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Grey Ranger
04-04-2012, 12:16 AM
I am fascinated by 18th century America. In my casual search for the kinds of utility and hunting knives carried by 18th century hunters/woodsmen/soldiers, i came across this interesting web sight, and this pretty cool list of the basic equipment kid carried by an 18th century individual.

http://www.liv18thc.com/woodsman.htm

The guy who operates the sight is a historical reenactor. I dont think hes any certified authority, so take it for what its worth, but i find this really interesting, and the list seems to me to be pretty accurate from my time studying American History

:42:

mario
04-04-2012, 01:08 AM
I came across that site back in 2005. I don't agree with all his statements, but it is an OK start for beginners.

What is your definition of "woodsman"? It means very different things to different people.

As far as knives:

"The belt, which was always tied behind answered several purposes, besides that of holding the dress together. In cold weather the mittens, and sometimes the bullet-bag, occupied the front part of it. To the right side was suspended the tomahawk and to the left the scalping knife in its leather sheath."

Reverend Joseph Doddridge, Notes on the Settlements and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania 1763-1783.

"The principle distinction between us, was in our dialects, our arms and our dress. Each man of the three companies bore a rifle-barreled gun, a tomahawk, or small axe, and a long knife, usually called a 'scalping knife,' which served for all purposes, in the woods."

John Joseph Henry, An Accurate and Interesting Account of the Hardships and Sufferings of That Band of Heroes, Who Traversed Thru The Wilderness in the Campaign Against Quebec in 1775



French butcher/trade knives (boucheron) in the Fort Ticonderoga collection. I have a copy of the medium size:
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e201/nytrekker/originals/BoucheronSMLFortTi.jpg

Cartouche knife from the Caldwell collection (belonged to William Caldwell of Butler's Rangers/Indian Dept.):
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e201/nytrekker/originals/caldwellitems.jpg

English scalpers:
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e201/nytrekker/originals/ScalpingKnives.jpg

English Scalper from Grand Portage. I have a copy of one of these as well:
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e201/nytrekker/originals/GrandPortageEngscalperIW.jpg

Enjoy.

Mario

mario
04-04-2012, 01:13 AM
"54 "Black handled scalping knives" 3 3/4 pence ea
84 "Camwood handled scalping knives" 3 1/2 pence ea
428 "red wood handled Scalping knives" 3 pence ea"

1779 inventory of Taylor & Duffin (traders at Fort Niagara)

“1 boucheron knife”

-List of supplies issued to Canadian militia by Bourlamaque. National Archives of Canada, MG-18, K-9, Papiers Bourlamaque, Volume 6, 2e partie (1756-1760)


“They usually have three knives; one hung around the neck, one in the belt and one fastened in the garter on the outside of the leg. Canadians arm themselves in the same way…”

-Bonin, Charles “Jolicoeur” Memoir of a French and Indian War Soldier, pg 225-226



Mario

dboles
04-04-2012, 01:15 AM
Interesting and informative.Im thinking those were interesting times
Thanks
Dan'l

MnSportsman
04-04-2012, 08:09 AM
“They usually have three knives; one hung around the neck, one in the belt and one fastened in the garter on the outside of the leg. Canadians arm themselves in the same way…”

-Bonin, Charles “Jolicoeur” Memoir of a French and Indian War Soldier, pg 225-226



Mario

LOL

I think it may resemble a few folks here...
;)

Dross
04-04-2012, 09:28 AM
I've always been interested this time period myself. when you think of really how little they carried. Of coarse it was hard, but I don't think these guys were miserable. Something to strive for.
Funny too how none of those blades were Full tang. ;)

Grey Ranger
04-04-2012, 10:16 AM
Funny too how none of those blades were Full tang. ;)

Well. most people carried an axe. If there was chopping or splitting to do, they used a Hawk or an axe. Their knife was really for cutting, and probably not as dual purpose as their axes, and many of the hunting knives of the day were double edged, like daggers. Without batoning, a partial tang blade would have suited them well.

Horned Toad
04-04-2012, 11:29 AM
I came across that site back in 2005. I don't agree with all his statements, but it is an OK start for beginners.



Can you recommend any good online resources.

Seniorman
04-04-2012, 12:23 PM
FROM THE ARTICLE - "... Many words we use today are not found in the the writings of the 18th Century. I would prefer not to hear them or speak them when in the 18th C persona. Hunting Pouch , hunting bag for instance are just two ( search for documentation in contemporary 18th C writings!), ..."

Perhaps it was just regional, but in the area of what became Kentucky, etc., in the mid-18th century, the longhunters' term for the "haversac," was "budget." DANIEL BOONE, The Life And Legend Of An American Pioneer, by John Mack Faragher, Henry Holt & Co. Publs., N.Y. (c)1992. In interviews with Daniel Boone by people who spoke with him and wrote down his words, he referred specifically to his "bag" as a "budget."

From one of my dictionaries, Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, (c)1934: Origin, a French word, bougette, bag, 1. "A bag or sack with its contents."

S.M.

Scott Allen
04-04-2012, 12:52 PM
Well. most people carried an axe. If there was chopping or splitting to do, they used a Hawk or an axe. Their knife was really for cutting, and probably not as dual purpose as their axes, and many of the hunting knives of the day were double edged, like daggers. Without batoning, a partial tang blade would have suited them well.


I have to respectfully disagree with you there G.R.. I've not seen that many double edged "hunting knives" from that or any other time period for that matter. Not too practical for gutting, skinning, and butchering. I believe double edged blades were made primarily for fighting i.e. bayonets, daggers, and swords. Take a look at the book, "The Knife in Homespun America" by Madison Grant. I think you'll see what I mean.

Scott

Trail Dust
04-04-2012, 01:54 PM
I dont think hes any certified authority

I have been involved with historical reenacting since the 1960's with dad. After the military, college, marriage, I (we) went into doing 18th century colonial along with the early 19th century mountain man era reenactments. What I really enjoy now is "historical trekking" (think of a backpacking trip using 18th century longhunter equipment).

Adopting a historical persona (mountain man, colonial hunter/frontiersman/explorer, even a name...a person who lived then) involves a constant, unceasing investigation into the past and into that character. More time will be involved in the books and research than in the field or camp. Eventually, by the evolution of modifying our modern thinking, ideas, equipage or trappings, the experiential use of that equipment and methods on the frontier or in the mountains, one begins to take on more of that historical persona in every detail. The hunt for "exactness" or "period correctness" in each and every facet becomes almost an obsession for the devout. This type of person will be the "authority" with his/her character and no certification or academic degree can properly recognize the work and achievement involved. I had the privilege to work, part-time, with a PBS special years ago (Lewis and Clark Expedition) in their research department to help ensure "authenticity" on the Western set. An impossible task it was given the modern approach to everything and the small allotted budget for the department. However, as it was/is, the general public doesn't know their history well enough to be able to tell the difference between correct or incorrect. :)

Generally among reenactors, the authoritative or recognized work on knives of the period is to be found in the book that Scott Allen mentions. The Knife in Homespun America, by Madison Grant, is about as good as it gets with what is to be found across the country in museums and private collections. The book will help dispel with some of the preconceived ideas that one might have about knives of the period and how they were used (no thanks to Hollywood).

mario
04-04-2012, 09:11 PM
Funny too how none of those blades were Full tang. ;)

Cost cutting measure. 1/2 a tang worth of steel x 200 knives = how many more knives from the same amount of steel? :33:

These knives were churned out by the 100s in Europe.



, and many of the hunting knives of the day were double edged, like daggers.

The "hunting knives of the day" are what I posted above. They are referred to as scalpers, but in reality were the cheap, do everything blades for the time.



Can you recommend any good online resources.

Which region/time period are you interested in?





longhunters' term for the "haversac," was "budget." DANIEL BOONE, The Life And Legend Of An American Pioneer, by John Mack Faragher, Henry Holt & Co. Publs., N.Y. (c)1992. In interviews with Daniel Boone by people who spoke with him and wrote down his words, he referred specifically to his "bag" as a "budget."

From one of my dictionaries, Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, (c)1934: Origin, a French word, bougette, bag, 1. "A bag or sack with its contents."

S.M.

A budget and a haversack were two different items. A budget being a sack for "stuff". A haversack being a military shoulder bag for carrying rations.

Also, as an aside, we must be careful in using a 1934 dictionary to define 1770s words.



Mario

bsred
04-04-2012, 10:17 PM
What is a boucheron knife?

Horned Toad
04-04-2012, 10:44 PM
Which region/time period are you interested in?
Mario

My interest is in groups like Robert Rodgers and Francis Marion. So that would be something like 1754-1783. I am trying to verify now but it looks like I may have had an ancestor that served with Francis Marion. I would like to try some historical trekking and would lean toward 1775-1783 South Carolina style. :)

Seniorman
04-04-2012, 11:53 PM
MARIO - "Also, as an aside, we must be careful in using a 1934 dictionary to define 1770s words [such as "budget"].

"Budget" is what Daniel Boone called his "bougette," when interviewed in the book I listed of his life. That's what he and the other longhunters with whom he hunted, explored, and camped, put their "stuff" when they went out into the forests of that area.

According to another dictionary I have, Webster's Third New International Dictionary, (c)1984, "budget" (F. "bougette", dim of "bouge," leather bag), is defined as "... a leather pouch, wallet, pack; also it's contents."

In still another of my dictionaries, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, (c)1971, the definition is virtually the same, including the origin "bougette," or pouch or bag.

I suppose one could quibble about the meaning of words before there were dictionaries but then what's the difference, huh? The men at those times managed to get the job done out in the wilderness with what they had, no matter what they called their equipment.

S.M.

MnSportsman
04-05-2012, 12:07 AM
I suppose one could quibble about the meaning of words before there were dictionaries but then what's the difference, huh? The men at those times managed to get the job done out in the wilderness with what they had, no matter what they called their equipment.

S.M.

Yup...

wolfy
04-05-2012, 12:28 AM
If anybody REALLY wants to learn about the knives of that period in our history, I would encourage them to contact The Museum of the Fur Trade and invest in the fantastic volume by James P. Gordon entitled GREAT KNIFEMAKERS FOR THE EARLY WEST. This is the best treatise on early trade knives in existence, as it is the author's life work. It's recognized and heartily praised by scholars and museums. A monumental volume complete with many full-sized color photos, it's full of correct and well researched information.

My wife got me an autographed copy for Christmas because she knew I wanted it and would not buy it for myself. I'm still going through it:33:

mario
04-05-2012, 01:40 AM
What is a boucheron knife?

A French term for butcher knife.

Most knives that are referred to as "scalpers" on the English side are merely inexpensive butcher knives of the time.




I suppose one could quibble about the meaning of words before there were dictionaries but then what's the difference, huh? .

The difference is that the word could have a completely different meaning in say, 1768. The meaning of words change over time.

I'm not saying you're incorrect on this particular item. I'm saying that in general, use a 18th century dictionary to define 18th century words.


A good example:

In modern French, "fusil" means "rifle".

In 18th century French, a "fusil" is a flintlock smoothbore musket.


In 1920, someone who was "bad" was "not good".

In 1985, someone who was "bad" was "cool".






My interest is in groups like Robert Rodgers and Francis Marion. So that would be something like 1754-1783. I am trying to verify now but it looks like I may have had an ancestor that served with Francis Marion. I would like to try some historical trekking and would lean toward 1775-1783 South Carolina style. :)

For Marion/SC, try the newsletters at www.southerncampaign.org.

The book series "Nothing But Blood and Slaughter" by Pat. O'Kelley is a really good history of battles that took place in SC and NC (and some of GA).

I can email you an archeological survey of the Battle of Kettle Creek.

Let me hunt around in my notes a bit and I'll see what else I can come up with.


Mario
PS- What is the ancestor's name? I have a copy of Marion's orderly book on my shelf.

Adahy
04-05-2012, 01:52 AM
Awesome! I love it too. I've been carving a lot of "Noggin's" from Elseworth Jaeger's Wildwood Wisdom. It's all stuff from those good ole days!

Seniorman
04-05-2012, 01:18 PM
MARIO - "The difference is that the word could have a completely different meaning in say, 1768. The meaning of words change over time."

I agree and am well aware of how the meaning of words vary and change over time. I will say that the "difference" in the meaning of a word is meaningless when the object to which the word is applied is the same and used for the same "job" but is referred to by a different name, according to regions and cultures. The object itself, or piece of equipment, does not change.

For example, in 1750, the English Colonies and the "unexplored" areas west and southwest of the Colonies, contained approximately 3,000,000 people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds speaking different languages, using different colloquialisms and terms to describe many things. What one pioneer or hunter in upper New York would call a piece of his equipment, might well be called something different by a longhunter, a 1,000 miles away in the wilds of what became Kentucky or eastern Tennessee. Nevertheless, the object did not change nor its utility: just the name.

At that mid-18th Century time, the "haversack," and "budget" were both used for the same purpose and each worn over one shoulder, according to the books I've read. No matter, they both served the same purpose: the "stuff" a man going waaaay out in the boonies needed was carried in his __________, uhhh, fill in the blank. :)

S.M.

Trail Dust
04-05-2012, 01:50 PM
If anybody REALLY wants to learn about the knives of that period in our history, I would encourage them to contact The Museum of the Fur Trade and invest in the fantastic volume by James P. Gordon entitled GREAT KNIFEMAKERS FOR THE EARLY WEST. This is the best treatise on early trade knives in existence, as it is the author's life work. It's recognized and heartily praised by scholars and museums. A monumental volume complete with many full-sized color photos, it's full of correct and well researched information.

My wife got me an autographed copy for Christmas because she knew I wanted it and would not buy it for myself. I'm still going through it:33:

I had forgotten about that volume, Wolfy, thanks. It, too, is an excellent resource of information, IMO. Mine was loaned to, evidently, an unscrupulous character who refused to send it back after reaching his new home in Alaska. Perhaps, one day, after seeing my library stamp all over the inside cover, someone will send it back to me. I won't even charge them a late fee. :) http://www.muzzleloadermag.com/Book%20Reviews/2012/BookReview_JF12_B.html

mario
04-05-2012, 09:00 PM
At that mid-18th Century time, the "haversack," and "budget" were both used for the same purpose .

Again, that's not the case.

Budget being a general term for a sack. Haversack being a specific term for what we'd call a "ration bag" today.



I will say that the "difference" in the meaning of a word is meaningless when the object to which the word is applied is the same and used for the same "job" but is referred to by a different name, according to regions and cultures. The object itself, or piece of equipment, does not change.

And again, the object may be something different. See my "fusil" comment.


A dictionary of the English language, 1768 by S. Johnson:

Budget:

1 A bag such as may easily be carried.

http://books.google.com/books?id=bXsCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PT7#v=onepage&q=budget&f=false

Modern OED:

Budget:

noun

*
1 an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time: keep within the household budget
*
(Budget) an annual or other regular estimate of national revenue and expenditure put forward by a finance minister: the government had put forward the biggest tax increases for any Budget in history
*
the amount of money needed or available for a purpose: they have a limited budget

*
2 archaic a quantity of written or printed material.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/budget?q=budget

In the notes is describes how the older version meant something completely different.



Mario

Seniorman
04-05-2012, 09:33 PM
"Again, that's not the case.

Budget being a general term for a sack. Haversack being a specific term for what we'd call a "ration bag" today. ... And again, the object may be something different. Mario

Okay. ;)

S.M.

Horned Toad
04-05-2012, 09:33 PM
For Marion/SC, try the newsletters at www.southerncampaign.org.

The book series "Nothing But Blood and Slaughter" by Pat. O'Kelley is a really good history of battles that took place in SC and NC (and some of GA).

I can email you an archeological survey of the Battle of Kettle Creek.

Let me hunt around in my notes a bit and I'll see what else I can come up with.


Mario
PS- What is the ancestor's name? I have a copy of Marion's orderly book on my shelf.

Thanks and PM sent

Redhound80
04-05-2012, 10:32 PM
Here is some info to help folks with the item "budget", as used during Boone's time in Kentucky. In the book The Long Hunt: Death of the Buffalo East of the Mississippi, by Ted Franklin Belue, Copyright 1996 by Stackpole Books, budget is listed in the glossary as:

Page 223
Budget: A burden, pack, or bundle toted high on one's back in a pack-frame or slung with a "hoppus" strap, usually made of animal hide such as deer, buffalo, bear, or elk, or of finger-woven wool blended with hemp or nettle.

Page 226
Hoppus: A burden strap used by woodsmen and Indians for carrying bags. A hoppus could be up to fifteen feet long and was made of hemp or buffalo wool interwoven with nettle. The hoppus's center three-foot section was two and a half inches wide: from there it tapered to one inch at the ends. While carrying (called "hoppusing") a burden, the wide part of the strap lay accross the forehead or chest so that the burden, or "budget," rode high on the back. This also helped protect the carrier from being shot in the back. Also known as a sappper's string or tumpline.

In the book The Hunters of Kentucky: A Narrative History of America's First Far West, 1750-1792, by Ted Franklin Belue, Copyright 2003 by Stackpole Books, Belue describes the account of Boone's capture on February 7, 1778 by four Shawnees. Boone being taken to a glen where the Shawnee, Black Fish, and a war party of 120 were warming by a long fire. The account describes the men of the Shawnee war party hoppusing "budgets" made of blankets and deerskins. Maple and basswood bark pack frames and bear hide budgets tide with tumplines. Pages 122-123

Gordy