Bracelet - Late eighteenth century
Double strand of gold beads made into a bracelet with etched clasp
L. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm), w. in. (1.3 cm) Engraved, inside clasp:
Gift of William Minot, 1884
This bracelet is at the
1154 Boylston StreetBoston, Massachusetts
The gold beads worn by Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman as a necklace as shown in Susan Ridley Sedgwick's 1811 miniature portrait of Mumbet and the bracelet is in the possesion of the MHS in Boston. Prior to her death in 1829, Mumbet gave the beads to Catharine Maria Sedgwick, daughter of Judge Theodore Sedgwick. Some of the beads were apparently lost over the years, and Catharine had the remainder remade into a double strand bracelet with gold separators between beads to replace those lost. The clasp with its rococo-revival engraving probably dates from this time, approximately 1840. The bracelet can be seen at the MHS.
|Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman ( ca. 1744-1829) 1811 Watercolor on ivory by Susan Anne Livingston Ridley Sedgwick (1788-1867) 3 in. (7.5 cm) x 2 1/8 in. (5.5 cm) Gift of Maria Banyer Sedgwick, 1884 Original watercolor at the Massachusetts Historical Society 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusett Image Not to be reproduced without the permission of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston|
A copy of Mumbet's will exists at the Sheffield Historical Society, Sheffield, Massachusetts. Click on the images below to view a scan of the complete will in three pages which will enlarge in a new window.
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Mumbet played a significant role in defending the Sedgwick household when Daniel Shay's men came into Stockbridge.
Here is an excerpt from Catharine Marie Sedgwick's "Slavery in New England," which reads in part:
"...The children under her government regarded it, as the Jews did theirs, as a theocracy; and if a divine right were founded upon such ability and fidelity as hers there would be no revolution. Wider abuses make rebels. Soon after the close of the war, there was some resistance to the administration of the newly organised State Government in Massachusetts. Instead of the exemption from taxation which the ignorant had expected, a heavy imposition was necessarily laid upon them, and instead of the licence [sic] they had hoped form liberty, they found themselves fenced in by legal restraints. The Jack Cades banded together; dishonest men misled honest ones; the government was embarrassed; the courts were interrupted; and disorder prevailed throughout the western counties. A man named Shay was the leader; the rising has been dignified as Shay's war.