In 1765, Philadelphia shoemaker, Alexander Rutherford, alerted his women customers “as are resolved to distinguish themselves by their patriotism and encouragement of American manufacturers, that he makes and sells…shoes… as neat and cheap as any imported from England.”
For many, the selection of one’s shoes in the decade leading up to the American Revolution, were representative of Colonial economic independence, and symbolized a break from the tether to the yoke of Great Britain’s trade dominance. The significant output of footwear – primarily wool uppers –from Lynn, MA. (as well lesser known shoe making regions of New England) was viewed as supporting non-importation agreements. However, despite attempts by Patriot leaders to co-opt and politicize the wearing of imported goods, personal taste, coupled with the desire to appear as fashionable and genteel, frequently trumped those efforts.
Presented by Kimberly S. Alexander, PhD, Department of History, UNH. Dr. Alexander will discuss several stories of ‘patriotic’ American-made shoes, their makers and wearers. This Lunch & Learn promises for provide a unique and intriguing way to explore our 2018 theme: Global Perspective on the Revolution!