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: 1850
  • Empty envelopes

    Group of nine envelopes, many of which include addresses, stamps, and notes.

  • Rebel John

    Handwritten poem about "Rebel John"

  • Letter from Eloy Rufs to Henry and Willis Van Riper

    Letter from Eloy Lane Rufs to Henry and Willis Van Riper discussing family life, farming, price of food and inquiring about the well being of other family members

  • Letter from John Van Riper to Alexander Van Riper

    Letter from John Van Riper to his Brother Alexander inquring about various members of the family and discussing day to day life

  • Letter from Alexander van Riper to Henry and Willis Van Riper

    Very brief letter from Alexander Van Riper to Henry and Willis Van Riper

  • Letter from Alexander to Henry Van Riper

    The letters that date from the Civil War era discuss the daily realities of solider life such as illness, homesickness, and camp life. Also of topic are battles and other important Civil War events, including the burning of Atlanta and the assassination of President Lincoln. Letters written during these years by family members who did not join the infantry reveal the impact the war had on those at home. In these letters they discuss their concerns and feelings surrounding the war as well as r…

  • Listen to the Mocking-Bird

    Ephemera, printed version of Listen to the Mocking-Bird by Alice Hawthorne

  • Letter from Alexander Van Riper to Henry Van Riper

    Letter from Alexander Van Riper to Henry Van Riper inquiring about family members at home and discussing camp, when he might be home and news about the war, including that Grant has taken Vicksburg.

  • Letter from Old, Bach to Friends

    Letter from Old Bach to his friends talking about never marrying and advising his audience to marry young

  • Large Ivory Shawl

    Large square shawl, Ivory in color with long, silk fringe, woven fabric. Large floral embroidery in two corners with a narrow hem. Circa 1850-1959.

  • Long Black Ruffled Skirt

    Long silk and lace skirt, black with layers of pleated ruffles at hem. Trimmed with velvet and ribbons, hook and eye closure. Circa 1850-1859.

  • Dress, about 1860

    While this appears to be a day dress at first glance, it was more likely used around the house in the morning as it opens entirely from waist to hem at center front. It may have had boning in the bodice, however the bodice has been altered so it is difficult to determine.Worn by Betsy Ann Cowles Palmer around 1860. Betsy Ann Cowles Palmer was born in 1822. In 1839, she married Charles Henry Palmer, a pioneer investor and developer of mines and railroads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Palmer'…

  • Girl's Embroidered Cotton Dress, 1840-1850

    White cotton dress with wide, collar-less neck and slightly belled sleeves. Bodice and skirt gathered; tight gauging along center-front and center-back waist. Empty whalebone casing at center-front. Self-fabric piping at neck, waist and sleeves. White embroidery at hem; hem and cuffs finished with irregular scalloping and crochet trim. Two tucks on skirt. Bodice lined with plain-weave cotton; sleeves and skirt unlined. Bodice open at center-back; hammered-wire hook and eye closures. Hand-sewn. T…

  • Girl's Dress, 1840-1850

    This is a party or special occasion dress, the light washable fabric probably meant for summer wear. The workmanship is exquisite, the gauging tight and beautiful, the hem stitching fine and nearly invisible. With its drop sleeves, gauging, and wide neckline, the line of the dress is very similar to those worn by older women in the early 1840s. The dress is a gift of a New York State family.

  • Vest, 1850-1880

  • Child's Tunic, 1840-1850

    This might be a boy's tunic, to be worn with trousers, although one wonders if the color and fabric were sufficiently masculine (it might also be a girl's tunic, but appears to be too short). This piece might have been used by the Bowen family of Pennsylvania.

  • Men's Patten Overshoe, 1830-1850

    Pattens, a type of overshoe, were used to protect both feet and shoes from mud and snow. Wooden-soled overshoes were used as early as the fourteenth-century but were restricted to the wealthy. By the early fifteenth-century, a form of composite leather sole made pattens more widely accessible. Because of their functional appearance, they were generally associated with the lower classes and country people, although they were more useful in town than in the country where the iron ring would have s…

  • Brooch, about 1855

    Sentimental brooch which incorporates a lock of hair of a loved one.The inclusion of black enamel around the hair indicates that the loved one was likely deceased."MBL" may be the initials of the deceased.Half mourning called for jewelry that was not flashy or showed too much shiny gold metal, so many pieces used in half mourning include dark stones or enamel.This was likely made simultaneously with the plaited hair jewelry popular in the 1850s and 1860s.

  • Bonnet, about 1850

  • Women's Slippers, 1830-1850

    These slippers- really shoes- may have been used for a wedding. They appear plain but remnants of thread on the throat indicate this pair was decorated. Heeled shoes with square toes were particularly popular in the 1830's and 1840's. These leather shoes are less delicate than those made from satin, but still offer little support or protection from the elements. Thus, these are indoor shoes used to look fashionable. If worn outside they would quickly become soiled; the foot hangs over the straig…