What “Sort” of Person do YOU Portray?
By Hazel Dickfoss, 3rd New York
Fred and I attended an elderhosel at Williamsburg that was exceptional. The classes covered the Revolution in Virginia, religion, women, music, slavery, Indians entertainment and dancing. All sessions were taught by faculty of William and Mary College. We learned a lot even though we’ve been immersed in the period for so long.
One of the tidbits we picked up was the names used to identify the different classes of people.
The “better sort” were those of the gentry (the 1-5% that ruled), the “middling sort” were the trades people, and the “meaner sort” were the rest, but that did not include the engineers (stevedores today–folks who worked on the docks loading and unloading ships), actors and theatre people, indentured servants and slaves–they all had no distinction or place!
I have some ideas gleaned from the townspeople as to how we can enhance our presentation and I hope to implement some of these next season in the Third New York Regiment to set the example for the rest of the NWTA.
When you see re-enactors at a place like Williamsburg you realize how much more we could do to teach and entertain. It seems like there are only a few of us who want to really work at their hobby!
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