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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, The Puritan minister. (search)
ntly displeased with something, the General Court should publish a list of the evils of the time. And among the twelve items of contrition stood this: Long hair like women's hair is worn by some men, either their own or others' hair made into periwigs;--and by some women wearing borders of hair, and their cutting, curling, and immodest laying out of their hair, which practice doth increase, especially among the younger sort. Not much was effected, however,--divers of the elders' wives, as Winthrop lets out, being in some measure partners in this disorder. Tile use of wigs also, at first denounced by the clergy, was at last countenanced by them: in portraits later than 1700 they usually replace the black skull-cap of earlier pictures, and in 1752 the tables had so far turned that a church-member in Newbury refused communion because the pastor wears a wigg. Yet Increase Mather thought they played no small part in producing the Boston Fire. Monstrous Periwigs, such as some of our ch