Joseph B. (Joseph Barlow) Felt.

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of these prohibitions himself. It seems that this was about
1663, when Pepys noted in his diary, " I heard, the duke say
he was going to wear a peirwig, and they say the king also
will." The same year, this writer says of himself, " I took
my wife to my periwig" maker, and there showed her the per-
iwig made for me, and she likes it very well."

Wigs met with no small opposition in France. Thiers, pro-
fessor of belles lettres in the metropolis, published, in 1690,
an elaborate work against their being used by the clergy.
He declared that a priest's head with a wig on it was a
monster in the church. The Bishop of Toul took a similar
stand, and declared that all who fell in with such a fashion
" unchristianized " themselves. In the reign of Charles II.,
the black wig was fashionable both in Old and New Eng-
land. The portrait of the Rev. John Wilson, of Boston,
who died in 1667, appears with one, full and pendent over
his shoulders. The wife of Goffe, called a regicide, writing
from London, in 1672, to him at Hadley, said, " If you want
a periivig to keep you warm, let me know it, and I will send
you one." A like adjunct for the head was worn by Josiah
Winslow, who was an assistant of Plymouth colony in
1657, and chief magistrate in 1673. Archbishop Tillotson,
born in 1630, and died 1694, is said to be the first of the Eng-
lish clergy represented with a wig. One is seen on the por-
trait of Rev. Increase Mather, who graduated at Harvard
College in 1656, and died in 1723.

From 1685, wigs of a white color began to show them-
selves on the pates of gay juniors as well as grave seniors.
Thus what was originally intended to conceal baldness, and
resemble, in hue, the locks of the aged, incongruously became
the covering of boys and youth, as well as those of three-
score and ten. A contributor to Eraser's Magazine states
that, in the time of James II., " wigs became stupendous
in their architecture. The beaux who stood beneath them



WIGS. 183

carried exquisite combs in their ample pocket?, which they used,
whether by the way or in the house, to adjust such coverings.
Jeremy Duramer, who graduated in 1G99, went subsequently,
as agent for Massachusetts, to the court of St. James, and
deceased in 1739, wore a large powdered wig. So it was
with Governor Belcher, his classmate. Sarah, Duchess of
Marlborough, relates that, in the reign of Anne, " boys were
disguised in flowing curls, the higlier the rank the greater
the profusion. Hence they advanced to the dignity of the
wearing flaxen perukes, called by a wag ' the silver fleece,'
and of the scratch for their undress. The use of powder
had become lamentably universal."

A distinguished crusader against this custom was Eliot,
the Apostle to the Indians. He talked, prayed, and preached
for its suppression. He imagined it to be an abundant source
of calamities which had befallen our land. Perceiving his
labors, in this respect, of no avail, he gave up the contest,
saying that the fashion was incorrigible. Nor was he alone
in this warfare. The legislative authorities of Massachusetts,
in 1675, denounced the " practice of men's wearing their own
or others' hair made into periwigs." But all was in vain.
Some of the people were determined to have their wigs, let
what would come. Some extracts of Judge Sewall's diary
follow. " 1685, Sept. 15. Three admitted to the church, two
wore perkvigs. 1696. Mr. Sims told me of the assaults he
had made on perhvig-s — seemed to be in good sober sadness.
1697. Mr. Noyes, of Salem, wrote a treatise on periwigsy

The Rev. Solomon Stoddard wrote, in 1701, to Judge
Sewall, relative to these articles, " I cannot condemn them
universally. Yet there is abundance of sin in this country,
in wearing wigs. Some cut off their hair, because it is red
or gray ; some, because it is straight ; some, frizzled ; and
some, because it is their own. Some of the wigs are of an
unreasonable length, and generally they are extravagant as
to their bushiness. They are wasteful as to cost. The
wearing of them is pride, to make a vain show. It is con-
trary to gravity — is light and cfi'eminate. It makes the
wearers of them look as if they were more disposed to court



184 WIGS.

a maid than to bear upon their hearts the weighty concern-
ments of God's kingdom."

A few more minutes are presented from the diary of Judge
Sewall. " 1704, Jan. Walley appears in his wig, having cut off
his own hair. 170S, Aug. 20. Mr. Clicever died. The welfare
of the province was much upon his heart. He abominated ^^ex-
iwigs." The Friends, in their monthly session, at Hampton,
December 21, 1721, made the subsequent decision : " It was
concluded by this meeting, that the wearing of extravagant,
superfluous wigs is altogether contrary to truth." With sev-
eral of these items, the History of Newbury gives an inter-
esting case of discipline. In 1752, May 7, the members of
the second church there meet to deal with Richard Bartlett
for the following reasons : " First, our said brother refuses
communion with the church for no other reason but because
the pastor wears a wig, and because the church justifies him
in it, setting up his own opinion in opposition to the church,
contrary to that humility which becomes a Christian. Sec-
ond, and farther, in an unchristian maimer, he censures and
condemns both pastor and church as anti-Christian on the
aforesaid account, and he sticks not from time to time to as-
sert with the greatest assurance, that all who wear wigs, un-
less they repent of that particular sin, before they die, will
certainly be damned, which we judge to be a piece of un-
charitable and sinful rashness."

As the natural human hair of the white color was not a
thousandth part enough for the manufacture of wigs, there
was not only a press for what the horse and goat had to spare,
but the locks of young people were shorn, washed in lixiv-
ious water, and then spread on the grass to bleach like linen.
Strange would be the sight to our eyes, which formerly ex-
cited commendation rather than surprise, and which presented
the lad, as well as his seniors, wending his way sportively
through the street with a wig, set off by a three-cornered hat,
a coat, and smallclothes. Surely this was not far from the
little boy's playing grandpapa.

As a specimen of the commonness of such a mode, the
Boston News Letter, of 1712, advertises a runaway servant



WIGS. 185

aged fifteen years, wearing a light wig ; and in 1714, a young
sailor who had deserted, with a black wig.

Among valuable articles stolen from Paul Dudley's house,
in Roxbury, 1721, was a " light perhvig- tied up." A public
notice of 1731, showing that the eighth article of the deca-
logue laid no greater taboo on items of this kind than on
others, according to the ethics of light-fingered gentry, de-
scribes four wigs, pilfered from a barber's shop in Boston, as
follows : " A horsehair bob ivig; and another with crown hair,
each with a gray ribbon ; an Indian hair bob ivig, with alight
ribbon, and a goat's hair natural vng, with a red and white
ribbon."

A correspondent in the Weekly Rehearsal, of 1732, says,
" The hat and peruke, which have been some time part of a
lady's riding equipage, is such an odd kind of affectation,
that I hardly know under what species to range it." With
regard to the wearing of wigs by females, a respectable octo-
genarian says, that she wore a light curled wig down to 1800,
on particular occasions.

The Boston Gazette, of 1753, advertises, " Tye, bag, and
full-bottomed wigs, brigadiers, and spencers, cues, albemarles,
scratches, cut and curled wigs ; also black bags and rami-
lies for wigs." A curious bill of Jonathan Lambert contains
charges against several noted men for handiwork on such ap-
pendages for their heads. A sample or two of them are pre-
sented. " The Hon. Thomas Hutchinson," of course prior
to his leaving for England, in 1774, " to shaving and dressing
your wig, one pound nine shillings, old tenor ; ditto. Rev.
Mr. Welsteed, one pound sixteen shillings ; ditto, Mi*. James
Otis, one pound eighteen shillings." With regard to the lat-
ter, an aged gentleman relates, that he used to see him, after
his noble intellect became deranged, walking through the
streets of Boston, with a wig flowing down behind and some
before, on the upper part of his scarlet robe.

The full bottom wig had begun to disappear before 1779,

particularly among young men. They seem to have retained

their hold longer in New England than more southwardly.

While Congress sat in New York, under Washington, Mr.

p* 24



186 WIGS.

Willard, president of Harvard College, visited there with one
of these head coverings. As he walked about, this article
attracted great attention, and drew so large a crowd after
him, that serious fears were entertained lest he should be
mobbed, and his wig fare not so well as even that of John
Gilpin, in his involuntary race. Still the president escaped
unharmed, and returned to his alma mater, where such a sight
was not so rare, nor so rudely treated.

The biographer of William Penn represents him as setting
the fashion to wear wigs, as well as buckles, among the high-
er class of Quakers in America. He states that Penn had
four wigs with him at his residence in Pennsylvania, which
cost him twenty pounds.

Aged gentlemen retained this fashion, but as they paid
the debt of mortality, it, of course, diminished. Thirty-two
years ago, the last of such patriarchs would be occasionally
observed and gazed after by the youthful portion of commu-
nity, whose chief acquaintance with the custom was derived
from the quips of the satirist. Thus fell one of the modes,
most incongruous for those with enough of their own natural
hair, which ever ingratiated itself with the fashionable world.
It is hard for us to invent a philosophic reason for the fashion
of a certain gentleman in England, which ran so high, that
he must needs have wigs depicted with new paint upon old
heads of several rare productions of the first Vandyke. In-
deed, much truth is contained in the remark, " There is no
accounting for taste."

But while we join in the requiem of full bottom wigs, this,
by no ways, signifies that all others have departed from
among us. Those which are worn to supply the place of
natural hair have long performed such an office for both
males and females, and more so for the last twenty years
than ever before. It may be, that if the ones put out of
fashion's book could have a hearing, they would tartly ad-
dress those now tolerated there, " You need put on none of
your airs, as though you had no ' kith or kin ' to us ; you
may be of less dimensions, but still you bear om* name,
though with no honor to your neglected relatives."



HAIR. 187

Hair. — Men of the Jewish nation wore their hair short.
Absalom and the Nazarites were exceptions. The apostle
Paul, having imbibed the views of his countrymen, wrote to
the Corinthians, " Doth not even nature itself teach you,
that if a man have long hair, it is a shame to him ? " The
Jews were distinguished from other nations by such a custom.
The Gauls were very fond of long hair. When Julius Caesar
conquered them, he commanded it to be cut short, as a sign
of their subjection to him.

Different lengths of hair in France formerly denoted rank,
the king having the longest, and the slaves or villeins, as then
called, had the shortest.

Pope Anicetus, who w^as martyred, as Collins says, 178
A. D., perceiving that the clergy were violating the apostolic
instruction, by letting their locks become lengthened, required
them to cease from such an indulgence. A canon of 1096
declared that all who were seen with long hair should not
enter the church while living, nor be prayed for when dead.

Under the reign of Edward the Confessor, men wore their
hair long. One of his bishops severely censured this prac-
tice, and, when any bowed down their heads to receive his
blessing, he would clip of! a lock with his sharp knife, and
denounce judgments against them, if they delayed to go and
do likewise with all the rest. When Henry I. went over to
France, Serron, Bishop of Seez, addressed him on the subject
of wearing long and false hair, and asserted that all who did
so were sons of Belial, At this the king looked grave. The
prelate still pressed his point, and urged his hearer to set a
good example for his people. The sovereign wished for fur-
ther consideration. The bishop replied, " No time is like the
present ; " took a pair of scissors from his sleeve, and began
to shear off the obnoxious curls. Other ecclesiastics exer-
cised their skill, in a similar manner, upon the nobles and
military present.

In the time of Queen Elizabeth, it was customary to have
the hair cut close on the top of the head, and let it grow long
on the sides. When our colonies were planted, the most
fashionable gentlemen in England wore one lock on the left



188 HAIR.

side longer than the rest, which went by the name of love-
lock. Mr. Francis Higginson, of Salem, in speaking of the
Indians here, in 1629, remarked, " Their hair is generally
black, and cut before, like our gentlewomen, and one lock
longer than the rest, much like to our gentlemen, which fash-
ion, I think, came from hence to England." Mr. Prynne, the
year before, wrote a quarto, published in London, against
such a custom, which was entitled " The unloveliness of
Love-locks."

The wearing of long hair, by males, in the early periods
of Massachusetts, excited much attention and many fears on
the part of its most noted colonists. In the Cobler, previ-
ously quoted, we have the ensuing passages : " If those who
are termed Rattleheads and Impuritans would take up a res-
olution to begin a moderation of hair, to the just reproach of
those that are called Puritans and Roundheads, I would hon-
or their manliness, as much as others' godliness, so long as I
knew what man or honor meant. If neither of them can
find a barber's shop, let them turn into Psalm Ixviii. 21, Jer-
emiah vii. 29, 1 Cor. xi. 14. He is ill kept that is kept by
his own sin. A short promise is a safer guard than a long-
lock. I am sure men use not to wear such manes." Arch-
bishop Tillotson remarked, in one of his sermons, " I can re-
member since the v*'earing of hair below the ears was looked
upon as a sin of the first magnitude, and when ministers
generally, whatever their text was, did either find or make oc-
casion to reprove the great sin of long hair ; and if they saw
any one in the congregation guilty in that kind, they would
point them out particularly, and let lly at them with great
zeal." In 1649, the magistrates of Massachusetts passed a
declaration, from which we make the following extract :
" Forasmuch as the wearing of long haire, after the manner
of ruffians and barbarous Indians, hath begun to invade New
England," we, " therefore, have thought it necessarie for the
clearing of our owne innocencie in this behalfe, to declare
and manifest our dislike and detestation against the wearing
of such long haire, as against a thing uncivil and unmanly ;
and if, after the publication of this declaration, any shall be



HAIR. 189

found still to continue to weare long haire to the deforming
of themselves, and the grieving and offending of sober and
modest men, they shall thereby justly incurr the note of im-
pudency, and ought to be accounted of as men who are cor-
rupters of good manners." When this subject came down
to the deputies, they declined giving it their sanction. Their
non-concurrence shows that they regarded the fashion in
view with more tolerance than " the honored magistrates."
These gentlemen requested the clergy to cooperate with
them " as often as they shall see cause, to manifest their zeale
against it in their publike administration, and take care that
the members of their churches be not defiled therewith." It
seems, however, that the popular passion for such a practice
was stronger than magisterial advice.

We may further perceive how some of our fathers in the
ministry felt on this subject. Charles Chauncy, president of
Harvard College, preached a sermon, in 1655. Among his
remarks, he spoke with severity against the wearing of long
hair by students and ministers, as a heathenish practice and
a prominent sin of the times. Ezekiel Rogers, of Rowley,
who died in 1661, disinherited a nephew because he did not
think and act as he did in this matter. The language of his
will is, " I doe protest against all evill fashions and guises of
this age, both in apparel and that general disguisement of
longe ruffian like haire." Roger Williams, in his George
Fox digged out of his Burrowos, in 1672, made the subse-
quent remarks concerning "a long-haired Quaker:" " I pro-
duced an instance of one Thurston, an apostle of theirs, who
came to Providence with extraordinary long hair, hanging
over his shoulders. It was so long, that an aged soul, (capti-
vated for present amongst them,) the wife of C. S., demand-
ed of him why he w^ore it so long, since nature itself did
teach it to be a shame for a man to wear long hair, as the
Holy Scriptures affirmed. He replied, ' When that God
that bid me wear it bids me cut it off, then will I cut it off".'
This man's hair was so ofTensive and odious, that meeting
me, and saying, ' Fear the Lord God,' I could not but answer
him in these words, viz. : ' What God dost thou mean ? a



190



HAIR.



ruffian's God ? ' alluding to that of Paul to Titns, ' They
profess to know God, but in their works they deny him.' "

In 1G75, the legislature of Massachusetts, while speaking
of evils, as subjecting the people to judgments, say, " Long
hair, like women's, is worn by men." John Leverett, who
was governor at the time, appears, in his portrait, with short,
full locks, and thus shows that he consistently united exam-
ple with precept. Still, the admonition of civil authorities,
in this respect, was not generally heeded. The Rev. Solo-
mon Stoddard, of Northampton, wrote to Judge Sewall,
about 1722, that however long hair was worn by pious men,
yet he thought it "utterly unlawful."

Some men who did not adopt the practice of wearing wigs
had their long hair tied up " into a dub,''^ or queue, with black
ribbon. Persons of note would wear it, so dressed, in silk
bags, ornamented with needlework. Such was the popular-
ity of long hair, that individuals who had it short would
have a false queue fastened to it by a string. To raise a
laugh against some of this class, individuals of more spor-
tiveness than civiUty, of greater inclination for their own self-
ish amusement than of proper sympathy for others' mortifi-
cation, would adroitly pull off the attached part, and thus
show that it was " borrowed." Men of laborious callings
would frequently have eel skins tied around their hair, under
the impression that they caused it to grow rapidly. The wri-
ter formerly saw the custom and heard the opinion here men-
tioned, however singular in view of present experience. The
penchant for hair so elongated continued among the male
part of community till a half century since.

Mrs. Elizabeth Cragie, of Cambridge, related that, in the
beginning of this period, an English gentleman dined at her
table with other guests ; that his appearance was very ludi-
crous in the view of the company, because he had parted
with his long locks, and shewed nothing but what was then
termed a brush head. But such capillaceous cropping came
gradually into vogue, and has long ceased to be a subject of
surprise or satire. Thus the '■'■Brutus heads " or "• Roundheads "
of the parliamentary opponents of Charles I. made and have



HAIR. 191

sustained their appearance. As well known, while this cus-
tom has been adopted ahnost altogether by males, it has not
been without imitation, to some degree, among females.
We cannot say that this short dealing with the heads of the
gentler sex, unless necessary, as it sometimes is, ever meets
our hearty welcome. It may be that our taste is modified
by the f<criptural doctrine that it is the opposite practice,
which is their " glory." Thus, after various attempts by high
authorities to reduce the longitude of the hair, it has been
brought to their standard by the voluntary change of the
fashionable world.

With regard to ladies, there has never been any dispute,
since the occupation of New England by the Anglo-Saxon
race, but that they had a right to appear with locks as long
as they pleased. In this respect, they have the strong sup-
port of the sacred volume, as already stated.

In reference to having the hair either combed over or off
the foreheads of men, most of their likenesses, for two cen-
turies, which have met our eyes, are drawn according to the
last of these two modes. As to women, in this particular,
all their portraits, for the same period, which we have ob-
served, have the hair parted on the forehead. About 1650,
the practice of having the hair cover this part of the head
prevailed to some extent, with both sexes. The ladies had
ringlets where the hair was so separated, and some of them
had it curled much like a wig, while others had it braided
and rounded in a knot on the crown. In 1675, when the
General Court of the Bay rebuked men for appearing with
long hair, they stated, among the prevalent evils of the colo-
ny, that occasioned "by women's wearing borders of hair,
and their cutting, curling, and laying out their hair, which
practice doth prevail and increase, especially among the
younger sort." This, like kindred cautions, had not its full
intended effect even on the daughters of Puritans. These
seemed to have it, as the exponent of their thoughts, if we
obey our rulers in other respects, we must be excused in point
of fashions. About 1710, the hair of both sexes was combed
from the forehead, and worn so till over seventy years since.



192 HAIR.

During this period, it was turned up by ladies to the top of
the head, and fastened there, among the poorer class, with a
quill, but among others with a silver or gold bodkin. After
wards, such a custom subsided, so that the hair was again
allowed to cover a considerable part of the forehead. This
lasted till forty years past, and then its opposite began to pre-
vail. The writer recollects that, when such a change first
showed itself, it was accounted by many as the mark of
vain boldness in the individuals, especially females, who
yielded to its sway. Particularly has the mode of having
the hair cleared away from the forehead prevailed since lec-
tures on phrenology began, about 1832, and introduced a de-
sire to show whatever bumps of genius existed. For the
last two years, a large portion of young girls, instead of
parting their forelocks to the right and left temples, comb
them up directly over their head.

Before and after 1735, females of the ion appeared with
spangles in their curls. A century since, they had rolls, con-
siderably stuffed and covered with silk, placed on their heads,
and they turned their front hair over them, so as to fall down
behind.

The Boston Gazette, of 1771, relates an event amusing to
the mind which does not think of the wounded delicacy of
the sufferer. A genteel lady was met in the street by a ter-
rified dog, fastened to a chair, and running at the top of his
speed. She was thus thrown down in the sudden contact,
and some bruised. In her haste to rise and escape from the
inquisitive gaze of a gathering crowd, she left part of her
head attire on the sidewalk. Some boys began to kick it
about, when its contents were fully developed. These were,
a piece of knit work, stuffed with black wool and hair, curi-
ously worked into its outer side. Up this sort of head tower
the lady's own hair was frizzed and curled. The last she
was glad to clear from the wreck, which became sport to boy-
ish feet, instead of imaginary ornament to the head.

Whatever may have been the form and material which
topped such heights, they continued their elevation near
twenty years longer. Since they came down to their natural



KAIR. 193

position, the wonder has been that they could ever have re-
ceived any toleration. But experience has long demonstrated
that " use is second nature," and absurdities in fashion soon
become consistencies, and are loathfully relinquished.

About the year 1761, women wore cushions of horsehair,
over which they combed their own locks, as they had over the
rolls, so that, at times, it would be a foot above the crown.
Such a fashion is exhibited in one of Queen Elizabeth's
likenesses. We are credibly informed, that this high-minded


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