Miss Pauline Cushman
Pauline Cushman was born in New Orleans in 1833. She became an actor and moved to New York at age 18. When the Civil War started, she became a spy for the United States. She disguised herself as a man, located Confederate battle plans and delivered them to the Union Army. In this photograph, she appears in the standard women's costume of the mid-nineteenth century. It was relatively easy for women to pass as men, because women simply did not wear men's clothing. Anyone wearing pants was assumed to be a man.
For a photograph of Cushman in her soldier's uniform, see Document 71.
For more on dress reform, see Document 88.
Citation - Document 70
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society