The Work of Women on the Home Front: Handwork and Organizing During the Civil War

Please join us for the 141st annual meeting of the New London County Historical Society which will be held at the Shaw Mansion, Sunday 18 September, beginning with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at 4 pm followed by the business meeting at 5:15.

Lynne Bassett, an internationally known expert on 19th century textiles, will be the featured speaker sharing her research on the work of Ladies Aid Societies in Connecticut towns during the Civil War.Lynne Bassett

During the business meeting of the society board members and officers will be elected. In addition to the usual reports, the board has recommended amendments to the bylaws which will be voted on by the membership. Please  go to NLCHS Proposed Bylaws Revisions 2011, a pdf document, to review and print out a copy of the “marked-up” revisions. These changes substantially update the current bylaws to contemporary legal standards.

The presentation will begin at 6 pm. Bassett, a textile and costume historian, is author of: Massachusetts Quilts — Our Commonwealth, and, Textiles for Clothing of the Early Republic, 1800-1850, and has worked as a curator of textiles for Old Sturbridge Village and the Connecticut Historical Society.

Regarding her current research Lynne writes that she is deep in her study of  “Civil War textiles, and how textiles were integral to the struggle—from the social and economic tensions between southern cotton plantation owners and northern cotton mill owners, to textiles that kept the soldiers clothed, warm, and dry.  The symbolism of flags, and the role of women on the homefront, who spent every possible moment sewing and knitting garments, rolling bandages, and scraping lint for men on the frontlines and in the hospitals, is an important part of the story.  Through textiles we can understand how the war affected civilians and soldiers, as well as the military and political leaders who generally get all the attention.”

Tickets $20 for members. Call today to make reservations: 860.443.1209.