An article on the Winterthur Museum blog talks about the dress of indentured and enslaved women. More photos and the article can be found here.
A runaway advertisement from The Pennsylvania Chronicle, 8 February 1768. Occasionally a woodcut of a woman or a fleeing figure was used to draw the reader’s attention to the advertisement. This woman is depicted wearing a cuffed gown, handkerchief around her neck, cap, trimmed hat and mitts, a garment rarely noted in runaway advertisements. Newspaper Collection, Serial & Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (v. 1248), United States of America. Photograph by Rebecca Fifield.
This pocket in the Winterthur collection (60.248) is printed with a pattern known as “shell.” Catherine Preden ran away from Newport, Delaware, on Sept. 24. 1757, wearing “a striped Calicoe Gown, with Shells.”
This petticoat suggests what Ann Dawson’s petticoat, with a printed-fabric border, looked like. Dawson was a runaway servant in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1765. This petticoat, made of plain-woven linen, has a five-inch border of fabric printed in blue with a resist method. Museum purchase with funds provided in part by Mrs. Vietor, Mrs. Ruth Lord, and Mrs. Porter Schutt 1995.0028
Rebecca Fifield is a former Winterthur Research Fellow (July 2013). She also wrote “Had on When She Went Away: Expanding the Usefulness of Garment Data in American Runaway Advertisements 1750–1790 through Database Analysis,”Textile History, 42, 1 (May 2011).