I had to go through some old photos today and found these. These were taken in the summer of 2000. I was experimenting with a contemporary 18th century saddle made by Don Newsome. The horse, Mandy, is now long gone sadly. She was almost 30 at that time and was a sure footed as any horse I had ever ridden.
She decided that she did not want her picture taken I guess, as she stuck out her tongue just as it was being snapped. After, we went out for about a five mile ride and the saddle worked out quite well. I will need to do quite a bit of riding for the expedition next May that will follow the Boone Trace and Wilderness Road.
The Boone Society has a publication that is called The Compass. I am thrilled that they have published the first in a series of five articles I wrote about the life and times of Simon Girty. Simon Girty was considered a traitor to the American Revolutionary cause and worse yet, a dangerous, psychopathic, violent man who enjoyed leading Indians raids on the frontier. He and Daniel Boone are linked by a very sad incident—the death of Daniel and Rebecca Boone’s son Israel. Israel’s death occurred at the Battle of Blue Licks in 1782—some say the last battle of the American Revolution. Daniel Boone was standing right next to Israel and heard the bullet hit home. Simon Girty was present there and probably aided in laying out the strategy for the battle on behalf of the British government, but was not involved in the actual fight. In fact, most of what has been written about Girty has been false. That is, until recently when historians have finally uncovered the truth about this man. The story is in the articles, which first appeared in Muzzleloader magazine. Back issues are available from that publication. I enjoyed writing about Simon Girty and in many ways have grown to admire him.
I finished repairing the broken wrist on my smoothbore.
More pictures in today’s entry of woods journal.
A while back my English Type G trade gun suffered a broken wrist in a weird sort of mishap. Guns on the frontier were broken also. I had never made a repair like this before and I was nervous about doing it myself. So I called a couple of friends of mine and they gave me some ideas and encouragement. Gathering up some courage, I glued and pegged the wrist back together and I think the end result came out well. I am not quite done, though. I will either wrap the wrist with rawhide and sew uit in place or use a sheet of brass, nailed in place–both methods were use to make wrist repairs in historic times.
Firearms on the frontier were constantly subjected to abuse, after all, they were mostly tools. Accidents happened and repairs had to made. My English flintlock smoothbore broke the other day at the wrist when one of our dogs bumped into it while it was leaning up against the barn and it hit the ground funny or something, but sadly it was broken. I took it back into the house, looked at it and thought about how to make a repair. After calling a few friends I made a plan. I have started the repair process and it is in todays entry in the journal part of this website. Many firearms on the frontier were just used up and those that have survived show a lot of wear and abuse and yes, even repairs.
More pictures on the journal part of my website
Next May a number of people will be traveling a corridor of America’s early western movement. For more details, see the page titled “AMERICA’S FRONTIER HISTORY EXPEDITON” Thanks!
The above image is from a painting by H. David Wright called Spirit of America
It was -3 with a wind chill of -17 F. I am wearing an plains style capote made out of a 6 point Whitney wool blanket. This coat is warm.
In a situation that seem very ironical to me, the stock on one of my favorite hunting rifles broke at the wrist today. It is a very close copy of a mid-seventeen hundreds, English, smoothbore, flintlock longarm known today as a Carolina Gun. Some call it a Type G. Two things are ironic here. 1. I am in the process of writing about an original Carolina Gun for Muzzleloader magazine and 2. it has a similar break in the wrist area as mine now does. The original was repaired and put back into use and I will do the same with mine. I will glue, pin and clamp the wrist area back together and when the glue has set up and cured I will either wrap the wrist in wet rawhide and sew it together—or I will make a repair using a piece of copper or brass sheeting, forming it around the wrist and securing it with small nails. This gun, like the many original ones I have examined will be put back into use—just with a bit more character.
The rest of the pictures can be seen on Daily Woods Journal page on this website for the date 1.5.15