20 October 2014

What Cheer Day: October 25th 2014

The Rhode Island Historical Society's annual What Cheer Day, a living history event that shows life at the John Brown House in 1800, takes place this Saturday. As the visiting mantua maker, I've crafted the following letter to help get into character...

October 20th 1800

Miss Brown and Missus Mason,

It Tis with great pleasur that I writ you today from my shop in Cheapside. I've just returnd from a summer sojourn in Salem, where I was visitin my sista the milliner and her spritely child. You will be most interested to learn that I tourd Boston where I acquird prints showin the latest in fall and winter fashions from Paris and I have a new selectin of fine muslins.

As you are both connoisseurs of the fina points in lafe, I would like to call on you this commin Saturdy so you are the first in all of Rhoade Island to view the new French fashions of which I am certan you'll be wearin come this winter seasin. Of coorse, I'm eager to learn of all that has pass'd in Providence since our
last meetin.--I confess I am curious to know if your mothar ever hirad a new house maid? 'Twas quite the scandal caused by the previous new maid's behaviour when she was seen in town wearin Miss Brown's silk gown and new spencer. Alas I fault not Missus Brown for waitin to seek a replacement. OhAlas enough with Gossip!

Miss Brown, you will be pleased to learn that I have found readymade slippers that closely match the description you had requested in late spring. I believe I have your size. Saturd'y hence I shall bring them so you could try wearin them.

Missus Mason we have so very much to discuss I eagerly await meetin your newborn babe! There is a small tokin for you in my possess-ion on b'half of my sista for you to wear in your married state. And I have prepar'd a small gift for you and the child.

I remain as always
Your Humble Mantua Maker,

Nancy Smith 

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