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18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Oilcloth & The Blanket, Questions Answered. Video.



"This morning an account was bro't to town, that a large army of French
and Indians were seen at a small distance from the German flats, but few
here believe it. Sir William Johnson is still in readiness, with 1500 of
the militia. Every man in the French army that came against Fort William
Henry, was equipped in the following manner, viz. With two pair of
Indian shoes, 2 pair of stockings, 1 pair of spatterdashes, 1 pair of
breeches, 2 jackets, 1 large over-coat, 2 shirts, 2 caps, 1 hat, 1 pair
of mittens, 1 tomahawk, 2 pocket-knives, 1 scalping knife, 1 steel and
flint, every two men an ax, and every four a kettle and oilcloth for a
tent, with one blanket and a bearskin, and 12 days provision of pork and
bread; all which they drew on little hand-sleighs."

 Extract of a letter from Albany, dated April 2, 1757 printed in the
Boston Gazette, April 18, 1757.}

11 comments:

Unknown said...

Keith. With all your respect with your reflexion, I think you are wrong about oilcloth. It is clear that, at least in the French army - French militia, that oilcloth were issued to 4 men, not to a single man and I have yet to see any mentions of somebody starting to cut down issued equipment from the King's store. Therefore, cutting it to be less heavy simply don't make any sense. It all comes down to also the idea that woodsmen-long hunter exists. Nobody was travelling by themselves. They were travelling in relative large groups and therefore shared equipment and efforts to carry the equipment, as soldiers would carry tents which are heavy and big, sadly.

Regards,
Louis.

Keith H. Burgess said...

Sorry to have to tell you this Louis, but you are wrong. You need to do more research mate.
Take care.
Regards, Keith.

Louis Valiquette said...

Then please provide any sort of primary information about soldiers / militiamen cutting down oilcloth issued from King's store (because these were NOT personal items) and intended to be used by many (normally for 4 soldiers/militiamen or 1 to 2 officers). I can provide about 10 primary sources for any of the cases [regulars, marines, milice and officiers (both regulars and marines)], one of them being the one you quote just below the video ('...and every four a kettle and oilcloth for a tent') For that same Rigaud's raid, we even have a quote on how they used it in the snow, sleeping on Lac St-Sacrement ;-)

If primary documentation does exist to prove your point, then I have yet to see it.

For info, I have a Master degree in New France history and have done extensive research of French primary sources for the last 20 years.


Regards,
Louis.

Keith H. Burgess said...

May I respectfully suggest that you watch this video again Louis. At no time, now,then or in the past have I ever said that military personnel cut up their oilcloth.
This video is about colonial woodsmen, woodsrunners. It is NOT about the military.
I thank you for your interest, but in the future, please get your facts right before challenging my words.
Sincerely, Keith H. Burgess.

Louis said...

Bonjour Keith. So I should not expect any kind of primary documentation related to this discussion I guess.

I love doing trekking but I always find myself facing this idea of adapting my gear so I can live and be self-sufficient but not having to carry too much on my shoulder.

Regards,
Louis

Keith H. Burgess said...

There is a SEARCH on my blog Louis, top left corner. Here is the url for more documentation:
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/more-on-oilcloth-and-canvas.html

Keith.

Louis Valiquette said...

Thanks for the reference to your archives on this blog. I am lucky that most of them were already in my notes.


Nevertheless, I still don't see any kind of reference to somebody cutting down prelarts to fit one individual's needs (even if it does totally make sense in our modern trekking hobby, which is a pretty individualistic hobby).

Tks.
Louis.

Keith H. Burgess said...

Well that is my interpretation Louis, as you say, an individual thing. I note though that it states 3 Ells of oilcloth, I think that is about 5 feet? Not a lot of cloth.
", for in the
midst of a heavy snow-storm, upon a baggage-cart, and nothing to
shelter her from the inclemency of the weather but a bit of an old
oil-cloth, a soldier's wife was delivered of child,"
Anburey, 2, p. 24-25.
I assume that as this is only "a bit of an old oil-cloth" then it was either torn or cut from the original.
We do the best we can with what we have, as I say, this was my interpretation. If you interpret it differently, that is fine by me.
Keith.

Unknown said...

Salut Keith. If I am not mistaken, 1 ells equals a little more than 3 meters and a half (11 feet) x by width. That is mainly what I have to fit 3 to 4 persons when we go on group trek.

Regards,
Louis.

Keith H. Burgess said...

Different measurements for different countries Louis. The German Ell is just 18 inches.
Keith.

Unknown said...

Right...! My spirit must be too narrow.