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This organdy dress was part of a wedding trousseau owned by Elizabeth Richardson of Greenfield, Massachusetts. A trousseau is a collection of materials for a woman's wedding and usually includes her dress, jewelry, shoes, veil, and other such materials. Richardson, like most young women of her day, taught for several years. She was unusual in that she travelled south to do so in the years just before the Civil War. There, she met a young man and became engaged. When he died in 1861, the first year of the war, she chose to come home to Greenfield. The dress is made of organdy, which is a very light, thin, stiff cotton fabric. The use of organdy hints that she hoped for a summer wedding.
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