Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, James Duncan Professor of History and director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, examines cloth-making in the colonial era in New England as a household industry, how and why cloth from the eighteenth century was preserved during the colonial revival, and why eighteenth-century women marked the cloth they made with their names and other details of their lives.
On May 25, 1787, the fifty-five delegates to the Constitutional Convention began meeting in a room, no bigger than a large schoolroom, in Philadelphia’s State House. They posted sentries at the doors and windows to keep their “secrets from flying out.” They barred the press and public, and took a vow not to reveal to anyone the words spoken there. There were speeches of two, three, and four hours. The convention, which lasted four months, took only a single eleven-day break.