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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Battleroad, MA April 2008


Today we went to Battle Road. This was the first time we have done this particular event. We followed Bruce down, since we had no clue as to how to get there. It wasn't too far away, but I am glad we followed him, it was just a bit off the beaten path, and I am sure I would have gotten lost 10 times before I found it. I really need to get a GPS, but that's something for another post. We arrived and met up with a few other people from the regiment. We also went and checked out the few Sutlers that were there. There were only three, so there wasn't too much shopping done. But we did find out that the price of flints will be going up this year. I guess flints are imported from England and because the US dollar is weakening as compared to the British pound, the flints cost more to get here. Last year they were $1 and they could be going up to $1.25 to $2 if not even more by some sutlers! I guess we will need to do some real price comparisons from now on! I find it kind of amusing that we as reenactors, reenacting the injustice of increased prices on imports from England, are still to this day affected by increased prices on British imports. Albeit it's not direct taxation this time, but I find the parallels pretty amusing regardless.

The first battle, which took place after lunch, was in the National Park itself. This battle was to reenact the battle that occurred here on April 19, 1775. You can read more about the events directly on the Battle Road website by clicking on "What happened on that day." The battle went well. It was a little difficult for the crowd to see, because most of the action happened farther away, but even so it was interesting to see. It was even more interesting to think that 233 years earlier on this exact day, a bunch of farmers and the British both fought for what they truly believed was right. And some of them died for it. And many more would die for it in the years to come. It really is awe inspiring when you sit down and think about it all. If you want to see the rest of my pictures from this part of the day, be sure to check out my album. Here are the videos I got as well:

British Marching to the Beat of their Own Drums


First New Hampshire Lines Up


A Great Colonist Turn Out


Quick Fife and Drum Band Clip


The British are Coming


But so Are We!!


A Little Bit of the Battle


For the second battle they bussed us over to the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA. From there we went over to Tower Park. The battle was started farther away and in the woods, but they moved down into the field and did a good bit of fighting right in front of us. Our regiment was farther down near the edge of the woods, so I couldn't really get any good videos of them, though I did get some decent photos (considering how far they were). I got a video of the British cannon being fired, the boom of the cannon made me jump quite a bit, so Lori started laughing at me (you can hear her at the end of the video). But I think I actually held the camera pretty well considering how high I jumped!! That thing is dang loud in person!! I also got some good video of some loyalists shooting off their guns. It was a great battle, a lot of fun to watch. Check out the rest of my pictures from this half of the day at my album. And here are the videos I captured:

First New Hampshire Going off to Battle
video

video

That Dang Cannon Fire


How Big was that Field?


The Colonists in the Woods


The Battle at Tower Park




Some Good Gun Firing Shots


The Beginning of the End


Watch in the Back for the Ring of Smoke off the Cannon


Believe me Yours faithfully,
Rachel

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Paintings


I adore looking at paintings from the period. I think you can gleen so much from a painting, especially from one of a scene where there are "everyday" people hanging around. I don't usually find many good ones, but I happen to stumble on a decent website tonight. It looks like it was put together by Christopher Whitcombe a professor of Art History at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Here are a few of my favorites:

An Election Entertainment by Wiliiam Hogarth.
This is such a fun painting. I can just imagine the loud boisterous gatherings that probably were very common place at this time. Without any electronic entertainment like TV, radio, and PlayStation, people relied on the company of others for entertainment. You have men, women, and children here and I imagine they had quite the gathering. I am sure this is stylized a bit for the painting, but I imagine gatherings like this happened quite a bit.


Portrait of Mary Edwards by William Hogarth.
Though this picture was taken in 1742, the look is similar to what we might be going for in the 1770's. But what I really like about this picture is the piece she has on the front of her bodice that holds her scarf in place. You may remember from the last time I explored pictures, I found a print of a woman that looked like she had a ribbon fashioned in a similar way to hold her scarf. I am very happy to find another example of this.


Piazza San Marco: Looking South-West by Canaletto.
So obviously this is no where near America, but I just adore looking at these old paintings of a market scene like this. It just is so fascinating to me that these people lived and died like this. Someday someone 200 years in the future will be looking back at our stuff and saying "Wow ... they did that? They drove gas powered cars? Wow that is so fascinating!" I just adore looking at this picture and not seeing one car, not one cable or wire, not one cell phone, or one bright colored advertisement. If I could walk into this painting and live there, I would do it in a heart beat.


Piazza San Marco: Looking East from the South West Corner by Canletto.
I thought this was an interesting painting because all the men are wearing capes. Again this is not in America or quite the right time (it's 1760), but I think it's so cool that the men are wearing capes just like women would. I may have to research this and see if this would apply in America as well, though I think I would have a hell of a time getting Kris to wear a cape even if I had proof!!


Mrs John Winthrop by John Singleton Copley.
So of course I had to put at least one painting by an American in here. I like this one because the woman is wearing a beaded necklace. I have done a little research on beads in this time, but that's hard information to find, but I like seeing that the women wore them.


The Treaty of Penn with the Indians by Benjamin West.
Another American artist, I couldn't resist putting the half-naked Indians on my blog. :-) I just thought this was a really cool scene of men and what types of clothes and hats they wore. Luckily for Kris - no capes! Guess I'm going to have to keep looking!!

Believe me yours faithfully,
Rachel

We are on Wikipedia!


We are on Wikipedia! Well we aren't per say, but there is some information about the actual regiment there. It looks pretty good, but could probably use some beefing up. Someone has to have more than 3 paragraphs worth of information!! So if you know any more about the First New Hampshire regiment, be sure to visit the page and add whatever knowledge you have, they prefer if you add with sources if you have them. Here's the link to our page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_New_Hampshire_Regiment

Believe me yours faithfully,
Rachel

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Eyewitness Account of the Boston Tea Party


I found this cool page in my travels on the web for Revolutionary War information. It is an eyewitness account of the Boston Tea Party. I found it on HistoryPlace.com, which actually has some pretty cool information on it. I haven't explored everything they had for Revolutionary War time yet, and I am not sure how accurate all the information is, but I found this account to be very interesting anyway. I did a quick Google search and this can be found several places, so unless we are all perpetuating some 18th century prank, I think we can safely assume it to be real. I am sure many have seen this before, but I found it to be interesting. I will paste the text here, so this post may end up being long, but I hope you enjoy the reading!

The tea destroyed was contained in three ships, lying near each other at what was called at that time Griffin's wharf, and were surrounded by armed ships of war, the commanders of which had publicly declared that if the rebels, as they were pleased to style the Bostonians, should not withdraw their opposition to the landing of the tea before a certain day, the 17th day of December, 1773, they should on that day force it on shore, under the cover of their cannon's mouth.

On the day preceding the seventeenth, there was a meeting of the citizens of the county of Suffolk, convened at one of the churches in Boston, for the purpose of consulting on what measures might be considered expedient to prevent the landing of the tea, or secure the people from the collection of the duty. At that meeting a committee was appointed to wait on Governor Hutchinson, and request him to inform them whether he would take any measures to satisfy the people on the object of the meeting.


To the first application of this committee, the Governor told them he would give them a definite answer by five o'clock in the afternoon. At the hour appointed, the committee again repaired to the Governor's house, and on inquiry found he had gone to his country seat at Milton, a distance of about six miles. When the committee returned and informed the meeting of the absence of the Governor, there was a confused murmur among the members, and the meeting was immediately dissolved, many of them crying out, "Let every man do his duty, and be true to his country"; and there was a general huzza for Griffin's wharf.

It was now evening, and I immediately dressed myself in the costume of an Indian, equipped with a small hatchet, which I and my associates denominated the tomahawk, with which, and a club, after having painted my face and hands with coal dust in the shop of a blacksmith, I repaired to Griffin's wharf, where the ships lay that contained the tea. When I first appeared in the street after being thus disguised, I fell in with many who were dressed, equipped and painted as I was, and who fell in with me and marched in order to the place of our destination.

When we arrived at the wharf, there were three of our number who assumed an authority to direct our operations, to which we readily submitted. They divided us into three parties, for the purpose of boarding the three ships which contained the tea at the same time. The name of him who commanded the division to which I was assigned was Leonard Pitt. The names of the other commanders I never knew.

We were immediately ordered by the respective commanders to board all the ships at the same time, which we promptly obeyed. The commander of the division to which I belonged, as soon as we were on board the ship appointed me boatswain, and ordered me to go to the captain and demand of him the keys to the hatches and a dozen candles. I made the demand accordingly, and the captain promptly replied, and delivered the articles; but requested me at the same time to do no damage to the ship or rigging.

We then were ordered by our commander to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard, and we immediately proceeded to execute his orders, first cutting and splitting the chests with our tomahawks, so as thoroughly to expose them to the effects of the water.

In about three hours from the time we went on board, we had thus broken and thrown overboard every tea chest to be found in the ship, while those in the other ships were disposing of the tea in the same way, at the same time. We were surrounded bv British armed ships, but no attempt was made to resist us.

We then quietly retired to our several places of residence, without having any conversation with each other, or taking any measures to discover who were our associates; nor do I recollect of our having had the knowledge of the name of a single individual concerned in that affair, except that of Leonard Pitt, the commander of my division, whom I have mentioned. There appeared to be an understanding that each individual should volunteer his services, keep his own secret, and risk the consequence for himself. No disorder took place during that transaction, and it was observed at that time that the stillest night ensued that Boston had enjoyed for many months.

During the time we were throwing the tea overboard, there were several attempts made by some of the citizens of Boston and its vicinity to carry off small quantities of it for their family use. To effect that object, they would watch their opportunity to snatch up a handful from the deck, where it became plentifully scattered, and put it into their pockets.

One Captain O'Connor, whom I well knew, came on board for that purpose, and when he supposed he was not noticed, filled his pockets, and also the lining of his coat. But I had detected him and gave information to the captain of what he was doing. We were ordered to take him into custody, and just as he was stepping from the vessel, I seized him by the skirt of his coat, and in attempting to pull him back, I tore it off; but, springing forward, by a rapid effort he made his escape. He had, however, to run a gauntlet through the crowd upon the wharf nine each one, as he passed, giving him a kick or a stroke.

Another attempt was made to save a little tea from the ruins of the cargo by a tall, aged man who wore a large cocked hat and white wig, which was fashionable at that time. He had sleightly slipped a little into his pocket, but being detected, they seized him and, taking his hat and wig from his head, threw them, together with the tea, of which they had emptied his pockets, into the water. In consideration of his advanced age, he was permitted to escape, with now and then a slight kick.

The next morning, after we had cleared the ships of the tea, it was discovered that very considerable quantities of it were floating upon the surface of the water; and to prevent the possibility of any of its being saved for use, a number of small boats were manned by sailors and citizens, who rowed them into those parts of the harbor wherever the tea was visible, and by beating it with oars and paddles so thoroughly drenched it as to render its entire destruction inevitable.

-- George Hewes


Believe me yours faithfully,
Rachel