Brooklyn in the Civil War
Soldiers Women Slavery Daily Life
interactive map timeline games documents lesson plans books & websites glossary
Additional Documents: Previous DocumentWomenNext Document
The Dress Question article
Go to: Lesson Plan
Go to: Printable Version

"The Dress Question"

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

In this article, the editors of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle describe the reactions to the clothing worn by Dr. Mary E. Walker, a physician and surgeon who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865 for her services during the Civil War.

In the nineteenth century, women wore skirts and men wore pants. It was not acceptable, or even legal, for women to wear men's clothing. Around the time of the Civil War, some women, most famously Amelia Bloomer, argued that women shouldn't have to wear such large, heavy skirts that restricted women's ability to move freely. The "Bloomer costume" was a short skirt over a pair of loose-fitting trousers. Women's rights activists wore this outfit despite sharp criticism from the general public and the press.

Read the entire article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle: "The Dress Question" (June 14, 1866).

Other suggested Web sites:

"Dr. Mary Edwards Walker" ( )

The Bloomer Costume (

Amelia Bloomer (

Citation - Document 88
Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online
June 14, 1866
Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection

Additional Documents: Previous DocumentWomenNext Document
About the Project | Feedback | Brooklyn Collection | Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online