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Slavery at Locust Lawn

Probable Slave Dress, Early 19th Century. Locust Grove Collection, Poughkeepsie, NY.

Blue inwoven stripes on white, coarse cotton or linen homespun fabric. Hand sewn with three-quarter-length wide sleeves, straight construction, with an open bodice. Natural waist-long skirt, gathered with an A-line shape, with a narrow panel across the top, possibly to create additional length. The hem is reinforced with white cotton fabric along the interior. The stripes of the bodice create a V-shaped design along the back, which was altered and taken in. The front bodice is darted, with gross-grain tape along the neckline. A small, short, braided tape was sewn on one side of the waist to create a loop.

~ Taken from In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York's Hudson River Valley, 1735-1831, by Susan Stessin-Cohn and Ashley Hurlburt Biagini