Category: Material History

Stitches of Resistance: Reclaiming the Narratives of the Enslaved Seamstresses in Martha Washington’s Purple Silk Gown

DR CYNTHIA E. CHIN A single object was the subject of my doctoral dissertation: a heavily faded purple silk gown owned and worn by Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802), the wife of ‘His Excellency’, President George Washington. One of three surviving intact dresses belonging… Continue Reading “Stitches of Resistance: Reclaiming the Narratives of the Enslaved Seamstresses in Martha Washington’s Purple Silk Gown”

Using Scrapbooks as Historical Sources

Cherish Watton. Think of any topic, and someone, somewhere, has probably made a scrapbook on it. People scrapbooked on things which were important to them; family, friendships, professional activity, popular culture, political, and associational activity. Scrapbooks didn’t just document family life. Politicians and diplomats… Continue Reading “Using Scrapbooks as Historical Sources”