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Thomas Chew’s Trousers

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These United States Navy dress uniform trousers of white satin weave cotton belonged to Thomas John Chew, who served as purser aboard USS Constitution at the beginning of the War of 1812. As purser, Chew was the ship’s business agent in charge of the pay and muster rolls, as well as the ship’s store.

Chew’s trousers are hand-sewn in the broad fall front style, with bone and metal buttons, inset pockets, a watch pocket, and a waist adjustment tie at the back. Cut high in the waist and loose in the leg, these trousers afforded seasonal comfort and freedom of movement for life at sea, all while maintaining the polished look of a gentleman officer.

Date Created
19th century

Medium
Metal, Cotton, Bone

Dimensions
[W]16 1/4 in. [L]38 in.

Catalog Number
1438.3

Credit Line
USS Constitution Museum Collection.

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