We’re all glad to see the back of 2020, but we need to take a moment and say
to all our supporters who made it possible for us to reach 2021. We are constantly amazed by the generosity and enthusiasm of our members, donors, sponsors, and public. We truly couldn’t do it without you, and we’re so glad to have you on the team!
The annual appeal letter assembly line in late 2019.
Recent Gift: circa 1800 Ladies’ Leather Slippers
Pair of slippers, labeled by Abner Newhall (1771-1802), Portsmouth, ca. 1792-1802. Leather; L. 10 ½ in., W. 3 ½ in., H. 2 in. Gift of Hollis Brodrick (2020). Transcription of label: “ABNER NEWHALL’s / SHOE STORE, / Opposite the Sign of the / Golden Pitcher Daniel-street, PORTSMOUTH, (N.H.)”
These early labeled women’s slippers are a recent example of the longstanding generosity of Hollis Brodrick. Over the span of many years, Hollis has given the Society outstanding and rare documented Portsmouth objects. Newhall worked on Daniel Street, advertised in the local paper, and was active in the late eighteenth century.
Newhall is a little-known figure, but there is considerable documentation that can shed light on his career. The Wendell Family Papers at the Baker Library at the Harvard Business School include a substantial body of Newhall’s estate papers as well as several account books. These indicate he sold “misses slippers” and related shoes at various price points. Other Newhall papers are at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Newhall died in August 1802 and his shop burned in the December 1802 fire. These slippers join the Society’s outstanding collection of textiles, costume, and fashion accessories, including various types of footwear.