Thursday, 14 August 2014

Settlements and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1763-1783.

"Our clothing was all of domestic manufacture. We had no other resource for
clothing, and this, indeed, was a poor one. The crops of flax often failed, and the
sheep were destroyed by the wolves. Linsey, which is made of flax and wool, the
former the chain and the latter the filling, was the warmest and most substantial
cloth we could make. Almost every house contained a loom, and almost every
woman was a weaver.
"Every family tanned their own leather. The tan vat was a large trough sunk to the
upper edge in the ground. A quantity of bark was easily obtained every spring, in
clearing and fencing the land. This, after drying, was brought in and in wet days was
shaved and pounded on a block of wood, with an axe or mallet. Ashes was [sic] used in place of lime for taking off the hair. Bears' oil, hog's lard and tallow, answered the
place of fish oil. The leather, to be sure, was coarse; but it was substantially good.
The operation of currying was performed by a drawing knife with its edge fumed,
after the manner of a currying knife. The blacking for the leather was made of soot
and hog's lard.
"Almost every family contained its own tailors and shoemakers. Those who could not
make shoes, could make shoepacks. These, like moccasons [sic], were made of a
single piece of leather with the exception of a tongue piece on the top of the foot.
This was about two inches broad and circular at the lower end. To this the main piece
of leather was sewed, with a gathering stitch. The seam behind was like that of a
moccason [sic]. To the shoepack a sole was sometimes added. The women did the
tailor work. They could all cut out and make hunting shirts, leggins and drawers."
Reverend Joseph Doddridge, Notes on the Settlements and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1763-1783.

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