Wednesday, August 16, 2017

...small round hat...

Shawnee Warrior takes a young prisoner
"My Dress consisted of a calico shirt, made by an Indian woman without a collar, which reached below the waist; a blanket over my shoulders, tied round the waist with the bark of a tree; a pair of good buckskin leggings, which covered almost the thighs, given me by the great war chief, a pair of moccasins, in which I had pieces of blue cloth to make my step easier; a breech-cloth between my legs; a girdle round my waist; and a small round hat, in which the Indian placed a black ostrich feather by way of ornament (the smaller the hat the more fashionable)." 
-An Account of my Capture by the Shawnee Indians on the River Ohio in 1788 
by Thomas Rideout

Some recent comments on facebook have led me to post some images and descriptions of small brimmed hats in the period. Please take a look at the following.

1775 Map Image

Phineas Meigs Hat, 1760s

 The following images are in the context of sailors, but it shows some good small brimmed hats. All of these from the 1770s.

  A good mix of hats on the backcountry is good, and among them should be included a short brimmed round hat. 

All kinds of hats 

Monday, August 7, 2017

"to ape the manner of savages . . ." or if James Bond was 18th century frontier what he might of looked like

"Declarant states that he was then stationed at Fort Pitt, the place aforesaid.  Declarant states that in obedience to the order of his said Captain Brady, he poceeded to tan his thighs and legs with wild cherry and white oak bark and to equip himself after the following manner, to wit, a breechcloth, leather leggins, moccasins and a cap made out of a racoon skin, with the feathers of a hawk, painted after the manner of an Indian warrior.  His face was painted red, with three black stripes across his cheeks, which was a signification of war.  Declarant states that Captain Brady's company was about sixty four in number, all painted after the manner aforesaid."  George Roush pension papers.  Early 19th century, describing 1777 campaign

"As we enlisted our men, we dressed them uniformly in the Indian manner, with breech-clouts, leggins, mockesons and green shrouds, which we wore in the same manner that the Indians do, and nearly as the Highlanders wear their plaids.  In place of hats we wore red handerchiefs, and painted our faces red and black, like Indian warriors.  I taught them the Indian discipline, . . . "  James Smith,  LIfe and Travels of Colonel James Smith.   1799 describing the "black boys" of the 1760's

"It was the silly fashion of those times for the riflemen to ape the manner of savages . ."  John Henry, An Accurate and Interesting Account of the Hardships and Suffering of that Band of Heroes, Who Traversed Thru The Wilderness in the Campaign Against Quebec in 1775.  1812

" April 10th. 1758 SIR Yesterday in the afternoon as Mr. Miller & 2 or 3 Countrymen more was riding from here to Jenkins's about 4 miles from this, they were fired at by Cocks & Lane who was lying under the fence, the Countrymen came in on a full gallop and inform'd me that they were fired on by some Indians. I immediately sent out Lieut. Weedon with a Command of Men who followed their Tracts till dark, returning home I sent Ensign Chew out again this morning to Reconnoiter on the other side the Mountain where he fell on their Tracts, and after pursuing them about 10 Miles he found a Beef that they had killed and cut out the Toungue and part of the hind quarters, he continued following them about a Mile farther and discovered a smoke in the hollow of a Mountain, Coming nigh perceived them Bacueing their Meet, they being acquipt every way like Indians and as he had followed their Tracts from pretty near the place where Lt. Weedon left them last night had great reason to believe they were Enemy/and immediately fired on them. Lane was killed Dead and Cocks mortally wounded, they brought to Bells Fort where he left him with a Sergt. & [manuscript torn] Men, he confessed it was their own fault & blame know one else but themselves for the Accident.1 I am Sir Your mo obt. Servt. J. BAKER"

“Lane and Cox appeared to have been disguised as Indians, and it was under the impression they were such that Lieutenant Chew shot them.”—Washington to President Blair, April 17, 1758

"400 Virginian Volunteers, all armed with rifles, and excellent marksmen, dressed alamode de sauvages, with painted shirts and fur caps stained with paint" Scots Magazine, Oct of 1764

"…8 blankets, 7 yards of stroud for making britch cloth and leggings, and 4 shirts for the volunteers of Kentucky" Clark Papers, 1992-2-656-658-July 1, 1779

"Capt. Hugh McGarry request to conductor of store for 20 blankets, 20 shirts, and 9 yards of blue stroud for 20 men of his company of Kentucky volunteers." Clark Papers, 1866-2-573-574-July 5, 1779.

"Honble. Sir: An unlucky, but unavoidable accident happened in the neighborhood of Patterson's fort the other day. The proceedings of an examining court of officers on that occasion (which are herewith sent) will bring your Honor acquainted with the circumstances. I caused a very strict enquiry to be made into the conduct of Mr. Chew, that equal justice might be done to the dead and to the living; and it appeared that Mr. Chew had acted with great spirit and activity in pursuing the tracks of those people; and that in shooting them (altho' it was unlucky in the event) he had done nothing that was not strictly warrantable, Lane and Cox appearing both in dress, disguise and behavior, to be no other than Indians."  JOHN BLAIR Fort Loudoun, April 17, 1758.

"I have had the happiness of seeing Captain Michael Cresap marching at the head of a formidable company of upward of one hundred and thirty men from the mountains and backwoods, painted like Indians, armed with tomahawks and rifles, dressed in hunting-shirts and moccasins; and though some of them had traveled near eight  hundred miles from the banks of the Ohio, they seemed to walk light and easy, and not with less spirit than at the first hour of their march."  Anonymous letter to Philadelphia, 1775

"Joseph Neal a soldier in Col' Rawling's Regiment was brought before the Court on suspicion of Deserting. Denies the Charge. No proof appearing against him & the suspicion arising only from Cutting one of his Ears & painting like the savages."  General court-martial, Col. Stephen Bayard, President Washington Papers.

"Pryor and Hammond were dressed in the Indian style . . . . . . . They passed the Indians without being recognized"  Extract from Hugh Taylor's "Notes".  Frontier Advance on the Upper Ohio, 1778-1779

I'm just going to let the quotes speak alone on this post.  Basically white dudes aping Indians.  Whole companies of them, a pair of buddies, spies . . . As cool of an impression as can be had . . .

And a huge, huge THANK YOU to Fred Lucas.  The man is bottom less pit of awesome resources and research.  99% of this stuff came from him.  Thanks a ton!

Fred Lucas, "the Frontier Yoda"