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Dexter Whittemore & Son Collection
Catalog Record
Mss 77 1809-1868 W624
Volumes 34, 44, 45, and 91

Dexter Whittemore & Sons was a general store in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, that produced and sold palm-leaf hats and clothing during the nineteenth century. They distributed palm-leaf and cloth to women on local farms, who produced the hats for store credit.

The collection contains accounts with the women who produced the hats. One letter from a friend of the Whittemores, Roxana Stowell, discusses her work braiding hats for sale in Dexter Whittemore's store.

In June 1835 she wrote:

Mr. Whittemore I should like to know how you turned your hats if you sold them. We should like to braid a few for you this season if you want them and we can find out what kind you like. Will you write and let us know the price and shape of your hats. Be particular so that we can know how to braid a very few for you if we should think it is best. We have been, and are now braiding but the time for selling them is almost over for this season, as we cannot sell any except custom hats. We have sold them from 25 to 50 [?] scents apiece [sic]. We shall not probably braid a great number but we wish you to write as soon as you receive this and let us know about this and be very particular.

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