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Ethel Armes, comp. and ed., Nancy Shippen, Her Journal Book (New York: B. Blom, 1968.), 173.


Display was an important element of social interaction. When colonists gathered in public, they observed each other’s dress, carriage, and manners.  They also commented on each other’s self-presentation and degree of refinement, on what historian Richard Bushman refers to as the “performances” of individuals at public balls, assemblies, and other social occasions.

From: Richard L. Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1993), 54-57.

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“Miss Moore is vastly agreeable, and very springhtly, Mrs. H. Moore is an Elegant Woman, but rather haughty in her manners,…Miss s. Shippen is pretty in the face but badly Made, and appears to have a fund of good humor. Miss Molly Shippen is very ugly and very formal in her manners, but very good natur’d.”


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