Im a marketing student at Parsons.
This is a collection of things I like.
I live in Brooklyn.
Kate Jacobs U.S History in 13 Acts May 14, 2013
I always had an interest in the American Revolution, so when thinking of a research topic for the 14th act project it was a pretty easy choice. I thought I knew most of the important historical facts about the revolutionary time period. I read plenty of non-fiction and fictional books that take place during that time to help me understand the period better. My trip to the New York Public Library took my knowledge and insight on this time period even deeper.
At the library I was able to research the Schieffelin family papers. These papers dated from 1756 to 1907. The Schieffelin family lived in New York City during the revolution. I was most struck by the papers of Hannah Schieffelin. The majority of her papers were journal entries from her travels through the North East and Canada and many poems. She wrote a great deal of poems during the Revolutionary War and while the British were in New York City. She shared her views on the British occupation, the war, and all relating events.
While reading her poetry I was able to understand what someone living during those events were feeling and better understand what they were witnessing. Being able to touch the actual parchment that Hannah Schieffelin was writing on, and look at the handwriting and not a photocopied version immediately took me back to that time. I found it also very brave of Hannah Schieffelin to write poetry as a patriot with strong views against the British. Women at that time had very little rights and were not really able to publically or even privately in some cases speak their mind. I found it very inspiring that Hannah was able to look past the restrictions and speak her mind in her writing. Another inspiring thing I found about Hannah Schieffelin is that after the revolution some of her poetry got published. She was able to get her poetry published under her own name, or her pen name “Matilda”, both women’s names. This was a very difficult task at the time, many women writers had to use the names of men to get their work published and recognized.
As a fashion major there were a few things in the papers of Hannah Schieffelin that greatly struck my interest. The first item was a scrap of fabric from a dress that Hannah Schieffelin wore during a ball she went to in Canada. Being able to touch the actual fabric was quite amazing. I was able to use my knowledge of fashion history and really be able to picture what the original garment looked like. Another item that intrigued me was the saves locks of hair that was kept among Hannah Schieffelin’s things. This made me wonder why these pieces of hair were saved. From a fashion history class I took I learned that sometimes women gave a piece of their hair to a lover as a term of endearment. Since there was no description of the hair I wondered if they were Hannah’s herself that she maybe have given her husband, or if she kept locks of her children’s hair from their first haircuts (a tradition that is done sometimes today.)
This whole process of finding a 14th act was eye opening and will change my perception of history here on out. Instead of just approaching history with basic facts and statistics this class and project was able to help me view history as a whole in a more open way. The 14th act project now forces me to look at history in many different ways. I now will always try to relate history to today’s society and see how we can learn from it today, if anything. Looking at a primary source from the time and then relating it back to secondary sources and uses of today is a very useful way for me to relate history back to the present. From now on I will constantly look at and evaluate history of all kinds in this way and bring it into the present.
lol the coolest! =)