Links to relevant posts appear after each entry below.
Here are a couple of photos of a 19th century store like the one Clara visits in the story. Here’s the description:
I spied Mr. Towne, his gray hair combed forward in the fashionable “Brutus” style, although his receding hairline made this look a bit odd. He leaned over his counter, which was laden as always with large glass jars of pickles, candy, and other delicacies. Behind him, shelves reached to the ceiling, stuffed with items fascinating to the eye. On one wall, the lower spaces held large wooden barrels of brandy, rum, gin, wine, and molasses, with boxes of oranges, lemons, figs, spices, and sugar loaves on the shelves above. My eye was drawn to the other wall, however, where a rainbow of lace, silk, cotton, wool, linen, gingham, and calico occupied most of the shelves. On the very top level were more personal items: hairbrushes, mirrors, pomatums, patent medicines, and combs. My miracle-working lead comb was up there waiting for me. – A Buss from Lafayette © 2016 by Dorothea Jensen
Clara’s house in Hopkinton N.H. in 1825, has all the “modern conveniences”, including a granite slab sink and and pump for water. This, of course, saved her stepmother the trouble of lugging in buckets of water from the well and carrying waster water outside again. Assuming that many young people have never seen or worked a water pump, I asked my grandson, Alex, to show us how it’s done. (This was at the new Moxi Museum in Santa Barbara, CA.) As you can see, operating a pump required much more effort than turning on a spigot!
A portrait of General Lafayette’s son, Georges Washington Lafayette, aged 11, done in 1790. Georges was sent to Mount Vernon to live with the Washingtons to keep him out of harm’s way during the French Revolution.
My dad’s medical bag, probably not much different from Dr. Flagg’s in the story. It had compartments for storing medicines, bandages, etc. Just like Clara, for many years of my childhood I believed that when he went to deliver a baby, it was inside this bag. I wonder if doctors still carry these. Bublish
Granite hitching post in Dr. Lerned’s front yard, where Clara hitches up Flame.
Here is a picture of the crowd greeting Lafayette when he visited Philadelphia in 1824. This was a true “rock star” reception!
Here is an 1800 painting of Jacob Weeks, by portrait artists Samuel & Ruth Shute (Courtesy of the Hopkinton Historical Society). Please note that Jacob has blue eyes and dark hair, just like his fictional (much) younger brother, Dickon. He even combs it forward in the “Brutus” style, as Dickon does for the dance at Perkins Tavern. (Of course, I did not see this picture until long after I wrote A Buss from Lafayette.) Bublish
I suddenly remembered this picture, taken in 1997 on the Jane Austen tour on which I met Rita Paine Nash, who passed along to me the actual “buss” from Lafayette. This was in Lyme Regis, the setting Jane Austen used in her novel, Persuasion. I am holding a mob cap that was made by and worn by Jane Austen! (Remember that early in A Buss from Lafayette I have Priscilla wearing a mob cap.)
Below are pictures of the actual Putney Tavern: two old signs, the front as it appears today, the sign posted now, and an old picture of the Tavern with a horse and carriage parked in front of it.
Here is a picture of the so-called “Indian Shutters” in the house formerly known as the Putney Tavern. These could be closed from inside the house, presumably adding a level of protection for the occupants of the house against flying arrows, etc. One shutter is pulled out from the frame in this shot. The other shutter is inside the frame on the other side of the window. Bublish
Here is a built-in corner cupboard from the house formerly known as Putney’s Tavern. I don’t know if it was there in during Clara’s time, but it certainly might have been! (Clara’s dining room has a cupboard similar to this one, if you remember.)
We recently went to Lexington, Massachusetts with the American Friends of Lafayette, and visited the Buckman Tavern there. According to the Lexington Historical Society, this tavern was built in 1710, and was a gathering place for both locals and travelers and the site of many important town meetings. Captain Parker and his militia gathered in this tavern in the early morning hours of April 19, 1775, to await the oncoming British troops. Upstairs is an exhibit relating to the Battles of Lexington and Concord, as well as to the visit of Lafayette on his Farewell Tour. Above is a small version of a banner created to welcome Lafayette at that time. Ironically, Lafayette’s visit touched off an enduring feud between the two towns as to which had a legitimate claim to actually beginning the Revolution.
Above is a small part of the actual banner. Because it is so long and so fragile, only a bit of it is on display. (I tried to do a panorama shot of it and apparently didn’t hold it quite steady enough for a smooth picture. That’s why there is a break in the middle.)
Here is a old sugar cone I spotted in the kitchen at Buckman Tavern. Next to it are tongs used to nip off bits of sugar. (Hammers could also be used to do this, as discussed in A Buss from Lafayette.) When my husband and I lived in Brazil in the late 1960s, brown sugar could only be obtained in hard chunks like this, so I knew how hard it was to use sugar that came in such a form.
In addition to fans, plates, and other souvenirs sold during Lafayette’s Farewell Tour of 1824-5, it was possible to buy fabric stamped with Lafayette’s image. This is a baby’s dress made of such fabric I saw in a friend’s collection.
A portrait of Captain Nicholas Gilman, Jr., who was in charge of tallying the thousands of British troops that surrendered at Yorktown. He later signed the Constitution and served as a U.S. Senator. Trueworthy Gilman, a young storekeeper in Hopkinton who appears in A Buss from Lafayette, might actually have been related to him. (In Buss, he says they are distant cousins and tells about Captain Gilman’s role in the Revolution etc.) Captain Gilman’s home in Exeter, NH, now houses the American Independence Museum.
Here are two fans that were souvenirs of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour in 1824-5. Bublish
A corset, or “stays” from Colonial Williamsburg. The style was probably a little different in Clara’s time, but not by much!
Here’s a glove from the time of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour of the U.S. in 1824-5. (It is in the collection of the Smithsonian.) Clara’s cousin, Hetty, had a longer pair of gloves with Lafayette’s picture on them. (Apparently, Lafayette often balked at kissing his own portrait when meeting ladies wearing gloves like these!)
Here I am in my Buss from Lafayette dress, built by costumer Gay Bean in the style of 1825. Note the exaggerated puffed sleeves,the almost natural waistline, and the adornment around the skirt that is stiff enough to make it stand out a bit. Luckily, I don’t need to wear any stays with this dress, so it is really fairly comfortable!
Here I am welcoming the re-built L’Hermione as it was about to dock at Yorktown. We were able to go on board for a tour! For more pictures and information, go to my blog.
A paper-covered glass jar in the apothecary shop in Colonial Williamsburg. This is the same method of closure used by Priscilla when making strawberry jam in Buss, only the paper she used was soaked in brandy to keep the contents from spoiling.
This is the Concord Coach-type of stagecoach first made in 1828 so I couldn’t use it in my 1825 story! These Concord Coaches were manufactured in Concord, NH, and used all over the American West, as well as overseas. Whenever you see a stagecoach in a move set out west, you can bet it came from New Hampshire!
Here is an illustration of the nursery rhyme, Lucy Locket, from Kate Greenaway’s Mother Goose (1881)
A ferule, used for two things in 19th century classrooms: pointing out items to be learned, and whipping the hands of children who failed to learn them or otherwise misbehaved! (Pinned from owpeducation.) Bublish
Because the fields had so many rocks that they couldn’t be plowed! They all had to be hauled out so the fields could be cultivated, and farmers built walls out of these to mark boundaries etc.
Here are two little girls wearing pinafores over their dresses, circa 1900.
I removed my pinafore and hung it on the peg near the door. There was certainly no need to wear an extra layer on what promised to be another scorchingly hot day. If only I could take off my ankle-length pantalettes as well! – A Buss from Lafayette ©2016 by Dorothea Jensen