against him; but he was fortunately acquitted, and the credit of the family saved.
The question of veils seems to have rocked the Massachusetts Colony
to its foundations, and was fully discussed at Thursday Lecture, March 7, 1634.
Holy Mr. Cotton
was utterly and unalterably opposed to veils, regarding them as a token of submission to husbands in an unscriptural degree.
It is pleasant to think that there could be an unscriptural extent of such submission, in those times.
But Governor Endicott
and Rev. Mr. Williams
resisted stoutly, quoting Paul
, as usual in such cases; so Paul
, veils, and vanity carried the day. But afterward Mr. Cotton
came to Salem
to preach for Mr. Skelton
, and did not miss his chance to put in his solemn protest against veils; he said they were a custom not to be tolerated; and so the ladies all came to meeting without their veils in the afternoon.
Beginning with the veils, the eye of authority was next turned on what was under them.
In 1675 it was decided, that, as the Indians had done much harm of late, and the Deity was evidently 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