Diaries - Fabric
Donner - June 16, 1846, Letter
Linsey dresses are the most suitable for children. Indeed if I had one it would be comfortable. There is so cool a breeze at all times in the prairie that the sun does not feel as hot as one could suppose.
Cummings - April 26, 1852
We drove until ten o’clock when we stopped at a log cabin. The old woman looked precisely like the picture of Mother Long in “The Banditti of the Prairies,” an old torn, short linsey dress, awful old shoes and an old factory cap with a ruffle three inches wide all around it composed her dress... At the door of each hut might be seen two or three folks and seven or eight young ones, all dressed in butternut-colored cloth. This seems to be the universal color...Bacon is the food and butternut the color and linsey the dress.
Adams - June 6, 1852
Last night my clothes got out of the wagon & the oxen eat them up & I consider I have met with a great loss as it was my woolen dress.
Cooke - October, 1852, Letter
With regard to clothing Ive been poorly off having bought no bonnet since I've been here That old pink calico sunbonnet has been the only one I've had so have worn it Sundays & week days until it was really so mean looking I cant use it no longer I then made another out of a piece of an old lilac dress I brought from England & that is what I'm wearing now tho I shall make a black silk hood soon as I get a good pattern which will last till we arrive at the El Dorado then I no longer dress as a poor woman.
Cooke - January 30, 1853. Letter
I swapt that calico dress which I had unmade at your house to Mrs Hubbard for a black alapacca [Wool] dress made as she wanted a calico so I made considerable by that trade I shall be glad of a black dress on the road I am quite out of under clothes & cannot get anything in the city. theres not a yard to be bought Mrs Hubbard gave me a large night dress of hers to make me 2 chemises so dont you think we are hard up We’ll want every thing new when we get to our journey end.
Cooke - March 12, 1853, Letter
I’ve sold my satin dress to get Wm an overcoat which is a good broadcloth very heavy & well lined also bound with silk binding in fact it’s much too good for our purpose being valued at $25 still he needed one so bad & my frock was only in my way & of no use till we got to Cal I can then get another quite as cheap I got a new figured alpacen dress besides the cost $1¼ pr yard I needed a second best dress to wear when at our journeys end My black silk is about done for i e the waist is.
Ketcham - May 30, 1853
In jumping off the horse today, I caught the dress in the horn of the saddle and tore almost half of the skirt off. That I must mend tonight. I have had no dress on since the day we came to Westport but my palm leaf muslin delaine [dress]. I mean to stick to it as long as I can.
Ketcham - June 5, 1853
Camilla had just dressed herself for Sunday by putting on clean clothes, a light gingham dress, white stockings, and low shoes. ... James and Phil had gone some distance to the water to wash some wrappers.
Ketcham - July 7, 1853
I have been down by the river and washed two calico dresses.
Ketcham - July 29, 1853
...had quite a time getting through the sage which was very thick and high. My palm leaf dress has something like 40 holes in. If possible I will stick to it till we get to Fort Hall.
Ketcham - August 8, 1853
The lady in talking with Mrs. Godley asked her if she could cut dresses. Mrs. G. said she could cut the lining while we were waiting. The lady went for the lining and she commenced... with her piece of muslin streaming behind her.
Myrick - June 6, 1854
Very cold wind to day ... cold enough to sleep under blankets & 2 heavy quilts woolen clothes are comfortable.
Carpenter - May 26, 1857
Then there were several trips to Lawrence (15 miles for dry goods and food supplies. I got two pairs of shoes, calico for two spencer waists, jeans for a dress skirt, needles, pins and thread and so forth.
I left the train and went up into town to make some purchases finding that my trousseau is incomplete since we have so much cold rainy weather. The store contained but little in the way of ladies goods. The best I could do was to buy some brown and black chequered cotton pants cloth to make a jacket.