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Civilians in the Mist

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  • Ron
    Hi Soo, I think that the idea of a part of the encampment representing a nearby town is a brilliant concept. Merchants, civilians, craftspersons etc that do
    Message 1 of 29 , Sep 7, 2010
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      Hi Soo,

      I think that the idea of a part of the encampment representing a nearby town is a brilliant concept. Merchants, civilians, craftspersons etc that do not really fit into the scenario of troops on campaign would fit very well into this encampment. Interpreting this is a question of letting the visitors know that there were not civilian encampments on battlefields but that the civilian "village" is representing some activities that took place in some of the towns and villages at the time of the War of 1812.

      I personally think that having women in the ranks in battle scenarios is fine. I also strongly support all of the non-military activities at reenactments--always providing that they are interpreted to the public. My personal bugbear is when a lady in the encampment is asked about her role and she answers that camp followers, suttlers etc were a normal part of 1812 campaigning--or worse when a woman in the ranks on being asked suggests that this was a common occurence. There may have been the odd woman in the ranks in 1812 but her own comrades did not recognize her as a woman, These were manly looking babes--unlike Bob on "Blackadder Goes Forth."

      The key to all of this is that anomolies are expected--it is a hobby and partipants want to enjoy themselves while providing an educational experience. They should, however, interpret the anomolies to the public so the public is not misinformed. It took women centuries to struggle for equality and the youth of today should know how things have changed.

      Ron




      -----Original Message-----
      From: Soo <saultcitysoo@...>
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, Sep 6, 2010 9:18 am
      Subject: 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies




      Ron,

      You have raised some very good points.

      I really think that women can add to the re-enactments, but we have to rethink our roles. While I have been guilty of cross dressing <VBG> and serving on a gun crew, I also enjoy talking with the public as a female and sticking pins in the balloons of those who think all camp followers where harlots.

      Separate activities such as teas for the ladies are a good way of net working, but should be explained.

      For instance: at the last re-enactment in Gananoque, I was asked by the GLI to do the cooking for them. Working with the scenerio, I explained to the public that the GLI did not take their women with them. I was a tavern keeper in Gan, and the soldiers were billeted nearby and I had been engaged to provide meals, while the soldiers recruited and trained the local sedentary militia. I asked that the public use their imagination and see my wall tent and kitchen as "the tavern".

      I am also attempting to organize a group of civilian re-enactors to portray the civilians during the War of 1812. With Dianne Graves kind permission, we are calling ourselves "Civilians in the Midst of Alarums". The idea is to give an alternative to those who do not wish to do a military impression - or to those who wish to stay in the hobby, but no longer to participate in battles.
      However, we do wish to keep a high standard of interpretation in the matters of accurate history, dress, etc. Since the majority of civilians were NOT "upper" class, we need people happy to portray settlers/farmers, labourers, etc. We don't wish to be the "dress-up" people! Frankly, rankers wives swanning around camp in evening gowns makes me crazy! LOL
      We would hope to have a separate area away from the military which could be designated as the civilian village/town du jour.

      Whoops! Time to get off my soap box.

      We are based in eastern Ontario at the moment and in dire need of numbers to be able to be registered with the NFA at reasonable rates.
      So......if anyone is interested, please contact me off list.

      Sue Too

      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "ronpontiac" <ronaldjdale@...> wrote:
      >
      > In efforts to inform the public, inspire interest in our past, capture imaginations etc there is nothing like a reenactment.
      >
      > Great efforts are taken to ensure accuracy in uniforms and accoutrements. Of course various anomolies to strict accuracy in presentation are unavoidable. Dozens reenact the activities of historic hundreds or thousands, ladies hold high tea near the battlefield, safety precautions (like non useage of ramrods) are taken, etc. Still the public are treated to something dramatic, entertaining and highly educational.
      >
      > However, care must be taken to avoid misinformation. The ladies can camp out and have their teas etc but should point out to the public that soldiers did not bring their families on campaigns and things like tea might have been held in communities in which garrisons were stationed but not near the fields of battle. Narrators should explain that muskets were rammed but the reenactors are not doing so as a safety precaution, that the reenactors are representing an historic action, not replicating it soldier for soldier, etc
      >
      > I write this after reading an article on a Fenian Raid reenactment in the Autumn edition of the Escarpment News, a local publication. This reenactment at Fort Erie includes women in the ranks, the same thing seen in reenactments from other time periods. However, someone screwed up in the information given to the reporter writing the story.
      > The article states: " women fought in 19th century battles, sometimes disguised as males."
      >
      > While we do know that some women fought in 19th century wars, all were disguised as males. Nobody knew they were women until they were wounded and it was the missing parts not through enemy action that gave them away. They must have been some lookers!
      >
      > Women who are reenacting the roles of soldiers should inform their audience that women did not join the army in 1812 but that they enjoy reenacting the role of an 1812 soldier and are portraying a man from that period, not a woman in drag.
      >
      > Ron
      >







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Tom Hurlbut
      Facial hair.. (sigh!) Well, let s remember that this is a hobby and by that I mean most of us spend the bulk of our time in real life . It doesn t mean we
      Message 2 of 29 , Sep 7, 2010
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        Facial hair.. (sigh!)



        Well, let's remember that this is a hobby and by that I mean most of us
        spend the bulk of our time in "real life". It doesn't mean we don't care,
        just that there are more important things which may dictate whether we are
        strictly appropriate or not.



        For those who make a living at this, like actors or site staff, then it
        might be different.



        I appreciate the discussion, and we should certainly strive for accuracy as
        much as we can, but let's not get silly about this.



        "Major" Tom



        _____

        From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of qayanguaq
        Sent: September 7, 2010 6:42 PM
        To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies





        Interesting discussion, if something of a perennial theme.

        My take is that we need the women. Many serve in the ranks without undue
        notice and that is testament to their largely unheralded contribution. To
        those who espouse some purism I suggest this - have a look at the line at
        your next big event. If you are at least 25 yards distant, what sticks out
        as anomalous ? Is it a girl with her hair tucked in, or the guy busting out
        of his belts with excess body mass ? How about the guy who refused to trim
        off his goatee ? Right...that said, there is nothing to be done about the
        "epidemic" of obesity in North America. Let's be concerned with that which
        we can alter - the "epidemic" of period inappropriate facial hair.

        First, a disclaimer - I've been to two events in the last two years, where
        I've failed to remove my moustache. OK on a cavalryman or select varieties
        of Europeans, it's a non-starter for virtually all troop types in N.America.
        I've thought better of it, it's just broadly unacceptable.

        Traditionally, facial hair has been one of those "you have to decide how
        accurate you want to be" items, and somewhat taboo as a "personal issue".
        Thin excuses for taking an important item off the table, I'd say. In the
        last few years I've seen plenty of non-period facial hair at events. Many of
        those examples were on officers - senior members of the clan who should set
        the proper example. Rather egregious, erstwhile leaders!

        I shave for events so as not to suffer ruining my interpretation with facial
        hair unknown in the period. I don't enjoy the process. But no one can
        justify a full beard for 1812 by any stretch (pioneers/sappers and voyageur
        types excepted). The styled goatees I sometimes see are worse yet. They
        clearly signal, "I'm a modern man, and I don't care that much about this".
        Your face is a highly visible aspect of your impression. It is embarrassing
        to your comrades - trust me on that. Inappropriate facial hair will be the
        arbiter of your "period appropriateness" even if all else is near perfect.

        Rant over.....as you were...

        Peter Butrite
        Maryland

        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <mailto:WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com> , 12th
        US Infantry <12thinfantry@...> wrote:
        >
        > Vic,
        >
        > > As private re-enactors or members of respected groupings that have
        standards of accuracy, such as the Brigade of the American Revolution, we
        can acheve high standards indeed if we wish.
        >
        > Unfortunately, those standards are only as high as they are enforced. The
        BAR has become a shadow of its former self as it has become lax on enforcing
        its standards due to small turnout at events. When one has an event with a
        handful on a side, they're not necessarily going to turn people away, but it
        creates a downward spiral as doing so ends up also alienating those who had
        been members because they wanted standards. Just the collection of photos
        with modern sunglasses in this online gallery from a recent BAR event shows
        what unenforced standards gives you: http://imaginativeimages.net/id41.html
        >
        > > Sometimes historical realities are distorted deliberately to meet
        current political ideology, however, in site-sponsored "re-enactment' units.
        A glaring example of this was the Fort Henry Guard of Kingston, Ontario.
        This fine unit had some authenticity issues (chromed bayonets, modern hair
        styles, etc) but were a superb drill unit moving toward high levels of
        historical value as a demonstration of 1860s drill and tactics. The NDP
        government of the Province of Ontario, however, forced the introduction of
        women into the Guard, citing gender equality in hiring as the reason. Women
        were introduced into a military presentation seen at close range where they
        never would have been found in 1867 due to limits on women's opportunities.
        Historical accuracy was given up in favour of the standards of the late 20th
        Century---when the standards of the 19th Century were supposedly the purpose
        of the Guard. Should this have happened?
        >
        > Wouldn't allowing men and women to participate but still requiring
        gender-appropriate impressions still be inclusive? Otherwise, shouldn't we
        have men in women's clothing?
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Todd
        >





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • gary beauregard
        I agree with Tom. I d sooner give up doing certain periods than alter who I am, in the real world.   Beau ... From: Tom Hurlbut
        Message 3 of 29 , Sep 7, 2010
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          I agree with Tom. I'd sooner give up doing certain periods than alter who I am, in the real world.
           
          Beau

          --- On Tue, 9/7/10, Tom Hurlbut <hurlbut8646@...> wrote:


          From: Tom Hurlbut <hurlbut8646@...>
          Subject: RE: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies
          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 9:11 PM


           



          Facial hair.. (sigh!)

          Well, let's remember that this is a hobby and by that I mean most of us
          spend the bulk of our time in "real life". It doesn't mean we don't care,
          just that there are more important things which may dictate whether we are
          strictly appropriate or not.

          For those who make a living at this, like actors or site staff, then it
          might be different.

          I appreciate the discussion, and we should certainly strive for accuracy as
          much as we can, but let's not get silly about this.

          "Major" Tom

          _____

          From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of qayanguaq
          Sent: September 7, 2010 6:42 PM
          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies

          Interesting discussion, if something of a perennial theme.

          My take is that we need the women. Many serve in the ranks without undue
          notice and that is testament to their largely unheralded contribution. To
          those who espouse some purism I suggest this - have a look at the line at
          your next big event. If you are at least 25 yards distant, what sticks out
          as anomalous ? Is it a girl with her hair tucked in, or the guy busting out
          of his belts with excess body mass ? How about the guy who refused to trim
          off his goatee ? Right...that said, there is nothing to be done about the
          "epidemic" of obesity in North America. Let's be concerned with that which
          we can alter - the "epidemic" of period inappropriate facial hair.

          First, a disclaimer - I've been to two events in the last two years, where
          I've failed to remove my moustache. OK on a cavalryman or select varieties
          of Europeans, it's a non-starter for virtually all troop types in N.America.
          I've thought better of it, it's just broadly unacceptable.

          Traditionally, facial hair has been one of those "you have to decide how
          accurate you want to be" items, and somewhat taboo as a "personal issue".
          Thin excuses for taking an important item off the table, I'd say. In the
          last few years I've seen plenty of non-period facial hair at events. Many of
          those examples were on officers - senior members of the clan who should set
          the proper example. Rather egregious, erstwhile leaders!

          I shave for events so as not to suffer ruining my interpretation with facial
          hair unknown in the period. I don't enjoy the process. But no one can
          justify a full beard for 1812 by any stretch (pioneers/sappers and voyageur
          types excepted). The styled goatees I sometimes see are worse yet. They
          clearly signal, "I'm a modern man, and I don't care that much about this".
          Your face is a highly visible aspect of your impression. It is embarrassing
          to your comrades - trust me on that. Inappropriate facial hair will be the
          arbiter of your "period appropriateness" even if all else is near perfect.

          Rant over.....as you were...

          Peter Butrite
          Maryland

          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <mailto:WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com> , 12th
          US Infantry <12thinfantry@...> wrote:
          >
          > Vic,
          >
          > > As private re-enactors or members of respected groupings that have
          standards of accuracy, such as the Brigade of the American Revolution, we
          can acheve high standards indeed if we wish.
          >
          > Unfortunately, those standards are only as high as they are enforced. The
          BAR has become a shadow of its former self as it has become lax on enforcing
          its standards due to small turnout at events. When one has an event with a
          handful on a side, they're not necessarily going to turn people away, but it
          creates a downward spiral as doing so ends up also alienating those who had
          been members because they wanted standards. Just the collection of photos
          with modern sunglasses in this online gallery from a recent BAR event shows
          what unenforced standards gives you: http://imaginativeimages.net/id41.html
          >
          > > Sometimes historical realities are distorted deliberately to meet
          current political ideology, however, in site-sponsored "re-enactment' units.
          A glaring example of this was the Fort Henry Guard of Kingston, Ontario.
          This fine unit had some authenticity issues (chromed bayonets, modern hair
          styles, etc) but were a superb drill unit moving toward high levels of
          historical value as a demonstration of 1860s drill and tactics. The NDP
          government of the Province of Ontario, however, forced the introduction of
          women into the Guard, citing gender equality in hiring as the reason. Women
          were introduced into a military presentation seen at close range where they
          never would have been found in 1867 due to limits on women's opportunities.
          Historical accuracy was given up in favour of the standards of the late 20th
          Century---when the standards of the 19th Century were supposedly the purpose
          of the Guard. Should this have happened?
          >
          > Wouldn't allowing men and women to participate but still requiring
          gender-appropriate impressions still be inclusive? Otherwise, shouldn't we
          have men in women's clothing?
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Todd
          >

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]








          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • spikeyj
          ... One problem with allowing men and women to participate at Old Fort Henry but only in gender-appropriate impressions is that the Guard has dozens of
          Message 4 of 29 , Sep 8, 2010
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            > Sometimes historical realities are distorted
            > deliberately to meet
            > current political ideology, however, in site-sponsored
            > "re-enactment' units.
            > A glaring example of this was the Fort Henry Guard of
            > Kingston, Ontario.
            > This fine unit had some authenticity issues (chromed
            > bayonets, modern hair
            > styles, etc) but were a superb drill unit moving toward
            > high levels of
            > historical value as a demonstration of 1860s drill and
            > tactics. The NDP
            > government of the Province of Ontario, however, forced
            > the introduction of
            > women into the Guard, citing gender equality in hiring as
            > the reason. Women
            > were introduced into a military presentation seen at
            > close range where they
            > never would have been found in 1867 due to limits on
            > women's opportunities.
            > Historical accuracy was given up in favour of the
            > standards of the late 20th
            > Century---when the standards of the 19th Century were
            > supposedly the purpose
            > of the Guard. Should this have happened?
            >
            > Wouldn't allowing men and women to participate but
            > still requiring
            > gender-appropriate impressions still be inclusive?
            > Otherwise, shouldn't we
            > have men in women's clothing?

            One problem with allowing men and women to participate at
            Old Fort Henry but only in gender-appropriate impressions
            is that the Guard has dozens of members. Since the reason
            for the inclusion of women in the Guard was gender
            equality, in order to achieve the same numbers in
            gender-appropriate impressions they'd had to set up a
            commercial bakery in the fort, with dozens of women baking
            loaf after loaf of bread at a long line of ovens --
            preferably as a precision drill exercise.

            Spike Y Jones
          • Victor Suthren
            I guess it s always a question of degree. There is a spectrum of re-enactment that goes from the hard-core, skin-out authentic fanatic across to the
            Message 5 of 29 , Sep 8, 2010
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              I guess it's always a question of degree. There is a spectrum of re-enactment that goes from the hard-core, skin-out 'authentic' fanatic across to the "polyester pirate" held together with Velcro. It's always struck me that re-enactors need to remember that what they do is for the other guy to experience the 'reality' of the past as much as for himself. I know I've had the sinking feeling of a moment spoiled when in, say, an 1812 tactical evolution in a pristine setting that was beautifully unfolding like a 19th Century watercolour, a large, potbellied "light infantryman" waddles in to the scene with sunglasses, a full beard, and a don't-mess-with-me attitude (the dreaded BBB re-enactor), and the precious illusion of the past, conjured for a moment, is gone. It's only a hobby, and the guy has a right to be there, of course, but....(sigh)....

              Vic Suthren


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: gary beauregard
              To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 10:17 PM
              Subject: RE: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies



              I agree with Tom. I'd sooner give up doing certain periods than alter who I am, in the real world.

              Beau

              --- On Tue, 9/7/10, Tom Hurlbut <hurlbut8646@...> wrote:

              From: Tom Hurlbut <hurlbut8646@...>
              Subject: RE: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies
              To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 9:11 PM



              Facial hair.. (sigh!)

              Well, let's remember that this is a hobby and by that I mean most of us
              spend the bulk of our time in "real life". It doesn't mean we don't care,
              just that there are more important things which may dictate whether we are
              strictly appropriate or not.

              For those who make a living at this, like actors or site staff, then it
              might be different.

              I appreciate the discussion, and we should certainly strive for accuracy as
              much as we can, but let's not get silly about this.

              "Major" Tom

              _____

              From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
              Of qayanguaq
              Sent: September 7, 2010 6:42 PM
              To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies

              Interesting discussion, if something of a perennial theme.

              My take is that we need the women. Many serve in the ranks without undue
              notice and that is testament to their largely unheralded contribution. To
              those who espouse some purism I suggest this - have a look at the line at
              your next big event. If you are at least 25 yards distant, what sticks out
              as anomalous ? Is it a girl with her hair tucked in, or the guy busting out
              of his belts with excess body mass ? How about the guy who refused to trim
              off his goatee ? Right...that said, there is nothing to be done about the
              "epidemic" of obesity in North America. Let's be concerned with that which
              we can alter - the "epidemic" of period inappropriate facial hair.

              First, a disclaimer - I've been to two events in the last two years, where
              I've failed to remove my moustache. OK on a cavalryman or select varieties
              of Europeans, it's a non-starter for virtually all troop types in N.America.
              I've thought better of it, it's just broadly unacceptable.

              Traditionally, facial hair has been one of those "you have to decide how
              accurate you want to be" items, and somewhat taboo as a "personal issue".
              Thin excuses for taking an important item off the table, I'd say. In the
              last few years I've seen plenty of non-period facial hair at events. Many of
              those examples were on officers - senior members of the clan who should set
              the proper example. Rather egregious, erstwhile leaders!

              I shave for events so as not to suffer ruining my interpretation with facial
              hair unknown in the period. I don't enjoy the process. But no one can
              justify a full beard for 1812 by any stretch (pioneers/sappers and voyageur
              types excepted). The styled goatees I sometimes see are worse yet. They
              clearly signal, "I'm a modern man, and I don't care that much about this".
              Your face is a highly visible aspect of your impression. It is embarrassing
              to your comrades - trust me on that. Inappropriate facial hair will be the
              arbiter of your "period appropriateness" even if all else is near perfect.

              Rant over.....as you were...

              Peter Butrite
              Maryland

              --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <mailto:WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com> , 12th
              US Infantry <12thinfantry@...> wrote:
              >
              > Vic,
              >
              > > As private re-enactors or members of respected groupings that have
              standards of accuracy, such as the Brigade of the American Revolution, we
              can acheve high standards indeed if we wish.
              >
              > Unfortunately, those standards are only as high as they are enforced. The
              BAR has become a shadow of its former self as it has become lax on enforcing
              its standards due to small turnout at events. When one has an event with a
              handful on a side, they're not necessarily going to turn people away, but it
              creates a downward spiral as doing so ends up also alienating those who had
              been members because they wanted standards. Just the collection of photos
              with modern sunglasses in this online gallery from a recent BAR event shows
              what unenforced standards gives you: http://imaginativeimages.net/id41.html
              >
              > > Sometimes historical realities are distorted deliberately to meet
              current political ideology, however, in site-sponsored "re-enactment' units.
              A glaring example of this was the Fort Henry Guard of Kingston, Ontario.
              This fine unit had some authenticity issues (chromed bayonets, modern hair
              styles, etc) but were a superb drill unit moving toward high levels of
              historical value as a demonstration of 1860s drill and tactics. The NDP
              government of the Province of Ontario, however, forced the introduction of
              women into the Guard, citing gender equality in hiring as the reason. Women
              were introduced into a military presentation seen at close range where they
              never would have been found in 1867 due to limits on women's opportunities.
              Historical accuracy was given up in favour of the standards of the late 20th
              Century---when the standards of the 19th Century were supposedly the purpose
              of the Guard. Should this have happened?
              >
              > Wouldn't allowing men and women to participate but still requiring
              gender-appropriate impressions still be inclusive? Otherwise, shouldn't we
              have men in women's clothing?
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Todd
              >

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • larrylozon
              Ladies and Gentlemen of this Yahoo Group If you visit the archives you will see that this debate of Women portraying Soldiers at 1812 re-enactments has been
              Message 6 of 29 , Sep 8, 2010
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                Ladies and Gentlemen of this Yahoo Group


                If you visit the archives you will see that this debate of Women portraying Soldiers at 1812 re-enactments has been debated to it's limits.

                If the debate is to keep Jim happy that his Yahoo Group is functioning, by all mean continue.

                If it is to arrive at a solution "forget-about-it"

                In the War of 1812 women did not join the arm ... there may be a few instances where females fought but it was not the norm. At least what I have been told.

                It is great to talk of woman warriors but not in 1812 – 1815
                Is it not the time period we do?

                We cannot agree on hand sewn clothes, strait last shoes, wool versus canvas, facial hair ... so why should we be able to agree on female soldiers!

                The narrators at events have told the spectators that some of what they will see is not historically correct but the spectator and news reporters do not listen to what the narrators say.

                In a few weeks I will attend Mississinewa 1812 where I will narrate five or so tacticals and when I am through narrating there will always be a spectator who will come up to me and ask if a certain red/green coated regiment was at the original battle and I will tell them that the original battle was between USA Forces and Indians there were no Crown Forces in attendance.

                Every spectator is given a brochure on entrance which has the historical account of the Battle of Mississinewa but they don't read it or listen to what the narrator say.

                As this hobby slowly winds down for 2010 and we look forward to 2011 we can come up with many excuses why we do what we do. Shall we do the War of 1812 historically accurate as far as can be reasonably achieved `NO' we will always say we don't have the pox, dysentery, etc. but not all soldiers in the War of 1812 had those diseases, none of the solders smoked filter tipped, store bought cigarettes!


                There I have entered the minefield ! :^)
                ... but it's only a hobby !!!

                So, as was said, "OK, go back to ducking"

                Yrs.,
                L2


                --- "Victor Suthren" wrote:

                "... There is a spectrum of re-enactment that goes from the hard
                core, skin-out 'authentic' fanatic across to the "polyester pirate" held together with Velcro ... and ... It's only a hobby ..."
              • adjutant1812
                But no one can justify a full beard for 1812 by any stretch (pioneers/sappers and voyageur types excepted). ... Peter, As someone who spent a number of
                Message 7 of 29 , Sep 8, 2010
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                  But no one can justify a full beard for 1812 by any stretch (pioneers/sappers and voyageur types excepted). >
                  > Peter Butrite
                  > Maryland
                  >

                  Peter,

                  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.

                  Cheers
                  Jas
                • annbwass@aol.com
                  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
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 8, 2010
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                    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
                    >

                    Peter,

                    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.

                    Cheers
                    Jas







                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • James Yaworsky
                    ... Since the reason ... Come, come, my good man! Surely this admittedly bizarre scenario need not occur! Why, there is also a great need for a
                    Message 9 of 29 , Sep 8, 2010
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                      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "spikeyj" <spikeyj@...> wrote:
                      Since the reason
                      > for the inclusion of women in the Guard was gender
                      > equality, in order to achieve the same numbers in
                      > gender-appropriate impressions they'd had to set up a
                      > commercial bakery in the fort, with dozens of women baking
                      > loaf after loaf of bread at a long line of ovens --


                      Come, come, my good man! Surely this admittedly bizarre scenario need not occur!

                      Why, there is also a great need for a fully-functioning laundry as well. And there are floors to be mopped, and "night soil" containers to be emptied!

                      And dare I suggest some "ladies of the night" doing a few day jobs, perhaps servicing the needs of some of the men who were on sentry duty the night before?

                      "Mad Dog"
                    • Charlie Quesenberry
                      Well said, sir. Am taking razor in hand Friday evening and de-bearding myself for Defender s Day Weekend. Its not that I want to, but it grows back. As one
                      Message 10 of 29 , Sep 8, 2010
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                        Well said, sir. Am taking razor in hand Friday evening and de-bearding
                        myself for Defender's Day Weekend. Its not that I want to, but it grows
                        back.

                        As one far wiser than I said; "One cannot make a second first impression."
                        I think that is appropros towards those whom we are trying hard to educate
                        beyond the Hollywood version(s).

                        On Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 5:14 PM, qayanguaq <pbutrite@...> wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        > Some of us appear to have adopted a replacement for the venerable
                        > expression "Far be it...". That is - "Don't let me ruin your 1812
                        > experience". Happily, it's a razor that cuts both ways. On the one
                        > hand it implies: I value your contribution/participation; you have to
                        > decide what your own "best level of effort" will be; etc. On the other,
                        > it suggests that you ought consider the effect your choices are having
                        > on my 1812 experience. I'm just hoping to remind folks that reducing
                        > the most glaring - and easily fixed - anomaly may represent the best
                        > value here (best "bang for the buck" if you like).
                        >
                        > For myself, I'm as swaddled in cotton as any wealthy Gentleman.
                        > Clearly not period common or correct. But at a few yards distance, that
                        > doesn't detract substantially from anyone's view. For those committed
                        > to appropriate fabric construction, may you reap the accolades you
                        > deserve. For us lesser mortals, let us gin up as much respect for our
                        > fellow participants as possible. For me that means putting up the best
                        > presentation I can, despite seeming to be not "who I am in the real
                        > world". However, the transient effects of that appearance indeed does
                        > reflect who I am in the "real world" - a part time, bald-faced
                        > historical interpreter. Every "hobby" involves some suffering -
                        > financial, temporal, physical...or all the above. I don't really
                        > understand how we, who spend thousands of dollars plus years of research
                        > and collecting effort to put together good kit, are willing to blot that
                        > out thoroughly with a bogus, furry visage. But don't let me ruin your
                        > 1812 experience...
                        >
                        > To paraphrase one of my colleagues -
                        > I remain, in the hope of comforting the disturbed and disturbing the
                        > comfortable,
                        >
                        > Peter Butrite
                        > Nottingham, Maryland
                        >
                        > --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com>, "Victor
                        > Suthren" <suthren@...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > I guess it's always a question of degree. There is a spectrum of
                        > re-enactment that goes from the hard-core, skin-out 'authentic' fanatic
                        > across to the "polyester pirate" held together with Velcro. It's always
                        > struck me that re-enactors need to remember that what they do is for the
                        > other guy to experience the 'reality' of the past as much as for
                        > himself. I know I've had the sinking feeling of a moment spoiled when
                        > in, say, an 1812 tactical evolution in a pristine setting that was
                        > beautifully unfolding like a 19th Century watercolour, a large,
                        > potbellied "light infantryman" waddles in to the scene with sunglasses,
                        > a full beard, and a don't-mess-with-me attitude (the dreaded BBB
                        > re-enactor), and the precious illusion of the past, conjured for a
                        > moment, is gone. It's only a hobby, and the guy has a right to be there,
                        > of course, but....(sigh)....
                        > >
                        > > Vic Suthren
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ----- Original Message -----
                        > > From: gary beauregard
                        > > To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com>
                        > > Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 10:17 PM
                        > > Subject: RE: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > I agree with Tom. I'd sooner give up doing certain periods than
                        > alter who I am, in the real world.
                        > >
                        > > Beau
                        > >
                        > > --- On Tue, 9/7/10, Tom Hurlbut hurlbut8646@... wrote:
                        > >
                        > > From: Tom Hurlbut hurlbut8646@...
                        > > Subject: RE: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies
                        > > To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com>
                        > > Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 9:11 PM
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Facial hair.. (sigh!)
                        > >
                        > > Well, let's remember that this is a hobby and by that I mean most of
                        > us
                        > > spend the bulk of our time in "real life". It doesn't mean we don't
                        > care,
                        > > just that there are more important things which may dictate whether
                        > we are
                        > > strictly appropriate or not.
                        > >
                        > > For those who make a living at this, like actors or site staff, then
                        > it
                        > > might be different.
                        > >
                        > > I appreciate the discussion, and we should certainly strive for
                        > accuracy as
                        > > much as we can, but let's not get silly about this.
                        > >
                        > > "Major" Tom
                        > >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Tom Hurlbut
                        It may not be that simple for some to give up elements of their real life to the hobby. If you have a specific image you project to the world, you may be
                        Message 11 of 29 , Sep 8, 2010
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                          It may not be that simple for some to give up elements of their real life to
                          the hobby. If you have a specific image you project to the world, you may be
                          uncomfortable or even compromised by altering your appearance in a manner
                          not easily corrected.



                          Some folks may have a 20 or 30 year beard or, for that matter, the length of
                          their hair that they don't wish to give up because of how it may effect
                          those around them.



                          Some may wish to comply, some may not. If you are willing, then good on you!
                          But, your beard obviously doesn't mean all that much to you, does it? For
                          others, it may be more important, and for reasons you might not accept or
                          understand.



                          It is still a personal choice.



                          "Major" Tom (sometimes bearded, sometimes not, but always long-haired)

                          _____

                          From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                          Of qayanguaq
                          Sent: September 8, 2010 6:15 PM
                          To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [Bulk] [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies





                          Some of us appear to have adopted a replacement for the venerable
                          expression "Far be it...". That is - "Don't let me ruin your 1812
                          experience". Happily, it's a razor that cuts both ways. On the one
                          hand it implies: I value your contribution/participation; you have to
                          decide what your own "best level of effort" will be; etc. On the other,
                          it suggests that you ought consider the effect your choices are having
                          on my 1812 experience. I'm just hoping to remind folks that reducing
                          the most glaring - and easily fixed - anomaly may represent the best
                          value here (best "bang for the buck" if you like).

                          For myself, I'm as swaddled in cotton as any wealthy Gentleman.
                          Clearly not period common or correct. But at a few yards distance, that
                          doesn't detract substantially from anyone's view. For those committed
                          to appropriate fabric construction, may you reap the accolades you
                          deserve. For us lesser mortals, let us gin up as much respect for our
                          fellow participants as possible. For me that means putting up the best
                          presentation I can, despite seeming to be not "who I am in the real
                          world". However, the transient effects of that appearance indeed does
                          reflect who I am in the "real world" - a part time, bald-faced
                          historical interpreter. Every "hobby" involves some suffering -
                          financial, temporal, physical...or all the above. I don't really
                          understand how we, who spend thousands of dollars plus years of research
                          and collecting effort to put together good kit, are willing to blot that
                          out thoroughly with a bogus, furry visage. But don't let me ruin your
                          1812 experience...

                          To paraphrase one of my colleagues -
                          I remain, in the hope of comforting the disturbed and disturbing the
                          comfortable,

                          Peter Butrite
                          Nottingham, Maryland

                          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <mailto:WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com> ,
                          "Victor Suthren" <suthren@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I guess it's always a question of degree. There is a spectrum of
                          re-enactment that goes from the hard-core, skin-out 'authentic' fanatic
                          across to the "polyester pirate" held together with Velcro. It's always
                          struck me that re-enactors need to remember that what they do is for the
                          other guy to experience the 'reality' of the past as much as for
                          himself. I know I've had the sinking feeling of a moment spoiled when
                          in, say, an 1812 tactical evolution in a pristine setting that was
                          beautifully unfolding like a 19th Century watercolour, a large,
                          potbellied "light infantryman" waddles in to the scene with sunglasses,
                          a full beard, and a don't-mess-with-me attitude (the dreaded BBB
                          re-enactor), and the precious illusion of the past, conjured for a
                          moment, is gone. It's only a hobby, and the guy has a right to be there,
                          of course, but....(sigh)....
                          >
                          > Vic Suthren
                          >
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: gary beauregard
                          > To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <mailto:WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com>
                          > Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 10:17 PM
                          > Subject: RE: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I agree with Tom. I'd sooner give up doing certain periods than
                          alter who I am, in the real world.
                          >
                          > Beau
                          >
                          > --- On Tue, 9/7/10, Tom Hurlbut hurlbut8646@... wrote:
                          >
                          > From: Tom Hurlbut hurlbut8646@...
                          > Subject: RE: [Bulk] 1812 Re: Interpreting Anomolies
                          > To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com <mailto:WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com>
                          > Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 9:11 PM
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Facial hair.. (sigh!)
                          >
                          > Well, let's remember that this is a hobby and by that I mean most of
                          us
                          > spend the bulk of our time in "real life". It doesn't mean we don't
                          care,
                          > just that there are more important things which may dictate whether
                          we are
                          > strictly appropriate or not.
                          >
                          > For those who make a living at this, like actors or site staff, then
                          it
                          > might be different.
                          >
                          > I appreciate the discussion, and we should certainly strive for
                          accuracy as
                          > much as we can, but let's not get silly about this.
                          >
                          > "Major" Tom
                          >

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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