Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A change in direction for the moment

Given the dearth of easily accessible info on the topic, I decided it would be fun to build a well documented reproduction "kit" for the Virginia backcountry ca.1768-1783 or so. I chose 1768 as the start date as this is when the "signature" garment of back country Virginia- the hunting shirt, is commonplace enough to be mentioned in Va Gazette runaway ads without further description:

Virginia Gazette
(Rind), Williamsburg ,
June 16, 1768.

RUN away from the subscribers, in Augusta county, in the forks of James river, two convict servant men, one named Israel Cowen, aged about 27 years, about 5 feet 7 inches high, of a dark complexion, his head bald and blind of his left eye. He had on when he went away, a new felt hat, an old thickset coat, with tortoise-shell buttons, a blue broadcloth jacket, trowsers, and old shoes. The other named George Wilkinson, aged about 20 years, about 5 feet 6 inches high, of a sandy complexion, and red hair. Had on when he went away, a new felt hat, hunting shirt and callico waistcoat, with old buckskin breeches, blue leggings, and old shoes. Whoever takes up the said servants and secures them in any gaol in this colony, shall have five pounds reward, and if but one of them, fifty shillings, besides what the law allows, paid by us,
ROBERT WHITLEY,
JOHN MAXWELL.


The structure of the "kit" will be built around a few various quotes from primary sources that line up with items commonly being sold in Virginia stores and or commonly found in archaeological digs. I hope to build a complete kit based on this info myself, or will recommend suppliers for things I either can't swing or were historically purchased ready made. Anyway, I hope folks enjoy this, and remember, it is free advice and worth every penny.