Soap And Suds: Alcohol Consumption Among The Residents Of Soap Suds Row

Author(s): Gwendolyn S. Wallen-Sena

Year: 2015


A study of identity and agency among Victorian-era Army washer women was conducted through an analysis of alcohol-related containers collected from laundress quarters across three archaeological sites. Few field studies have considered the experiences of these women, yet material correlates from excavations at Fort Massachusetts, Fort Garland, and Fort Smith provided valuable evidence regarding the lives of laundresses who resided there, including evidence of alcohol consumption. Although women of the Victorian period were expected to adhere to a level of morality that prohibited the consumption of alcohol on the grounds that it was morally damaging, Army laundresses may have found it easier to subvert popular culture due to their harsh, isolated environment. A comparative analysis of assemblages collected from the aforementioned military forts was undertaken in order to better understand the ability of frontier Army laundresses to maintain a moral, Victorian appearance while still engaging in culturally subversive activities.

Cite this Record

Soap And Suds: Alcohol Consumption Among The Residents Of Soap Suds Row. Gwendolyn S. Wallen-Sena. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433923)


Temporal Keywords
Victorian Period

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 33