"March. 30. It was early conceived by the most sagacious and knowing Nations ..."

March. 30. It was early conceived by the most sagacious and knowing Nations ...

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    • Main description

    [ This description is from the project: Coming of the American Revolution ]

    This article published in the Salem, Massachusetts, newspaper in May 1769 describes the productivity and patriotism of women spinning linen yarn in Newport, Rhode Island and Huntington, Long Island in New York.

    Made in America

    If the non-importation and non-consumption movements are to succeed, colonists must find American alternatives to imported luxuries. Newspapers publish recipes for brewing tea from local herbs, and women are urged to wear homespun colonial garments in place of British silks and calicoes. Spinning and weaving bees become more than just social outlets--the production of cloth is now a sign of patriotism.

    To examine all four pages of this newspaper, please see the online display of The Essex Gazette, 23-30 May 1769.

    Questions to Consider

    1. According to this author, what item can "influence the Affairs of Men?" Is the influence positive or negative?

    2. How many spinning bees or weaving parties are described in this article? How much cloth does each produce?

    3. Why might the author of this article reference Virgil in the opening paragraph? What purpose might the quote serve (even if the audience does not speak Latin)?

    4. How would you characterize the tone of this appeal? patriotic? commercial? religious?

    Further Exploration

    5. [coming soon]