Sunday, 22 May 2016

French Militia supplies-Bourlamaque Papers, National Archives of Canada (1757).

French Militia By Frances Back.

This list is from the Bourlamaque Papers, National Archives of Canada (1757).  
1 capot; 1 blanket; 1 woolen cap; 2 cotton shirts; 1 pair of leggings ; 1 breech-cloth; 2 skeins of thread; 6 needles; 1 awl; 1 fire steel; 6 gun flints; 1 butcher knife; 1 comb; 1 gun worm; 1 pair of moccasins every month; 1 tomahawk. For The Winter Campaign in Addition To The Summer Equipment: 1 bearskin; 2 pairs of short stockings; 2 folding knives; 1 pair mittens; 1 vest; 1/2 aune of blanket to make leggings; 2 pairs of deerskin shoes; 1 greased deerskin; 2 portage collars; 1 toboggan; 1 pair of snowshoes.  
1 blanket; 1 capot; 1 cap; 2 cotton shirts; 1 pair of breeches; 1 pair of leggings ; 2 skeins of thread; six needles; 1 awl; 1 fire steel; 6 gun flints; 1 butcher knife; 1 comb; 1 gun worm; 1 tomahawk; 1 pair of moccasins every month. Winter Equipment In Addition To The Summer One: 2 pairs of short stockings ; 1 pair of mittens; 1 vest; 2 folding knives; 1/2 aune of blanket to make leggings; 2 pair of deerskin shoes; 1 greased deerskin; 2 portage collars; 1 toboggan; 1 pair of snowshoes; 1 bearskin .
1 blanket; 1 capot or bougrine ; 2 cotton shirts; 1 breech cloth; 1 pair of leggings ; 2 skeins of thread; 6 needles; 1 awl; 1 fire steel; 6 gun flints; 1 butcher knife; 1 comb; 1 gun worm; 1 tomahawk; 1 pair moccasins every month.
For The Winter Equipment In Addition To The Summer One: 2 pairs of short stockings ; 1 pair of mittens; 1 vest; 2 folding knives; 1/2 aune of blanket to make leggings; 2 pair of deerskin shoes; 1 greased deerskin; 2 portage collars; 1 toboggan; 1 pair of snowshoes; 1 bearskin. 4. AUGMENTATION FOR EVERY SOLDIER AND MILITIAMAN: 1/2 pound (livre) of gunpowder; 1 pound (livre) of balls; 1 pound (livre) of tobacco; 1 axe for 2 men; 1 tarpaulin and 1 kettle for every 4 men.

Memoir of Robert Witherspoon. 1730.

 Memoir of  Robert Witherspoon, A Scots-Irish family settles
in South Carolina in the 1730s.

 We were then put on board an open boat with tools and a years provision and one still mill for each family. They allowed each person over sixteen one ax, a broad ax, one narrow hoe. Our provisions consisted of indian corn, rice, wheaten flour, beef,  pork, rum and salt we were much distressed in this part of our passage as it was the dead of winter and we were exposed to the inclemency of the weather day and night and what added to the grief of all pious persons on board was the Atheistical blasphemous mouths of our patrons they brought us up as far as Potatoe Ferry on Black River, about twenty miles from Georgetown and turned us on shore where we lay in Samuel Commander’s barn for some time while the boat wrought her way up as far as the king’s tree with the goods and provision.
The boat that brought up the goods arrived at the Kingstree. The people were much oppressed in bringing their things as there was no horse there, they were obliged to toil hard, as they had no other way but to carry them on their back. The goods consisted of their bed-clothing chests provision tools post &c. [etc. At that time there were no roads every family had to travel the best they could, which was double distance to some for their only guides were swamps and branches. After a time the men got sufficient knowledge of the woods as to blaze paths, so the people learned to follow blazes from place to place.
As the winter season advanced there was but a short time for preparing land for planting — but the people were strong and healthy All that could do anything wrought diligently and continued clearing and planting as long as the season would admit. So they made provisions for that year. Their beasts were few and as the range was good there was no need of feeding creatures for some time to come.
The first thing my father brought from the boat was the gun[,] one of queen Anne’s muskets,  loaded with swan shot. One morning while we were at breakfast a travelling oppossum on his way passed the door. My mother screamed out there is a great bear we hid behind some barrels at the other end of our hut Father got his gun and steedied it on the fork that held up the end of the hut and shot him about the hinder parts which caused poor opossum to grin and open his mouth in a frightful manner. Father having mislaid his shot could not give it a second bout, but at last ventured out and killed it with a pail.
Another thing which gave us great alarm was the Indians when they came to hunt in the spring they were great in numbers and in all places like the Egyptian locast but they were not hurtful. Besides these things we had a great deal of trouble and hardships in our first settling, but the few inhabitants were favored with health and strength. We were also much oppressed with fear on divers other accounts, especially of being massacred by the Indians, or bit by snakes, or torn by wild beasts, or of being lost and perishing in the woods, of whom there were three persons who were never found.

The Backwoods of Canada-Letters of a settler.

The Backwoods Of Canada.
I have listened with feelings of great interest to the history of the hardships endured by some of the first settlers in the neighbourhood, when Peterborough contained but two dwelling-houses. Then there were neither roads cut nor boats built for communicating with the distant and settled parts of the district ; consequently the difficulties of procuring supplies of provisions was very great, beyond what any one that has
lately come hither can form any notion of.
When I heard of a whole family having had no better supply of flour than what could be daily ground by a small hand-mill, and for weeks being destitute of every necessary, not even excepting bread, I could not help expressing some surprise, never having met with any account in the works I had read concerning emigration that at all prepared one for such evils.
" These particular trials," observed my intelligent friend, " are confined principally to the first breakers of the soil in the unsettled parts of the country, as was our case. If you diligently question some of the families of the lower class that are located far from the towns, and who had little or no means to support them during the first twelve months, till they could
take a crop off the land, you will hear many sad tales of distress."
Writers on emigration do not take the trouble of searching out these things, nor does it answer their purpose to state disagreeable facts. Few have written exclusively on the " Bush." Travellers generally make a hasty journey through the long settled and prosperous portions of the country ; they see a tract of fertile, well-cultivated land, the result of many years of labour; they see comfortable dwellings, abounding with all the substantial necessaries of life ; the farmer's wife makes her own soap, candles, and sugar ; the family are clothed in cloth of their own spinning, and hose of their own knitting. The bread, the beer, butter, cheese, meat, poultry, &c. are all the •
produce of the farm. He concludes, therefore, that Canada is a land of Canaan, and writes a book setting forth these advantages, with the addition of obtaining land for a mere song ; and advises all persons who would be independent and secure from want to emigrate. He forgets that these advantages are the result of long years of unremitting and patient labour ; that these things are the croi/m, not the first-fruits of the settler's toil ; and that during the interval many and great privations must be submitted to by almost every
class of emigrants. Many persons, on first coming out, especially if they go back into any of the unsettled townships, are dispirited by the unpromising appearance of things.
They find none of the advantages and comforts of which they had heard and read, and they are unprepared for the present difficulties ; some give way to despondency, and others quit the place in disgust.
A little reflection would have shown them that every rood of land must be cleared of the thick forest of timber that encumbers it before an ear of wheat can be grown ; that, after the trees have been chopped, cut into lengths, drawn together, or logged, as we call it, and burned, the field must be fenced, the seed sown, harvested, and thrashed before any returns
can be obtained ; that this requires time and much labour, and, if hired labour, considerable outlay of ready money ; and in the mean time a family must eat. If at a distance from a store, every article must be brought through bad roads either by hand or with a team, the hire of which is generally costly in proportion to the distance and difficulty to be encountered
in the conveyance. Now these things are better known beforehand, and then people are aware what they have to encounter.
Even a labouring man, though he have land of his own, is often, I may say generally, obliged to hire out to work for the first year or two, to earn sufficient for the maintenance of his family ; and even so many of them suffer much privation before they reap the benefit of their independence. Were it not for the hope and the certain prospect of bettering their condition ultimately, they would sink under what they
have to endure ; but this thought buoys them up. They do not fear an old age of want and pauperism ; the present evils must yield to industry and perseverance ; they think also for their children ; and the trials of the present time are lost in pleasing anticipations for the future.
" Surely," said I, " cows and pigs and poultry might be kept ; and you know where there is plenty of milk, butter, cheese, and eggs, with pork and fowls, persons cannot be very badly off for food."
" Very true," replied my friend ; " but I must tell you it is easier to talk of these things at first than to keep them, unless on cleared or partially cleared farms ; but we are speaking of first settlement in the backwoods. Cows, pigs, and fowls must eat, and if you have nothing to give them unless you purchase it,
and perhaps have to bring it from some distance, you had better not be troubled with them, as the trouble is certain and the profit doubtful. A cow, it is true, will get her living during the open months of the year in the bush, but sometimes she will ramble away for days together, and then you lose the use of her, and possibly much time in seeking her; then in the winter she requires some additional food to the browse *
that she gets during the chopping season, or ten to one but she dies before spring ; and as cows generally lose their milk during the cold weather, if not very well kept, it is best to part with them in the fall and buy again in the spring, unless you have plenty of  * The cattle are supported in a great measure (luring the fall and winter by eating the tender shoots of the maple, beech, and bass, which they seek in the newly-chopped fallow ; but they should likewise be allowed straw or other food, or they will die in the very hard weather.
food for them, which is not often the case the first winter. As to pigs they are great plagues on a newly cleared farm if you cannot fat them off-hand ; and that you cannot do without you buy food for them, which does not answer to do at first. If they run loose they are a terrible annoyance both to your own
crops and your neighbours if you happen to be within half a mile of one ; for though you may fence out cattle you cannot pigs: even poultry require something more than they pick up about the dwelling to be of any service to you, and are often taken oil, by hawks, eagles, foxes, and pole-cats, till you have pro per securities for them."
" Then how are we to spin our own wool and make our own soap and candles?" said I. " When you are able to kill your own sheep, and hogs, and oxen, unless you buy wool and tallow"—then, seeing me begin to look somewhat disappointed, he said, " Be not cast down, you will have all these things in time, and more than these, never fear, if you have patience, and use the means of obtaining them. In the meanwhile prepare your mind for many privations to which
at present you are a stranger ; and if you would desire
to see your husband happy and prosperous, be content to use economy, and above all, be cheerful. In a few years the farm will supply you with all the necessaries of life, and by and by you may even enjoy many of the luxuries.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Indians At War-Period Quotes.

Summit Meeting By Robert Griffing.

Indians At War.
"Their Arms are a Gun and Tomahawk, and all the Provisions they carry from Home is a Pouch of Rockahominy. Thus provided and accoutr'd, they march towards their Enemy's Country, not in a Body, or by a certain Path, but Straggling in Small Numbers, for the greater convenience of Hunting and passing along undiscover'd. So soon as they approach the Grounds on which the Enemy is used to hunt, they never kindle any Fire themselves, for fear of being found out
by the smoak, nor will they Shoot at any kind of Game, tho' they shou'd be half Famisht, lest they might alarm their Foes, and put them upon their Guard. Sometimes indeed, while they are still at some distance, they roast either Venison or Bear, till it is very dry, and then having Strung it on their Belts, wear it round their Middle, eating very Sparingly of it, because
they know not when they shall meet with a fresh Supply. But coming nearer, they begin to look all round the Hemisphere, to watch if any smoke ascends, and listen continually for the Report of Guns, in order to make some happy Discovery for their own advantage".

Mid 18th century.

Historical Trekking-Period Quotes.

Victuals well dressed by Pamela Patrick-White.

Mid 18th century.
"Till this Night I had always lain in my Night Gown, but upon Tryal, I found it much warmer to strip to my shirt, & lie in naked Bed with my gown over me. The Woodsmen put all off, if they have no more than one Blanket, to lye in, & agree that 'tis much more comfortable than to lye with their Cloaths on, the' the Weather be never so cold".

I find the above quote very interesting, one because without their clothes they would be at a disadvantage should they have to suddenly leave. Secondly because I myself sleep fully clothed & have never found it a problem. Could this removing of clothes be because their clothes were damp from perspiration

"A True Woodsman, if he have no more than a Single Blanket, constantly pulls all off, and, lying on one part of it, draws the other over him, believing it much more refreshing to ly so, than in his cloaths; and if he find himself not warm enough. Shifts his Lodging to Leeward of the Fire, in which Situation the smoak will drive over him, and efifectually correct the cold Dews that wou'd otherwise descend upon his Person, perhaps to his great damage".

"The worst of it was, we were forced to Encamp in a barren place, where there was hardly a blade of Grass to be seen. Even the wild Rosemary failed us here, which gave us but too just apprehensions that we should not only be oblig'd to trudge all the way home on foot, but also to lug our Baggage at our Backs into the Bargain".
"Thus we learnt by our own Experience, that Horses are very improper animals to use in a long Ramble into the Woods, and the better they have been used to be fed, they are still the worse. Such will fall away a great deal faster, and fail much sooner, than those which are wont to be at their own keeping. Besides, Horses that have been accustom'd to a Plane and Champaign Country will fovmder presently, when they come to clamber up Hills, and batter their Hoofs against continal Rocks".
"We need Welsh Runts, and Highland Galloways to climb our Mountains withal; they are us'd to Precipices, and will bite as close as Banstead Down Sheep. But I should much rather recommend Mules, if we had them, for these long and painful Expeditions; tho' till they can be bred, certainly Asses are the fittest Beasts of Burthen for the Mountains. They are sure-footed, patient under the heaviest Fatigue, and will subsist upon Moss, or Browsing on Shrubs all the Winter. One of them will carry the Necessary Luggage of four Men, without any Difficulty, and upon a Pinch will take a Quarter of Bear or Venison upon their Backs into the Bargain. Thus, when the Men are light and disengaged from everything but their Guns, they may go the whole Journey on foot with pleasure. And
tho' my Dear Countrymen have so great a Passion for riding, that they will often walk two miles to catch a Horse, in Order to ride One, yet, if they'll please to take my Word for 't, when they go into the Woods upon Discovery, I would advise them by all Means to march a-foot, for they will then be deliver'd from the great Care and Concern for their Horses, which
takes up too large a portion of their time. Over Night we are now at the trouble of hobbling them out, and often of leading them a mile or two to a convenient place for Forrage, and
then in the morning we are some Hours in finding them again, because they are apt to stray a great way from the place where they were turn'd out. Now and then, too, they are lost for a whole day together, and are frequently so weak and jaded, that the Company must ly still Several days, near some Meadow, or High-land Pond, to recruit them. All these delays retard their Progress intolerably; whereas, if they had only a few Asses, they wou'd abide close to the Camp, and find Sufficient food everywhere, and in all Seasons of the Year. Men wou'd then be able to travel Safely over Hills and Dales, nor wou'd the Steepest Mountains obstruct their Progress. They might also search more narrowly for Mines and other Production of Nature, without being confin'd to level grounds, in Compliment to the jades they ride on. And one may foretell, without the Spirit of Divination, that so long as Woodsmen continue to range on Horse-back, we shall be Strangers to our own Country, and a few or no valuable Discoveries will ever be made".
"The FRENCH COURIERS de Bois, who have run from one End of the Continent to the other, have performed it all on foot, or else in all probability must have continued as ignorant as we are. Our Country has now been inhabited more than 130 years by the English, and still we hardly know any thing of the Appallachian Mountains, that are no where above 250 miles from the sea. Wliereas the French, who are later comers, have rang'd from Quebec Southward as far as the Mouth of Mississippi, in the bay of Mexico, and to the West almost as far as California, which is either way above 2000 miles".

"Custom had now made travelling on foot so familiar, that we were able to walk ten Miles with Pleasure. This we cou'd do in our Boots, notwithstanding our way lay over rough Woods and uneven Grounds. Our learning to walk in heavy Boots was the same advantage to us that learning to Dance High Dances in Wooden Shoes is to the French, it made us most exceedingly Nimble without them".
"The Indians, who have no way of travelling but on the Hoof, make nothing of going 25 miles a day, and carrying their little Necessaries at their backs, and Sometimes a Stout Pack of Skins into the Bargain. And very often they laugh at the English, who can't Stir to Next Neighbour without a Horse, and say that 2 Legs are too much for such lazy people, who cannot visit their next neighbour without six. For their Parts, they were utter Strangers to all our Beasts of Burthen or Carriage, before the Slothful Europeans came amongst them. They had on no part of the American Continent, or in any of the Islands, either Horses or Asses, Camels, Dromedaries or Elephants, to ease the Legs of the Original Inhabitants, or to lighten their Labour".

"Before nine of the Clock this Morning, the Provisions, Bedding
and other Necessaries, were made up into Packs for the Men to carry on their Shoulders into the Dismal. They were victuall'd for 8 days at full Allowance, Nobody doubting but that wou'd be abundantly Sufficient to carry them thro' that Inhospitable Place; nor Indeed was it possible for the Poor Fellows to Stagger under more. As it was, their Loads weigh'd from 60 to 70 Pounds, in just Proportion to the Strength of those who were to bear them".

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Period Quote On Trail Foods.

The Portable Provisions I would furnish our Foresters withal are Glue-Broth and rockahomini : one contains the Essence of Bread, the other of Meat. The best way of making Glue-Broth is after the following method:
Take a Leg of Beef, Veal, Venison, or any other Young Meat, because Old Meat will not so easily Jelly. Pare off all the fat, in which there is no Nutriment, and of the Lean make a very strong Broth, after the usual Manner, by boiling the meat to Rags till all the Goodness be out. After Skimming off what fat remains, pour the Broth into a wide Stew-Pan, well tinn'd, & let it simmer over a gentle, even Fire, till it come to a thick
Jelly. Then take it off and set it over Boiling Water, which is an Evener Heat, and not so apt to bum the Broth to the Vessel. Over that let it evaporate, stirring it very often till it be reduc'd, when cold, into a Solid Substance like Glue. Then cut it into small Pieces, laying them Single in the Cold, that they may dry the Sooner. When the Pieces are perfectly dry, put them into a Cannister, and they will be good, if kept Dry, a whole East India Voyage.
This Glue is so Strong, that two or three Drams, dissolv'd in boiling Water with a little Salt, will make half a pint of good Broth, & if you shou'd be faint with fasting or Fatigue, let a small piece of this Glue melt in your Mouth, and you will find yourself surprisingly refreshed. One Pound of this cookery wou'd keep a man in good heart above a Month, and is not only Nourishing, but likewise very wholesome. Particularly
it is good against Fluxes, which Woodsmen are very liable to,
by lying too near the moist ground, and guzzling too much cold Water. But as it will be only us'd now and then, in times of Scarcity, when Game is wanting, two Pounds of it will be enough for a Journey of Six Months. But this Broth will be still more heartening if you thicken every mess with half a Spoonful of Rockahominy, which is nothing but Indian Corn
parched without burning, and reduced to Powder. The Fire drives out all the Watery Parts of the Corn, leaving the Strength of it behind, and this being very dry, becomes much lighter for carriage and less liable to be Spoilt by the Moist Air.
Thus half a Dozen Pounds of this Sprightful Bread will sustain a Man for as many Months, provided he husband it well, and always Spare it when he meets with Venison, which, as I said before, may be very Safely eaten without any Bread at all.
Mid 18th century.