Sir I wish you to send me, by the Bearer, six & a half yards of Coldrain
Cotton, such as Charissa has had, and you will oblige yours &c
if you have not so much, I wish you David Dickinson
to send what you have---
Mr Orlando Ware- present-
Jany 7th 1811
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David Dickinson (1747-1822) of Deerfield ordered six and a half yards of cotton cloth for his twenty-four-year-old daughter Charissa. This would have been the amount needed to make a dress. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 and the appearance of textile mills in the United States in the 1790s made cotton cloth cheap and readily available by 1811. As an unmarried woman, Charissa depended upon her father to purchase goods for her upon his account.