Thursday, February 25, 2016

Examples of Knife Artistry from Contemporary Makers Blog

Dave Allen

Joe Seabolt

Bruce Horne

Tim Ridge

Joe Scott

Todd Daggett

Hershel House

Ian Pratt
These are just samples of why you should follow the Contemporary Makers blog. HERE 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

HBC Factory Men Winter Dress

A description of the winter dress of the HBC Factory men in and around Hudson Bay, as recorded by T. Drage - "An account of a voyage for the discovery of a nort-west passage,,,,,,, 1747-1748"

" The intense cold weather did not come on this year sooner than common. The beginning of November is usually the time that the Factory People have their Winter-Clothing delivered them; which consists of Coats of Beaver-skins sewed together, shaped much like a great coat but no seams at the sides or back. These coats they gather up around with a belt; and with thongs tie them close to the breast. They have large mittens of beaver skins, that hang before them by a string, which goes round their shoulders, that they may have their hands at liberty, to take in or out, as any occasion may require; viz. To charge and fire their guns, or set their traps. They have caps, the crown of which is of cloth, the flaps of which reach down to the shoulders, and button close under the chin, are of Beaver-skin; and those who do not use caps, have martin or cat skin wigs. Some, most excessive weather, will wear pieces of Beaver-skin over the face, as high s to the eyes. On their legs and feet, have three pairs of woollen socks; one just comes to the instep, the other to the ankle, and the third two flaps of the sock almost all the way up the leg. Over these socks they wear a shoe made of moose or deer skin, of the Indian dressing, soft and pliable, much like to wafh(? wash?) leather (for if the feet are any way confined they immediately freeze); these shoes are without heels. They have a stocking of woolen cloth, which reaches to their shoe; and, by strings on each side, they tie the stocking to the shoe, so as nothing can get in between. the stocking is made like a spatterdash, only hangs loose about the ankles, not fitting close as a spatterdash does; for, being loose, the snow shakes off easier; and if close, the snow lying there must freeze the leg. The stockings are not buttoned as a spatterdash, but sewed up on the side; and beyond the seam there is left a flap all the way down, which protects the seam from the snow. The stockings reach up to the crutch; but are gartered under the nee, generally with garters which are made by the Indians, of porcupine quills, coloured, and having strips of leather at the end. Every Factory man hath his gun; a pouch on one side, a powder horn on the other. To their belt, with which they tie up their coats, they have a bag hanging behind them, which they call a Skipper Toakin, containing a wooden tinder box, a flint, and a steel. This bag sometimes made of cloth, at other times of leather, some ornamented , by the Indians, with Brass-work ( the Brass, the remains of their old Kettles) and other beads. It is usual also to carry a small hatchet at their belt. that in case of losing their way they can cut down wood and build a Barricado, or thick hedge of pine, to cover them from the wind; and with a good fire before them, as there is no thaw or moisture, there is not anything to be feared as to catching of cold, nor as to freezing, from the intense cold that the fire protects them from." ",,,, The hatchets are also useful to them for repairing their traps,,," ",,,,, some of the Factory servants themselves only wear Coats made of leather, or moose-skin, dressed by the Indians, which are loose and long, something like a Banyan. Blankets, and even a good great coat, will do as to the body, the principal care required being as to the extreme parts, as to the feet and legs, arms and hands, these must be secured, as also the head, and these parts the Indians take principal care of, both as to themselves and their children."



Monday, February 22, 2016

Do it Yourself for the Reenactor

The shaving horse
Hybrid Shaving Horse_cw 2           
If you have ever thought you wanted a shaving horse take a look at the link below, not an inexpensive approach but should give you some ideas. Another one of those things you can't live without. I made an insert for mine to hold horns when scraping.

Another shaving horse link is HERE

I had to change this post as the site I wanted to show stopped allowing entry???

Monday, February 8, 2016

"That's Mrs. Bad Ass, to you Sir"

Nancy Morgan Hart is the only woman to have a Georgia county named for her. Hart County was carved from Elbert, Franklin and Wilkes counties in 1853 to honor the legendary frontierswoman.

Nancy was born in North Carolina sometime around 1735. She is said to be related to pioneer Daniel Boone, Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan and, by marriage, to Senators Henry Clay and Thomas Hart Benton. Her physical appearance was both dramatic and imposing: She had red hair and freckles, was six foot tall and cross-eyed with scars of smallpox evident on her face. She was a hard swearer and a sharpshooter who could handle a rifle as well as any man.

When Nancy married Benjamin Hart, the couple migrated first to South Carolina and then to the Georgia backcountry where they settled along the banks of the Broad River in Wilkes County in 1771. A mother of eight children, Nancy’s knowledge of frontier medicine made her a sought-after midwife.

In the years of the Revolutionary War, most women and children were relocated for their safety. Nancy, however, chose to remain with her husband. According to legend, one day while Benjamin was working in fields some distance from their house, five or six Tories appeared and demanded that Nancy prepare a meal for them. In the course of preparing the meal she managed to seize the men’s rifles, having made them tipsy on corn whiskey. When the men attempted to reclaim their rifles, she killed one man and quickly picked up a second gun and wounded another. Her husband and a few neighbors, who had rushed to the cabin upon being summoned by one of the children, suggested shooting the remaining captives. His wife, however, is reported to have said that shooting was too good for Tories. They were taken to the woods and hanged.

Nancy also acted as a spy for the local militia, boldly entering the British camp disguised as a man to get information that helped General Elijah Clarke win the Battle of Kettle Creek. According to one account, in order to get the location of an enemy camp in Carolina for Georgia troops, Nancy crossed and then re-crossed the Savannah River on a raft made of four logs tied together with grapevines. Another famous story tells of her response to being spied on while she was boiling lye soap in her cabin: when she caught sight of a Tory peering through the chinks in the cabin wall, she threw the soap through the holes, blinding him.

Nancy’s boldness was well-known to her neighbors. Even the Cherokees knew her, and gave her the name of “Wahatchee”—or War Woman. They also named a creek after her.

In 1912 a gang of workers grading a railroad bed about half a mile from the site of the Hart cabin discovered what may have been the remains of the hapless fellows when they dug up six skeletons.