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ADDRESS TO THE LADIES.

YOUNG ladies in town, and those that live round,
Let a friend at this season advise you,
Since money's so scarce and time growing worse
Strange things may soon hap and surprise you.

First then throw aside your high-top knots of pride,
Wear none but your own country linen;
Of economy boast, let your pride be the most,
To shew cloathes of your own make and spinning

What if homespun they say, is not quite so gay
As brocades, yet be not in a passion,
For when once it is known, this is much worn in town,
One and all will cry out 'tis the fashion!

No more ribbands wear, nor in rich dress appear,
Love your country much better than fine things:
Begin without passion, it will soon be the fashion
To grace your smooth locks with a twine string.

These do without fear, and to all you'll appear,
Fair, charming, true, lovely and clever;
Tho' the times remain darkish, young men be sparkish
And love you much stronger than ever.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This "Address to the Ladies" is patterned on a popular song from before the American Revolution. The song was called "Young Ladies in Town" and first appeared in The Boston News-Letter in 1769. It was a reaction to the Townshend Acts and called on women to boycott English textiles and other imported goods. The original version had the ladies wearing clothing of their own make and spinning, and also throwing away their bohea and hyson teas. This version refers to money being scarce and times growing worse, both causes of Shays' Rebellion. The attack on the Springfield, Massachusetts arsenal occurred nine days after this appeared in the Hampshire Gazette.

 

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"Address to the Ladies"poem in Hampshire Gazette newspaper

publisher   Hampshire Gazette
date   Jan 17, 1787
location   Northampton, Massachusetts
width   2.0"
height   4.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L06.081


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See Also...

"A Crostick" poem published in the Hampshire Gazette

"Pegasus of Apollo" from "The Worcester Magazine"

Flax Wheel

Spinning Jenny


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