American Spirit* visited the American Village, a history and civics education center in Montevallo, Ala., for our November/December 2013 cover story profiling historical interpreters. (This editor grew up less than a mile away from the American Village, and it’s her family’s favorite spot for Fourth of July fireworks and other patriotic events.) The American Village re-enactors and others spotlighted in our story exhibit an extraordinary commitment to historical detail. That commitment to authenticity is best expressed by this quote from Patricia Bridgman, who plays Abigail Adams at Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Mass., and at the Abigail Adams birthplace in Weymouth, Mass.
“I sweep my bangs up into a pompadour, eschew makeup, lace myself into stays, don a bum roll [a support, such as a hoop or pillow, worn under a skirt], petticoats and gown, along with silk stockings and reproduction shoes, and I’m ready to go,” Ms. Bridgman says. “The one question all re-enactors get is, ‘Aren’t you hot in that?’ The 21st-century answer is, ‘Damn straight,’ but Abigail says, ‘I am well accustomed to it, madam.’”
Rounding out the issue are features that pull the curtain back on Revolutionary spycraft, explain the far-reaching effects of the Creek War of 1813–1814 and trace modern firefighting back to its early American roots. And for those who wake up every Thanksgiving morning with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you’re going to be jealous of the DAR member we profile in the Today’s Daughters section: balloon handler Katherine “Kitty” Bowers. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
*For more than a decade, Hammock has been honored to assist the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in publishing their award-winning magazine. Anyone can subscribe here.