Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Coat
Catalog Number 1948.12.11
Date ca. 1780
Material(s) Silk/Linen
Dimensions H-43.5 W-21.5 inches
Description This green silk "lustering" colonial style coat has a silk lining. The shoulders and arms are reinforced with linen between the silk layers. There are olive green silk buttons on front, two pockets, and two green silk buttons on each cuff. The coat is split tailed. The tails have pleats at the side seams and a vent at the center back. The tight fit is created with curved seams above the waist. The high turndown collar is typical of the 1780s. The pockets are flapped, a technique which was replaced with welts by the end of the 18th century. There are ten 1/2" flat silk buttons (over cardboard) for decorative appeal which correspond with non-functional buttonholes. The coat fastened edge-to-edge via hook and eye closures at mid-chest.
Notes Lustering is a light crisp plain silk taffeta with high luster produced by stretching the fabric and while under tension smearing it with a syrupy gum. According to notes found in the file, this coat belonged to William Grayson, brother of Susan Monroe Grayson Orr. Col. William Grayson(1736-1790) was a well respected and prominent community leader in Virginia and (unlike his sister) he never lived in Kentucky. According to a note in the file, the trunk was sent by Susan to her daughter Eleanor Orr Peers in 1814. It was said by the donor to contain three dresses belonging to Susana and a coat belonging to her brother William Grayson, who was aid-de-camp to Gen. Washington and the first Senator from VA, as well as three vests that belonged to Valentine Peers (b.1756 in Ireland) who was a Brigade Major to Gen. Weedon during the Revolutionary War and slippers, gloves, and dresses worn by Eleanor Orr (b.1772 in VA), daughter of Susan. Valentine and Eleanor Orr moved to the area now Nicholas County, Kentucky in 1803. The family settled in the Lower Blue Licks area where Peers operated a salt works. He opened cotton mills in Maysville (located on 3rd street) and Paris, and eventually moved to Paris. He died on June 6th 1830. (See family papers at KHS, UK Special Collections, and Ohio State Univ. manuscripts collection).
Collection Mrs. Henry Waller Collection
People Grayson, William
Orr, Susan Monroe Grayson
Subjects Clothing & dress
Coats
Waistcoats
Search Terms Nicholas County (Ky.)
Kentucky
Virginia
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS