The Homespun Movement: The ‘Buy Local’ of its Day

women spinning

Up here in Humboldt, there are pins and bumper stickers that urge people to buy local products. While the sentiment has gained popularity over the past decade, it’s one that played a big role in the founding of our nation. This fact that was brought to my attention in the newsletter for the online retailer, Zady, which featured the article Original Fashion Activists: Women of the American Revolution by Sabrina Rojas Weiss.

According to the article, and to other articles on the topic, women during the Revolution spun their own cloth and yarn to protest the taxes imposed by the British (much of which went to support King George III’s whoring son’s debts). Women had spinning bees and pledged their support the Homespun Movement.

The story strikes a chord for me, not just because I’ve recently become a member of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, but also because some of my English ancestors were cloth manufacturers in Yorkshire, a trade which they brought with them when they came to the New World in the 1600s. I’d like to think that my 5th great-grandmother—whose father was a lieutenant in the militia in Vermont and her husband who served in the Massachusetts militia—took part in this protest, though I haven’t found proof to support it.

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2 Comments Add yours

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