Sunday, 14th October, 1866

A beautiful day, except being a little windy. All remained at home. Nan rose quite early this morning and read the Bible till light. Bill walked with Pigeo after breakfast and got a nice basket of grapes. She went down and had breakfast. I dressed in Bake’s calico dress and kept it on all day. Had no idea it would have fit me so well. She put on the beautiful lustre Hardie gave her, to let us see how prettily she had made it.1 She and Nan took a walk up to the quarters to see the servants. Were anxious for me to go, but I didn’t feel like walking.

  1. Bake seems to have made a dress from a material with a shiny (lustrous) appearance. As Caroline mentions Hardie, it is likely this is material he brought back from France almost two years ago, mentioned 2 December, 1864. The luster may have come from silk, or a silk blend, or from the rapidly developing science of yarn and fabric finishing. Those interested in how fabric and fashion will evolve may be interested in Clothing Through American History: The Civil War Through the Gilded Age, 1861-1899, by Anita Stamper and Jill Contra (2010). It is, however, a bit pricy.  (back)