Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
  • Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
  • Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
  • Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
  • Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
  • Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804

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Description

Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow mourned her brother Lieutenant Henry Wadsworth (1785-1804) after his death at the Battle of Tripoli in September 1804. It is said she wore this overdress, along with several corresponding pieces including a veil, bonnet, and shawl as part of her mourning attire. The overdress is all that survives of the dress itself.

The skirt is made from a slightly tighter weave fabric the bodice, suggesting the dress may have been altered later in the same decade. However, both fabrics are a sheer, black, plain weave gauze. A ribbon adds detail to the hem, but in keeping with mourning attire, there is little adornment. The overdress is extremely brittle.

Zilpah Longfellow (1778-1851) named her son, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) in honor of her deceased brother.

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About This Item

  • Title: Zilpah Longfellow's mourning dress, Portland, ca. 1804
  • Creation Date: circa 1804
  • Subject Date: circa 1804
  • Town: Portland
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: silk, cotton gauze
  • Local Code: A85-876.1
  • Collection: Costume collection
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230
Website

Use of this Item is not restricted by copyright and/or related rights, but the holding organization is contractually obligated to limit use. For more information, please contact the contributing organization. However, watermarked Maine Memory Network images may be used for educational purposes.


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