The Sparkling Susanna Sewall by Edward Chaney


Patricia Samford was so pleased to have the very first guest blogger on Maryland History by the Object.  Colleague Ed Chaney agreed to prepare this post while she is away in Maine hiking around Acadia National Park.  Thanks, Ed!

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Susanna Sewall’s bodkin
Photo courtesy of Naval District Washington

In 1999, archaeologists at the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River recovered a silver-plated bodkin inscribed with the initials “SS”.  A bodkin is a blunted, needle-like object that was commonly used by colonial-era women as a tool to aid in dressing, or worn in a cap as a fashion accessory.  The “SS” bodkin was found at the late 17th-century home of Nicholas and Susanna Sewall (18ST704), so it presumably belonged to her (Rivers Cofield and Chaney 2007).  You can learn more about this rare and interesting object at: www.jefpat.org/CuratorsChoiceArchive/2008CuratorsChoice/MAR2008-Inscribed“SS”Bodkin.html, but in this article I want to focus on a fascinating event that centered on Susanna.  Continue reading

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