Martha Miller Barnes, American, ca. 1827 - after 1902 Search this
cotton, linen, muslin, thread, and mother of pearl
H x W (flat): 12 × 14 1/2 in. (30.5 × 36.8 cm)
Waterproof, Tensas Parish, Louisiana, United States, North and Central America
1850s - 1860s
A taupe-colored bonnet with cross-stitched brim and chin straps believed to have been worn by Martha Miller Barnes while she was enslaved as a field laborer by E.A.J. Miller on his plantation near Waterproof, Louisiana.
The bonnet is a linen and cotton blend plain weave fabric. It has a short skirt that is cinched on the underside with a tied string. There is a decorative flap over the gathered portion that buttons on one side with a mother-of-pearl button. There are self-fabric short ties sewn at each interior side. The front of the bonnet has three layers, the brown linen/cotton blend is used as the facing and the lining, and there is an additional layer of plain undyed muslin that is peeking out on the underside of the seam. The front is heavily stitched with off-white thread to make it stiff. It is machine sewn. There are some minimal brown spot stains concentrated in a scattered manner on the underside of the brim. The brim is creased at the center from being folded.