This site best viewed at 800x600 or greater resolution. Please support Our Advertisers. They make this site possible!

HistoricalTrekking.com
Small Horizontal Row
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in
 CalendarCalendar   LinksLinks 
Rifle-toting personas 1750-1760
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    HistoricalTrekking.com Forum Index -> Personas
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Rich Pierce
User


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 218
Location: St. Louis, MO
Real Name: Richard Pierce

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject: Rifle-toting personas 1750-1760 Reply with quote

I started a topic of "early rifles" over on the main message board. The link is here http://www.historicaltrekking.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5829.

I'll ask a question: what persons (living where) in 1750-1760 would own rifles, and carry them for work or play in a way that we might emulate while trekking?

First that comes to mind for me is the "long hunter"; for example Dan'l Boone and his sort. These are probably men in their 20's-30's-40's at most in this timeframe, living on the frontier and delving deep into "Indian Territory" west of the Appalachians. This is probably pre-settlement. Some of these guys served outlying settlements and supported forts in times of tension working as "scouts". They were probably men in the prime of life, as long as it lasted.

Next would be an Indian good means ranging south and west from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas, able to procure the best available arms and use them for work (hunting deer) and war.

Third for me would be the successful tradesman, land speculator or merchant in Lancaster town, Reading, Easton, York or towns to the south along the Great Wagon Road. Being of German heritage, owning and shooting a rifle would be a mark of distinction and a certain place in society.

Your ideas?

(added in edit, cause I keep thinking all the time)
Don't mean this to turn into anything that some would find restrictive and I DO realize that "rifle-toting" is probably not the best place to start with persona development. It's just that I have rifles.... and I like the timeframe. I can and will adapt! LOL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nogoshe chobee
User


Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 29
Location: florida
Real Name: mike manzano

PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: jeagers Reply with quote

In keeping with this thread, how do jeager fit in this scenario?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Capt. Jas.
User


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 117
Location: Virginia
Real Name: James Rogers

PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, going off my documentation provided on the other thread, I would have to add a farmer/planter in Central Virginia in the middle 18th century of average means. Not a super wealthy planter but a man of enough means to have entered for patents on various plots of land in the area with agriculture in mind. This land may totals about 2000 acres in various tracts with 20-30 miles of each other The wealthier planters for comparison might have lands in total of 5000-10000 acres.

There is no Indian threat in this area and any such threat will be about 75-100miles south west or more. Large game of any great volume would be the same distance nearing the Great Lick. This lick has already been much used and abused for hunting by this time as mentioned by Thomas Walker in his journal.

To set this area in "frontier" perspective for the time frame, Dr. Thomas Walker mentioned early in his journal of 1749/50 that he stopped at William Calloway's on his way to Kentucky lands. Here he picked up Rum, thread and other supplies. He remarked that the main wagon road from there heading to the New River was not well cleared or beaten out at that time. Calloway's was just on the western side of present Lynchburg VA and about 30-60 miles from the area where this farmer and his rifle toting neighbors lived.

Hope this helps add to the discussion and does not confuse anyone as I am without much sleep and only on my first cup of coffee : )
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Rich Pierce
User


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 218
Location: St. Louis, MO
Real Name: Richard Pierce

PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful to have that information on central Virginia- likely other areas were similar.

Regarding the question about how the jaeger fits in. The rifles of the 1750's would either be imported or made here, and the "evolution" of the longrifle if the subject of many theories. The "jaeger" term generally means to most a short barreled Germanic rifle made in Europe. It seems that early American made rifles shared some characteristics with the jaeger- larger bores and Germanic architecture. No doubt some "jaegers" and some English sporting rifles were imported for use here in the early to mid-1700's. I have an original jaeger barrel that was found in an antique shop in North Carolina- am re-freshing the rifling and will someday make a rifle with is, a sort of "American re-stock of a jaeger rifle".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tommy Bruce
User


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 129

Real Name: Tommy Bruce

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:39 am    Post subject: frontier rifleman Reply with quote

Rich a number of riflemen came from the Culpepper County area in Virginia to Boston during the seige of 1775 to join the continental army, as well as Pennsylvania. Enough to form companies of riflemen. I don't have any documentation as far as occupations but I doubt they were all longhunters and given that most of the population at the time was involved in farming I'd say that would be a safe persona. Some rifle toting frontiersmen (Daniel Boone, Daniel Morgan) also made a living from time to time as teamsters also.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Capt. Jas.
User


Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 117
Location: Virginia
Real Name: James Rogers

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:42 am    Post subject: Re: frontier rifleman Reply with quote

Tommy Bruce wrote:
Rich a number of riflemen came from the Culpepper County area in Virginia to Boston during the seige of 1775 to join the continental army, as well as Pennsylvania. Enough to form companies of riflemen. I don't have any documentation as far as occupations but I doubt they were all longhunters and given that most of the population at the time was involved in farming I'd say that would be a safe persona. Some rifle toting frontiersmen (Daniel Boone, Daniel Morgan) also made a living from time to time as teamsters also.


I would bet none were longhunters
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tommy Bruce
User


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 129

Real Name: Tommy Bruce

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:45 am    Post subject: rifle toting persona's Reply with quote

Capt. Jason,
That's probably a safe bet, but one thing I've been burned on when it comes to living history and documentation is using hard words such as always, never none ect. Anyways Rich did mention 1750 to 60 but I doubt little changes in professions between then and 1775. One thing I have noticed is that the use of rifles seem to be largely regionalized being Pennsylvania, Virginia and the southern back country.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
VtBlackdog
Guest





Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering about this; why the use of rifles spread southward from Pennsylvania but didn't spread equally to the north? Maybe us Yankees were just too frugal?

Also, just who were the riflemen at Saratoga? local backwoodsmen, or were they from the south?


Last edited by VtBlackdog on Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
VtBlackdog
Guest





Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VtBlackdog wrote:
I was wondering about this; why the use of rifles spread southward from Pennsylvania but didn't spread equally to the north? Maybe us Yankees were just too frugal?

Also, just who were the riflemen at Saratoga? local backwoodsmen, or were they from the south?


didnt' mean to quote myself, oops.
Back to top
Rich Pierce
User


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 218
Location: St. Louis, MO
Real Name: Richard Pierce

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Saratoga riflemen were Virginians for the most part led by Morgan, I believe. Not sure why the riflle didn't spread to New York and New England. Certainly there were plenty of German folk who settled in the Mohawk valley in NY state. I've always looked for evidence of early rifle use in NY but it's rare, the exception.

Sir William Johnson was controlling much of the frontier trade and trade with the Iroquois and was ordering British goods and that may be part of it. But In Philadelphia in the same period they were importing German rifles. Why not NY? Don't have a clue. The Dutch and English do not have that much of a rifle heritage and that may be part of the answer in NY. All speculative.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
VtBlackdog
Guest





Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Rich for the info :-)
Back to top
Mario
User


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 560
Location: Mohawk Valley, NY
Real Name: Mario Doreste

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir William's papers show that he was repairing rifles for the Iroquois, but not that he ever ordered any for them. There is one entry of him ordering a rifle for himself and mentioning that he had others (2 are recorded in his death inventory).

Some others were ordered by Albany merchants in the western Indian trade.

The Germans that settled in this area came from western Germany, whereas the south was rifle country.


Mario

_________________
http://frontierloyalist.blogspot.com/

http://bycanoeandsnowshoe.blogspot.com/
Back to top
Find all public pictures posted by %s View user's profile Send private message
Don Beltrami
User


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 76
Location: New England
Real Name: Don Beltrami

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer the question of why the rifles in the south and the smoothbores in the N.E. area look to the people you are talking about. Frugal yankees had been using the smoothbore as a matter of tradition-both military since it was the primary military type weapon of the day worldwide, and it was what their forefathers had used. Also in the matter of hunting, the more heavily cleared and populated northeast was not the realm of big-game, but fowl for which the smoothbore was better suited. If you needed to use ball for larger game when it was necessary you could. Why would the Yankees change? On the other hand in Pennsylvania you had German immigrants who bought the rifled musket with them- so again it was the gun their forefathers used. Having it around in numbers where people were exposed to it and perhaps having less inhibition to change than the English in N.E. picked it up in greater numbers. Maybe there were more opportunities for big game hunting as well, or more need for a weapon that could put a ball further thru more wooded terrain. Rifles were not unheard of in New England, just uncommon. On a militia returns sheet in the collection at Old Deerfield there is a column for rifles as well as muskets. Seems kind of a waste if the only people who had them were rich folks.
Sometimes the reasons are more cultural than simply a matter of was the item available in a store. New englanders viewed it as more of a military weapon and were resistant to change. Hunting was primarily of waterfowl and game birds- so the smoothbore remained dominant. Mid-Atantic the rifle was brought in with immigrants, the English in this area were more acceptable to change in matters of material culture, and hunting wise it was a more useful weapon for the conditions.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Tommy Bruce
User


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 129

Real Name: Tommy Bruce

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:38 am    Post subject: rifles Reply with quote

I'll throw one more in. It seems a greater number of gunsmiths settled in the Pa area as well, possibly creating a greater number of opportunities for young apprentices as well. Great topic by the way.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Loyalist Dave
User


Joined: 21 Aug 2008
Posts: 294

Real Name: David Woolsey

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct! Germany was not a united country, Germans were German by ethnicity, not nation of birth. Your Jaeger troops of the AWI came from Hesse Hanau, Hesse Cassel, Ansbach Bayreuth, Anhalt Zerbst, and (iirc) Braunschweig. This is central to south central Germany. While the Germans who arrived in NY may have known about rifles, they also knew about fowling pieces, and maybe had to adapt to market demands and the need for fowling pieces. The Dutch (NY was first a Dutch colony) had rifle makers as well, in fact there are serveral Jaeger style Dutch made rifles that exist in collections today, but again, what was wanted by the customers may have impacted the situation.

The Germanic smiths who ended up in South West PA were much closer to the Ohio Valley than the folks in NY, and the surrounding countryside was German settled. Lancaster PA, Winchester VA, Stafford VA, Brunswick MD, Frederick MD, Carlisle PA, were all ethnic German communities (good rifle customers maybe?) In fact when the Brits moved on Philadelphia, the German POW's from Washington's raids on Trenton and Princeton were moved from Philly to Lancaster, Frederick, Staunton, and Winchester, because of the large number of German speaking people. The POW's were then paroled to local farmers for labor, and the POW's were housed, clothed, and fed.

So 1750-1760, rifles were not super prevalent from what we can read. The British did issue some rifles in the F&I though the style is unknown. However, Gen. Henry Bouquet mentions rifle toting militia in his papers documenting his move against Pontiac (1764). The style of rifle is not mentioned.

By 1760 actual "long hunts" had begun. George Morgan documents rifles and fusils for sale at his trading post in Illinois in the 1760's. We don't know the size or style of his rifles, though they did come from PA. All of his contract hunters except one (iirc) used a rifle.

Could a German immigrant have brought over his Jaeger rifle and be on the frontier? Sure. Could a German indentured servant in PA have jumped-bond, taking a rifle and fleeing to the frontier in another colony? Sure.

LD

_________________
It's not what you think you know; It's what you can prove
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    HistoricalTrekking.com Forum Index -> Personas All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You must Register or Log In to post new topics in this forum
You must Register or Log In to reply to topics in this forum
You must Register or Log In to edit your posts in this forum
You must Register or Log In to delete your posts in this forum
You must Register or Log In to vote in polls in this forum
Back to HistoricalTrekking.com
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group - This site created 11/24/99 by Historical Enterprises.
Photos, Text, Graphics, and Design Copyright 1999 - Present Historical Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.
Exact Matches Only