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42647Re: 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies

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  • annbwass@aol.com
    Sep 8, 2010
      I posted this a while ago, but will mention it again. Sally Queen compiled a continuum of accuracy in interpretation. It is up to everyone (and/or the sites where they interpret) to decide where along the continuum they will be. As to shaving, I'm not convinced that every man shaved every day--however, that being said, I realize there is a difference between 3 days of stubble and a full beard.

      My husband, bless his soul, only comes out for a couple of events a year (and he does not do a military impression.) He absolutely refuses to shave his beard. But I would rather have him at said events (especially our 12th Night Ball--he is an accomplished dance master) with a beard than not there at all. Hoped we could make him a Jewish merchant--we know there were some in Baltimore--but alas! pictoral evidence indicates they were also clean-shaven.

      When it comes down to it, we just can't be 100% accurate. Even if fellows are young enough to be creditable soldiers, for example, their body build and posture aren't usually accurate. (Think of Yul Brynner as Jean Lafitte in "The Buccaneer"--those shoulders!)

      But I do agree that, in all too many cases, spectators remember the exceptions or inaccuracies rather than what we are trying to convey.

      Ann Wass

      -----Original Message-----
      From: adjutant1812 <j.lundgren@...>
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wed, Sep 8, 2010 9:33 am
      Subject: 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies

      But no one can justify a full beard for 1812 by any stretch (pioneers/sappers and voyageur types excepted). >
      > Peter Butrite
      > Maryland


      As someone who spent a number of years interpreting voyageurs I wish to add that while facial hair is very common among reeactors in that set as well it is also not correct. A review of period paintings of voyageurs will show that there are no beards etc. Many years ago a fur trade historian challenged us on a number of myths of the fur trade. We were unable to prove him wrong. Many of us changed our interpretation based upon this challenge. Our focus was Midwest Fur trade of the early 19th century. Note to all, I am referring to voyageurs, not mountain men. The more specific of an interpretation one engages in the more the details can become important.

      I believe that our interpretation and equipment should change based upon ongoing research and a desire to improve.


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