Have you ever wanted to dive deeper in the world of the 1850s or 1860s? The Citizens forum of the 1860s is coming up on March 24th-26th, 2017. This conference touches on a number of subjects for the civilian reenactor and historian of the Civil war era period. During this conference there will be a talk given by my chaperon, Samantha Stanley! She will talk on dolls from 1850-1865 including what to look for when choosing a doll and fashions for the well dressed doll!
Here is the preview video that was made in preparation for it:
If you want to learn more about this opportunity to learn more about our past check out this site:
At Inaugural Balls one things does not change, fashion is the highlight of the evening. There will always be a buzz around the newly sworn in President but fashion is one of the things that people remember from that evening for years to come. In this post we will explore the fashion from Abraham Lincolns two Inaugural balls in 1861 and 1865.
Lets start with 1861:
This images shows a great overall view of the ballroom that night as well as a closeup shot of Mary Todd Lincoln. One accessory she carried through both balls was the flower coronet. While I was not able to find an image of her gown, you can be sure that she was dressed at the height of Washington City fashion!
Popular publication’s such as “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated newspaper” reported on what various prominent ladies wore. This ball was and still is the highlight of the Washington City social season.
This brooch was worn by Elisabeth Harvey Stevens to the ball.
The ballgown bodice and skirt of this ensemble was worn to the ball by Caroline Bolles Cleveland. Imagine what a splash the wearer made in this sunshine yellow silk!
1865 Inaugural Ball:
This is one of the invites to the ball. If one of these made its way to you, you knew you were somebody important in Washington society.
Here is what Mary Todd Lincoln wore to this ball. This gown is now in the Smithsonian. The jewelry she wears was purchased for her in 1862 by her husband from Tiffany and Co.
This set also included a matching brooch and earrings that are not pictured.
This next and final gown was worn by the wife of Sec. of the Interior. The first image is of the day bodice with skirt and the second image is the of the ball gown bodice itself.
The years have not been kind to the ballgown bodice bu the day bodice and skirt still retain that fabulous bright blue and complimenting yellow.
Even though not every piece of fashion was saved from these two balls, you can see how this event was the highlight of the season every 4 years.
I hope you enjoyed this look back and will stay tuned for future posts! Thank you!
Most people will cook a huge feast for Thanksgiving day; not in my house! Samantha told me to put on something nice but also something I was able to travel in. I also added my paletot to my ensemble since it was so chilly outside. The big museum we went to visit as the Smithsonian museum of American History.
My favorite exhibit was the First lady’s gowns. My favorite gown is Mary Todd Lincolns! It is a purple velvet with white silk piping to accent it. It also has it original evening bodice with it still!
There were plenty of accessories to admire as well. Jewelry and shoes seemed to be a theme. I also found a fan that I love!
I saw one of my cousins in the museum as well! She belonged to John Quincy Adams daughter.
After a full day wandering the museum we packed into the car and traveled back to Gettysburg. Next time I go to Washington, DC I want to visit the White House! They have to let me in!
Until next time friends!
The day after the Battle of Perryville in Kentucky we made a stop on the way home. Samantha made an appointment for us the Friday before since we knew we were not going to there on a day they were open normally. Once there we were greeted by the curator of the museum, Jan Taylor! She gave us an in depth tour of all the exhibits. This museum is small but filled to the brim! I met some of my cousins there as well as cousins from the “future”.
Some of my favorites that we saw were the following. I loved this ensemble that was still in the box! Its amazing how after all this time its still in its original box.
I thought the miniature stationary was adorable! A little girl spent time to make sure her doll had the proper stationary.
Some of my cousins from the “future” were wearing their nursing uniforms.
I envy this cousin who has her very own dollhouse to play with, maybe Samantha will make me one!
If anyone wants to visit this wonderful little treasure, here are the details:
Kentucky Doll and Toy Museum
106 West Main street
They are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. But you can always call to make an appointment to visit!
To view more photos from this trip please go to: