American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Encouraging Manufactures for "Women & Girls"

Samples of Ipswich Lace in linen and silk
Samples of Ipswich Lace
in linen and silk

Manuscript Division
Transferred from the
State Department, 1904 (32A)

Joseph Dana to George Cabot
Joseph Dana to George Cabot,
January 24, 1791
Holograph letter
Manuscript Division
Transferred from the
State Department, 1904 (32B)

Acting on a January 15, 1790, request from the House of Representatives to prepare a report on the status and means of promoting manufactures in the United States, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton over a two-year period prepared his monumental Report on Manufactures. Hamilton solicited information on manufacturing throughout the country. Among the responses was that of Joseph Dana of Ipswich, Massachusetts, who enclosed these varied examples of lace made "altogether by Women & Girls & that it occupies only (or chiefly) such portions of time as can be well spared from the concerns of the family." Hamilton preserved these lace patterns in his papers, and mentioned them in his report: "A Manufactory of Lace upon a scale not very extensive has been long memorable at Ipswich in the State of Massachusetts."

Report on Manufactures
Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)
"Report on Manufactures,"
December 5, 1791
Holograph document, fourth draft
Manuscript Division
Transferred from the
State Department, 1904 (32C)

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