slave, Dick who probably worked as a semiskilled artisan.

On September 2, Cementina wrote in the Gazette,  "Being now unhappily forced to enter upon Business on my own Account, I flatter myself those Gentlemen who shall continue to oblige me with their Custom will not be offended at my requesting them, in the future, to be punctual in sending Cash with Advertisements, and c. The ardent Desire I have of rendering this Paper as useful and entertaining as possible urges the Necessity of attending to this Request, as it must be obvious to every one that Business of so extensive a Nature cannot be carried on with that Spirit which is necessary, without a sufficient Fund to supply it: Mine, in great Measure, depends on the Punctuality of those who favour me with their Commands. May that All Ruling Power, whose chastening Hand has snatched from my dear Infants and myself our whole Dependence, make me equal to the Task! An unaffected Desire to please, an indefatigable Attention to my Business, and the Assistance of Persons whose Abilities and Attachment I can rely on, will, I hope, make me not entirely unworthy of Encouragement from the Public in general, and from the Honourable House of Burgesses in particular; whose Favour I once more take the Liberty to solicit, and in whose generous Breasts it lies to bestow Happiness and Plenty on my orphan Family, if they find me capable of being their Servant. Cheared by that pleasing Hope, I will try to support, with Fortitude, the painful Sensation of Incertainty, by a firm Reliance on that Candour and Generosity, which have ever been the Characteristic of that honourable Body. I am, with great Respect, The Public’s most faithful, And most obedient, CLEMENTINA RIND." 

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 kept printing even as her home & many of her possessions were sold to pay off her dead husband’s outstanding debts. She did manage to keep the printing press, however, & within a few months had turned her business around enough that was able to purchase “an elegant set of types from London.” She petitioned the House of Burgesses to continue granting her gazette their printing orders over a rival gazette published by Purdie and Dixon.

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 those payments due her which she fretted over earlier; 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.

In a note published shortly before her death she wrote, “The generous support which the printer of this paper has received from the public, since the decease of her late husband, induces her once more to return the warmest acknowledgements. . .the printer would by no means be understood to boast a superiority in the conduct of a vehicle of this nature; she only advances, that it shall be her particular endeavor to amuse and instruct, and, at the same time, her firm determination, ever to preserve the dignity of her paper.” She ended the note, “I shall conclude the public’s most grateful, and much obliged, humble servant, Clementina Rind.”

Her readers prepared a number of poetic eulogies & a formal elegy of 150 lines. Although Clementina Rind lived only about 34 years, one obituary read, "a Lady of singular Merit, and universally esteemed."

On Sunday last died, Mrs. CLEMENTINA RIND. It ill beseems the printer, he apprehends, as
being a relation, to pretend to characterize her. The public, who must in general have been
acquainted with her, knew her qualifications. It shall, however, be his most ardent study to
protect her children . . .
Virginia Gazette September 29, 1774
From a reader
Ye mournful bards! Why are your lyres unstrung!
Shall Clementina’s praise remain unsung!
Sooner the lowest of the tuneful throng
Shall raise her lays to elegiac song:
To her, blest shade, a plaintive verse is due,
Lov’d by the muses, and fair science too;
And sure a happy proof of this remains,
In her soft numbers, and harmonious strains.
With manly sense, and fortitude of mind,
The softer graces of her sex combin’d,
To form a bright example in her life,
Of friend, of mistress, daughter, mother, wife.
Aid us, religion! To receive the strike,
Which fatally those dear connections broke.
When worth and genius prematurely die,
All men must give th’ involuntary sigh;
But when that worth is intimately known,
We pay the tribute of a heart-felt groan!
Virginia Gazette October 6, 1774

To check out issues of the various editions of the Virginia Gazette digitized copies from 1736-1780 are available on the Colonial Williamsburg site. Additional issues can be accessed on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. This posting based on information from Maryland State Archivist Edward C. Papenfuse & from Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Woman

1757 Joseph Blackburn fl 1753-1763   Mrs. Joseph Blaney (1735-1776) (Abigail Browne) MFA

She was the the daughter Samuel Brown & Katherine Sargent of Salem, MA.  She married  Salem merchant Joseph Blaney (1730-1786) in 1757.  Blaney graduated from Harvard College in 1751, settling in Salem after his marriage to Abigail Browne. In addition to his occupation as merchant, he was a charter member of the North Church and a selectman of the town.  After his death in 1786, his wharf at the foot of the street was sold to Capt. Edward Allen. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Moravian Woman

1754 John Valentine Haidt (1700-1780), Johannetta Maria Kymbel (1725-1789) Mrs John Ettwein. Moravian Historical Society, Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

Moravian women, whose chief duty was to their community & God, not to their family, husband, or self, worked jobs benefiting the larger community. They were freed from traditional familial duties.

The Moravians 1st came to British America during the colonial period. In 1735 they were part of General Oglethorpe’s philanthropic venture in Georgia. Their attempt to establish a community in Savannah did not succeed, but they did have a profound impact on the young John Wesley who had gone to Georgia during a personal spiritual crisis. Wesley was impressed that the Moravians remained calm during a storm that was panicking experienced sailors. He was amazed at people who did not fear death, & back in London he worshiped with Moravians writing that his “heart was strangely warmed.”

After the failure of the Georgia mission, the Moravians established a permanent presence in Pennsylvania in 1741, settling on the estate of evangalist George Whitefield. Moravian settlers purchased 500 acres to establish the settlement of Bethlehem in 1741. Soon they bought the 5,000 acres of the Barony of Nazareth from Whitefield’s manager, & the 2 communities of Bethlehem & Nazareth became closely linked in their agricultural & industrial economy.  Other settlement congregations were established in Pennsylvania, New Jersey & Maryland. They built the Pennsylvania communities of Bethlehem, Nazareth, Lititz, & Hope. They also established congregations in Philadelphia & on Staten Island in New York. All were considered frontier centers for the spread of the gospel, particularly in mission to the Native Americans. Bethlehem was the center of Moravian activity in colonial America.

Bishop Augustus Spangenberg led a party to survey a 100,000 acre tract of land in North Carolina, which came to be known as Wachau after an Austrian estate of Count Zinzendorf. The name, later anglicized to Wachovia, became the center of growth for the church in that region. Bethabara, Bethania & Salem (now Winston-Salem) were the 1st Moravian settlements in North Carolina. In 1857 the 2 American provinces, North & South, became largely independent & set about expansion. Bethlehem in Pennsylvania & Winston-Salem in North Carolina became the headquarters of the two provinces (North & South).

The facet of Moravian life that bound the community together like no other was their dedication to missionary work; the Moravians were the most active Protestant missionaries of the 18C, sending community members to the West Indies, South America, & as far as South Africa. By 1760, the Moravians had sent out 226 missionaries & baptized more than 3,000 converts, including American Natives. In North America the key undertaking for Moravian missionaries was to convert the Native Americans to Christianity. The Moravians viewed the natives as heathens in need of spiritual enlightenment & guidance.

One feature of Moravian community life was the Choir System. People
were separated into “choirs,” or groups, based on their age, gender, & marital status. It was believed that individuals of like age & gender were best prepared & able to encourage each other’s religious growth. Members of the same choir ate, worked, worshiped, slept in dormitories, & attended school together. This communal living arrangement was intended to strengthen the unity of the society as members had to rely on choir-mates for support rather than their siblings or parents. The names of the choirs reflected the sex, age & marital status of those in the choir, such as the “Older Boys’ Choir,” ages 12-19 or the “Single Sister’s Choir,” age 19 until marriage.

All work performed by the Moravians during the pre-Revolutionary War years operated under a system known as the “General Economy,” in which all goods or money produced was considered the property of the community, not the individual. Under this system there was no private wealth or housing, nor any privately owned businesses. Every member’s contribution was collectively pooled & in exchange, necessities such as food, shelter & clothing were provided.

Marie Minier, a Single Sister in the Bethlehem community, praised the General
Economy in 1750 stating that, “For 12 years now I have enjoyed the care [of the General Economy] & eaten from one bread & been clothed, all of which to this hour has been great and of importance to me. I . . . accept things the way the Brethren do things, for it is a wonder to me daily that He has maintained so large a community, & we cannot say that we have ever gone without.” For single women like Marie Minier, the General Economy system afforded them relative security & independence; single women who chose not to marry did not need to rely on a father or brother for financial support, nor worry about becoming a financial burden. In other parts of 18C British America women who did not marry usually would have been socially & economically excluded, dependent on their fathers or male family members.

Yet by the 1760s, the system of communal property began to wear on the younger generations of ambitious Moravians who saw that in other communities hard work was rewarded with personal financial gain. In 1762, the General Economy was abolished in favor of self-owned & operated small businesses & private family homes.

To learn about the lives of 18C Moravian women see:

Faull, Katharine. Moravian Women's Memoirs: Their Related Lives, 1750-1820. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1997.

Smaby, Beverly Prior. "Female Piety Among 18th-Century Moravians." Pennsylvania History 64 (1997): 151-167.

Wachovia Historical Society, Winston-Salem, North Carolina & Old Salem, Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1750 Johann Valentine Haidt (1700-1780). Women portrayed as separate but sharing power at the Moravian Synod at Herrnhut.& "Forming the Single Sisters' Choir in Bethlehem." The Transactions of the Moravian Historical Society 28 (1994): 1-14

Sommer, Elisabeth W. Serving Two Masters: Moravian Brethren in Germany & North Carolina, 1727-1801. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2000.

Vogt, Peter. "A Voice for Themselves: Women as Participants in Congregational Discourse in the 18th-Century Moravian Movement." In Women Preachers and Prophets through Two Millennia of Christianity, edited by Beverly Mayne Kienzle and Pamela J. Walker, 227-247. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Woman

1757 Joseph Blackburn fl 1752-1778 Mrs James Pitts Detroit Inst Arts

Monday, April 15, 2019

1729 Portrait of 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.

The clothing worn by 18C British American women, until the end of the American Revolution, was characterized by great diversity, as one would expect in a society ranging from royal governors & wealthy landowners to indentured servants & slaves. During the period in Britain & her colonies, a woman's dress usually consisted of a gown & petticoat. The gown consisted of the bodice & skirt joined together, with the skirt open in the front to reveal the separate petticoat, which was an essential part of the dress & not an undergarment. The textiles used for the dress ranged from elegant to simple depending on the tasks of the wearer. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Portrait of 18C Young American Women

c 1757 John Wollaston 1733-1767 Probably Elizabeth Dandridge Colonial Willimsburg Foundation

Barbara Luck of Colonial Williamsburg tells us that images of loved ones have universal appeal, but portraits of children occupy a special niche among our tangible treasures. Late 18C & early 19C parents commissioned likenesses of their offspring for the same reasons that prompt us to bedeck our youngsters in Sunday-best attire & haul them off to the photographer's, if not the portrait painter's. But higher mortality rates made earlier parents keenly aware of the ephemeral nature of life, & perhaps sharpened the sense of urgency with which they sought to halt time through the illusion of portraiture.

Portrait prices varied. Besides their inevitable tie to the prevailing economy, they also derived from the portraitist's skills, his degree of financial desperation, the size & format of the likeness, & the materials employed. Oil paintings, like this one, were invariably more expensive than works on paper. Their pigments & canvas or wooden supports cost more than paper & the media used on it. Tradition & fashion also dictated that oils be executed in roughly standard sizes that, compared to works on paper, were rather formidable. Few folk in cottages could afford oil portraits; they also lacked suitable display space for them. Nevertheless, the expanding dispersal of wealth in America enabled growing numbers of middle-class parents to attain their hearts' desire of an impressive oil likeness of little Mary, Charles, or Walter.

Whether that likeness was bust-, half-, three-quarter, or full-length related, to some degree, to changing tastes. Bust- & half-length portraits gained favor as popular attention focused increasingly on sitters' personalities & psyches. Yet full-length portraits of children never really went out of style. The relative immaturity of youngsters' inner natures may have been a factor, but full-length formats also emphasized children's diminutive stature, surely an aspect of their appearance that parents & other doting adults found endearing.