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Object Name Uniform
Alternate Name Military Uniform
Date ca. 1850-1880
Description Man's military uniform coat. Handsewn, blue wool with cutaway front and tails in back; white wool cuffs, collar, lapels, and turnbacks; front opening with 2 rows of brass buttons; 2 epaulets (not attached); cuffs, pocket flaps, and waist are trimmed with brass buttons; coat has quilted ivory wool lining to waist; tails have ivory silk satin lining with an interlayer of wool batting; sleeves are lined with cotton or linen. Handwritten inscription in ink inside lining of wearer's left sleeve: "Gorseline." Epaulets are covered with ivory wool, lined with cotton or linen, and trimmed with braid and red fringe. Each epaulet has handwritten inscription in ink: "W.H. Gorseline / Newburgh." Part of a complete uniform with waistcoat C01.0409, breeches C01.0410, and hat C01.0412.
(Keywords: Fashion, United States, American Revolution, Revolutionary War Centennial, Commemorative)
Acquisition Gift of Friendship Council, Junior Order of United American Mechanics
Ownership and History Inscriptions indicate that this uniform belonged to W.H. Gorseline of Newburgh, New York. Newburgh business directories from 1856 to 1859 list a William H. Gorseline as a "daguerreian," offering daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and photographs.

The original use of this uniform is not known. One possibility is that it is a militia uniform of the mid-19th century, designed to resemble a Continental uniform of the Revolutionary War era. It is believed that the 19th Regiment New York State Militia, which had connections to Newburgh, wore uniforms of this type. Another possibility is that it was made for a Revolutionary War veteran, mixing styles of the late 18th century with those of later years. Finally, this could be a Centennial uniform, assembled for a parade or commemorative occasion in 1876 or slightly earlier.

The uniform was presented to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1940 by the Friendship Council, Junior Order of United American Mechanics, Port Richmond, Staten Island.
Earliest Date 1850
Latest Date 1880
Subjects Clothing & dress
Military personnel
Military uniforms
Lexicon Sub-category Clothing -- Outerwear
Catalog Number C01.0411
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by The Coby Foundation, 2009.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.