Dosadi - The 84th Regiment were the Royal Highland Emigrants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/84th_Re...land_Emigrants) and the unit was first formed in South Carolina and made up of Scots immigrants, mostly Highlanders, who had settled in Canada, New York and South Carolina. The dangers in recruiting were immense and many deserted - not because they necessarily supported the Continental Army but because they weren't willing to give up their homes and families for a cause. You need to remember that the Patriots were rebelling against the legitimate government (that is by definition what a rebellion is) and there was no guarantee that they would win. For most people there wasn't a cause to support but rather a farm to keep - they'd support whoever would just leave them and their family alone. The Continental Army had similar issues with people deserting to go back to their farms to plant or harvest or see family. Both sides had a horrendous time keeping their soldiers fed let alone paid. The Continental Army did manage to seize Montreal but they couldn't hold it because they couldn't afford it. Both sides practiced scorch earth policies and so everyone starved.
Mistress Morden is fairly typical of an increasing number of people at the time. Racial bigotry was on the rise and for many the presence of mixed race children was an in your face affront to what the churches were teaching. This was not an issue with the French, because the Catholics believed that every living person had a soul that required salvation. But the Protestant denominations did not subscribe to that view. They followed the British belief that the white man was superior and that all other races existed to serve them - you have only to look at the histories of the British in Africa, India and China to know that there was no difference in practice here in North America. The tendency of American today to think that they were somehow different in their attitudes and behaviour suggests that they are ignoring their own history in favour of casting aside anything that might smell English. Anyways... Mistress Morden under normal circumstances might have tolerated a mixed race niece, but here is a woman who was uprooted from her own home, sitting on an island in the middle of God knows where she might suddenly be given the dream of having her own children, but Susannah's presence is a constant reminder that these children have a life before her and can never be completely hers.
my gggrandfather was a "half breed" but got the lions share of "white" genes so he could "pass" and that is exactly what he did. He left the family and destroyed any and all evidence/documents/etc that showed he was anything but "white". Thus none of us, his offspring, can prove any of our heritage. It was a hateful time and hateful and horrific things were done.
Thanks. I am really involved in the story from the point of view of the kids. It's my nature that those I identify, with get my loyalty, and everyone else gets judged in light of kith n kin.
Also I'm not a bit forgiving when someone hurts kids I care about. Just can't help myself, I have seen to many kids hurt in my time, and I cannot just stand by any longer. Don't mean I go sticking my nose into other folks business, just means Its best if I don't see kids getting hurt, for all involved probably.
Probably gonna get me into trouble one of these days.
Dosadi - The 84th Regiment were the Royal Highland Emigrants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/84th_Re...land_Emigrants) and the unit was first formed in South Carolina and made up of Scots immigrants, mostly Highlanders, who had settled in Canada, New York and South Carolina.
Didn't the Scottish settles in the Appalachians get a visit from Tarleton's Raiders and another British general who made a lot of threats and took actions that pissed off both those loyal to the crown, as well as patriots? Historically that is not a good idea when dealing with Scots. Those actions pushed more than a few off the fence. Scots fought on both sides of the American Revolution.
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain
Thanks! New one for me. I don't know much about Tarleton's Raiders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British...can_Revolution)) led by Lieut-Col Banastre Tarleton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banastre_Tarleton), who went on the be a General and was knighted, beyond their having been a cavalry unit and that they had been part of the capture of Charleston in 1780. But like all units, in all the wars (War of Independence and Civil War) in the mountains, both sides operated on essentially a guerilla-style, slash and burn, campaign. Which of course was a carry over from how the Scots fought in the Highlands, and indeed is really the only way to fight in mountains. Oddly Tarleton's nicknames 'The Butcher" and 'Bloody Ban' came not from the period but from a 1952 novel called The Green Dragon.
my gggrandfather was a "half breed" but got the lions share of "white" genes so he could "pass" and that is exactly what he did. He left the family and destroyed any and all evidence/documents/etc that showed he was anything but "white". Thus none of us, his offspring, can prove any of our heritage. It was a hateful time and hateful and horrific things were done.
Oh yeah know about that one alright, I have a pic of my great great Aunt and you sure can tell she is Cherokee as Grand dad said his great grandmother was. Can we prove it, nope. No records.
It really was a glorious spring morning and out on the river, Susannah could see the flat bottomed bateaux coming up stream.
“Those boats bring in the provisions for the Army,” Hawk told her. “They can transport 4 to 5 tons of supplies at a go. Two years ago there were 134 boat loads a month that arrived at the docks, but the population has grown so much that now we expect between 216 to 300 loads a month. That’s why they are building new warehouses. Each bateaux has a crew of about 16 men and 2 pilots. They are almost always French Canadians. Each bateaux can carry 26 barrels which amounts to 2600 rations – it doesn’t last long with so many people to feed. The bateaux are also used for troop ships. It take 18 days to get her from Lachine in the spring and only 4 or 5 days to return. In the summer and fall, when the current is not quite so fast and water levels are lower, the trip can be done in 14 days.”
Susannah watched as the men road into the on-coming breeze and current and marveled at the speed.
“They are really strong,” she said.
“True,” said Hawk, “But there have been complaints of late as the Assistant Commissary General Neil Mclean has taken to impressing them and putting them to work at the Fort. This of course leaves boats up here and no river men to work them. The Garrison Commander swears it doesn’t happen but rather that the men hang out at the docks with the voyageurs. They also accuse the river men of tossing barrels overboard or emptying brine from the salt pork to lighten the loads and then refilling them with river water and that any work requested is in compensation for losses. Of course the reason the voyageurs are here is that they too were impressed. But they are all for the woods soon anyways…”
As they continued along, an older man came up the path. He wore a kastoweh, a feathered hat. They moved to one side to allow him to pass.
“All members of the Kanonsionni, the Iroquois Confederacy, wear kastoweh,” Hawk told them. You can identify which Nation they are from by the number of eagle feathers and the position of these feathers worn on the kastoweh.
“Kahniakehake men wear three upright eagle feathers on their kastowehs. If that man had been a chief of the Kahniakehake Nation, he would have attached to deer antlers to his kastoweh. That symbolizes his authority as one of the nine chiefs of the Mohawk Nation, three from each clan.”
“Can I have a feather hat?” asked Davy.
“Maybe... When you are older,” Hawk told him.
“Do you have one?” asked Davy
“Yes and mine has three eagle feathers,” Hawk said.
“Can I have one?” asked Mary.
“No because women don’t wear kastowehs,” said Hawk.
“But you weren’t born a Mohawk,” Susannah said.
“I can’t tell you the whole story,” Hawk said to her. “But I was adopted. Adoption happens when members of the tribe are lost due to illness or war. Then a tribe may go on the warpath to replace those who are dead, by capturing women and children. Sometimes men also are taken as captives and sometimes adopted, but they have to go through a trial to prove worthiness. If they are found to be unworthy they are killed. When you are adopted you are given the name of the dead relative whose place you take, although sometimes if you have a special skill you might be given another name. Children’s may become known by a different name as they become an adult.”
“What month is it Susannah?” interupted Mary.
“April,” she replied.
“Is it passed the Maple month?” Mary asked.
“Yes,” said Susannah. “That happens in March like at home.”
“We call this month Onerahtokha, the budding time,” said Hawk.
What’s next month called?” asked Sarah.
“It’s called Onerahtohko:wa, the time of big leaves,” said Hawk.
“So my birthday is Onerahtohko:wa tiohton,” said Sarah.
“Very well done,” said Hawk. “So how old will you be on May 10th?”
“I’m going to be tsa:ta’,” said Sarah.
“Wow! Nine years old! Who would have ever thought,” said Hawk. Sarah giggled.
“So who adopted you Hawk?” asked Sarah.
“I was adopted by the Wolf clan, which is why I have a sky name. My adopted mother’s name is Cardinal,” said Hawk. “Tawit’s mother, Owera*, is also of the Wolf Clan. Cardinal’s mother, Spring Rain and Owera are sisters. Miss Molly is our Clan Mother. She may not be the oldest of our women but she has great knowledge and understanding of the politics of the white men. It has made her wise and strong.”
“Oh,” said Susannah. “So I am a member of the Wolf clan? Are we cousins?”
“No,” said Hawk. “Clan affiliation comes from the mother and you cannot marry within your clan.”
He smiled at Susannah. She blushed.
“It is taboo to marry within your clan,” he continued. “The Clan is a good thing and a gift from the Peacemaker**, whose name I cannot speak. He created the Great Peace by making all members of a clan regardless of Nation, brothers and sisters. Members of the Mohawk Wolf clan are kin to Wolf clan members in the Iroquois and Seneca Nations. These laws were written in The Great Good.***
We are a very strong Confederacy because of The Great Good. Our clans provide the warp and weft that bind us together and make us tough and long lasting. Your cousins and brothers are only within your clan.”
“Is Tawit very important?” Susannah asked. “Is that why he is in a meeting all day?”
“No but he is a warrior and a scout. He also has much experience in the woods of the Mohawk Valley and that makes him very useful. The Mohawk are the Elder Brothers of the Confederacy because we were the first to accept the Great Law of Peace. We are also called The Keepers of the East Door because we protect the Confederacy from danger that comes from the East. This is why we have fought the Long Knives¤ from the beginning. For us they are a danger – they ignore their own treaties and they are like the sea. They keep coming in waves and they erode our land… it slips away from us.”
Susannah mulled all of this as they kept walking. Davy and Jane bounced along, darting back and forth across the path. They were just glad to be running after all the time on the trail. Sarah and Mary walked more slowly, still recovering from the shock of their aunt.
The area through which they had been walking had initially been cleared but past the Native Cemetery it grew more heavily forested but then opened into a wide clearing. While some of the buildings were long wood frame European style buildings, many more were bark longhouses. There were lots of people milling about and no one paid them much mind as the came into the village.
Unlike the rigid, hard lines of the Fort, the Mohawk village’s buildings were built where ever it suited the inhabitant. There were no formal streets but there were a number of open areas with what appeared to be communal fires. Several young men came up and spoke with Hawk and she caught snatches of their conversation. She heard Tawit and Morden and Jaysberg, but most of the rest was said too fast and in Mohawk.
“Your askshótha lives in the next longhouse. She will know now that you are coming. Are you ready?” Hawk asked her.
Susannah nodded. “How do I say grandmother?’
“Akhso,” Hawk said and led them into the dark interior of the longhouse.
I am indebted to Prof. Douglas J. Pippin of the University of New York at Oswego for sharing his doctoral thesis An Archaeological and Historical Investigation of the British Soldier at Fort Haldimand (1778-1784)
Here is a picture of Joseph Brant wearing a kastoweh. The painting was done in London in 1776 by George Romney, a Court painter. He took a lot of license with the feathers in the kastoweh. The silver gorget and arm band were very common. There was a silver arm band found in a Native grave on Carleton Island. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jo...omney_1776.jpg
* Owera - Wind
** The Peacemaker’s name is never written and spoken only in a ceremonial context.
***The Great Good is the Iroquois Constitution
¤ The Long Knives – The Americans, the inhabitants of the original 13 Colonies
Hi all, We are headed to the Big Smoke for the rest of the week. Monkey has to see his new doctor and the only pediatric facility is more than 400 miles away. So we are going to adventure along the way. Will be back with new chapters next week.
May your journey be safe and the results excellent from the doc visit. I know how hard it is to have travel long distances for excellent medical care for your child. We were blessed to have access to excellent advice and care. It made our son's life so much better.
Bethune was tired. He was back and forth to Montreal courting this pretty young French girl and trying to minister to the soldiers and the Natives while all of them starved on the God-forsaken island. And now just when they needed the Natives focused and working on their cause, Charlotte Morden had to go and toss a grenade into the middle. That woman was a menace. She was haughty with the neighbours, refused to acknowledge the French women, and treated her slave so badly that ardent slave owners were complaining. He suspected that Capt. Morden took to the woods as much to escape her as for the cause. He was now trying to get to Tawit before the rumour mill did… something almost impossible in this garrison.
Unfortunately Tawit did hear before Bethune got to him. He was furious with how his daughter had been treated. Bethune found him sitting on the dock waiting for Capt. Morden to arrive. With him were LaRose and Benoit, who were busy telling him of Susannah’s time in the warehouse and how Hawk was teaching the younger children Mohawk songs. Slowly they were jollying him out of the fury he had been in. Bethune was then able to recount the full story. Tawit’s fury lessened but he was still a very angry man and Bethune kept a close eye on him.
Bethune turned and saw Miss Molly working her way towards them. He nodded to her and she joined them.
“What are going to do Tawit?” asked Miss Molly.
“Keep all the children,” he said.
“Is that really workable?” She asked. “Legally do you have the right? You might do better to settle Susannah somewhere with a good housekeeper and put the younger children in school… My children are at school in Montreal. I am sure that they would be pleased to add the Morden children.”
Bethune saw the opportunity to support Miss Molly and added. “My soon-to-be mother-in-law, Mme Josetta Waden currently has two small boys being educated in Montreal as well as several young daughters. A good education will greatly further the children and aid you in keeping them in the eyes of the law.”
Tawit looked at them both. “I will consider but I must speak with Capt. Morden and my daughter first.”
He sat back on a fur bale and watched out across the river.
From the south side of the river, two whaling boats set out. As they were rowed across, the men on shore were able to see that one boat held a number of children and men, while the other carried two horses. As the first boat landed, Capt. Morden jumped from the boat and came striding up the dock. He grabbed Tawit and hugged him hard.
“You made it my friend!” Morden exclaimed. “No problems with the trip? Can we send someone to my house to get the children. I have their friends here and they need a lot of reassurance. Things got pretty hairy there in Jaysberg.”
He stopped and looked at the hard silent faces. “Oh Lord! The children are okay aren’t they?”
When Miss Molly nodded, the Captain’s face changed from open and happy to hard and angry. “It’s Charlotte isn’t it? What’s she gone and done?”
LaRose answered first. “Oh, I think that you will find that housing a half-breed was not acceptable to her. Susannah has taken the children and Hawk has taken them to Owera.”
Capt. Morden sat down heavily next to Tawit. “I am sorry my friend. If I had ever thought… well you know I would never have allowed that to happen…” Tawit nodded.
Capt. Morden then looked up at Rev. Bethune. “Is there any legal way for me to set her aside in this country?”
“You know as well as I do that divorce is not permissible in the eyes of God but an annulment might be granted on the grounds of childlessness. But it will be easier for you to separate…”
“If you can afford it,” Miss Molly added, “You might send her back to England, and with a cottage in her native village and £100 a year she could live very well with a servant to help. But you know you are going to have to remove Abigail from her control. The complaints of her treatment are growing louder and you will soon lose face on this.”
The Captain looked at the men around him and they all nodded.
Charlotte Morden was relieved. All pretenses was over. She had married the dashing young Army officer, smart in his crimson uniform, to the envy of her sisters and friends but life had been nothing but one hardship after another. The attentive young man had morphed into hard, action oriented man who lived for the wilds and the fight, and who care and thought nothing of the discomfort she had been forced to endure. They had moved from the elegant and pretty cottages of her native Oxfordshire to the wilds the New York Colony. To a palisaded fort! To a log cabin! Finally to a pretty wood-framed cottage that he had forced her to abandon. The rivers and lakes and never ending trees were nothing compared to the horror of the mosquitoes… the deer flies… the Indians in their stinking bear grease and uncouth habits... she shuddered.
But now she was going to be as free as she could be. A cottage in her home village of Bloxham, with its narrow streets and familiar spaces... She looked out of her upstairs window at Lake Ontario and smiled that she would never have to face a bleak winter here again. With a £100 a year, she would be able to hire a maid and live a very nice and comfortable life as a grass widow. She would be able to live the life she had always wanted… perhaps even take in a few children and teach them…
Downstairs, her equally relieved husband hid away some items he knew she would take but which had come from his family. He put them in a chest and took them out to the shed.
It had been a nasty little bit when he had arrived home to an indignant wife, a wife who nursed her petty grievances like a sailor with his last mug of rum. She was off and running with her complaints before he had even cleared the door. He was glad that Tawit, Rev. Bethune and Jerimiah Jones had accompanied him, or he might have done something he would have been ashamed of. Instead, the Captain had had to force his reluctant and unapologetic wife to apologize to Tawit for her treatment of Susannah and the children.
He then forced her to produce the obviously beaten Abigail Henderson. In front of Charlotte, Captain Morden freed Abigail and given his blessing for her marriage to Jerimiah Jones. He opened his wallet and gave them £10 to start their life together. He then advised that he would like to hire her to work in the house and would she please think about it. The Rev. Bethune had then said he would be pleased to perform the marriage service when they were ready. Charlotte’s mouth had gapped open at the civilities and honour being given these… these… these… [unprintable word]. It had given her the unattractive appearance of a fish caught by a hook, reeled in, and coshed on the head.
The Captain then advised her that they were to be separated immediately. That her actions had caused such an undermining to the Native relations in this area, that if she was not sent back to England immediately that she would be hanged for treason. Charlotte had blanched at those harsh words but there was no acceptance by her of the truth she was handed and there was no forgiveness in the faces of any of the people in her living room. She flounced about. Here she had been trying to bring culture and refinement to this outpost and this is how she was treated! She was seething with fury and spite, and sure that in the heart of it all blame could be laid upon that ungrateful half-breed girl. On the other hand, she herself was now free and just about danced with glee. Only Abigail suspected the truth, and as she later told Jerimiah, Mistress Morden could not have been more pleased with the turn of events.
Down at the docks, the young people from Jaysberg began to wonder what was going on … yet again. They had been hidden in four different houses and then had been collected by a group of Mohawks and then led out into the woods. It was not until they had met up with Capt. Morden that they were entirely comfortable with what was happening. Even now they were unsure. The Captain had promised that they would see his niece, Susannah Morden, when they arrived but she was nowhere to be found. And now he had disappeared too. The younger ones were all just plain exhausted and the older ones struggled not to show their fatigue, and they were all hungry.
Miss Molly took charge of them and brought them up to her lodging. The children had all heard of Miss Molly but none had ever expected to meet her. It was like finding out that bedtime stories were real. But here she was and she was being ever so nice and her home was very fancy for how they thought an Indian would live. With the aid of her servant, Miss Molly fed them all steaming bowls of porridge sweetened with fresh maple sugar. She explained that Capt. Morden’s wife was unwell and he had gone to deal with her and that Susannah was with her paternal grandmother but would be along in a bit.
“Now please introduce yourselves,” requested Miss Molly.
One of the older boys stood up and recited**. “I am Felix Carpenter. We are from Jaysberg, Pennsylvania. I have just turned fourteen while we were on the trail. These are my younger brothers John and Ben, who are twelve and ten respectively. Our father Benjamin Carpenter was taken in a raid on Jaysberg on the 23rd of July 1779*. So were our older brothers Martin and Finn. They would be 15 and 17 now. My mother and two sisters Alice, age 16, and Jane, age 8, were arrested in Jaysberg and taken to Fort Augusta.”
“Welcome to my home Felix, John and Ben,” said Miss Molly.
Then another boy stood and recited. “I am Hyrum Seegers. I’m 12 and this is my brother Aaron. He’s ten. We are from Jaysberg, Pennsylvania. Our mother is Molly Seegers and she and our little brother Georgie, who’s six, were arrested and taken to Fort Augusta. Our father Martin Seeger was also taken in the raid on Jaysberg on the 23rd of July 1779.
“Welcome to my home Hyrum and Aaron,” said Miss Molly.
This time one of the girls stood up. “I’m Lucy Blauvelt and this is my twin Isaac. We are 13-years old. Sally Ostrander is my best friend. She’s also 13-years old. We are from Jaysberg, Pennsylvania. Our fathers Johan Blauvelt and Thomas Ostrander were taken in the raid on Jaysberg on the 23rd of July 1779 along with our brothers John and James Blauvelt and cousin Johan Ryckman. John and James would be fifteen and fourteen years old now, and cousin Johan must be almost 19-years old. He was sweet on Sally’s sister Nancy Ostrander.
“Our mothers are Constance Blauvelt and Mary Ostrander. I have two sisters who are with mother – Nancy is 18 and Sarah is 8. Sally has two little brothers – David, who is 8, and Jacob, who is 6. They were all arrested in Jaysberg and taken to Fort Augusta. I wasn’t going to let Isaac have adventures on his own and so Sally and me came with the boys.”
Miss Molly’s lips twitched with suppressed laughter. “Welcome to my home Isaac, Lucy and Sally.”
Then one of the younger boys stood up. “Iz is Aaron Seegers. This is my big brother, Hyrum, but he don’t like talking. He’s twelve. I have a younger brother Georgie, who’s six…” Hyrum punched his arm and he stopped.
This time Miss Molly laughed. “It is nice to meet you Aaron. Your brother Hyrum did just fine introducing you and your family.”
“Miss Molly,” said Felix. “There were two other families whose men were taken in the raid on Jaysberg on the 23rd of July 1779- Tom Miller and his son James. James would be about sixteen now. Mrs. Nancy Miller and their daughters Anan and Mary were arrested along with our mothers. The other man taken was Susannah’s father, John Miller.”
“Miss Molly,” asked Lucy. “You said that Susannah was with her paternal grandmother. Does that mean that Mrs. Morden is here?”
“Life is complicated children,” said Miss Molly. “And things are often not as they seem. Susannah will tell you about her family in time.
She then gave them the option of laying out and having a nap or going for a wander around the garrison. Four of the children - Felix, Isaac, Lucy and Sally, opted for a wander.
The inside of the long house was dark. It took Susannah several moments for her eyes to adjust to the gloom. She realized quickly that it wasn’t so much dark as not as bright as outside. The space was divided into four sections, or compartments each with its own hearth fire in the center. She knew that each fire belonged to two family groups and that all the family groups were part of the same extended family and clan.
Hawk led them down to the third hearth and he approached and older woman.
“Kwékwé Owera. Onkwatén:ro ne’kí:ken,” said Hawk. “These are my friends. This is your granddaughter, your kheiateré, Susannah.”
Susannah found herself staring into a face remarkably like her own. Her own features were somehow softened, while this woman’s were proud and sharp. They stared at each other.
“Oh wow Susannah!” said Mary in a soft voice. “You look just like her!”
Susannah put her arm around Mary and smiled at her little sister. “I do, don’t I,” she said. “Mama always said that I looked like my grandmother, I just though that she meant Daddy’s mother, not that I had another father.”
*Please note that while raids were occurring all the way through the summer of 1779 in the Mohawk Valley, this raid is entirely fictional.
** Children were taught to recite the histories so that if they were taken by the Indians they would remember who they were.
My 12 year old and I were talking about the games like hide and seek and mother may I and red light green light. I told him about them being old games to teach young kids how to handle danger and to hunt in the woods.
He said that mother may I was to learn how to move or not, and follow a leaders commands then he figured out that red light green light was to teach people to freeze whenever game looked up at them if they were stalking it.
Hide and seek is obvious to teach kids to hide and not come out until a "all clear" signal is given and to flee if discovered. (Most common would be oli oli ox in free for an all clear sign around here)
Now I need to point out learning history so you don't loose your memory of who you are. (I actually did that without thinking about it when mine were very young)
I also made took a song and put my phone number to a rhyme music using that and sang it to them every day until they could sing along. Then I told them that the number in the song would call me from a phone and let them practice. Tickled them and assured me they knew how to reach me. (This because there mom turned druggie and was trying to get them under her control until the court gave me custody. I knew they could get a phone and help me find them if the unthinkable happened.)
“Shé:kon kheiateré:’a,” said Owera. “Hello my granddaughter. Welcome to my home. I am glad to finally meet you again… and to meet all of you.” She said to the younger children. They looked back at her in awe.
“Tawit has not had time to tell her,” Hawk cautioned.
“Hmmm... perhaps one of your sisters or cousins will play with the children while Susannah and I talk,” Owera directed Hawk. Susannah watched as he led the children back to the far end of the longhouse and out through the entry way.
“Come sit with me,” she invited Susannah. “We have much to talk about.”
Owera went and sat on the bench on the west side of the fire. The bench was about a foot off the ground, which kept the sleepers and sitters well below the smoke line. Below the bench fire wood was stacked. The fire wood was getting low and soon all the village omen would go to collect the year’s supplies needed. Above was a tier of bunks filled with woven storage pots. From the bunk cross piece hung a gun. The powder horn and cartridge bag hung from a peg. From other cross pieces hung bundles of corn on the cob. The uprights and cross pieces of the bunks were tied into the framework of the building making for a strong and stable building. Bear skins covered the bench where Owera sat and decorated deer hides or bark sheets hung between the compartments giving some measure of privacy between families. Susannah came across the hard packed dirt floor and sat beside her. Owera took her hand. She looked at it and patting it, let it go again.
Looking at her closely, Owera said, “You have grown tall and well and you are a good mix of both your parents, but I think you may favour us more. Only time will tell if that is a blessing or not for you, but it brings my heart happiness.” She sighed.
“A long time ago, in the days before the English came and took over Canada, we went on the war path to replace those of our family who had gone too early to the Great Manitou. A young girl of about six winters, with sharp eyes and clever fingers, was taken to live with my friend Willow as her daughter. Her hair was very blonde, almost white in the summer, and she was a good daughter. We called her Kàra:ken Atí:rom, the White Raccoon. She was very skilled at sewing. Her white mother had taught her much and Willow taught her more. Kàra:ken Atí:rom became highly sought after for her dresses and moccasins.”
“My mother made these moccasins for me,” said Susannah stretching out her feet. The moccasins were tall enough to cover her legs under her skirts. Made of hide and red trade cloth, they were heavily beaded with while and glass beads. “But I beaded them. They are my favourite shoes.”
Owera smiled and admired the handywork. “She did not lose her skills… When your mother was about 15-years old, I took a deer to Willow to express Tawit’s desire to marry her. The Bear clan accepted the deer and Tawit and Kàra:ken Atí:rom were married.
“Tawit and Kàra:ken Atí:rom were very happy together, even though they had two boy children who left us early, and then they had you. She called you Susannah for her white mother. When you were 18-moons old, a law was passed that said that all white people adopted by the tribes had to go back to their white homes. We knew nothing of this. Then on day when Tawit was out hunting with Willow’s husband, an Army officer came through the village hunting for our adopted children. He took you and Kàra:ken Atí:rom away. He wanted to leave you, but Kàra:ken Atí:rom refused. We would later learn that she tried to escape every time they stopped until finally the army officer said he would burn our village if she did not come. He took her to Philadelphia.
“In Philadelphia, she was reunited with her white mother, but it was not a happy reunion. Perhaps at her heart, Kàra:ken Atí:rom’s white mother was not a happy woman… perhaps the years of loss had been nursed too long… perhaps she had enjoyed the status of a widow with three children taken by the Indians… it is hard sometimes to understand white women… but she could find no joy in her daughter and no acceptance of her granddaughter. The government of the Long Knives gave money to the captive to begin a new life. Kàra:ken Atí:rom took that money, and you, and left her mother and started to sew dresses for rich white ladies. When she had made more money she moved west. There she hoped Tawit would be able to find her and bring her home. In the meantime she sewed. It was many years before Tawit found her and in despair she turned to another and married settler, John Morden, and settled in Jaysberg.
“He was a good man, John Morden. I met him once. He loved your mother very much, but he loved a woman named Alice and she in turn grew to love him. When Tawit finally found her, both knew that life, like the river, had continued to flow and that it had forked and taken them different directions. Tawit would come several times a year under the guise of trading and visit and see you. You were never forgotten and always wanted.”
She paused here to direct a young girl to do something with the pot on the fire. The pot hung from a crane and the girl added something and began to stir.
“The raid on your village, three years ago was done by the Lenni-Lenape, the Deleware. By the time we had encountered them two of the men had been killed. I am sorry to say but your white father was amongst those killed. His blond scalp was already on their pole. We fought them and took a number of the children and any of the surviving white men. We brought them here. Two more men died here and are buried in the civilian cemetery. The two surviving men and the two older boys joined Sir John Johnson’s King’s Own Regiment. We adopted the other five boys.”
Susannah looked started. “They are here! The boys are here!?!”
Owera smiled. “Yes. Some may be out hunting but they are all here. They are members of the tribe and learning to be warriors. They are no longer white boys,” she cautioned. “They were adopted with their fathers’ permission.”
Susannah looked across the fire at Hawk. She smiled. “That is why I knew you. Once, in another life, you were called James Miller.”
Hawk laughed. Susannah smiled at him. Owera hummed.
“Tawit will tell you in more detail about what happened and he can answer your questions. I am glad to be able to meet you. Your sisters and brothers look a lot like your mother with the white blond hair. I thought you were going to be staying with your uncle?” Owera asked.
“Charlotte Morden,” said Hawk as a way of explanation.
“She is not a woman worthy of your uncle,” said Owera. “She grows unhappiness like a garden. She tends and nurtures every small problem until she grows them into oak trees.”
“Akhso, I have brought you several small gifts to show my respect,” said Susannah. Kneeling down beside her grandmother, Susannah opened her carrying casket. From the top she brought out a length of calico. Owera’s eyes lit up as she saw the bright red fabric. She fingered its softness and murmured her approval. Susannah then handed her a number of small packets. Each contained a week’s supply of flour, wild rice, blueberries and raspberries, a large lump of sugar, and the rest of their pemmican.
“Thank you my granddaughter. I wish that Willow had lived to see the fine young woman you have become. She died three years ago when our village was attacked by Sullivan and his men. It was after that that we came to Canada. Soon it will be time for you to set-up your own house, but until then you have your sisters and brother to care for. I will speak with your uncle and ensure that all will be cared for."
Susannah nodded and relaxed knowing that adults were back in charge.
Sorry guys... this one very opinionated group of characters... its like herding cats... they keep scattering on me... Usually my characters are cooperative, but this group isn't... Hope to have something for you all tomorrow.
Thank you! You have a gift. That gift is the ability to make history come alive, real, while being factual. The history books never tell the whole truth, just the side they want you to know. I am glad you can tell "the rest of the story!"
Felix Carpenter, the Blauvelt twins and Sally Ostrander let themselves out of Miss Molly’s house and walked down the main street towards the north end of the garrison. It was really just a wide, well-worn, rock strewn path beaten hard by soldiers marching over it. As they walked, they had to doge questionable puddles and road apples. Ahead of them a young boy drove a pig. After the terror of the past couple of weeks it all seemed so quiet. The soldiers they passed nodded and said hello. People talked and laughed. In the warm spring sun, the laundry lay out in the field to dry, weighted down by rocks against the stiff breeze that blew off the lake. Overhead, the geese were returning from the south, their honks a counter point to the blue jays and crows and small song birds. It all seemed remarkably pastoral, free of concern or panic. They themselves didn’t talk as they ambled past the low log buildings.
All were built of log, mostly pine by the look of it. Felix, who loved working with wood noted that some of the corners were keyed* while others were dovetailed. He pointed this out to Isaac. While most of the buildings had horizontal logs, several were built with the French Canadian vertical style. Isaac noted that all logs were well chinked. The side by side barracks were built with a shared stone chimney block, to capture as much heat as possible. The officers houses were mostly built using rectangular planks in the French "colombage " method - the upright logs were notched at the corners to receive the ends of the horizontal logs, thus making a clean corner. In Quebec, the colombage style-buildings would be built with a hollow space between interior and exterior wall that would be filled with sawdust and ash to act as an insulator. Given the wind of Lake Ontario in the winter, Felix hoped that these were as well. The Commander’s house was obvious with its deck and six of six windows, while the officers had the smaller six by six windows, with bull’s eye panes of glass. The barracks and other buildings had oiled cloth window coverings. Though the windows, they could see that like Miss Molly’s house, the interiors were whitewashed over lime plaster to make the spaces bright and light. They assumed that they would also have wood plank floors like Miss Molly’s house.
Sally and Lucy were eying the gardens. Early and wild flowers were already up adding their colour to the spring day. The vegetable gardens had all been cleared of winter debris. The soil turned and manured, the smell pungent in the clean air. It didn’t look like any planting had been done yet, but even further south they would not have planted for another couple of weeks. There were the sounds of cattle and sheep but they didn’t see them. One woman they could see was turning out her dairy with the aid of a black servant. They were scrubbing down the churns with salt and boiling water before angling them to make the most of the bright sunlight.
As they moved closer to the merchants warehouses, they saw more styles of construction. A new warehouse, elevated on piers was being built in the colombage style. Logs were being levered into place using an A-frame crane. To one side, several small single use lime kilns** were producing quicklime for the mortar, putty and wash. There were men quicking the lime and the exothermic reaction was making the water boil. Others then applied it to the spaces between the logs, which had already been stuffed with moss. When asked the young teens were told that it was to be a provisions shed, so there would also be a lime putty floor on top of the wood floor planks and over the log walls to keep out the varmint. The men sang as they worked and the voyageur songs told the children that these men were only passing time until the rivers became ice-free and then they were off again to the north woods.
They were still watching the construction workers when they became aware of a commotion down towards the docks. Heading that way they say a large party of young braves coming back from the hunt. With strings of fish and several young bucks, the party was loud and boisterous with their success. Some already wore the summer uniform of a breechcloth alone, while others still enjoyed the warmth of their leather leggings. Some of the younger ones still wore their hair in two braids, most wore their hair styled in a top knot decorated with feathers. One of the young braves turned and Sally, whose eye had been caught by the unusual colour of his hair, saw his face and screamed.
Sally ran towards the young brave. Several of the workmen dropped their tools and came running at her cry, only to find themselves in the midst of an unexpected surprise as other braves turned to face the young teens.
One brave pushed his way to the front and looked at them closely: “Good Lord!” he exclaimed in a voice unused to English. “Felix?”
Another came closer, “Isaac!?! Lucy!?!”
Wahta came closer and looked closely at Sally. “You have grown into a very pretty girl, little sister. It has been a long time since I was known as Martin. I am now called Wahta, after the tree whose fall red leaves look like my hair.”
Seeing no danger, with a smile and a laugh, the men turned back to their work. The call and answer of A la claire fontaine drifted over the Merchants Point as the teens continued to talk.
“How? Why? Is father with you?” Sally’s mind whirled.
Sawatis and Towi:ne were roughing Isaac up and swinging Lucy around, while Finn smacked Felix hard on the back.
Finn stopped at Sally’s question. “Come, we must all talk but not here.”
The braves stepped back and rejoined their friends. Only Felix noted that for a second he could no longer see his older brother in the group of young men… that he had blended in seamlessly. The braves motioned for the young teens to follow them. The jocularity had quieted some, but the young men were still proud of their hunting and the comments flew about the hunt and about the lost siblings. Not understanding what was being said, the younger teens followed them down the narrow path through the thickets of sumac and lilacs towards the Native village.
As the young braves moved into camp, the calls and shouts drew attention and many came out of their longhouses to see what they had brought back. The è:rhar, dogs, barked and ran circles around the young men, sniffing up at the catch. Owera, Hawk, Susannah and the children were amongst those who joined the throng. It was Sawatis who saw them first.
“Kwe Owera and Hawk. Hello Susannah,” Sawatis said, not surprised to see her there. “Owera, we need your wisdom. Once long ago, before we were adopted, we had white families. Today as we came through the garrison, we found some of our iatate’kéns:’a and khe’kéns:’a, brothers and younger sisters. We do not know their story, nor they ours. Will you come and satahonhsatat… listen.”
Owera looked at the young brave and remembered the day the pale and frightened boys arrived. They no longer looked like ghosts. They were real men, Haudenosaunee, people of the Longhouse. The information they shared might be needed, so who to ask…
“We must get Tawit and Capt. Morden to come and listen. Send one of your small brothers Sawatis to find them. When they come, we will talk,” decided Owera. “Bring the children to my fire and I will give them some water and food.”
Two young boys ran down the path. They reached the Commander’s House and knocked on the door. They cared nothing for the elegance of the building in comparison with the roughness of the longhouse. In fact neither saw it. The soldier was surprised to see them but led them into the main room of the house.
Young Sinite made a beeline for Tawit. “Owera says please come. My brother’s kra:ken iatate’kéns:’a, white brothers have come.”
Davy agreed with Sinite. “Owera says for you and Capt’n Morden to come and listen because they might have important information... Please Esices, please come now.”
Capt. Morden and Tawit looked at each other over the children’s heads and nodded.
“Gentlemen, please excuse us. We will see what the children have to say and will return as quickly as possible.”
*Keying - The corners of log houses will tell you who the builders were, or at least their country of origin. The most common corner detail is when the end of each piece of wood was beveled or "keyed" before it was placed. This means that a wedge shape was carved into the receiving log while a point was carved into the log that was to be placed in it. The ends were then secured by a mixture of lime mortar with small bits of wood in it; a method called "chinking". The "keying" of the corners made for a tighter fit and a less draught. The method of keying corners was brought over to Canada through the United States by the Swedes, thus it is referred to as Swedish Keying. Swedish Keying was first seen in Pennsylvania in 1650. It was found in Canada shortly thereafter.
**French-style single use lime kilns have been found within both the documentary and archaeological record. Lime was used in the making of quicklime for cement for the chimneys and mortaring the chinking. With the island’s bedrock of Trenton limestone, this was an easily acquired material.
This story is one that many homeschoolers would find a wonderful jumping off point for much further study of the events after the American War of Independence.
You do know you could easy make money putting together histories and stories of such things with your research skills.
Oh, I was thinking, at the walmarts they had / have knives by camillus that are roughly 9.98 each. These are thin blade and remind me a lot of the "roach belly" knives popular amongst northern canoe trappers. They make nice blades in the kitchen if you can find one localy. They are sold out here at the moment, and my Daughter has "borrowed" mine for her kitchen. Probably never get it back, but I know it is in good hands.
Owera looked at the young people around her fire. She cut a length of tobacco* from the twist and put it in her pipe. Lighting it, she sat and watched them all feeling their way. She was concerned for her own people. She worried that the tribe’s adopted children would be drawn away from their families but she understood that in the end only the Great Manitou would decide their futures. She puffed away.
Around the fire, the teens seemed to be a bit at a loss of how to start the conversation. The young teens were processing the fact that not only were their siblings alive, but that they had willingly become Indians. The older teens were at a loss as to how to explain that the people they had been were dead.
It was Susannah who seemed to know how to start. Moving around she spoke quietly with Sawatis, Tawi:ne, Finn and Wahta. Then she moved over to her friends Lucy and Sally. She sat herself between them and took one of their hands in hers.
“Is it not wonderful to know that they live,” she started. “It has been a day of great revealings… some full of joy and others of great sorrow... and some which will make your hearts ache as you must let them go. It has been that way for me, as I have learned that my father John Morden was killed in the Lenni-Lenape raid. So much anger and harassement in Jaysburg and my mother had been a widow the whole time. So also was Hawk’s white father killed.
“Sally, I am very sorry to tell you that your father was very badly injured, as was Master Seegers. Both men made it here to the Fort, but the Medicine Woman, even with the Fort’s doctor’s assistance, and prayers to both Our Heavenly Father and to the Great Manitou, could not save them. They are buried here in the cemetery. If you would like, later we can go and pay our respects.
“Masters Blauvelt and Carpenter and Martin Carpenter also survived. They have joined the King’s Own Regiment headed by Sir John Johnson. They are currently away with their unit fighting the Rebels. Isaac and Lucy, your cousin Johan Ryckman also survived. He too is with the King’s Own Regiment. With prayers, perhaps all will come home again.
“The other boys who were taken have also survived – John and James Blauvelt, James Miller, Phineus Carpenter and, Lucy, your brother Martin. They all survived the raid, but they are all dead. They were all adopted by the Mohawk. They are members of the Tribe, members of the Bear, Turtle and Wolf clans. They are Haudenosaunee, people of the Longhouse. You must know this. They are no longer white boys but red men.
“They are hunters and warriors. They pray to the Great Manitou and will be pleased and happy to see you, but they are no longer the boys you knew in Jaysberg. For three years they have hunted the trails, lived in the longhouses, and fought the Long Knives. Finn is married and he and his wife, Onwari**, are expecting a baby. Their lives are here in the longhouses of the Mohawk. They will always be pleased to see you but their life is here now. Your lives is not. I do not know yet what is in store, but a life here in Canada will found for us all.”
Tawit and Capt. Morden had walked while Susannah was speaking. In the silence that followed, the heart-wrenching sobs of Sally could be heard. Owera came over and wrapped a 2 ½ point blanket*** around her. She nodded at the men who came and sat on the floor in front of the bench, flanking Owera, subtly re-enforcing her authority.
Wahta came over and crouched before her. In his breechcloth and leggings, his skin dark from the years of direct sun, his head shaven with only the top knot remaining, he was completely unfamiliar. Looking at him took hard work.
“Do not cry khe'kén:'a… do not cry Sally,” he said. “I miss our father. He was a good man, but he was injured in the head and his spirit could not find peace. Hold the love he had for us in your heart. He cried for us all and he gave his blessing to my adoption. Now tell me of my white mother and the two small boys? How is it that you are here and they are not with you?”
There was silence for a few moments as Isaac and Felix looked at each other.
“After the raid, after you were all taken, things in Jaysburg change,” said Isaac. “Some people thought that you were all dead, others taken by the Indians and others still that you had run away to join the British. The authorities hunted for you but could find no sign beyond the pony tracks into the woods. They did not know how to treat our mothers or us. Things changed slowly as the number of raida increased, field were burnt, people starved and the war dragged on. Slowly the opinion that you had joined the British grew. I do not know who fanned those flames but the embers of distrust and hate grew. When Susannah’s mother died and her uncle came to collect the children, it seemed a small fire of hate turned into a wildfire. The Treason Committee in Fort Augusta passed a verdict declaring our families, those of the Jaysberg Widows, which is what they called our mothers, to have been British sympathizers and that our properties were forfeit. They also declared that all children of sympathizers aged 12 and older were to be sent to the Continental Army for re-education.
“A man whose name I do not know arrived at Mistress Miller’s new tavern and told of what he had heard. There was no time for us to grab more than a few small items and disappear into the woods. Within the hour, eight of us had been gathered together and we were taken to Master Ryckman’s farm. He hid us until he had to join the posse chasing after Susannah’s family. We then moved through six more homesteads until the Mohawk came for us.
“I was the last to join everyone,” said Felix. “I watched as they arrested our mothers and looted our belongings. That weasly Martin Heinz was even in on it. I saw him taking mother’s rings. He took them right off her hand.”
“He has been dealt with,” said Hawk. “He and George Smith will never corner another girl or steal from others again.”
“Are you sure?” asked Felix.
“I drew the blade,” said Hawk simply.
“Their scalps hang from our pole,” said Tawit.
Felix gluped and looked slightly green, so Isaac continued.
“There were four Mohawk warriors who came and got us. We rode two to a horse. The Seeger boys – Hyrum and Aaron, Felix’s brothers John and Ben, and the four of us.”
“The boys are here?” Finn said with an excited look on his face. Felix nodded.
“The younger ones are sleeping on Miss Molly’s floor.”
“Mama kept the girls with her,” said Isaac. “They were all marched off to Fort Augusta. Just before we left with the Mohawks, a message was received that Master Williams and his wife had been ordered to appear before the Treason Committee. They saw our Mamas and said they had been sore abused but that some of the Committee members were very angry about it and had given them back their houses and sent them home. The was all fine and well but they went home to nothing – no food, no furniture, nothing… and no one would be seen to aid them. So they are all living together in the Carpenter house as it is the smallest and takes the least amount to heat. Also their garden was the least damaged. Can we go and get them?”
All along Capt. Morden and Tawit had seen this question coming and the truth was that the women could not be left there. At some point someone would see one of their husbands amongst the guerilla fighters. A guide would have to be sent, but who?
“We will discuss this further,” said Capt. Morden. “For now we need to house you all and I think that putting you all in my house with Susannah to run the house and Abigail to assist will be the best solution. Susannah, I have arranged for your things to be taken from the warehouse up to the house. My wife has gone back to England for an extended stay. She could only take one trunk so most of the house is still there. The Rev. Bethune supervised her packing and saw her onto the mid-day boat to Lachine.
“Susannah could you please take these youngsters and your siblings back to Miss Molly’s to find the other children and then go over to the house. Abigail should be there by now. These young men and I have some talking to do. We will let you know the decisions.”
“Before you all go,” said Susannah. “I want you all to meet Tawit. He is my esices, my father. He and my mother were married before when she had been an adopted daughter of the Bear clan and a daughter of the longhouse. The story is long and their separation involuntary, but I am blessed to have had two fathers who loved me. Owera is his mother, my grandmother.”
Lucy looked over at her in disbelief, “Do you mean to tell me that you are a half-breed?”
“Yes,” said Susannah, “and you have two brothers who are Indians, you have a father and cousin fighting as Loyalists and a mother and two sisters under arrest. Be careful before you go throwing rocks. You stand inside a glass house. Life is complicated and takes you unexpected places. Come on, let’s get moving and go find the others.”
Susannah rounded them up and after giving Owera a hug and a quiet thank you.
With the young people gone. Tawit and Capt. Morden snipped some of the tobacco twist for their own pipes. The three sat quietly for some moments enjoying the peace after all the swirl of emotion. The pipe smoke rose and joined that of the fires before going out the smoke hole in the roof.
“Your daughter has grown into a fine young woman, Tawit,” said Owera. “She has much wisdom. She will soon be sought by many. Have you thought about that? She has not been raised in our ways and already she is catching the eyes of our young men. It may be best that she not stay here for long.”
Tawit gave an uneasy laugh. “I have had the same conversation with the Fort’s Commander. He is concerned that his men are not focusing on their tasks when fine young women walk amongst them. Miss Molly has suggested that they all go to school in Montreal, but I suspect that much of that will depend on what is decided about the Jaysberg widows. For now, Susannah will be busy and Abigail will act as chaperon.”
Capt. Morden agreed. “There is talk of a new community being founded down river from here at Pointe Maligne. It is to be settled by the families of soldiers from Sir John Jonson’s regiment. I have heard it referred to as New Johnstown¤. If they bring the widows out, that would be an ideal place for them all to go. Lawfully, the decision about Susannah, Sarah, Mary, Davy and Jane is up to me. Certainly the younger ones I can settle in New Johnstown with ease, but Susannah’s heritage is going to be an issue. It may be better to apprentice her to a dressmaker in Montreal and letter her finish her training there. The French are not as concerned about a mixed heritage as the English.”
Owera hummed and Tawit nodded.
Susannah was happy and busy as she sorted out the children. In the end she turned the two upstairs bedrooms into one for the girls and the other for the boys. Her uncle, she kept undisturbed in his downstairs bedroom. The box bed from home had been put in the kitchen and she claimed it for her own.
Charlotte Morden may have been happy to leave, but she had made a right real mess of things on her way out the door. She and Abigail and the two girls had been forced to work hard to fix the mess she had made. The slitting of the pillows and down covers was just plain mean, and after the down had been collected, Susannah had done some quick stitching to get everything properly contained again.
In the kitchen, they found that Charlotte had dumped the cone of sugar into the water bucket and the brine had been let out of the beef caskets. Abigail was furious. There just wasn’t enough food to waste it in such a manner. Susannah just found a clean copper kettle and poured the contents of the water bucket into it. She then set in on the crane over the fire. Slowly the water boiled-off until the thick syrup solidified into crystals. Susannah then put it into a wooden box. As for the brine, using river water and more salt, she filled the caskets back up.
April was often such a hungry time of year as they waited for the next season’s growths to round out their diets, but Susannah took a piece of the brined beef and chopped it into a potage with corn and chunks of dried squash and made dinner for them all.
*Tobacco is a sacred plant among most aboriginal peoples, and tobacco growing pre-dates the arrival of Europeans in the New World. Different varieties were grown in different regions across what is now the United States and southern Canada. As the fur trade expanded, processed tobacco imported from European-run plantations became an important trade item and gradually supplanted Native tobacco cultivation. The NWC purchased at least five varieties of tobacco for the trade, most of it from South America or southern United States. The most popular was North West Twist which came in a rolled form - lengths of tobacco spun into "ropes" and wound onto a roll or spindle. For an image of a North West Twist, please see The Fur Trade Museum http://www.furtrade.org/museum-collections/provisions/ -look at image 2.
Plug tobacco from Virginia was a compressed brick or cake, flavoured with molasses and licorice, and considered inferior to twist tobacco. Carrot tobacco, also from Virginia, consisted of whole tobacco leaves pressed into a carrot-shaped bundle. Like plug, it was of lesser quality and traded only when twist was in short supply or unavailable. (Source: Fort William Glossery) For information about tobacco carrots - http://www.wired.com/2009/06/gallery_snuff/2/
**Onwari – Mary
*** Point blankets were the wool blankets traded by the fur traders from the 1650s on. The word point is believed to originate with the French word emporter. When a blanket was finished a slingle dark thread was woven into the side to show its completion. The blankets then went to the Guild where they were inspected and the Guild added a second line. So originally all blankets were 2 point blankets. The meaning of the points the shifted to indicate size. Karl Koster of Grand Portage studied old trade goods lists/inventories, and charted the sizes and colors - when indicated. This was for the Great Lakes, New France, and the Haut Pays fur trade areas. The most common sized blanket from all the lists was a 2 1/2 point blanket, with 3 point next. Trade blankets were woven up as double long blankets - two full blankets woven together. And they were often sold/traded as a pair. If a single blanket was to be sold/traded, one of those doubles would be cut/torn into two individual blankets.
Colors. That white blanket with the multi-stripes of the HBC red/blue/yellow is mainly an early 1800's and later blanket. The earliest reference that anyone has so far found is 1795.
Mr. Koster’s research indicates that the most common "trade blanket" color was white with a dark blue or indigo stripe at each end. The next most common color "trade blanket" was red with that dark blue stripe (almost black) at each end. And then you start to see some White with red stripe, and green with dark blue/black. Trade blankets woven at one hand looms in the weaver’s home could vary by each blanket. By the end of the 18th Century increasingly trade blankets were being mass-produced in the big woolen mills, and were therefore becoming fairly consistent in their sizes and colors.
¤ Pointe Maligne had been a French settlement on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. In 1784, it was renamed New Johnstown and settled by the soldiers of The King’s Own Regiment. In 1834 it was renamed for the Duke of Cornwall and Cornwall was incorporated as a city. The construction of the Cornwall Canal between 1834 and 1842 accelerated the community's development into an industrial centre. In 1958, the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which permitted the passage of the huge lake tankers from Thunder Bay though to Montreal, caused the submersion of a number of small communities and farms settled by the United Empire Loyalists. Many of the historic homes were saved and moved to the living history museum of Upper Canada Village, outside of Morrisburg, Ontario (http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/index.cfm/en/home/). If you are ever up here on vacation, the trip is well worth the drive.
As she got the household under control, Susannah began to wonder how she was going to make any money. Reality was that there really wasn’t an exisiting market for the types of clothing she made. So just to keep her needle skills fine-tuned, she decided that Lucy and Sally need something more than the set of clothing they stood in. It was spring so something lighter than the heavy winter fabrics were in order. She had some calicos that would work nicely.
She brought each girl in and measured them, checking their corsets as she went. Thirteen was such an awkward age… one’s body tended to be moving in all directions. Sally really needed a new one as she was really starting to develop, but corset making was a skilled craft in its own right and it wasn’t a trade she had learned. Another item to add to her list of things to discuss with Capt. Morden... By the end of the day, she had the two pet en l’aires cut. Lucy’s was a deep cream with sprigs of mustard coloured flowers printed on it. It suited her dark hair. Sally’s was a bright green with white flowers on it. The green matched her eyes and made her auburn hair glow. Normally a pet en l’aire would not be worn outside but its loose construction was ideal for young ladies in the heat of the Canadian summer. Sarah and Mary were still able to wear theirs.
Each jacket and its muslin lining was carefully cut and pinned to each girl. Susannah really enjoyed watching their faces glow with pleasure as with each fitting they could see how their new jacket would fit. She herself felt much better as she sat and sewed. She felt stronger and more secure in what she was doing.
The ruffles down the front of Sally’s jacket was done in the matching fabrics. Susannah cut the ruffles in strips slightly more than two times the width of the finished ruffles. The sides were folded back, so that they overlapped in the middle. Using a running stitch of 10 stitches per inch, she sewed the ruffles down. The raw edges were hidden on the middle underside of the ruffles. This was the fastest and the easiest, although it took slightly more fabric than hemming each edge of ribbon. For the ruffles on Lucy’s she had a mustard coloured silk ribbon and she used that.
Again Sally’s matching petticoats were lined in muslin. Lucy’s petticoat was in a plain mustard calico with a muslin lining. Rather than use full panniers, which were really too much on such young girls and rather silly for living on at a military garrison in the middle of the Canadian forest, Susannah made pillow panniers for each of the girls. It gave them the correct silhouette without the encumbrances of the cage of panniers. It was a lot of sewing but the girls helped and Susannah was meticulous about their work. She felt no guilt at ripping out their work if it was not done correctly. Lucy showed potential but Sally was still full of the “you can tell me what to do ‘cause you’re just a half-breed”. Sooner or later Sally was going to push her too far but for the moment, she was letting it slide. Actually she was letting it ride because Sally was still trying to get Wahta to come and live in the house. He was fast losing patience with her. Susannah figured he would take off soon and then there would be an almighty blow-out.
As the group marched to Church that next Sunday, Susannah felt quite proud about how her group was turned out. The boys were all neat and clean and the girls looked pretty in their fresh calico dresses. Several of the officers’ wives took note and Abigail was pleased to tell their slaves and servants of Susannah’s skills.
Within the week, Susannah had been asked to make dresses for two of the officers’ wives. She then made a calculated move and went to see the Commander’s wife. Dressed in her best dress, she knocked on the door of the residence and asked the servant if it would be possible to see Madame.
“Thank you for seeing me Madame,” said Susannah.
“What can I do for you my child? I have seen that you have settled in nicely and that you have excellent control over the mob of youngsters that the Captain has brought in.”
“Thank you, Madame,” demurred Susannah. “Madame, my late mother trained in Philadelphia as a mantua maker and I was apprenticed to her. Several ladies here in the Fort have approached me to make mantuas for them, but I do not wish to make anything that might overshadow your position as the senior lady.”
“Insightful of you,” the woman commented dryly. “What do you propose?”
“Well I see one of three options,” said Susannah. “You would allow me to see your mantua and then the ones I make for the officers wives are slightly less stylish. Or I make you a new mantua and it is the most stylish of the new dresses made.”
“You mentioned a third option,” said Madame.
“Well it is an option but for obvious reasons the one I find financially impossible to make…”
“Well I tell the other ladies that the Fort’s Commander has determined that such enterprise is not permissible within the Fort and that I am unable to accept their commissions,” said Susannah.
The Fort’s First Lady whooped with laughter. “You are a very clever young lady. I shall speak with my husband on this and we will advise you.”
“Ah mon cheri, you would have found much in this young woman to make you smile.” Madame said to her husband that evening.
“I am more pleased that she has made you smile,” said the Fort’s Commander.
“Oh… it is just that she is very clever for such a young woman. She has given me three choices. To give her access to my wardrobe to ensure that no one is more fashionable than I… to spend my money on a new dress so that no one might have one of her dresses before I do, and thus I show patronage… or for her to make no dresses at all but to have you declare that such industry may not happen within the Fort, but you thus become financially responsible for that little band of monkeys she would then not be able to support.”
“You are correct,” said the Commander, “and so was I… I just saw trouble the other way.”
“What do you mean, mon cheri?”
“As soon as I saw that young woman, I thought that we might have besotted soldiers tripping over themselves and I told her uncle that she would have to go in fairly short order. I did not expect that the jealousies would spread from mantua making. It is not worth the trouble for me to ban her business, so you do as you please.”
“Well, I do have the pictures of a redingote* that I would like..très chic… And it would look very nice in the navy calico I have in the trunk,” mused Madame.
“A fine way to lower the expense by having her use your pattern and materials,” said her husband. “It does my heart proud to see you well dressed even in this outpost. Perhaps soon this war will be resolved and we can return to Edinburgh…”
“Do we need to go that far?” queried Madame. “Montreal is a lovely city and there you are respected and we have status there. In Edinburgh, you would be just another retired Captain and I will be that French-woman. Life is much freer here too and we can visit Europe whenever we want. Also by this time next year, you will finally be a Papa.”
“You are sure!” He exclaimed and he hugged his wife to him. There would be much to look forward to in this life, if only they could get this blasted war finished.
NOTICE: Timebomb2000 is an Internet forum for discussion of world events and personal disaster preparation. Membership is by request only. The opinions posted do not necessarily represent those of TB2K Incorporated (the owner of this website), the staff or site host. Responsibility for the content of all posts rests solely with the Member making them. Neither TB2K Inc, the Staff nor the site host shall be liable for any content.
All original member content posted on this forum becomes the property of TB2K Inc. for archival and display purposes on the Timebomb2000 website venue. Said content may be removed or edited at staff discretion. The original authors retain all rights to their material outside of the Timebomb2000.com website venue. Publication of any original material from Timebomb2000.com on other websites or venues without permission from TB2K Inc. or the original author is expressly forbidden.
"Timebomb2000", "TB2K" and "Watching the World Tick Away" are Service Mark℠ TB2K, Inc. All Rights Reserved.