All the Ladies Wear a Red Cloak during Voyage to Maryland
December 13, 1773. "Mr Carter is preparing for a Voyage in his Schooner, the Hariot, to the Eastern Shore in Maryland, for Oysters: there are of the party, Mr Carter, Captain Walker, Colonel Richard Lee, and Mr. Lancelot Lee. With Sailors to work the vessel, I observe it is a general custom on Sundays here, with Gentlemen to invite one another home to dine, after Church; and to consult about, determine their common business, either before or after Service. It is not the Custom for Gentlemen to go into Church til Service is beginning, when they enter in a Body, in the same manner as they come out; I have known the Clerk to come out and call them in to prayers. They stay also after the Service is over, usually as long, sometimes longer, than the Parson was preaching. Almost every Lady wears a red Cloak; and when they ride out they tye a white handkerchief over their Head and face, so that when I first came into Virginia, I was distressed whenever I saw a Lady, for I thought She had the Tooth-Ach! The People are extremely hospitable, and very polite both of which are most certainly universal Characteristics of the Gentlemen in Virginia; some swear bitterly, but the practise seems to be generally disapproved. I have heard that this Country is notorious for Gaming, however this be, I have not seen a Pack of Cards, nor a Die, since I left home, nor gaming nor Betting of any kind except at the Richmond-Race. Almost every Gentleman of Condition, keeps a Chariot and Four; many drive with six Horses. I observe that all the Merchants and shopkeepers in the Sphere of my acquaintance and I am told it is the case through the Province, are young Scotch-Men; Several of whom I know, as Cunningham, Jennings, Hamilton, Blain; And it has been the custom heretofore to have all their Tutors, and Schoolmasters from Scotland, tho' they begin to be willing to employ their own Countrymen. Evening Ben Carter and myself had a long dispute on the practice of fighting. He thinks it best for two persons who have any dispute to go out in good-humour and fight manfully, and says they will be sooner and longer friends than to brood and harbour malice. Mr Carter is practising this Evening on the Guittar He begins with the Trumpet Minuet. He has a good Ear for Music; a vastly delicate Taste; and keeps good Instruments, he has here at Home a Harpsichord, Forte-Piano, Harmonica, Guittar, Violin, and German Flutes, and at Williamsburg, has a good Organ, he himself also is indefatigable in the Practice."
County and Probate Records to Help you Find your Virginia Ancestors