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Colonial Impressions

Re-enactors refer to their roles as "impressions." While several members of Glover's Marblehead Regiment have chosen to assume the roles of specific characters of the time (such as ship's surgeon, carpenter, quartermaster, artillerist, etc.), most members present themselves as mid-18th century common sailors and/or officers.

Women play an important role. In fact, geography and the codfish economy gave birth to the "Marblehead Woman" - a tough, canny, self-sufficient partner to the men in her life. They managed 100f the households in our fishing town. Many lost their husbands to storms and leaking ships as well to the hands of marauding French pirates.

They were known as "codfish widows" because the fishing idustry regularly removed most able-bodied men and boys from February to September to the offshore fishing grounds. For these months, the women were left to fend for themselves, raising large families and managing households. History records that Marblehead women were capable of protecting themselves and their children with their fists, clubs, and - when necessary - even with firearms. Thus, when their fishermen husbands went to war, Marblehead women often went with them.


Men: Outfitting and Equipment  
Men, women and children in Glover's Marblehead Regiment (GMR) dress themselves according to the characters they've chosen, using the historical record (as well as many online and text resources) to guide them.

To assist in outfitting, Glovers maintains a "slops chest" from which one can temporarily borrow various articles of clothing and accoutrements. Members new to Glovers often take advantage of the collection until they are able to purchase or make their own clothing and accoutrements. The typical loan term is about three months. (If you wish to explore our GMR slops chest, please contact Francie King at 781-631-5967 or E-mail to

Assembling an authentic re-enactment "kit" (as it is called) is part of the educational process. It is also an excellent way to become familiar with many aspects of American Revolutionary War maritime history, camp life, and community roles and relations.

The hobby is blessed with many excellent provisioners and sources of clothing and goods � including tents, eating utensils and soldiers' and sailors' gear � which are available on-line and by mail. For a good list of 18th century merchants (called "sutlers") who can provision the reenactor from head to toe, click here. Many of these merchants also appear at reenacting events, with full shops and plenty of stock.

  Women: Provisioning and Attire
One of the best resources on 18th century women's clothing can be found at Rhondda McCannon's web site at

This site will also help with men's as well as children's clothing. It lists many other sources of information and educational groups. Other good resource books for women include:

• Whatever Shall I Wear by Mara Riley
• Belonging to the Army
by Holly Mayer
• So Ye Want to be a Re-enactor?
by Brent & Karen Kemmer
• Tidings from the 18th Century by Beth Gilgun
• Remember The Ladies, Women in America 1750-1815 by Linda Grant De Pauw and Conover Hunt
• Liberty's Daughters, The Revolutionary Experience of American Women 1750-1800
by Mary Beth Norton Women
• Campfollowers of the American Revolution
by Walter Hart Blumenthal
• Working Dress in Colonial and Revolutionary America
by Peter F. Copeland

You may want to check our Sutlers lists as well.

Fire Arms Safety  
With regard to firearms -- and the traditional 18th century black powder muskets and blunderbusses -- most members of GMR own and carry their own firelocks onto the event field. The Regiment places extremely high importance on firearm safety and urges every musket-carrying member to undergo formal training in hunter safety.

With few exceptions, Glovers members have taken the State of Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife hunter safety course (, the successful completion of which results in the Class A license to carry. For a good guide on black powder safety, see the website of the Continental Line (click here) and its excellent manual, "The Safety Standards and Guide to Black Powder."