Featured Artifact of the Week

Jan. 16, 2019

Peggy, Westford Women Doll

From the “Westford Women” exhibits

Peggy, Westford Women Doll

Even though there are no birth and death records available, the First Parish Church record Peggy as baptized in 1732. She was the servant of Joseph Hildreth, Jr., who lived near Minot’s Corner (Cornerstone Square). Likely in a puritan household, she would have served in the capacity of a maid.

Slaves (“servants” in Massachusetts) were not uncommon in wealthier New England families. Fourteen slaves were baptized by Rev. Willard Hall between 1732 and 1761. Slavery was finally abolished in 1783 by order of the state’s Supreme Court.

Jean Downey (1925-2003),  conducted the Westford Women Doll project in 1985 to highlight women’s history and civil rights within Westford, with 12 women originally highlighted. A prominent resident in town, Jean was a nurse, involved with charities, and an accomplished seamstress. A doll in her likeness was later incorporated into her exhibit.

Learn more about Peggy and in our upcoming program: Unheard Voices, Slavery in Colonial Westford
Thursday Evening May 9th~ 7-9Pm ~Westford Museum 2 Boston Rd~Westford, MA 01886