#WalkNPT, 1820s, 19th century, 19th century clothing, common people, Costume, dress, Events, Kitty Smith, living history, millinery shop, Nathaniel Sweet, Newport, Newport Historical Society, Rhode Island history, Whitehorne House
I set off for Newport yesterday to spend the day at Whitehorne House with Sew 18th Century. I was pleased to have my coat, and pleased as well to see the ads for “lead colored pelisse cloths” at Nathaniel Sweet’s shop at 112 Cheapside in N’port. Everything fits better when you have some documentation.
We occupied the kitchen at Whitehorne House, interpreting the lives of mythical maids and cousins Eliza and Kitty Smith.
We hope to save enough to reopen our millinery shop, which flourished once in Salem just a few years ago. Times are hard in Newport, but there are some promising lotteries–a $10,000 prize in the Kennebec Bridge lottery and an incredible $25,000 prize in the New York Literature Lottery! We will have to save our wages to buy even one ticket– difficult to do with so many tempting’ wares in the shop–but the rewards would well worth our efforts.
A shop on Thames Street is to let not far from the Great Friends Meeting House. We think ’tis a fine location, for while Friends may be plain, they are well dress’d. One of our visitors offered to spread the rumor that the shop is haunted, so no one else will rent it, but I worry that such a tale might drive off custom.
Visitors called from as far away as New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, but found Mr Whitehorne at the Coffee House and Mrs Whitehorne out makin’ calls. As prominent citizens, they are busy about the town. Mrs Whitehorne is well-known for her receipts, and we were pleased to offer callers a sample of her fruited gingerbread. Indeed, ’tis delicious, though not as sticky as the late Mr S preferred.
Some visitors thought our plan to invest in woolen mills was a fine idea, and in addition to the mills on the island (there is one in Portsmouth), we hear there are several in Hartford. Providence has not the monopoly on industry she imagines.
The laundry does pile up in a household of seven children, and since we have run out of wood, I suspect the laundress has as well. The island is short of lumber now, and wood must come from Swansea. Still, there is always mending’ to be done.
Perhaps if we had known how many visitors would call, I might have taken more care in tidyin’ up the kitchen. ‘Twas a surprise to see so many, from so far away, but we do think N’port is due for a revival. ‘Tis a busier day of visitin’ than I was accustomed to in winter at the farm on Poppasquash Neck, but with Mr Smith now dead, and our lad on a brig in the coastal trade, we could not keep the lease. I am grateful to my cousin for helpin’ me find work in such a lovely house.