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Archive for May, 2014

“News Items,” and “Grant and the Soldiers”, The Stillwater Messenger – May 31, 1864

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

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Reception gown worn by Mary LeDuc

Friday, May 30th, 2014


How torn Mary LeDuc must have felt between extravagance and necessity when assessing her social position and need for proper dress. She was anticipating her husband’s appointment as Secretary of Commerce under President Hayes in 1877. The LeDucs had left their home in Hastings, Minnesota. While Gen. William Gates LeDuc served in the Civil War; his wife, Mary, stayed with her parents in Ohio.

Correspondence from the LeDuc family in the Minnesota Historical Society’s manuscript collection is filled with letters between Mrs. LeDuc and her daughters agonizing over frugalities as they alter bonnets and dresses, purchase fabric, ribbons and notions and seek an inexpensive dressmaker or milliner. “I had my silk bonnet all made over on Monday – new shape – Papa thought it was a new bonnet – with satin and dark cardinal plush and two big roses – I think it verypretty, it will do for dress bonnet all winter – only cost $4.25. ”

When General LeDuc was in Washington lobbying for his appointment, Mrs. LeDuc was living with her parents in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Their daughter, Minnie, was living in New York and had found a reasonable dressmaker in Miss Jane E. Turner. Miss Turner’s invoice of September 28, 1877 for one black silk and one brown velvet dress came to $128.33. Minnie’s excitement in receiving delivery of these dresses for her mother is in her letter, “Your dresses came Saturday and are lovely. I did not unfold them much fearing I could not pack them again. I should think both would fit you nicely. The front of the brown skirt is particularly pretty. “ She mailed the package to Mrs. Leduc after she arrived in Washington.

Mary’s letter back to Minnie, described an invitation from the White House. “I wore my brown silk out yesterday for first time, called on Mrs. Hayes after dinner.” The brown velvet and brocade reception gown must have felt very extravagant.

Florence wrote to her sister, Minnie, “[Miss Turner] has made two dresses for Mamma and they are lovely. She is a true artist. I’ve never seen any dresses at any time that could equal those made by her.”

This dress was donated by the LeDuc family in 1920 and remained unidentified until the photograph, dress, invoice and letters were brought together after research by Society collections staff and volunteers.

Special thanks to MNHS textile conservator Ann Frisina for her working in bringing this dress to life on a custom mannequin.

Linda McShannock, Associate Curator

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Diary entries by Matthew Marvin – May 30, 1864

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Corporal in the 1st Minnesota Regiment who was wounded at Gettysburg. Marvin is convalescing at the United States Marine Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. He is currently home on furlough, and on May 30 he writes, “This A.m. Matt [Hilt] waked me up with […] in his hand containing an eye opener[.] had a train this A.m. [J…] is a Brick [rare][.] he came down with his wagon & I rode with him[.] Invited to go to Crete on a visit tomorrow E. R. & Jim[.] Weather pleasant[.]” When Marvin was last at the hospital, he again inquired about his discharge and received no answer. In a combined entry of May 22-23 he wrote, “Why the Dr. should keep men in the hospital ten fifteen & twenty months & [over] & they yet unfit for duty & wont or don’t discharge them[.] […] the boys have aske or […] about their discharge but go no satis faction from the surgeons[.] I think the Dr are afraid[.] Will look to see what is the matter[.]”.

[Click image to enlarge.]


See entire week’s entries here: 1864-05-30_Marvin_combined

Citation: May 18 – June 2, 1864 Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Diary, January 1- December 31, 1864. Volume 3. Matthew Marvin Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P2355 box 1]

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Boxing Trophy

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Boxing Trophy

Boxer Elmer “Kid Violent” Ray at home with one of his heavyweight boxing trophies on August 20th, 1946.

This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection. Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid here.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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“Latest News By Telegraph-The Situation on Wednesday”, The Saint Paul Press – May 29, 1864

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

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Platter by Richard Bresnahan

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Platter by Richard Bresnahan

An unglazed ceramic platter made by Minnesota artist Richard Bresnahan in the late 1980s.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this platter in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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“The News”, “Hancock on the Field”, and “News of Our Own State”, The Rochester City Post – May 28, 1864

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

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St. Paul Baseball Opening Day Tag

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

St. Paul Baseball Opening Day Tag

St. Paul Baseball Opening Day Tag, circa 1916.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this tag in our collections database.

Learn More:

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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“The Great Cavalry Expedition through the Rebel Lines”, “Another Call For Troops”, and “More Surgeons Wanted”, Saint Paul Pioneer and Democrat – May 27, 1864

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

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Scotch Tape

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Scotch Tape

On this date, May 27, 1930, a patent is issued to the 3M company for transparent cellophane tape, later trademarked as “Scotch Tape”. The original Scotch Tape patented in 1925 was made for masking off areas while painting cars. This special roll of Scotch Tape commemorates the 2 billionth roll made in 1957.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this roll of tape in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs