” … a daughter of liberty … “

In 1770, Anna Green Winslow was a twelve-year-old boarding with her aunt Sarah Winslow Deming in Boston, where she had been sent to attend school by her parents. (Her father was commissary of the British forces in Nova Scotia.) She kept a journal intended for them in which she reports on her friends, dances, her studies, the weather, and fashions. Seemingly undeterred by the political turmoil around her, she nevertheless boasts about wearing homespun (a response by patriotic women to the Stamp Act) in one of her charming and newsy entries.

Feb. 21 Thursday. … I purchas’d with my aunt Deming’s leave, a very beautiful white feather hat, that is, the out side, which is a bit of white hollond with the feathers sew’d on in a most curious manner white & unsullied as the falling snow, this hat I have long been saving my money to procure for which I have let your kind allowance, Papa, lay in my aunt’s hands till this hat which I spoke for was brought home. As I am (as we say) a daughter of liberty I chuse to wear as much of our own manufactory as pocible. …

Feb. 22d.—Since about the middle of December … we have had till this week, a series of cold and stormy weather—every snow storm (of which we have had abundance) except the first, ended with rain, by which means the snow was so hardened that strong gales at N W soon turned it, & all above round to ice, which this sevennight was from one to three, four & they say, in some places, five feet thick, in the streets of this town … I have spun 30 knots of linning yarn, and (partly) new footed a pair of stockings for Lucinda [Mrs. Deming’s slave], read a part of the pilgrim’s progress, coppied part of my text journal (that if I live a few years longer, I may be able to understand it, for aunt sais, that to her, the contents as I first mark’d them, were an impenetrable secret) play’d some, tuck’d [ate heartily] a great deal (Aunt Deming says it is very true) laugh’d enough, & I tell aunt it is all human nature, if not human reason. And now, I wish my honored mamma a very good night.

You’ll find other references to homespun here and here.

This excerpt is from In the Words of Women, Chapter 1, page 21.

posted November 30th, 2011 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Boston, Deming, Sarah Winslow, Education, Fashion, Weather, Winslow, Anna Green

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