There is a line in Shakespeare, “Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.” Perhaps that is why I worked on this book for so long, accumulating many debts along the way. It began at Cornell University under the expert direction of Mary Beth Norton. Her support has been unflagging, her guidance essential, and her model combination of historian of early America and of women/gender has always inspired me. I have been incredibly fortunate to call her my adviser, mentor, and now friend. Cornell’s history department, from which I received generous funding, also afforded me the privilege of working with Rachel Weil and Margaret Washington, who also taught me much about the practice and the politics of history. The roots of my interest in early American history run deeper and farther south, to Southern Methodist University, where Edward Countryman and the late David J. Weber introduced me to the field and helped launch me into it, always keeping tabs on my trajectory.
Without the material support from a host of generous institutions, and the research assistance of many expert archivists, librarians, and curators, this book would not exist. I am grateful to the American Antiquarian Society for a Legacy Fellowship that funded the project in its infancy and for the assistance of the institution’s tremendously knowledgeable and helpful staff, especially Georgia Barnhill, Joanne Chaison, John Hench, Tom Knoles, Marie Lamoureux, Russell Martin, Jackie Penny, Laura Wasowicz, and Bill Young. I also thank The New- York Historical Society and the David Library of the American Revolution, from which I received fellowships, as well as the Library Company of Philadelphia, who awarded me a Society for Eighteenth- Century Studies Fellowship. There, the help of Jim Green, Nicole Joniec, Connie King, Phil Lapsansky, Charlene Peacock, Erika Piola, Nicole Scalessa, and Sarah Weatherwax was invaluable. I was especially fortunate to receive a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for a half year’s work in the collections at the retreat- like Winterthur Museum and Library. Curator of Costumes Linda Eaton patiently and expertly instructed me in the wonderful world of fabric. Ann Wagner helped with other fashion- related objects; Rich McKinstry, Laura Parrish, and Jeanne