Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Anne, front
Anne, side
Anne has a Simon Halberg bisque head with a yak hair wig (see previous
descriptions of wigs with 1728 - Manuela and 1755 - Francoise) and brown eyes.
She wears a colonial dress of purple and print silk (print indicates that the
pattern was hand-printed with wooden blocks on the silk rather than woven into
it). This was probably a walking dress as they tended to be deliberately
shorter. The drawn-up portion of the skirt is known as a polonaise, a mode that
resembled a milkmaids tucked up skirts and was popularized by Marie Antoinette
when she pretended she was a "peasant" tending her sheep in her little garden
at the Petit Trianon. It had a closer-fitting silhouette at the top than previous
fashions, but more basket-shaped panniers, which were now usually in a pouch
form, with a boned chamois that filled out the skirt out all around just below
the natural waist. The color originated during this period and became known as
puce. It was a particular shade of purple again popularized by Marie
Antoinette. While she was trying to choose fabric for a dress one day, her
husband Louis XVI noted that the color of one fabric was "the color of fleas",
the French for flea is puce and thus the color got its name.

Tasseled cords were used to draw up the sides of the skirt and fasten the
overskirt at the center (they were threaded through rings on the underside of
the garment), so that the skirt draped appropriately over the petticoat as seen
here. The bodice is pointed at the bottom, or waist in the current fashion,
while the corset or stomacher is laced with velvet ribbon, over which she wears
a lace fichu; cotton, lawn, or lace fichus were often used to cover the
shoulders and dcolletage with the ends tucked into the top of the
corset. The skirt is finished off with a box-pleated hem.

Anne's wig demonstrates the growing height of wigs, again influenced by Marie
Antoinette. They became higher and ever more elaborate, with women often adding
false hair to augment their own. One of the reasons for the scarcity of bread
among the peasantry that helped trigger the French Revolution was the amount of
flour that was being used to powder the hair of the aristocracy. Anne's taste
is a little simpler; she wears only some flower decorations in her wig. [according
to Mrs. Gray's notes, she has an ivory fan which I don't see on the doll; it
may be the one that has ended up with Claudine]

Anne Doizin

About some people we know a great deal. About others, somewhat less. And of
some, we are left only tantalizing bits of information around which we may spin
our own stories. One of these is Anne Doizin. What do we know about Anne
Doizin? We know that in the 1770s, she was a middle-aged widow running her own
plantation on land along the Mississippi River. We know that she had three
daughters of marriageable age living with her, two of them, in fact, in their
twenties, past the usual age for first marriages. Had they not married because
they were dowerless? It would seem not, for not only did Anne Doizin possess
land, she also held sixteen slaves, twelve cows, three horses, forty sheep, and
five hogs. If not quite a plantation, certainly a large and well-equipped farm
one would expect most men to be pleased to have a chance to own. But there the
Doizin women sit, apparently unwilling or unable to give up their

It is striking how many widows have become the head of households along the
river by the late 18th century. Mrs. Nogues, in her 40s, manages her two sons,
along with twenty slaves, seventy cattle, forty-one sheep, three hogs, and all
with only one musket in the household. Mrs. Francoise, the widow Minbret, finds
herself alone at the age of 71; she has no children, and no musket, but
2twenty-six slaves to work her land and twenty cattle to roam it. Mrs.
Jenevieve Le Sassier, in her 40s, is raising ten children ranging in age from twenty-two
to six on her own or rather with thirty-two slaves. Perhaps thats why she has
two muskets in her household when so many others have none. Mrs. Marie Riboul,
Mrs. Tache (the widow Benoit), Mrs. Agate (the widow Reman), Dame Janne (the
widow Raguet), Dame Marguerite (the widow Lachaise), Marie Darby all have had
to learn to manage their own estates, sometimes with the help of sons and/or
daughters, sometimes not. Death visits every household. It came to the home of
Mrs. Catherine Daunois, who in her early 40s, is responsible for two sons, one
daughter, one daughter-in-law, a sister, a niece, 127 slaves, fifty-eight
cattle, fifteen horses, fifty-nine sheep, and thirty hogs; she keeps three
muskets in her home. And death has also visited Marie, listed as a free Negro
aged 31, who owns a farm where she is raising three teenagers (two daughters
and a son) and is also responsible for four slaves, sixteen cattle, four horses,
fifty sheep, and nine hogs. She undoubtedly takes comfort in her possession of
two muskets.

In the end, which hold our fascination longer - the stories we know, or the
ones we can only guess?