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Workshops/Programs Available

Jean Warren, one of the owners of James Country Mercantile, has four programs or presentations available for your historic society, volunteer group, reenacting group or museum staff.

Programs include:
Historically Correct Cottons of the 1800s
Historic Quilts of the 19th Century
Civilian Clothing of the 19th Century
Daily Life during the Border War

All programs can be tailored to meet your specific event or institutional needs. Outdoor venues are not a problem. A fee schedule is available on request.

For questions or to schedule a presentation, call:

Jean Warren
James Country Mercantile
111 N. Main
Liberty, MO 64068
816 781 9473

Historically Correct Cottons of the 1800s

This program can range from a one-hour presentation to a four-hour workshop, using photographs, reference works and numerous samples of reproduction fabrics. While a presentation forms the basis of the program, it is designed to be hands-on and interactive--discussion is encouraged and attendees are welcome to closely examine the numerous samples available.

The program can be tailored to emphasize any part of the 19th century: Early, 1830s,
Civil War, 1890s, etc.

I firmly believe that it is important to know what came before and what came after. In the course of the presentation, we discuss the evolution of prints, designs, and colors during the century - showing how things change from the beginning of the century through the Civil War and progressing to the turn of the 20th century. I also use reproduction feed-sack material of the 1930s to show what is not historically accurate for the 1800s. Thus, no matter what time period is your particular emphasis, attendees will know the colors and prints that are appropriate for that time or earlier – and those that are not.

We will also talk about where to do research and where to find the actual fabric: books, the Internet, shops - wherever!!

I have presented this program to reenactors, museum volunteer groups and historical societies, including Friends of the Anderson House (Lexington State Historic Site, Missouri) and Genesee Country Village and Museum annual reenactment (Mumford, New York).

Historic Quilts of the 19th Century

This presentation uses a mix of original quilt tops, original quilt blocks, and photographs of period quilts. It includes quilts from 1840 through 1900, but can be tailored to any specific period.

It can be a presentation from one to two hours, or it can be an interactive worship of two to four hours.

In this presentation, I normally discuss the following:

• Why study period quilts?
• How quilting can be used in Living History
• Pre-Civil War Quilts
• Civil War Period Quilts – North and South
• Soldier Comforts / Sanitary Commission Quilts
• Post-Civil War Quilts
• Crazy Quilts – 1890s Victorian

I have presented this program numerous times, including groups at the St. Louis Arch National Site, the Lexington Battlefield, MO State Historic Site, and the Mine Creek Battlefield Site (Kansas Historical Society.

Civilian Clothing of the 19th Century

This presentation uses original garments, original photographs of the 19th Century, and photographs of original garments to document the styles of civilian clothing from approximately 1840 through 1910. It addresses both men’s and women’s civilian clothing, the fabric and colors used, and the changes in style and construction through the century. It can be tailored to any specific time frame between 1840 and 1910. It also discusses the various fabrics used for clothing during this time period – fabric contact, color, pattern, etc.

One thing I try to do is include garments and images particular to the rural Midwest or Transmississippi region. There are so many images available from Philadelphia, Boston,
New York, etc. but very few that are documented from the Midwest.

It can be a one hour presentation, a two hour presentation, or a half-day workshop.

I have presented this topic to the ladies of the Turner Brigade reenacting group in St. Louis, at reenactments throughout Missouri, and at Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site in Missouri. A modified version of this presentation, focusing on clothing of the trails, was recently given at the Frontier Trails Museum in Independence, Missouri.

Daily Life during the Border War

One of the most vicious and brutal areas of conflict during the Civil War years was the border between Kansas and Missouri. In fact, people had been fighting in this area since 1854 – then, the conflict was known as Bleeding Kansas. However, as a wise man recently pointed out, there would be no Bleeding Kansas were it not for Missourians.

Thus, this presentation focuses on what it was like for women to live in Western Missouri during the years known as Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War. While not a first person interpretation, it uses diaries, newspaper accounts, and recollections of women who lived through the conflict to bring the audience into the conflict – and how it was a matter of daily life. It was on your doorstep every day – and it could not be ignored.

This presentation has been given to numerous historical societies and groups throughout western Missouri, as well as at Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site, Pleasanton, Kansas.

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