1790: Rules and Regulations for the Dancing Assembly at SavannahWhat was it like to go to a social dance in Savannah, Georgia, in 1790? The Rules and Regulations I've transcribed here give some idea.

I. The Assemblies to commence, on Wednesday … [unreadable] … and to continue once every Fortnight through …

II. Each Assembly to open with Minuets, beginning precisely at Half past Six o'Clock.

III. In Country Dances the Governor's Lady shall be entitled to the first Number without drawing.

IV. All Ladies shall stand agreeably to the Number which they draw, Brides and Strangers excepted, who, for one Evening, shall be entitled to the second Number without drawing.

V. No Lady shall call more than one Dance, and the Figure which she sets shall be observed through the whole without Variation, unless altered with her Consent; and no Lady shall dance out of her Set but by Permission of the Managers.

VI. Every Lady shall stand up when her Number is called, and no Lady shall sit down till every Couple shall have gone through the Dance.

VII. Every Lady and Gentleman shall have the privilege of engaging their own Partners; but if there should be any Lady unengaged, or any Gentleman not a Subscriber, the Managers will endeavour to engage Partners for them.

VIII. No Gentleman residing in, or within 15 miles of Savannah, who is not a Subscriber, shall be admitted.

IX. Strangers to be admitted, by Approbation of the Managers, on their paying Two Dollars a Ticket.

X. Any Subscriber introducing a Stranger (Lady or Gentleman) shall be answerable for any improper Introduction.

XI. No Card-Playing until the Country Dances begin. No Gentleman to be admitted in Boots.

XII. There shall be six Managers chosen, two of whom shall officiate each Night, who shall have full Power to regulate and conduct the Entertainment as they think proper. No acting Manager to dance for the Night.

XIII. There shall be a Treasurer appointed, who shall receive and account for all Monies to the Managers.

(This is a sample image supplied by Readex to advertise their digitized library of early American documents. Sadly, access is not free.)

And just to get you in the mood:


Leave a comment: