Woman's Dress (Open Robe à la française and Petticoat)
Artist/maker unknown, American and French
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This dress is believed to have been worn by Ann Willing Francis (1733-1812), wife of prominent lawyer and Federalist Tench Francis, Jr. (1730-1800) of Philadelphia, whom she married in 1762. Ann was the daughter of Charles Willing, a successful Philadelphia merchant who traded in textiles and other items, a founder of the University of Pennsylvania, and mayor of Philadelphia in 1748 and 1754. This dress was altered several times, including for fancy-dress occasions, during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.