Brooklyn in the Civil War
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cartoon of A Hint for the Sanitary Fair
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"A Hint for the Sanitary Fair"

Harper's Weekly

The caption for this Harper's Weekly cartoon reads: "A Hint for the Sanitary Fair." Visitor. "But don't you think you might have a little of your hair cut off without spoiling the general effect?" Golden-Haired Lass. "Oh no! I'm keeping it all for the Fair! I'll have Scissors, you know, and let the Cavaliers cut off little locks of it at the current prices for gold."

In major cities in the North, Sanitary Fairs were held to raise money for the war effort. These large-scale fairs were social events that combined entertainment and education with philanthropy. Visitors could buy merchandise, dine on gourmet cuisine, and view exhibits, as well as socialize with their neighbors. Although the U.S. Sanitary Commission was headed by men, most of its work was accomplished by thousands of women volunteers. In Brooklyn, women's organizations orchestrated the hugely successful Brooklyn and Long Island Sanitary Fair of 1864 separate from the New York Sanitary Fair. It raised $400,000, well over the projected $100,000, which was used for clothing, food, medical supplies, and other supplies for the Union Army.

See this website for more information on woman in the Civil War:

For more about the Brooklyn and Long Island Sanitary Fair, see Documents 64, 65, 66, and 67.

Citation - Document 68
March 19, 1864
Courtesy of HarpWeek.

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