Mudcat Café message #2504458 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116477   Message #2504458
Posted By: Ron Davies
30-Nov-08 - 08:54 PM
Thread Name: BS: Thanksgiving historical corrections (USA)
Subject: RE: BS: Thanksgiving historical corrections (USA)
I'd be curious to know the source of Kovell's assertion that Pilgrim women wore green, blue, and purple--unless these were extremely faded.   According to Albion's Seed, an excellent book by David Hackett Fischer on the founding of the various regions of the original colonies, it is very likely that the main goal in New England garb as far as color was to avoid ostentation. The predominant colors would therefore be what we would call "earth tones", especially russet and "philly mort"( from the French "feuille morte" or dead leaf.)

It is true they avoided black--except for prominent citizens--"ruling elders and the governing elite" who were granted the privilege of wearing black as a mark of the community's respect. So "forget the black clothes" is also a bit too simple. Most did not wear them, some did.

Samuel Elliott Morrison wrote "Governor Bradford left a red waistcoat with silver buttons" among other clothes, but to extrapolate from this that men in general wore red linings in their clothes is unsupported--unless there are other sources which buttress this.

Interestingly enough, Fischer states that "sadd colors" popular in the 17th century survive in the older universities of New England. He describes Harvard's color as "a dreary off-purple euphemistically called crimson".

Harvard grads' comments?