A flyer inviting people to attend a Centennial Military and Fancy Dress Party.

A Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party

Invitation sent to Horatio Adams for "A Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party," 1876
Invitation sent to Horatio Adams for “A Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party,” 1876

 

1876 marked the 100th anniversary of nationhood for the United States. On April 12th of that year, a “Centennial, Military and Fancy Dress Party” was held at Fuller’s Hall (which burned down in 1900) in support of the “Massachusetts Women’s Centennial Fund.” The invitation above was sent to Horatio Adams, Kingston resident and self-proclaimed “Capitalist.”

Attendees must have enjoyed a night of dancing, as Joyce’s Quadrille Band provided the music for the evening. The quadrille was a type of group dance commonly featured at events such as this during the nineteenth century. Four couples faced each other in a square formation, performing a set of figures to music with eight-bar phrases. It was popular in part due its familiar figures and its numerous variants, like the waltz, polka, schottish, Esmerelda, and mazurka.

 

Source: Document from the Invitations and Calling Cards Collection PC8.