Lucia Wadsworth's "assembly dress," Portland, ca. 1799

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Lucia Wadsworth's "assembly dress," Portland, ca. 1799

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Lucia Wadsworth (1784-1864) reportedly wore this dress to an assembly, or social event, in 1799. The dress is representative of fashion around the turn of the 18th to the 19th century, when women favored simple white cottons.

The dress is made of a thin white imported muslin, with an embroidered floral spray design. Other stylish elements include a high waist, narrow bodice, low drawstring neckline, gathers at the back, and a train.

Lucia Wadsworth was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's aunt. She lived with the poet and his family at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland, in the house she grew up in with her siblings. She was about 16 years old when she wore this dress to an assembly. The style was on trend for young women her age.

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About This Item

  • Title: Lucia Wadsworth's "assembly dress," Portland, ca. 1799
  • Creation Date: circa 1799
  • Subject Date: circa 1799
  • Location: Portland, Cumberland County, ME
  • Media: cotton, linen
  • Local Code: A85-872
  • 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

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