Peter Stuyvesant, the Last Dutch Governor

The Dutch Vrouws,
page 3 of 6

In the inventories of personal estates contained in the Surrogate’s Court we find details of the wardrobe; but as I have enumerated and defined all the different articles at some length in my book, “Costume of Colonial Times,” I will not repeat the definitions here; but it should be remembered that in the enumeration of the articles of clothing, many stuffs and materials of simple names were often of exceedingly good and even rich quality. From those inventories we have proof that all Dutch women had plenty of clothes; while the wives of the burgomasters, the opulent merchants, and those in authority, had rich clothes. I have given in full in my book a list of the clothing of a wealthy New York dame, Madam De Lange; but I wish to refer to it again as an example of a really beautiful wardrobe. In it were twelve petticoats of varying elegance, some worth two pounds fifteen shillings each, which would be more than fifty dollars today. They were of silk lined with silk, striped stuff, scarlet cloth, and ash-gray cloth. Some were trimmed with gold lace. With those petticoats were worn samares and samares-a-potoso, six in number, which were evidently jackets or fancy bodies; these were of calico, crape, “tartanel,” and silk. One trimmed with lace was worth three pounds. Waistcoats and bodies also appear; also fancy sleeves. Love-hoods of silk and cornet-caps with lace make a pretty headgear to complete this costume, with which was worn the reim or silver girdle with hanging purse, and also with a handsome number of diamond, amber, and white coral jewels.

The colors in the Dutch gowns were almost uniformly gay, — in keen contrast to the sad-colored garments of New England. Madam Cornelia de Vos in a green cloth petticoat, a red and blue “Haarlamer” waistcoat, a pair of red and yellow sleeves, and a purple “Pooyse” apron was a blooming flower-bed of color.

The dress of Vrouentje Ides Stoffelsen, a very capable Dutchwoman who went to Bergen Point to live, varied a little from that of these town dames.


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