Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let's meet the girls!

For clarity for anyone interested, this is the list of "subjects" that will be... a-dressed? for the Jehossee project. (I love a pun, I do.)

"A"- An infant under the age of 1 which resides on Jehossee Island and is possibly the daughter of D.

"B"- A little girl aged 3-6 whom is a full-time resident of Jehossee.

"C"- A little girl aged 8-12. She is a resident of the Aiken's primary residence in Charleston and may be the daughter of E.

"D"- A woman aged 15-35 who lives and works full time on the Jehossee Island plantation.

"E"- A woman aged 40-60 who lives and works full time at the Aiken-Rhett home in Charleston. She may be a housekeeper or the like. She always travels with the family when they shift households.

"F"- A woman aged 60+ who lives full time on Jehossee. She may be responsible for the nursery or sewing room.

Harriet Aiken- William Aiken's 36 year old wife and the mistress of Jehossee Island Plantation.

Henrietta Aiken- Harriet's daughter, aged 12.

Pauline Boudet- A 20 yr old free French immigrant who may act as a ladies maid to Harriet and/or teach French to young Henrietta.

The project is meant to represent "a day" in 1850 on Jehossee  Island with regard to the plantation. The point is to demonstrate as accurately as possible the types of garments worn by each individual at each age and responsibility level. The lettered women and children represent slaves owned by William and Harriet Aiken. Their names are not provided because their names are unknown. I felt that it was in extremely poor taste to "assign" arbitrary names to people who actually existed. They do represent real people. The 1850 census lists all of the slaves that worked on Jehossee Island by gender and age. The letters are for clarity and organization for my sake.

The three free, white women, Harriet, Henrietta and Pauline are known by age and name. Pauline immigrated to Charleston in 1850 and was listed as a resident in the Aiken household in Charleston that year according to the census. I decided to go with all females because otherwise, the project would have been truly unweildy in the time that I had to work with. And because I really didn't want to have to learn to make pants.

So now we're all on the same page when I start whining about "B's damned shift" or whatever.

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