Charlotte was a young French woman who accompanied her father, a high ranking officer in the navy, to America. Her maternal grandfather had sailed there to help defeat the British during the Revolution. He had returned to France with Rebecca, a beautiful American bride.
Esmée, Charlotte's mother had died several years earlier. Heartbroken, her father felt that America would be a promising place. Her grandmother's family had land there on which they could settle.
Just shy of seventeen, Charlotte was well schooled in all the feminine pursuits. She was fluent in English as well as French and a talented seamstress. Her dark haired beauty and all these tributes would allow her into the best of circles.
She brought beautiful gowns from Paris and shoes from Lyon. Most importantly Charlotte traveled with her mother's sewing casket. (This would enable her to sew wonderful dresses.)
As they sailed across the ocean, she dreamed of adventure in a young and mysterious country.
Even though the box is old and the silk lining delicate, you can still sense the importance the chest held for Charlotte. It was her connection to her past, and the promise for the future.
I shall cherish it always as she once did.