Silence Dogood essay 6: "Sir, Among the many reigning Vices of the Town ..."
In the sixth essay, appearing in the 4-11 June 1722 issue of The New-England Courant, Silence Dogood addresses a serious vice--pride, particularly as it relates to dress and appearance. Mrs. Dogood had noticed the growing problem of vanity and was especially critical of the new fashion of "Hoop-Petticoats" made from whalebone.
These monstrous topsy-turvy Mortar-Pieces, are neither fit for the Church, the Hall, or the Kitchen; and if a Number of them were well mounted on Noddles-Island, they would look more like Engines of War for bombarding the Town, than Ornaments of the Fair Sex.
Later in life, Benjamin Franklin was not immune to pride in his own dress--his famous plum colored suit (one of the Society's most famous, but fragile artifacts) is on long-term loan to the Smithsonian Institution and is on display within the National Museum of American History. Please see the article, "Dressed-down Democracy," by Lawrence M. Small, Smithsonian magazine, January 2006, for more information.
To examine the entire newspaper, please see the online display of The New-England Courant, Number 45, 4-11 June 1722.
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