1850s GEOMETRIC COTTON VOILE SHAWL IN SHADES OF BROWN with CALIFORNIA CONNECTIONS

$250.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1054-2885

Here we have a cool piece of history that we don’t often get to dive into! This shawl came to us with an intriguing note that led us into the military history of the 1840s and back again into the 20th century.

On a small rectangle of paper, a woman’s handwriting in neat script reads: “This shawl was brought from California in 1850 by my father who went there to fight with the 49ers.” She signs her name “Linnie Moulton Bruce.”

With a name like Linnie Moulton Bruce, we surmised it would be a bit difficult to find the woman who owned this shawl. However, an Ancestry search found Linnie living in New Hampshire. Born on August 1st 1866, she was named for her mother, Eveline. Her father, Larkin Moulton, enlisted in a dragoon regiment in 1841. Although detailed service records were difficult to find for Moulton, the enlistment register shows Moulton deserted on the 16th of August 1841, so it is unlikely that Moulton went out west to “organize the Indians” during that time as some regimental histories of that period say. Is it possible that Larkin Moulton went to California when the Gold Rush hit? Maybe but it is not likely, as he is counted in the 1850 census as living in a boarding house in Somersworth, New Hampshire. (On a side note, this is an interesting point because Moulton’s wife, Eveline, is also living in the same boarding house with her sister, which could be where the two begin their journey.)  According to Linnie’s note, her father picked up this shawl while he was out West fighting the 49ers, however the connection to California cannot be established. Mr. Moulton’s history, both military and civilian, certainly deserves more research.

This large shawl measures roughly 62 inches by 55 inches, not including the fringe, and it is made of sheer cotton voile plaid in creamy shades of brown, tan, and cream. The edges are unfinished. Overall, there are no major issues to note and despite its age the shawl itself is in great condition with no major holes or tears. There are some small weaknesses in the fabric because of the sheer quality of the fabric. There are also some randomly placed dark stains but these do not detract.

The small note accompanying this shawl measures 4 inches by about 2 ½ inches. An ink inscription, although clear and legible, appears to be written by an older woman as the handwriting is somewhat jagged. This leads us to believe that the inscription was written sometime in Linnie’s later life to memorialize the history of the shawl. It also appears that someone mistook the note for scrap paper as the reverse shows the word “bread” written in blue ink pen. Thank goodness they realized the significance of the note and didn’t continue their grocery list!

The note itself is in good condition; some of the ink has faded an there are a few smudges here and there throughout. A small hole is present on the left edge about halfway down the note.

Linnie and her husband, Charles Bruce, lived out the rest of their lives in Everett, New Hampshire, where Mr. Bruce was the mayor. Linnie dies on March 15th 1953 of arteriosclerosis. She and her husband are buried in Rochester, New Hampshire.  [cls] [ph:L]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS.

THANK YOU!

Inquire About 1850s GEOMETRIC COTTON VOILE SHAWL IN SHADES OF BROWN with CALIFORNIA CONNECTIONS

should be empty

featured item

B. DOUGLAS CONFEDERATE CAVALRY OFFICER’S SWORD, COLUMBIA, SC

This rare sword has 3 known examples. This sword has a brass hilt with florally decorated branches. Douglas has several unique features to his hilt: a large mushroom shaped pommel cap; a knuckle bow that ends in a large raised circular shape; and a… (870-549). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

04
Jul

The shop will be closed from Wednesday, July 6th, through Sunday, July 10th; we will re-open at 11am… Learn More »

Instagram