Richard Henry Dana's Straw Hat

zoomable artifact image here


This is a straw hat with flat, 2 1/8" wide brim and 4" high crown.  The exposed surfaces of hat are waterproofed with a closely fitted, hand sewn, medium weight cotton covering, which has been coated with a dark substance.  It is undetermined if the substance is black tar, pitch, or paint.  Two thin pieces of wood, held by hand stitching against the top, inside of the crown, serve as stiffeners.  There is a narrow ribbon band around crown with bow in the back. The hat belonged to Richard Henry Dana (1815-1882), author of Two Years Before the Mast.  According to the Dana family, the hat was worn by Dana while on brig Pilgrim from Boston to California from 1834-1836.