by Sue Felshin
Last modified 17 Apr 2017
Copyright © 2008–2017 Sue Felshin, All Rights Reserved
Going by period writings, the common term for an ordinary wool short cloak was “short cloak” and the common term for an ordinary wool ‘full length’ cloak was simply “cloak”, although “long cloak” was sometimes used. (A ‘full length’ cloak was generally about mid-calf length, to keep the bottom from getting too wet and heavy.) There are many terms for specialized variations on cloaks and especially short cloaks, particularly for fancy variations made of silk, fur, lace, and so forth. These terms include mantle, cardinal, hood, riding hood, capuchin, pelerine, &c. The meanings of some of these words are difficult to pin down. For example, cardinals were presumably originally named for their cardinal red color, but they could be colors besides red as shown by, e.g., a runaway ad from the Pennsylvania Gazette, May 27, 1762, item #28676: "RUN AWAY …: Had on …A black Silk Cardinal Cloak, lined with Silk, and has Gimp on it, …".
Mantles were a fancy version of short cloaks, cut back at the sides to elbow length leaving the forearms free, and sometimes with the front ends longer than the back; they were made in silk, fur, or lace, lined with silk or possibly fur, and trimmed with silk, fur, lace, muslin, or other trim.
Hoods were apparently cut and constructed like cloak hoods, often with a cape attached. Riding hoods may have been the same and/or may have had a longer body, in which case the difference between a short cloak and riding hood remains obscure. Cardinals and capuchins may have been hoods with attached capes and/or may have been made of fancy fabrics.
A pelisse is a mid-thigh length cloak cut from slightly shaped rectangles rather than from a half circle (see the Garsault diagram for a pelisse, the lower draft in the image at 18cNewEnglandLife.org: Mantle), and with a hood and arm slits. This shape requires a great deal of gathering at the neck, which may explain why it was apparently only made from silk and not wool. It was edged with fur and either sometimes or always lined with fur; one artwork shows the fur lining stopping below the neckline, alleviating the problem of gathering bulky fur (Madame Drouais by François-Hubert Drouais, c. 1758, at Art Renewal).
No short cloak artifacts have yet come to light. Therefore, all documentation is based on art and writings, and extrapolated from the few surviving cloak and mantle artifacts. See Appendices A, B, and C.
There really is nothing like a long cloak for keeping warm and dry when standing or walking in cold rain or snow. Long cloaks are cut generously so that you can overlap and hold them closed in front of you to keep the warmth in and the cold and wet out. But you can’t do anything in a cloak. If you turn or bend, the cold starts to slip in, and if you need to use your hands, you lose all warmth as you open your cloak. The hood keeps you from seeing in any direction except in front of you, and when you turn your head to try to see, you find yourself looking at the inside of the hood. And cloaks are heavy, and if it warms up a little you can’t really cool off by throwing the sides back; you’ll choke.
Cloaks with vest fronts (see What Clothes Reveal, p. 14) solve some but not all of these problems, and it is not clear how common they were.
A typical short cloak was less full than a cloak: it was only lightly pleated or gathered. This was not only economical but practical as a narrower short cloak swings around and gets in the way less. Short cloaks varied greatly in length, but most were about wrist length. When you wear a wrist-length short cloak, you can use your arms without opening the short cloak. When you are not using your arms, you can fold your arms and tuck in your hands so that you can keep your hands and arms warm even without mitts. Or you can cool off by letting the short cloak hang open or by throwing the sides of the short cloak behind you—because the short cloak isn’t too full, the sides will stay behind you fairly well, and the strings (ties) will only drag at your neck a little.
Most cloaks had hoods, but while some short cloaks had hoods, many had collars instead. See below for more on the advantages of collars over hoods.
Petticoats are not generally made of thick fulled wool, because they would be too stiff and bulky, so when standing or walking (but not working) in a rain, a cloak is the best way to stay dry. In all other circumstances, if you combine a short cloak with several warm petticoats, you will be just as warm as in a cloak, and you will be able to move about more comfortably and easily.
Hoods keep your neck and head warm, but they make it hard to see around you because when you turn your head, the hood stays still. They also have a tendency to fall back (but see below regarding wearing a bonnet under a hood). When you wear the hood down, its weight tends to make the cloak pull back so that it falls off or the strings choke you.
Many period short cloaks had a collar (or cape) rather than a hood. The collar finishes the neckline of the short cloak body so that the neckline edge doesn’t chafe against your neck and so that the neck pleats are held in place. You can turn the collar up to keep your neck warm. In period art, one can often see a collar of two layers. If you wear your collared short cloak with a bonnet and/or a handkerchief over your cap, you can stay warm and still be able to turn your head to see around you.
A few short cloaks apparently have neither collar nor hood (see Appendix A): “a grey coating cloak, without a cape”, “a little brown Cloak without a Cape”.
Hoods have a tendency to fall forward and blind you or to fall back off your head. If you make a hood small enough to keep this from happening, then the hood will be uncomfortably tight around your head, and you won’t be able to wear the hood with a even a slightly high 1770s hairstyle. But if you wear a bonnet under the hood, the bonnet will hold the hood in place very nicely, and it will even allow you to turn your head—a little—and have the hood turn with you. However, the hood will still drag at your neck when you choose to wear it down.
I have yet to find any documentation for arm slits in short cloaks. You don’t really need them, since you can reach out from under a short cloak so easily.
Cloaks were made from fulled wool. (Fancy cloaks could be made of silk and other fine materials.) Fulled wool has been processed so that the fibers twist up tightly together, forming a dense, thick fabric that repels water and wind. It does not fray when cut, so edges can be (and were) left raw, saving time, yardage, and bulk. Fulled wool is frequently brushed to raise a nap; this makes the fabric even more wind resistant, and when the nap runs in a downward direction, it sheds rain easily. The nap may be long enough to be fur-like (“shag” and other names). The thickest “thunder and lightning cloth” or “fearnought” (and assorted similar names) could withstand rain for many hours.
The best quality fulled wool was high-quality broadcloth. To obtain it today, one must pay upwards of $50/yard for imported English fabric; the resulting cloak will be warm and beautiful and will last forever. Period cloaks were made of fulled wool in a wide range of qualities from the best broadcloth to poorly fulled duffels. Ordinary modern melton will do fine for most reenacting impressions and can often be found for $16/yard, sometimes less.
A rarer alternative, about which little information is available to date, is cloaks made from unfulled wool or wool-blend fabrics, such as camlet. The Golden Scissors blog reports on a camlet long-cloak artifact that is bound with silk ribbon.
Unless you are prepared to dive into a research project on cloaks of unfulled wool, your short cloak should be made of fulled wool that holds an edge. If you have a piece of unfulled wool you want to use, either full it yourself, or save it for another purpose. (To full woolen yourself, wash it in warm or hot water with plenty of detergent for a long time. The fabric may shrink by up to 50% in both directions, so make sure you have plenty. Some modern wools have been treated so that they will not full; you may want to test a swatch first. Untreated woolen often fulls well while worsted fulls poorly if at all. But really, you're better off buying a well-fulled woolen.) Please do not line your short cloak body because “you have to” because you have chosen an inappropriate fabric. If an unlined short cloak isn't enough to keep you warm, wear two short cloaks. Other period ways to keep your upper body warm are to wear a wool gown, to layer two gowns, to wear mitts or mittens, to layer multiple linen and/or wool and/or silk handkerchiefs, to wear a quilted waistcoat under your gown or other main garment, and, if it fits with your impression, to wear a riding habit and to carry a muff.
About fabric for lining hoods: Surviving cloak artifacts (long; there are no known short cloaks) are generally of the better sort. Their hoods have silk linings, or their linings may be missing; if they are lined in the body, the lining appears to be a later addition. A cloak in the collection of the Townsend Historical Society has no lining in the hood. Some writings mention linings (see Appendix A): “a short greyish colour'd drugget Cloak, lined with the same sort, only something Lighter …” (lighter color or lighter weight of fabric; is this being doubled for extra warmth or lined?), “an old black short cloak lined with Bengal”, “a blue cloak, lined with two different pieces of lincey”, but based on artifacts, it seems most likely that the linings are only in the hood. I suggest you line a short cloak hood with silk taffeta or ribbed silk (satin would probably be too slippery) or with a lightweight worsted for warmth, or you could leave your hood unlined, but I cannot guarantee that these options are accurate.
Collar: Period artwork most often shows a collar with the same appearance as the body, but here are a couple of mentions of a different fabric: “a black cloth cloak, with a velvet collar, but no cape to it”, “a broadcloth cloak, of a lightish colour, without a cape, the collar lined with velvet”.
Facings: Cloaks were sometimes faced down the front edge with shag or another fabric. “A short brown camlet cloak, faced down before with a dirty colour'd Silk”, “a snuff coloured cloak, faced with snuff coloured shaloon”. This may have been more common with long cloaks than short cloaks.
The most common colors were red, brown, blue, assorted not very colorful shades (such as buff, dove, gray, leaden, drab, pearl, and white), and black, with black being rather less common than the others. Some other colors do appear in records. See Appendices A and B. Documentation of hood lining color is too sparse to make anything of. I suggest a near match or any unobtrusive color.
Period artworks overwhelmingly show one pair of strings (ties) at or near the neck. One runaway ad mentions “a blue cloth cloak, with a cap to it, tied at the neck with a narrow worsted tape” (“cap” is probably a misspelling of “cape”). Merchants’ advertisements (see Appendix B) mention “frogs for womens cloaks”, “cloak pins”, and “worsted and hair cord for cloaks”. These buttons may be decorative: “a short cloth cloak, with silver buttons, on it”. One runaway had: “a white cloth short cloak, with a silver button, and silver twist button hole”. I suggest strings of wool tape or silk ribbon; an animal fiber will be warmer when wet than a plant fiber. Based on general documentation of 18th century clothing, strings should not be made of self-fabric, and fancy clasps should not be used.
Eighteenth century women's cloaks and short cloaks were cut as modified half circles. See Figure 1 for the basic short cloak shape.
A half circle gives you the right fullness around your body while keeping the neckline from being bulky.
A full circle doesn’t require any pleating at the neckline, but uses excessive fabric and yields a cloak that is too full in the body—the hem will flap around and let cold air in, and will get caught on things too easily.
A rectangle (or even modified rectangle) requires so much fabric to give a full enough hem that there is enormous bulk at the neck.
Eighteenth century cloaks and short cloaks were not quite cut as true half circles, going by the few available artifacts. The basic shape was a half circle, but extra fullness was added at center back, and perhaps sometimes at center front as well, to allow for gathering or pleating. That is, the neckline of the cloak would end up as a half circle after gathering or pleating.
If you make the neck too small, the cloak will choke you, and if there is a hood, it will chafe against your neck and head. If you make the neck too large, it won’t keep you warm, and the cloak will shift around as you wear it. You should choose a size you’re comfortable with, but in general, you want to size the neckline to sit on your collar bone.
To measure the neckline, lay a tape measure around your neck, or for a more 18th century method, use a strip of paper and cut a notch at the right length. Remember, when you choose the neckline size, this is the finished size. You will cut the neckline larger on the short cloak body to allow for pleating.
Short cloaks varied greatly in length, but the majority were apparently between elbow length and fingertip length, with most being about wrist length. When you wear a wrist-length short cloak, you can use your arms without opening the short cloak, and when you are not using your arms, you can fold your arms and tuck in your hands so that you can keep your hands and arms warm even without mitts.
A shorter cloak will let you work more easily but won’t keep you as warm; a longer cloak will keep you warmer but impede your work.
I recommend a wrist length short cloak, and regardless of what length you choose, I strongly recommend that you make it short enough that you won’t sit on it.
To measure the length, lay a tape measure from where you want the cloak neckline to be, out over your shoulder, and down your arm to the desired length. For a more 18th century method, use a strip of paper and notch it.
When cutting your cloak, remember to measure the length from the neckline and not from the center of the half circle!
No artifacts have come to light, but based on artworks, a typical short cloak was less full than a cloak: it was only lightly pleated or gathered in back, and not pleated or gathered at all in front. The short cloak would typically only barely close in front, so that it would fall open slightly if not pinned or held shut. Some short cloaks were fuller, however.
To make your short cloak more full, measure out a larger half circle, with a larger cutout for the neck.
Experimental archæology reveals that the right size to cut a short cloak is this: use the neckline measurement as the half circle size, and add about six inches at the center back, or more for a fuller short cloak.
To measure this out, lay out your neckline measure on your fabric (or paper) so that it kind of makes a half circle. Draw the half circle, neatening it up. Fold it in half to make a quarter circle because you’ll cut on the fold. When you cut, lay your pattern about 3 inches or so in from the fold in the fabric to add about six inches of width in back.
For more ways, see Appendix D.
Given the lack of artifacts, it’s hard to know how short cloak collars (and capes) were made. Going by artwork, they could be anything from a rectangle to a half circle section and any shape in between, with most being either a rectangle or close to it. Artworks clearly show that some collars were double; that is, two collars layers were cut and separately seamed to the cloak neckline, but not attached to each other. Compare the collar on the man’s cloak in Costume Close Up.
I find that a half circle section is too full and doesn’t lie smoothly over the shoulders. A rectangle works well, but will tend to pull up and fold over along the center line. That’s just fine if that’s the kind of collar you want. If you want a wide collar that will lie over your shoulders, you should cut it with a partial curve.
The inside edge of your collar can be as long as the finished neckline of your cloak, but some artworks show shorter collars, so that the cloak body sticks out an inch or two further than the collar. Going by art, collars run from about 3″ to 10″ in width, with 4–6″ being typical.
The standard 18th century hood is a slight variation on a rectangle: the back bottom corner is shaved off a little in both directions to curve the hood around the head a little better. The top half or more of the back seam is pleated in a circle rather than straight-seamed to curve the hood around the head. Consult Costume Close Up, Tidings from the 18th Century, or a variety of other sources for details. To make a higher hood (to go over 1770s high hair or 1780s big hair), cut the rectangle longer. To make the hood deeper, cut the rectangle wider. To make a hood that will lie more open over the shoulders, lengthen the front edge and shorten the back edge.
The bottom edge of your hood should be as long as the finished neckline of your cloak.
The only efficient way to cut out a short cloak is across the grain, like a long cloak. Your short cloak will barely need more than a yard of fabric, even with a collar. Even with 60″ wide wool, this will not be enough width to cut your short cloak unless you are very short and skinny. You will have to cut the front corners separately and piece them on.
Lay out your short cloak so that the nap will “pet” down the back, so that rain will run off the cloak. Because the short cloak will be cut as a half circle, the grain will run crosswise in front. You could cut the short cloak along the grain, but then the grain would run up one side of the front, down the other, and across the back—not an improvement. Anyway, you want to protect your back the most because if you get caught in a wind, you’ll stand with your back to it, or if you have to walk into it, you can overlap your short cloak in front for extra protection there.
If your fabric has absolutely no nap whatsoever, you can cut your short cloak lengthwise, but you will need much more fabric. It’s just not worth it.
Your short cloak will be symmetrical along the center back, so it’s much easier to cut it on the fold. Fold your fabric in half along the length.
Step 1. Pick out one of the paper patterns provided at the workshop, trace a copy, and use it as a pattern, being sure to get the nap direction (if any) and fold line right.
Or, cut your short cloak as follows: You will cut your short cloak on the fold. This means that you will cut (a variation on) a quarter circle. Lay out your fabric folded in half lengthwise along the grain. If your fabric has a grain—for example, if it is a brushed wool—be sure to measure from the top of the grain.
Step 2. Your fabric will have been too narrow to cut out the complete body of your short cloak. Cut your corner pieces as follows:
Immediately assemble your corner pieces to the cloak body, laying right sides together, and pin, so that you don’t spend half an hour re-figuring it out again later.
If you are short on fabric, you can overlap by just a quarter inch, and you can cut the corner pieces using a different grain line. You can even piece the corner pieces!
Step 3. Cut your collar pieces out of the leftovers. Piece as needed, allowing for seams. Or for a hood, lay out your hood pattern: if there is a strong nap, lay out your hood cross-grain and with the nap running from the front to the back of the hood, or if there isn't a strong nap, laying your hood in either direction. Cut your hood without a seam allowance along the front and back edges; then lay out your pattern on your hood lining fabric and cut with seam allowances everywhere. Piece as needed, allowing for seams. Artifacts are often pieced around the back bottom of the hood, sometimes in several small wedges.
Almost the work of a short cloak is in measuring and cutting. With a collar, construction is a cakewalk, and even with a hood it’s easy once you understand the fan pleats in back.
For a two-piece collar, first stitch on the under collar. Stitch as for the collar (see below), only laying the right side of the under collar to the right side of the short cloak. You can omit the whipping step, since this part of the collar will be covered, but whipping will make a stronger seam. (See the construction of the collar on the man’s cloak in Costume Close Up.)
Now stitch on the collar: Overlap the collar over the neckline by a half inch, laying the wrong side of the collar to the wrong side of the short cloak. From the right side of the cloak, using a firm backstitch or combination stitch, stitch about an eight inch in from the edge of the cloak (about three-eighths in from the edge of the collar). Now, from the wrong side of the cloak, whip-stitch the edge of the collar down to the inside of the cloak. In this manner, the collar will protect your neck from the edge of the pleats and the cloak will lie comfortably around your neck.
Lay the wrong side of the lining to the wrong side of the hood. Turn under a seam allowance on the hood lining along the front edge of the hood, laying the lining in a tiny bit (sixteenth inch or so) from the hood fabric. Stitch with point à rabattre sous la main (underhand hem stitch), or you can wimp out and just use whip-stitch. Because of the thickness of the wool, the stitches should only barely show on the right side, if at all.
Making sure the lining lies neatly over the hood, turn under the seam allowance along the back edge of the hood and stitch as you did with the front edge.
Fold the hood in half along the top, right sides together. Measure up a third to halfway up the back. Stitch from the bottom of the back to this point, using a firm backstitch or combination stitch, with a narrow seam allowance (you didn’t allow for this seam when you cut the hood, but it’s only a narrow allowance so don’t sweat it). Press open.
With a doubled thread, for strength, stitch an odd number of gathers around the rest of the back edge. Lay your thread so that the first and last pleating will fall inward—otherwise the fan pleats will “pop” out and look silly. Pull the pleats tight and fasten off the thread firmly. I like to do this so that the gathering thread lies close to the outside of the pleats and then run a second gathering thread along the inside edge of the pleats, so that they are held more neatly. A hood in the Townsend Historical Society is unlined (currently) and shows loose backstitches on the inside running around the pleats a inch or two from the center, steadying the pleats in place (see 18cNewEnglandLife.org).
Lay the bottom edge of the cloak against the pleated-up body right sides together. Stitch, using a firm backstitch or combination stitch and whatever seam allowance you cut with. Press toward the hood. Turn in the lining allowance and whip down, covering all raw edges.
Okay, maybe that seems pretty long, but most of it was about the hood!
Items are arranged chronologically. For explanations of fabric names, see Textiles In America.
January 21, 1729, The Pennsylvania Gazette, ITEM #18
Philadelphia: Jan. 21. (so called). This Day about Three in the Afternoon, his Excellency the Governour of York, arrived in this City to pay our Honourable Governour a Visit. He was met and attended by our Governour, Judges, Magistrates and other Officers of State with many other Gentlemen and Merchants of the first Rank, and at his Arrival the Bells rang, Guns Fired, and was received with that due Respect and Honour becoming his Character. The Woman in a blue Riding-Hood that borrow'd a Twelve Shilling Bill off the Counter of Francis Knowles, without the Owner's Consent, a few Days since, is desired to return it lest she be further expos'd.
September 25, 1734 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #1700
STOLEN out of the Shop … an old striped Calimanco quilted Petticoat, a short brown camlet cloak, faced down before with a dirty colour'd Silk, …
March 7, 1738 The Pennsylvania Gazette
RUN AWAY...an Irish Servant Woman, named Margaret McClenny, aged about 40 Years, of a middle Size, pale Complexion, and useth the Word FAITH in her common Discourse. Had on a long dark Drab Cloak burnt at one Corner, and towards the Bottom work round with a Eylet hole, a light colour Calimanco Quilt, a black Silk Alamode Bonnet pieced in the Lining of the Cape, and Strings of the same sort, …
October 1, 1741 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #4748
RUN away from Alexander Lockart, a Servant Woman, named Mary Cullen, aged about 30 Years: had on when she went away, a striped cotton and linnen Gown, with blue and white narrow stripes, an old black silk Bonnet, pretty much torn, a short greyish colour'd drugget Cloak, lined with the same sort, only something Lighter [only in the hood?—SLF] …
Estate inventory of Elizabeth Amsden (1724-1768), Jan 20, 1768. Memorial Hall, Deerfield, MA, accession #L00.025.
1 Blue Silk Gown, 1 do Changable Colour, 2 Chinee do, 1 silk Crape do, 1 Russel Do, 1 Cotton & linn Do, 1 Callamanco Do, 1 Riding habbet, 1 cambelt Riding hood, 1 black Capuchine Cloak, 2 Red Broadcloth Do, 1 Velvet bunnet, 4 Quilted petticoats, 4 under Coats [petticoats], 3 Checd Aprons, 2 Linsy wolsy Do, 3 White Hollon Do, 2 Holn handkerchiefs, 2 lasd Do, 1 lasd Cambrick Cap, 2 plain Lawn Do, 4 hollon Do, 1 fan, 2 pr Mits, 1 Velvet hood, 1 Silk Do, 1 Gause Vail, 5 pr stockens, 2 pr shoes, 1 pr Silver Buckels, 1 pr Stone Buttons set in Silver, 1 plain gold ring, 3 hollon shifts, 3 linn Do, 2 pr stays, 2 checd handkerchiefs.
March 26, 1745 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #6857
RUN away, the 11th Instant, from Thomas McMollin, of East Nantmell, in Chester County, an Irish Servant Woman…: Had on when she went away, a short Cloak of blue Cloath, no Cap, an old striped Gown, faced with old stamped Callicoe…
Virginia Gazette (Parks), Williamsburg, From June 27 to July 4, 1745.
RAN away from the Subscriber, in Stafford County, on Whitsun-Tuesday last, at Night, a Servant Woman, named Susanna Weakly, a lusty well-set Wench, with large Hands and Wrists; a mark may be perceiv'd in her Face, by careful Inspection, dark Hair, her Speech is the North of England Dialect, and says she was born in Lincolnshire: she had on, when she went away, a dark Camblet Gown, better than half worn, a brown Linnen Petticoat, and old strip'd, patch'd, quilted Coat, and Oznabrig Shift: 'Tis suppos'd she has with her, a new Tartain Gown, an old furr'd Hat an old green Cloak, a Pair of Worsted Stocking chever'd with White, a Pair of old Shoes and Buckles; tho' it's probable, she may have both chang'd her Name and Cloaths, she being base enough to do worse things. Whoever apprehends and secures the said Servant Woman, so that she may be had again, shall have a Pistole Reward, besides what the Law allows, paid by John Silbey.
January 21, 1746 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #7511
RUN away Jan. 16, 1745-6, from John Leadlie, of Bristol Township, Philadelphia County, a Servant Woman named Margaret Brown; she has large staring Eyes, has had four or five Children, and has left two behind her: Had on when she went away, a dark coloured Bed Gown of Linsey, streek'd quilted Petticoat, paned one Pane Yellow and the other check'd with a large Check; a blue and white strip'd Apron, a Pair of Leather heel'd Shoes half worn, a Pair of blue Stockings new footed with Blue, a little brown Cloak without a Cape, a Cotton check'd Handkerchief, ty'd on her Head. Whoever takes and secures the said servant, so as her Master may have her again, shall have Twenty Shillings Reward, and all reasonable Charges, paid by JOHN LEADLIE.
Virginia Gazette (Parks), Williamsburg, From April 17 to April 24, 1746.
They took with them a Servant Woman named Eleanor Roark, aged about 30: She stole a Gold Ring, a fine blue Cloak, a fur'd Hat, a Piece of fine Linen, 8 Yards of Country Cloth, a Tartan Gown, and several other Things...
April 24, 1746 The Pennsylvania Gazette
RUN away on the 25th of March, 1746, from the house of Arthur Foster, of Paxton township, in the county of Lancaster, a prisoner woman, named Mary Porter…: … she stole a callicoe gown, a striped blue and white petticoat with a callicoe border, a black callithancoe petticoat, a white flannel petticoat, a red short cloak, a felt hat …
November 26, 1747 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #9152
Philadelphia, November 26. 1747. RUN away, the 20th instant, from William Plasket, of Trenton, a Welsh servant woman, named Sarah Davis, of a middle size, fresh complexion, slow of speech, and has a scar on her forehead. Had on when she went away, a beaver hat, the inside furr'd, with a rising on the crown, a calicoe gown, old quilted petticoat, a blue jacket and cloak, tow ozenbrigs apron, one pair of blue stockings, and a pair of leather heel'd shoes. Whoever secures her, so as her master may have her again, shall have Forty Shillings reward from WILLIAM PLASKET.
March 29, 1748 The Pennsylvania Gazette
RUN away from the subscriber, on the 15th instant, a servant woman named Ann Fortey, had on when she went away, a grey linsey wolsey gown, and carried with her a striped cotton and callico gown, a holland quilted, a brown, and a striped flannel pettycoat, a black hat, and red cloak …
April 16, 1748 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #9455
Philadelphia, April 14. 1748. RUN away…: Had on…, a fine Holland cap, with a cambrick border, an old black short cloak lined with Bengal [only in the hood? —SLF], blue worsted stockings with white clocks, a very good fine shift, and a very good white apron.
October 18, 1750 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #12205
Run away on the 14th inst. from Robert Montgomery, of New Providence township, Philadelphia county, an English servant woman, named Elizabeth Morris, about 24 years of age, of middle stature, round shoulder'd, full faced, large eyes, one of her upper teeth remarkably black, has a small scar on her forehead, and has dark brown hair: Had on when she went away, a light blue tammy gown, old brown linsey quilted petticoat, a white cloth short cloak, with a silver button, and silver twist button hole, white yarn stockings, and pretty good flat heel'd shoes; she has also with her some muslin caps, a white linnen apron, and is a great smoaker of tobacco. Whoever takes up said servant (if in this province) and secures her, so that her master may have her again, shall have Fifty Shillings reward, and reasonable charges, and if out of the province, Three Pounds, paid by ROBERT MONTGOMERY. N.B. All masters of vessels are desired not to carry her off at their peril.
November 1, 1750 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #12253
Philadelphia, November 1. 1750. Whereas on Saturday night last, the house of Benjamin Franklin, of this city, printer, was broken open, and the following things feloniously taken away, viz. a double necklace of gold beads, a woman's long scarlet cloak, almost new, with a double cape, a woman's gown, of printed cotton, of the sort called a brocade print, very remarkable, the ground dark, with large red roses, and other large red and yellow flowers, with blue in some of the flowers, and smaller blue and white flowers, with many green leaves; a pair of woman's stays, covered with white tabby before, and dove colour'd tabby behind, with two large steel hooks, and sundry other goods. Whoever discovers the thief or thieves, either in this of any of the neighbouring provinces, so that they may be brought to justice, shall receive TEN POUNDS reward; and for recovering any of the goods, a reward in proportion to their value, paid by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
November 22, 1750 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #12449
Run away …: Had on when she went away, a new plat hat, a blue worsted gown, an old lightish colour short cloak, …
June 11, 1752 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #14451
An Irish servant woman belonging to Samuel Boggs, near Haddonfield, in Gloucester county …: Had on when she went away, … and an old red cloak…
January 2, 1753 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #15175
Run away on the 27th of December last at night, from Lydia Morgan, of this city, an Irish servant woman…: Had on and took with her when she went away, … a light colour camblet short cloak…
July 5, 1753 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #15799
RUN away from her master, on the 10th of June last, and supposed to be lurking about the city, a Welch servant woman…: Had on …, and often wears a red cloak, what other clothes she has taken is uncertain.
November 27, 1760 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #25750
Philadelphia, November 25, 1760. THREE POUNDS REWARD. RUN away, on Wednesday the 12th of the is inst. November, from John Biddle, at the Sign of the Indian King, in Market street, a Dutch Servant Girl, …: She had on and took with her when she went away, a pair of new Russel Stays, a striped Camblet and striped Linen Gown, also a red and purple Calicoe Gown, a short blue and white Linen Gown, green Calimancoe Jacket, a striped Lincey and black quilted Petticoat, a white short Cloth Cloak, and black Sattin Bonnet, …
December 2, 1762 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #29853
RUN away from the Subscriber, living at Martick Furnace, in Lancaster County, an Irish Servant Woman, named Catherine Smith … Had on and took with her … blue Cloth Cloak …
May 27, 1762 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #28676
RUN AWAY …: Had on …A black Silk Cardinal Cloak, lined with Silk, and has Gimp on it, …
December 29, 1763 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #32405
FOUR DOLLARS Reward. RUN away, the 10th of October last, from the Subscriber, an Irish Servant Woman…: Had on, when she went away, an Irish red [?] Cloak or Cardinal …
May 24, 1764 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #33362
RUN away from the Subscriber, living at the Sign of the Ship and Castle, in Front street, an Irish Servant Woman, named Catherine McMullin …: Had on, when she went away, Mens Shoes, a green Calimancoe Gown, short red Cloak, black Bonnet …
June 7, 1764 The Pennsylvania Gazette
WAS stolen...the following goods belonging to the Subscriber, one Irish Poplin gown, a dark Cotton Chintz Ditto, with a large Strawberry, a light Bound Cotton Ditto, one small shelled Ditto, a black Silk Cloak, one black Calimancoe quilted Petticoat, lined with blue Tammy, one black Peeling Bonnet , lined with Taffety, …
March 13, 1766 The Pennsylvania Gazette
RUN away…an Irish Servant Girl, …: Had on, and took with her, an old Camblet Gown, and two Calicoe Gowns, one of which is marked with Spade and Club, a quilted Petticoat, one Side Calimancoe, the other Linsey woolsey, a pair of Shoes that have been capped and soaled, white and other Worsted Stockings, a white Straw Bonnet , with a green Ribbon round the Edge and Crown, a short red Cloth Cardinal and a black Silk Cloak, two coarse and one fine Shift, a black silk handkerchief, and has taken several other Things out of the House…
June 5, 1766 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #38092
WAS stolen, on the 7th of May last, from Francis QuickBleach yard, of Amwell Township, Hunterdon County, in West New Jersey, sundry Sorts of Goods, viz. three homespun Shifts, one Pair of homespun Sheets, three Pillow Cases, a long Calicoe double Gown, purple and white, the Figure on one Side much smaller than the other, one striped Linsey Petticoat, with a deep and pale blue, the white is Cotton, and bound round with blue Cadice; six Womens Caps, one of them remarkable, the Border Lawn Needle worked, and four check Handkerchiefs. Said Goods are supposed to be stolen by a Woman, who pretends to be a Fortune teller; she stoops in her walking, her Habit as near as can be remembered is a cloak and blue striped Linsey short Gown, a Linsey Petticoat, and a Leaden coloured Stuff Bonnet. Whoever secures said Goods, so that they may be had again, or the Thief or Thieves, that Justice may be executed upon them, shall receive Forty Shillings Reward, paid by the above mentioned FRANCIS QUICK, or MOSES VANCOURT, in Moreland Township, Philadelphia County.
October 16, 1766 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #38991
RUN away the 19th of September, 1766, from the subscriber, living in New garden Township, Chester County, an Irish servant girl, about 21 years of age, named Agnes, or Ann Borby, a bold looking girl, fair hair, tied behind; had on, and took with her, a blue gown and quilt, striped linsey petticoat, a red and yellow poplin gown a long callicoe bed gown, a short cloth cloak, with silver buttons, on it, new Irish stays, of a lightish colour, new shoes, thread stockings, and blue yarn ditto, marked at the top with S. F. and a striped linen bonnet. It is thought that one James Moor is gone with her, as be has absconded the neighbourhood, and will pass for man and wife; he is a native Irishman, a thick set fellow, round shouldered, hath been in the King’s service, apt to drink hard, and in drink apt to quarrel, his cloaths unknown. Whoever takes up said man and woman, and secures them, so as they may be had again, shall have Three pounds reward, or for the girl Thirty Shillings, and reasonable charges, paid by me JOSEPH FRED.
March 26, 1767 The Pennsylvania Gazette
...STOLEN ...the following Articles, viz. one Silver Watch, Maker’s Name RICHARD WEDON, London, No. 2586; one red Calimancoe quilt, lined with blue and white Linsey, double Diamonds; a Pair of Stays, green Russel, braided with white; a black Quilt, single Diamonds; a Riding Skirt, striped Camblet, red Cloak; a Bonnet , Camblet Gown, Cotton Ditto, two Pair of Holland Sleeves, a Holland Apron, Muslin Ditto, a Pair of Sheets, and sundry other Things…
July 7, 1768 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #42812
THIRTY SHILLINGS Reward. RUN away, the 27th of last month, from the subscriber, living in Trediffrin, Chester county, a healthy, hearty looking servant maid, named MARY KENNEDY, came from Ireland…; had on, when she went away, …, a black cloth cloak, with a velvet collar, but no cape to it, …
January 12, 1769 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #43921
Philadelphia, January 5, 1769. TWENTY SHILLINGS Reward. RUN away on Tuesday morning, the 3d instant, from the subscriber, at the sign of the Blue Ball, in Chestnut street, Philadelphia, an Irish servant woman, named Mary Conner, … She took with her a pompadour stuff gown, a coarse straw hat, a blue quilted petticoat, an old red cloak, a pair of coarse white thread stockings, with other wearing apparel unknown, and many probably change her dress, as she has said she would dress herself in mens clothes. …
The Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, July 20, 1769.
ALSO RAN away from the subscriber, in May last, ELIZABETH BERRY, an English convict servant woman, …. She had on, and took with her, … a good blue cloth cloak with a hood, and an old red cloak. …
July 5, 1770 The Maryland Gazette
Ran away from the subscriber, living in Port-Tobacco, the 8th Day of May last, a likely Negro Wench, named NANN, about Five Feet high, very spare: Had on, when she went away, a stampt Cotton Gown, a ditto Petticoat cross-barr'd, and an old blue Camlet Mantle lined with stampt Cotton [just the hood? —SLF] …
Virginia Gazette (Rind), Williamsburg, September 27, 1770.
ESSEX county, July 31, 1770. RUN away from the subscriber, in the night of the 26th instant, two Irish servants, TERRANCE GAFFNEY and JANE his wife, aged about 30 years each. … JANE has a thin visage, and wears gold bobs with stones in them, and black callimanco shoes, with plated buckles, white cotton stockings, an old callico gown, and a very large scarlet cloak. …
February 14, 1771 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #48287
Concord, Second month 4, 1771. RUN away … also stole, and took with her, six caps, with cambrick borders, a broadcloth cloak, of a lightish colour, without a cape, the collar lined with velvet, …
May 16, 1771 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #48841
FOURTEEN DOLLARS Reward. RUN away from the subscribers, living in Philadelphia, on the 13th of April last, the following servants, viz…. The other is a Welsh servant girl…she came from Bristol, in the ship Chalkley, Captain Peter Young, about 12 months ago; she had on, and took with her, when she went away, two calicoe gowns, one dark, the other a purple in diamonds, much worn, also a short striped linen ditto, 1 white and some check aprons, 2 shifts, one of hemp linen, the other about half worn, new leather shoes, with large round white metal buckles, old blue worsted stockings, a short red cloak, with a hood to it, a chip hat, with a blue and white ribbon on…, and Twenty-five Shillings for the girl, reward, and all reasonable charges, paid by us JOHN REEDLE, CHRISTOPHER PECHIN.
December 23, 1772 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #52340
RUN away from the subscriber, near George Steuarttavern, at the Lower Cross Roads, in Baltimore County, the 10th of December 1772, an English convict servant woman, named MARY PARKER, about 23 years of age, pretty lusty and fat, marked with the smallpox, of a fresh complexion, dark sandy coloured hair, has a blemish on her right eye, so that it looks whitish; had on, and took with her, a chints gown, a brown worsted gown, a red ditto, a red plain worsted petticoat, a redish pennella ditto, a light coloured cloth cloak, a black silk bonnet, a black Barcelona silk handkerchief, a red flowered ditto, also a linen handkerchief, with St. Paul’s church, and the various cries of London, stamped on it, a man’s hat, red worsted stockings, red calimancoe shoes, a pair of women calfskin ditto, a black hood, and several other kinds of head clothes…
April 2, 1772 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #50733
Philadelphia, April 2, 1772.
SIX DOLLARS Reward. RUN away on the 18th of October, 1771, at night, from the subscriber … an indented servant woman, named ELEANOR ARMSTRONG … about 26 years of age, … says she was born near the city of Armagh, in Ireland, and came to this city in the Newry Packet, Captain Robinson, in June last; had on, and took with her, when she went away, … a blue cloth cloak, with a cap [probably means "cape" —SLF] to it, tied at the neck with a narrow worsted tape …
The New York Journal; or the General Advertiser, July 30, 1772
Five Dollars Reward. Run away from the subscriber, near the New Dutch church, New-York, two Irish servant women… The other Elizabeth Curry, about eighteen years old, of a fair complexion, freckled in the face, fair hair, had on …, no cloak, hat, or cap on her head…
August 12, 1772 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #51543
FORTY SHILLINGS REWARD. RUN away, the 1st of this instant August, from the subscriber, living in Salisbury township, Lancaster county, a servant girl, named CATHERINE McDANIEL; had on, and took with her, a linen check bonnet, and white linen bed gown a brown lincey ditto, two petticoats, one brown lincey, the same of the bed gown, the other tow linen, 2 coarse shifts, 2 or 3 tow aprons, a red cloak, and small check handkerchief, no shoes, nor stockings…
Virginia Gazette (Rind), Williamsburg, October 22, 1772.
RUN away from the subscriber in Leesburg, the 4th instant, a servant woman named ELIZABETH SMITH, 25 years old, about 5 feet 4 or 5 inches high, her hair very black, has several scars on her under lip, chin, and arms, and much pitted with the smallpox; had on, and took with her, a short black calico gown, a white linen ditto, white apron, and white humhum sack and petticoat, red cardinal, flowered blue sattin capuchin, calico petticoat, black sattin laced bonnet, one pair of cotton and two pair of hose, old black calimanco shoes with plain silver buckles, one ruffled and two plain shifts. …
January 13, 1773 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #52466
…WHEREAS she, the said McDonnald, went off, and left the child with the said Smith; her apparel a white handkerchief about her head, a blue cloak, lined [just the hood? —SLF] with two different pieces of lincey, and a blue quilt; …
Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, April 29, 1773.
PETERSBURG, April 21, 1773. RUN away, last Night, from the Subscriber, two Slaves, namely: … Also a Wench named AMINTA, appears to be about thirty Years of Age, short and well made, has much the Look of an Indian, and is so, her Mother having been brought from the Spanish Main to Rhode Island, has long black Hair, which she wears in her Neck, and took with her a black Quilt, a red Flannel Petticoat, a dark Ground Calico Gown, a blue and white one, and an old light coloured Stuff ditto, a red Cardinal, a black Bonnet, and several other Things.
Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon), Williamsburg, May 6, 1773.
RUN away from the Subscriber, in King and Queen, about the Middle of March last, a Country born Negro Woman named SARAH, a very lusty stout made Wench, … She carried with her several Changes of Apparel, among which are remembered a red and white Calico Jacket and Petticoat, a white Holland and blue Plains Ditto, a red Flannel Petticoat, a purple Cloth Cloak, a black furred Hat, with a Gold Band, Button, and Loop, a black Silk Hat, several white Linen Shifts and Aprons, a spotted Yarn Rug and Dutch Blanket, a Pair of English made Leather Shoes, and several Pairs of Thread, Cotton, and Worsted Stockings, with a small red Leather Trunk. She has been chiefly a House Servant, is a fine Sempstress, Knitter, Washer, and Ironer…
August 18, 1773 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #53738
Lancaster Goal, July 28, 1773. THIS day were committed to my custody, as suspicious persons, a certain John Edwards, alias Jack Mitchel, and Thomas Hutchinson, as they call themselves, and pass for Silversmiths to trade, aged 22 or 23 years each; the said Edwards, alias Mitchel, has a bay Horse, 14 hands high, 7 years old, with a bald face, and a little white on one of his hind feet. Also was committed, a certain Nancy Kean, as she calls herself, and passes for a wife to said Edwards, alias Mitchel; she is a tall thin woman, has black hair, and is pitted with the smallpox; had a dark ground calicoe gown, a black silk apron, a long black silk cardinal, with a lace round it, and a black silk bonnet; she has a young child sucking at her breast, about seven weeks old.
Pennsylvania Gazette, 23 February 1774
Run away, the 20th of January last, from the subscriber, living in Oxford township, Chester county, a servant girl, named Margaret Smith, well featured, broad faced, pock-pitted, short rough blackish hair; had on, and took with her, an old black silk cardinal, diced, not trimmed save the cap [cape? —SLF], an old black silk bonnet, a callicoe gown, striped with a little purple flower, a good deal wore, an old blue quilted petticoat, a lincey petticoat, striped greenish and red, a piece of old lincey, striped blue red and white, which I suppose she will make a bed-gown of, a pair of old calfskin pumps, lined with linen, coarse blue stockings; she is lusty and talkative, it is like she will pass for a woman with child, and probably is so; she came to this country last summer from Belfast with Captain Ewing; was taken near Lancaster, and sold there to one Mr. Jack, in the Manor of Conestogoe, but returned, and it is likely she has gone that road, as she talked of going to the back woods. …
Boston Gazette, March 28, 1774
Stolen one Evening last Week from a House in Union-Street, one Scarlet Cloth Riding-hood, one Scarlet Cloth Cloak, one black Russell quilted petticoat, one Tippet and one Holland Apron. A handsome Reward will be given to any Person that can give Information to the Printer, so that the Thief may be detected and the Things recover'd.
14 Nov 1774:33 (2042) Boston Evening Post (Fleet)
...Ran away... an apprentice girl, named Jane Fontena, about 19 years of age: She speaks French, and had on when she went away a red stuff damask gown, green stuff quilted coate, a long brown cloak, and a black bonnet. ...
March 29, 1775 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #57330
FORTY SHILLINGS REWARD. RUN away the 25th of March, at 8 oin the evening, an Irish servant maid, named Sarah Clarke (alias Stanley) between 25 and 30 years of age; had on when she went away, a green baize short gown and a black petticoat, also a red under petticoat, with a pair of black stockings, and a pair of old shoes; she also took with her a pair of shoes, lined with red flannel, belonging to her mistress, also a small red striped long gown, with black spots between the stripes, mended under the arms with another sort of calico, likewise an old dark nap cloak; she has no bonnet on, as she has commonly a ribbon round her head; she is of a middle stature, fat and clumsy, her face has some little purple spots; she is fresh coloured, a cut in her forehead, also darkish hair and very thin, and looks very suspicious of being with child; she has been married to a soldier in Ireland. Whoever takes up and secures said servant, so that her master may get her again, shall have the above reward, and reasonable charges, paid by JOSEPH CAUFFMAN, in Second street, near Race street.
November 15, 1775 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #58519
Philadelphia, November 12, 1775. SIX DOLLARS REWARD. RUN away from the subscriber, living in Pine street, between Second and Third streets, an Irish servant girl, named Elizabeth Cleland…; had on, and took with her, … a blue shag cloak …
November 15, 1775 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #58521
FOUR DOLLARS REWARD. RUN away, in the night of the 12th of this instant November, from the subscriber, in Bethel township, Chester county, a native Irish servant woman named Mary Cortney…; had on and took with her, when she went away, … and a claret coloured cloak with a cap [probably "cape" —SLF], and a check bag to carry her things.
January 17, 1776 The Pennsylvania Gazette
ONE DOLLAR Reward. RUN away in the night of the 15th inst. from the Subscriber, living in Arch street, Philadelphia, an English servant girl, named Ann Watson…; had on when she went away a dark brown stuff gown, a black quilt, check apron, red cloak, and black hat …
The Penna. Gazette Moore's Town, January 25, 1776.
EIGHT DOLLARS Reward. STOLEN out of the house of the subscriber, in the township of Chester, Burlington county, ... the following articles, viz, One brown and orange dorsateen gown, one brown and orange poplin ditto, two light cotton ditto, one calicoe double short ditto, a superfine light coloured broadcloth short cloak; a pair of white russel stays, almost new; a lawn apron, one Irish linen ditto; one muslin handkerchief, marked R.A.; a muslin apron, two check ditto; a kenting handkerchief; a pair of womans homespun cotton stockings, and a coarse pillow case, &c &c. It is supposed the above clothes were stolen by a woman. ...
April 3, 1776 The Pennsylvania Gazette
A SCOTCH Girl, named Jane Forbes, about 20 years of age, ran away … a round full face, with high cheek bones, is pitted with the smallpox, had black eyes, and a soft inarticulate voice, speaks much in the Scotch dialect, has the appearance of great good humour, and affects a modest downcast look; her dress was a cloth coloured pelong bonnet , lined with pale blue mantua, light coloured cloth cloak, with a hood and gimp, broad striped ribbon round her neck, white kenting handkerchief, brown and yellow camblettee gown, blue stuff quilted petticoat, lined with blue baize, and a pale green and white striped lincey jacket and petticoat…
The Pennsylvania Gazette, April 24, 1776
FORTY SHILLINGS REWARD. RUN away last night, from the subscribers, living near Brandywine Bridge, two Irish servant women, …; had on, and took with them, … a grey coating cloak, without a cape, each a black bonnet, …
October 23, 1776 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #60188
TWENTY DOLLARS Reward. RUN away, on Friday, the 4th inst. a young Negroe woman, named BET, of middling stature, thick, fat, and likely; her ears bored for rings; … took with her an half worn scarlet cloak …
April 30, 1777 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #60859
EIGHT DOLLARS Reward. RUN away from the subscriber, living in Evesham township, in the State of New Jersey, Burlington county, on the 20th of April, 1777, a certain SARAH McGEE, Irish descent, born in Philadelphia; she is about 23 years of age, about 5 feet 7 inches high, and very lusty made in proportion; she had on, when she went away, a snuff coloured worsted long gown, a spotted calicoe petticoat, stays and a good white apron, a snuff coloured cloak, faced with snuff coloured shaloon, a black silk bonnet, with a ribbon round the crown: …
Providence Gazette, 14 June 1777
On Saturday the 7th of June, 1777, was stolen and carried away from the house of the subscriber, in Providence, six yards and one quarter of patch, white ground, with a chocolate stripe; one calico gown, with ruffled cuffs lined with Russian linen; one black double sattin sprigged cloak, with lace round the head and gimp round the cloak; one gauze apron, one spotted handkerchief with a blue stripe round the edge, two pair of cotton stockings, also two thirty dollar bills, and other money; with a number of other articles. The person who stole the said articles calls herself Polly James, alias Polly Young; she is a short thick Irish girl, about 19 years of age; had on when she went away, a black skirt petticoat, a short calico gown with long sleeves, has brown hair, light eyes, fair complexion, and went off without stockings or shoes, and without a bonnet or hat. …
October 15, 1778 The Pennsylvania Packet ITEM #63249
THIRTY DOLLARS REWARD. RUN AWAY from the subscriber, at Trenton Ferry, a Mulatto woman …; had on … and a large white cloth cloak; has with her a large bag of cloaths and a blanket…
ITEM #63479 November 3, 1778 The Pennsylvania Packet
EIGHT DOLLARS REWARD. RAN AWAY from the subscriber, living in Second street, near the corner of Arch street, ANN COFFIN, an indented servant girl…: Had on when she went away, which was on Monday morning last, a short linen check gown, green petticoats, and a cloth coloured cloak…
Inventory of Rebecca Parker of Cumberland County, Penn., 1781
6 gowns--one each of blue stuff, chintz, striped chintz, striped cotton, striped calico and white pollonea / 5 cotton short gowns / 1 under jacket / 2 cloaks--one of cloth and one of silk / 1 silk bonnet / 1 fur hat / 1 hood / 1 black silk gauze hood / 6 petticoats--one each of black calimanco, striped linsey and underpetticoat, and 3 striped cotton / 1 winestone colored quilted petticoat / 3 stuff shirts / 3 shifts / 2 stays / 6 wearing caps / 3 night caps / 2 check aprons, 1 linen apron, 1 lawn apron / 7 handkerchiefs--one silk, one black silk, 2 lawn, 1 muslin and 2 gauze / 3 pr thread stockings / 1 pr cotton stockings / 1 pr silk mitts / 1 pr linen mitts / 1 pr stuff shoes / 1 pr calfskin shoes / 1 pr silver shoe buckles / 2 silk cuffs / 3 pr sleeves / 1 pr silver sleeve buttons / 1 silver hair pin / 2 pocketbooks
February 25, 1784 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #69789
Philadelphia, Feb. 24, 1784. THREE POUNDS REWARD. RUN away from the subscriber, on the first instant, an Irish servant girl …; had on and took with her …, a drab coloured coating cloak, with a hood to it …
Inventory of Tjatie Dubois of Rochester, Ulster Co., NY. July 2, 1791 (Dutch/ Huguenot)
… 4 long Gowns, 7 short do., 3 long do., 3 white aprons, 1 Peticoat, 5 check aprons, 7 pr. linen stockings, 9 handkerchiefs, 4 pair shoes, 3 black handkerchiefs, 3 [ ?]ack Hoods, 1 persain apron, 1 broad cloth cloak, 2 pr. woolen stockings, 1 short broad cloth cloak, 1 pr. silver sleeve buttons, 1 pr. silver shoe buckles, 1 silk gown, 1 old bonnet, 15 shirts (Shifts?)…
New Hampshire probate inventories, 1760–1789
In estate inventories of 80 women, 70 hoods out of many different materials, including camblet, cloth, "scarlet", "brown", and 38 that were not specified as to type or color, which probably means an ordinary fabric and color. Fancy hoods (velvet, gauze, silk, "laced") make up 15 of the total of 70.
Items are arranged chronologically.
English salesman’s trade card, 1742, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, John Johnson Collection Exhibition 2001, Cries, Itinerants and Services, image 115. http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/johnson/exhibition
Thomas Rimer. Salesman. At the Black Lyon and Star (1742) …and all Sorts of fine Scarlet and Cloth Coulour’d Short Cloaks…
August 4, 1743 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #5861
MICHAEL BROWN, Silk Dyer, from LONDON, Is removed from Chesnut street into Sassafras or Race street, at Mr. William Maugridge's, Ship Joiner, Philadelphia; where all persons may have all Sorts of Silks, quilted Coats and Gowns, Silk Stockings, Gloves and Camblet Cloaks, scowred, dyed and dressed; Burdets and Tabbies watered; Mens Cloths dry or wet scowred; Linen and Cotton dyed blew, green or yellow: Likewise Mildew or Stains taken out of new Pieces of Silks, Stuffs or Worsteds that are damaged at Sea. All done with the greatest Expedition, and to as much Perfection as in London. N.B. All Sorts of Worsteds and Stuffs, scowred and pressed, very reasonably, and well.
August 18, 1748 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Philadelphia, August 18. 1748. To be sold by Charles Willing, at his house in Third street, …, mens and womens ready made short cloaks…
December 18, 1750 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #12515
Imported from London, and to be sold very reasonable, by JAMES LOUTTIT, at his store, on Hamilton’s wharff, Striped duffels, bearskin, superfine broad cloths, white, red and striped flannels, womens short cloaks …
May 1, 1755 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #18208
JOHN STANDLEY, Living on the east side of Second street, where Mr. Peters formerly kept his Office, manufactures, and sells, the following goods, viz. … frogs for womens cloaks …
October 13, 1757 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #21112
Imported in the last ships from London, ELL wide and yd. wd. Cyprus gauze, parisnet, a great assortment of silver’d stomachers, spangled and plain, handkerchiefs and girdles spangled, shapings for shoes ditto, gimps of various kinds, Brussels and Mecklin lace, minionet ditto for gentlemens ruffles, brown lace, paste earrings, Dresden handkerchiefs and tippets, polanee cloaks with hats trimmed, gentleman and ladies muffs, cardinals, Dresden ruffles and wristbands, sword knots, …
April 16, 1761 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #26430
Philadelphia, April 9, 1761. By virtue of a writ to me directed, will be exposed to public sale, …SUPERFINE, middling and coarse broadcloths, naps, coatings, bearskins, kerseys, …Leghorn hats, chip Hots, pewter, silver watches, japanned waiters, English and Indian damask, ditto paduasoys, tobine lutestrings, mantuas and ducapes, sattins, polanees, cloaks, bonnets, hats, stomachers, twitchers, bugles, spanglers, ermine, ostrich feathers, fillijie, paste and stone necklaces, and ear rings, cyprus gauze, … by SAMUEL MORRIS, Sheriff.
September 5, 1765 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #36594
WILLIAM SYMONDS, Has imported from London, Bristol, and Liverpool, A Large assortment of dry goods, which he is now selling at his house, … MARY SYMONDS, Milliner, Having divided the stock in trade, in the millinery business with her sister Ann Pearson, has to sell in the corner shop in said house, for ready money only, a great variety of millinery and other goods, amongst which are, … ermine for cloaks, muffs and tippets…
September 26, 1765 The Pennsylvania Gazette
... hose, writing paper, coloured threads, womens cloth coloured and scarlet cloaks, silver watches, best London pewter in casks, knit waistcoat and breeches patterns, Leghorn and chip hats ...
March 1, 1770 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #46204
JOSEPH WOOD, being determined to embark for England early in the summer, is now selling off at his shop, the corner of Market and Second streets… BROCADES, white, pink and yellow sattins, white, pink and cloth coloured English damasks, pink and blue shot mantuas, white and garnet coloured figured sattins for cloaks; white, blue and black figured modes, green, white and blue sarsanets, …, thread turbans, fine white chip, Leghorn and Dunstable hats, Poland starch, powder blue, hair powder, pins, Whitechapel and common needles, wash balls, bobbins and tapes, Lisle and marking thread, naked dolls, court plaister, Jacob’s ladder, mens and womens white and cloth coloured lamb and beaver gloves, …, a variety of millenery, ready made up, such as cloaks, caps, hats, bonnets, &c. fine white dimity, ginghams, soosees, Damascus, Brunswick, Bombay stuffs, a great variety of calicoes, cottons, and chintzes,
January 16, 1772 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Now selling at PRIME COST, by MARY SYMONDS, MILLINER, In Chestnut street, betwixt Front and Second streets, Philadelphia, …; a large assortment of trimmings, for hats and cloaks, ermines, fringes and gimps, of various colours, figured, plain, love, and velvet ribbons; mens, womens, boys and girls gloves and mitts, of every kind and colour; ladies sattin riding hats, with feathers, or gold or silver buttons, or bands for ditto … with great choice of the most fashionable silk and sattin cloaks and shades …
October 5, 1774 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #56251
PETER STRETCH HATH just imported from London, in the last vessels, a neat assortment of the best superfine Broadcloths, amongst which are scarlet, deep and light blue, black, parson’s grey, buff, garnet, light and dark drabs, and pearl colours, of different shades, suitable for womens long cloaks…
April 10, 1776 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #59180
FOR READY MONEY ONLY, JOHN KAIGHN HATH FOR SALE, at his STORE, in Second street, the second door below Christ Church, the remains of his DRY GOODS, consisting of the following articles, viz. FINE, super and superfine broadcloths, with suitable trimmings, by wholesale and retail, among which are, parsons and ravens grey, black, Saxon and pea green, London brown, purple, light drabs, suitable for womens cloaks, double milled drabs, for great coats…
February 9, 1780 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #65092
To be SOLD, Wholesale & Retail, BY WILLIAM SITGREAVES, At his store in Market street, opposite the Indian King, the following GOODS (for ready money) part lately imported, and part received for sale on Commissioners, viz. …, bureau, cupboard, chest, box case and stock locks, assorted, brass furniture for bureau desks, ditto, brass and iron desk, cupboard, table, chest, side, butt, H and HL hinges, ditto, brass picture hooks and cloak pins, ditto, shoemakers awl blades and tacks, handsaw, crosscut saw, mill saw, and smith’s files, wood screws, screw pullies, and marking irons, claw hammers assorted, a variety of Barlow and other penknives, cutteau, pistol cap and seal and pocket ditto, scissars, sheers and razors, square and round shoe chapes, …
August 24, 1785 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #71918
PHILIP WILSON, Is just arrived from London, and has brought with him a large, general and quite fresh assortment of dry goods, which are now opening at his store in Water street, opposite Baynton, Wharton and Morgan, and which he will sell on very reasonable terms, consisting of … Womens stays, scarlet and drab coloured cloaks and cardinals; calimancoe and damask shoes, and chip hats …
October 29, 1788 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #75295
Just imported in the Brigantine Commerce, Capt. James Darrell, from London, and now opening for SALE, by JOHN SHIELDS, In Second street, opposite the City Tavern, … 7 qr. light lead cloths, suitable for womens cloaks, and chair linings; …
January 6, 1790 The Pennsylvania Gazette ITEM #76373
Just imported from England, and to be sold, by WILLIAM CRAIG, At his store in Second street, opposite the Baptist Meeting, A NEAT assortment of yard wide and 78 Irish linens, and white and brown Irish sheetings, white Russia sheetings and white Raven's duck, Irish and Dutch dowlasses, Scotch shirtings, …Scotch threads, from No. 7, to 70, coloured ditto, best Baladine sewing silks, scarf twist, worsted and hair cord for cloaks…
Baby, Cloathes & All for Three Pence, c. 1750. Jarvis, J. (fl.c.1750) publ. Guildhall Library Print Room, p7513234.
By the pulling of the cape along its the edges, probably two layers of cape. By the drape over her arms, probably a thin wool.
The knowing one taken in, c. 1760. The Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection, 760.0.7.
Red short cloak with collar and strings.
The Recruiting Sergeant, 1767, John Collet. At the Artchive. The old woman's short cloak has a two-layer collar.
Red short cloak with double collar/cape set back from edge, and black(?) strings.
The Female Orators, Rennoldson, M., 1768, after John Collet. The Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection, 7184.108.40.206.
Both combatants wear short cloaks, both with collars of two separate layers and with strings at the neck. The left one’s strings are long enough to cross in front and pass behind the waist.
Catchpenny #s 10, 29, 67 (7 short cloaks), 68, 139, 175, 196 (6), 237, 250 (2).
Many short cloaks, most very similar to each other: narrow, with collar, strings at neck or no visible closure. Red ruffle at neck, in #10 as cover art of one Dover issue of this book, is probably colorist’s error. The Catchpenny Prints: 163 Popular Engravings from the Eighteenth Century.
Charity Begins At Home, 1773. Metropolitan Museum (colour, title only, 52.585.72). At a Catalogue of 18th-Century British Mezzotint Satires in North American Collections.
Possibly a length of fabric rather than a short cloak. “A portly, well-fed clergyman waves off an emaciated woman who begs alms from him. She, dressed in rags, carries a sickly looking child on her back and a cane. With his huge head he turns to chide her as he steps by. Inscribed impressions read: "Pubd March 20th 1773 by W. Humphrey opposite Cecil Court, St. Martins Lane."” —Metropolitan Museum.
The Wife’s Fortune Told, c. 1767–1770. At a Catalogue of 18th-Century British Mezzotint Satires in North American Collections.
This short cloak is unusually in several ways: It is large—perhaps the short cloak is sized for an adult. The hood is worn under the bonnet. And there is ribbon trim along the front edge of the hood; this is probably a binding, sewn right sides together, very narrowly, on the outside, and then turned and tacked on the inside (compare a cloak described at the Golden Scissors blog), but the outside of the hood is not visible so we can't be sure.
To the Subscribers to the Lottery Magazine for 1777… The Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection, 777.00.00 P45 T6.
Short cloak with small hood.
The Return from Market, Francis Wheatley, 1786, detail. At Bridgeman Art on Demand.
Short cloak on child, apparently with collar.
Willem van Mieris, The Greengrocer, 1731. At the Web Gallery of Art.
No apparent hood or collar. Very full—may be full circle cut. Note this is Continental European.
Francesco Londonio, Seated Shepherd and Peasant Girl with Basket, circa 1765. Go to LACMA; click on Search and enter "Londonio".
No apparent hood or collar. Note this is Continental European.
No-math way #2: Use waste fabric, or even paper, and cut out test cloaks (see cutting instructions above) until you get the right size. Start by cutting a small neckhole, and cut it larger until it works. Remember, you need to cut, pleat the back, and test. You can cut a full size test cloak if you like, but the test cloak only needs to go about halfway down your upper arms for you to be able to tell if it fits your neck and shoulders okay. The bigger you cut the neck hole, the shorter the cloak will get, so start with extra length.
The easy-math way: To calculate the size to cut your short cloak, start with your finished neckline measurement. Use the formula c=2πr to find how far the neckline will lie from the center point. The neckline is 1/2c (half of the circumference because this is a half circle cloak). So calculate neckline ÷ π: this is the neckline radius. Add your desired length for your cloak: that is the overall radius. When you cut your short cloak, you will draw your quarter circle starting three inches in from the fold line; draw out the quarter circle using the overall radius as the radius and then cut out the neckline using the neckline radius as the radius.
For the geometrically minded, here is a detailed and nerdly explanation (the non-geometrically minded can skip the rest of this section):
When you cut out a partial circle and bring the straight edges together around the center point, you form a perfect cone. People, of course, aren’t perfect cones. If you imagine fitting a cone around your body, you can see that the widest part of your body is your shoulders. You need a cone that is large enough to fit around your shoulders. Above your shoulders, you will crimp in the cone toward your neck by pleating it. Above your neckline, you will chop off the tip of the cone entirely. Below your shoulders, you will let the cone fall inward in folds.
If you were to cut a full circle and turn it into a cone, then if you made the neckline big enough to go around your collar bone, you would find that by the time the cloak reached your shoulders, it would flare so much that it would be more than big enough to go around your shoulders, and by the time it reached your wrists there would be so much excess width that it would fall in deep folds. This is why you don’t want to use a full circle.
If you were to cut a cone where the neck hole was the exact size of your neckline, then the cloak wouldn’t be wide enough to go over your shoulders. It would pull open in front and it would pull around to the back.
To achieve a typical short cloak with, your short cloak should be just full enough to fit over your shoulders. You can calculate this as follows: Measure the distance around your body at the widest point of your shoulders. This is the circumference of your half circle at your shoulders. The formula for converting diameter to circumference is c=πd. Since you will be making a half circle cloak and not a full circle cloak, remember to use the radius rather than the diameter. To find where to cut the neckline, measure the distance from your chosen neckline down to where you measured the widest part of your shoulder, and subtract that distance from your shoulder radius.
But honestly, you don’t have to do all that. Just fold your fabric in half and lay out a quarter circle 3+ inches in from the fold. That will give you a half circle with an extra 6+ inches at center back, and it will be a good size. I bet 18th century cloak makers didn’t calculate geometry. I bet they just knew the right way to cut a cloak.
Baumgarten, Linda, What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection, Williamsburg, Va. : Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in association with Yale University Press, New Haven, 2002, paperback ISBN 0896762262, hardcover ISBN 0879351888.
Bowles and Carver (publs). The Catchpenny Prints: 163 Popular Engravings from the Eighteenth Century. The engravings were originally published in London in the late 1780s and early 1790s. Reprinted by Dover Books. Also reprinted by Dover Books as Old English Cuts and Illustrations for Artists and Craftspeople, ISBN: 0-486-22569-0. Both editions now out of print.
Montgomery, Florence M., Textiles in America 1650–1870, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1984; W. W. Norton; Re-issue edition (August 27, 2007), ISBN-10: 039373224X, ISBN-13: 978-0393732245). This excellent book, long rare and expensive, has recently been reprinted. Buy your copy now while supplies last!
Images from the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection are courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, used with permission granted to the author.
Catchpenny images are from The Catchpenny Prints: 163 Popular Engravings from the Eighteenth Century, originally published by Bowles and Carver, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1970. Images are used with permission: "Up to ten illustrations from this book may be reproduced on any one project or in any single publication, free and without special permission."