The goal of the Minute Man National Historical Park Living History Authenticity Standards is to accurately represent (to the best of our ability) and honor the memory of those who lived through and participated in the events leading to our nation’s independence here in Massachusetts. These standards cover middling and lower sorts since they would have dominated the events in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington on April 19, 1775. All clothing should be made using the materials, style, fit, and construction appropriate for 1775 New England.
These standards are listed in three categories: Best, Acceptable, and Unacceptable. The descriptions in the Best category reflect the current research of members of the living history community. The Best clothing is documented and hand-sewn. Please know that certain items in the Best category may be commercially unavailable at this time or expensive to obtain without sewing skills. We encourage but do not expect all our living history volunteers to outfit themselves as outlined in the Best category.
The Acceptable category represents the basic minimum requirement. It is an acknowledgement that people come first, everyone has something to offer, and that we can all participate and learn together. Acceptable clothing is ideally hand-finished with machine stitching on interior seams. The Acceptable category also contains other concessions (such as entirely machine-sewn garments) in order to be inclusive and make participation easier for those just starting out in reenacting.
Your clothing, accessories, and all that you carry should reflect whom you are portraying. The types of fabrics, trims, and objects you carry should reflect your social class and the activities in which you are engaged. Please note that silk garments and other fine clothing and accessories appropriate to a better sort are not included here but may be suitable for particular impressions at certain events held at the Park.
If you find primary source documentation that supports an alternative or exception to a stated standard for a particular impression appropriate to the time and place of an event, please share with the committee and Minute Man NHP. This is an evolving document, and the entire living history community benefits when knowledge is shared with one another! However, until such documentation is shared and considered, we ask that participants respect the standards as stated.
Finally, please feel free to reach out to the standards committee with any questions or comments, or for assistance related to these standards. Thank you for your support of Minute Man NHP and for helping to bring history to life for our visitors.
Note: A goal of the Park is to begin to phase out items and materials that are not documented or not widely available in Massachusetts in April 1775. Many of the changes to our previous standards will not be fully implemented until 2022. If an item is listed as “Discouraged but Acceptable” for the 2019 event, it will be “Unacceptable” by 2022.
Minute Man National Historical Park Authenticity Standards Committee 2019
Sharon Burnston, Alex Cain, Eric Chetwynd, Henry Cooke, Stephen Crosby,
Michele Gabrielson, Ruth Hodges, Jim Hollister, Steven Taskovics, Tommy Tringale
For questions or comments, or for assistance related to these standards, please contact the committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.