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The Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth-Century America$
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Kate Haulman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834879

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869291_haulman

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New Duties and Old Desires on the Eve of Revolution

New Duties and Old Desires on the Eve of Revolution

(p.117) 4 New Duties and Old Desires on the Eve of Revolution
The Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth-Century America

Kate Haulman

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Sarah Eve's journal, in which she reflected on the time she had spent with Mrs. Brayen, the wife of a doctor, a “man of fortune” from Trenton, New Jersey. Eve's journal situates the relationship among fashion, social status, character, and gender at the center of a familiar tale about the years preceding American independence from Great Britain. Such a focus helps shed new light on this pivotal moment by showing how people crafted and responded to renewed political upheaval in a climate of urban commercialism and consumerism. The significance that fashion, and with it formulations of masculine and feminine propriety, had acquired during the Stamp Act crisis increased and grew more fraught after the passage of the Townshend Acts in 1767 and into the early 1770s.

Keywords:   Sarah Eve, Mrs. Brayen, man of fortune, fashion, social status, gender, American independence, political upheaval, urban commercialism

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