The British are Coming!

Robert Mouledoux uses his creative freedom to show his love of history through accurate reenactment clothing.

submitted by Robert Mouledoux
Mouledoux and his brothers dressed up for Halloween after visiting Forst Niagara.

When walking across the campus of Ashland University, students, faculty, and visitors might be lucky to catch a glimpse of what seems to be a young Paul Revere.

Clothed in a dark green frock coat with a tricorn hat and buckled shoes, Mouledoux indulges in his love of history by wearing a 1700s colonial outfit.

Elizabeth Wild, fellow Ashbrook, has seen Mouledoux dress up one several occasions.

“When I first saw Robert’s outfit I thought that it was nice to see someone who was able to throw away social norms for personal choice and to dress how he wants forsaking potential judgment,” Wild said.

In elementary school, Mouledoux traveled with his family to visit his grandparents in Buffalo, New York. While there, him and his family went to Fort Niagara State Park to learn about the French and Indian War.

When he arrived, the fort was hosting a Fourth of July French and Indian War reenactment, which quickly caught Mouledoux’s attention.

“When we went, me and my brothers were absolutely mesmerized by it,” he said.

Mouledoux and his brothers decided to dress up as French soldiers for Halloween that year.

“My mom tried to accommodate that as best as she could. She ended up finding this group in Florida called The Fort Downing Trading Company, which makes period 1700 clothing,” Mouledoux said.

However, looking back at his first costume, he noticed that it was actually historically inaccurate.

Mouledoux explained that his costume was missing the frock coat, stockings, and buckled shoes.

Eventually, Mouledoux outgrew the costume and decided to take a break from dressing up until about a year and a half ago when he bought the costume he now currently wears.

“I wore it the first day of Ashbrook orientation, and that was my first time presenting it,” he said. “Everyone thought I was the mascot for the Ashbrook program!

Dr. John Moser, a professor of History at the Ashbrook Center, has seen Mouledoux several times in his costume and has yet to be disappointed.

“I’m always impressed by the costumes I’ve seen Robert wear. I do a bit of reenactment myself, so he and I have talked about it on a few occasions,” Moser said. “He’s also participated in the Reacting to the Past games that I often use in my history courses, and he can generally be counted on to show up well attired!”

Mouledoux spends countless hours completing online research to ensure his outfit is historically accurate.

His attire includes a tricorn hat, also known as a cocked hat. The three-pointed hat was created after soldiers knocked their wide-brimmed hats off with muskets in the wars.

Mouledoux explained that his outfit has two features that display wealth, a feather on his hat and the green frock coat. Only wealthy men in the 1700s could afford these features, patterns,and ruffles.

He made it a point to show that his stockings were not wrinkled because they were highly frowned upon. Men kept their stockings straight by using leather garters to hold them up.

Mouledoux also owns a German Army Officer uniform circa 1907 but doesn’t wear that one in public anymore due to controversial opinions.

“Everytime I wore it everyone either thought I was a Russian or that I was a Nazi. It got old trying to explain that World War I and World War II are different things,” he said.

While he enjoys dressing up in his free time, Mouledoux would like to participate in historical reenactments in the future after facing delays from COVID-19.

“Watching reenactments is important because living history demonstrations allow you to experience the time period,” Mouledoux explained.

He has plans to potentially bring a club to campus if there is enough interest.

“Maybe if there is enough interest, but besides my one friend I don’t know anyone else who reenacts,” Mouledoux stated.

If you have interest in a reenactment club reach out to Robert Mouledoux through email at [email protected].