Thomas Chew’s Suspenders
These finely woven red suspenders, also called braces, belonged to Thomas John Chew. Chew served as purser aboard USS Constitution at the beginning of the War of 1812 and saw action in the battle against HMS Guerriere.
Suspenders were a fashionable menswear accessory in the 19th century. Designed to be worn with high-waisted trousers, the suspenders could be attached to buttons on the trousers and looped over the shoulders. Surviving portraits of Chew suggest that he was fashion-conscious, so it is unsurprising to find this piece among his effects.