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 Post subject: Life in the 1500's
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:57 pm 
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Don't know if this is all accurate, but it is fun reading.

LIFE IN THE 1500'S
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

-Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

-Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying: 'don't throw the baby out with the bath water'.

-Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs etc) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying: 'it's raining cats and dogs'.

-There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

-The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying: 'dirt poor'.

-The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying: a threshold.

-In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: 'peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old'.

-Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could 'bring home the bacon'. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and 'chew the fat'.

-Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

-Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

-Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of 'holding a wake'.

-England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take th e bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

Now, whoever said history was boring?

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 Post subject: Geart Stuff
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:08 pm 
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Great stuff Fred!!!

Just excellent.

J :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Geart Stuff
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:18 pm 
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JOHN THURSTON wrote:
Great stuff Fred!!!

Just excellent.

J :lol:

Not really, John. I tried to send f.Channell a long PM about this last Monday but is seems t be stuck in my "Outbox" so I suspect that he never got it. I do not know what website he got the post from, but it has a number of errors in it, the oldest and hoariest being the nonsense about the people in the Middle Ages never bathing. Towns had public bath houses in them and castles had the capability of hot baths for the castellan and his family while the staff could go to the local village bath house. It wasn't until syphilis appeared from the New World that public bath houses fell into disrepute and the Church finally had its way in discouraging people from using them. The Church frowned upon them because they smacked of pagan Rome as well as because they were popular locales for the prostitutes to practice the legal profession.

I'll just note one other problem with the post and that is that the tomato is a New World plant that did not reach Europe until the 16th Century at the earliest, along with maize, tobacco, and pumpkins. It was feared as poison because it has long been known to be part of the deadly nightshade family. Heck, my paternal grandmother who was born in the 1870s firmly believed that they were poison until her dieing day. Not having 13 people at the dinner table was another of her beliefs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:19 pm 
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Quote:
I tried to send f.Channell a long PM about this last Monday but is seems t be stuck in my "Outbox"


PMs on this system stay in your Outbox until the recipient actually opens and reads it. In any other program it would be in your Sentbox.

Cheers.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:04 pm 
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That was sent out to me in an e-mail. Thought it would be fun to share and discuss. Nothing that I thought was "gospel".

I suppose bathing is also critical of your environment. My father for example bathed weekly. If this was because of what the Navy allowed on the ships during WWII or growing up in the depression or personal choice is something my brothers and I will argue sometimes at the holidays. :)
F.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:42 pm 
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I did mission work on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Reservation back in my prep school days. Potable water was in somewhat short supply during much of that summer and the only way for us to bathe was to drive over to White Clay Dam and to bathe in the dammed up stream there. We wondered sometimes how much good our efforts at bathing were doing when we would see horse dung floating past us. As the summer progressed, it got shallower and shallower and we appreciated the fact that the locals were not bathing as much as we effete Easterners deemed appropriate. There were much more important uses for the available drinking water. All in all, one piece of a very large learning experience.

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 Post subject: Well?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:12 pm 
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Well:

I thought Fred's opening thoughts were pretty good.

Perhaps I am easily satisfied.

So, do we want this to be a, uh, what kind of thread:

-1500's life
-1500's living
-1500's military

Name your poison.

From recollection I will note that the Tomato and tobacco were imports from the New World.

Vermicelli (of probably most anykind) was initially introduced from China.
(Marco Polo?)

Thus, the dish we always associate with Italian cuisine basics: "Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce " could not exist before--ah when??

Syphillis is often repherred to as "The Revenge of The New World" upon the old for the number of diseases introduced into the New World from the Old, including, and in legalese, would have included:

Smallpox
Chichen Pox
Black Plague
Measles
German Measles
Mumps
etc.

So, syphillis was rather a small revenge.

I hope to start a thread to be called "The Dying Fields for the Native American".

The havoc wrote upon the New World World by the Old (unintentionally or uncaringly) started a wave of death that remained evident for Centuries, decimating the Native American populations (from Aztec to Nipmuck) time and time and time again.


So, Fred has introduced us into an area of largely undiscussed Death that is not really even thought of enough..

As a note, i understand that in specific areas contributors to this forum have knowledge that often FAR outstrips mine-that's ok.

I exist here on;y to provide a framework sometimes.

My first introduction to a part of this wave of death came in the 1950's movie "The Command" about a wagon train moving west escorted by US Cavarly.

Subsequent experience indicates that Cavalry escort for the settlers "Under The Elephant" on the Oregon Trail, or other ways West, was mostly NOT!!!

Nevertheless, accidentally, per the movie i viewed as a kid, when the Train was beleagured by a large group of Native Americans, it was decided to leave one wagon (ONE) behind because the family in the Wagon had an unknown sickness.

It turned out to be (just??) Chicken Pox, but, it discouraged further attacks on the Train after the wagon as the "Pox" Americana immediatley wiped out a rather large percentage of the attackers who had no resistance to what we would call today 'a childhood disease".

I am sure this is based on fact.

Many tribes in South America still have no resistance to old world disease.

Efforts to keep them isolated and, thus, alive, if you will do not seem to be 'completely effective' to say the least.

Now, do I have specifics on tribes and locations ready to hand? No.

Not being an expert on Disease Control, this is only, in part, a suppostion.

Gary Jennings in "Aztec" (I can't find my copy) began to get my attention in this area a decade or so ago.

Nonetheless this largely undocumented wave of death remained for the Pilgrims to find in bone studded century old Native American settlements found empty and deserted.

Perhaps 75% of the Native American population in pre columbian Eastern and Central Mass.( alone) I 'gestimate' to have DIED due to this tremendous shock wave eveidence of which remained for the incoming colonists of Mass. Bay and Plymoth Colony to find..

Cape Cod had been named so for decades before the "landing" of the pilgrims by fisherman who preceded them and perhaps sowed the seeds of natice american apocalypse in New England.

The book that touched lightly on the effects of the 'unitentional biological warfare' is "Mayflower" (sorry I am on a roll here and I will post the author tommorrow)

I attended Holy Cross College. It sits on a hill occupied by the "Nipmucks" prior to King Phillips War. It is called in Nipmuckese: "Mount Pakachoag" (Jesuitically renamed Mount St, James).

And, pretty much until recently, never pondered the fate of this tribe which flourished there hundreds over years, perhaps, before the founding of the College in 1843.

The Nipmucks picked the wrong side to back in King Phillip's War, and did not fare well at all.

I still cannot totally pretend to comprehend the Nipmucks made thes decision to follow Metacomet (King Phillip) whose tribal roots seemed to have lain a bit more to the East.

I did titles going back to the Mayflower Compact and the "12 Great Lots" of Plymoth" and, (i am told), Western titles often date back to Spanish Land Grants for title and documents such as these, at least here, (in the East) remained the origins of "title' ( a the European concept probably never seriously entertained by the Native Americans.)

One quote allegedly dating to King Phillip's War upon burying a Plymouth or Bay Colony captive: "so, you wished to plant things to stay, so we have planted you".

Garrison Styles Homes take their name and design from a 'garrison house'
dating to the western and northern fringes of Plymouth Colony (my town perhaps the nothern most of these 'fringe towns".( Duxbury and Marshfield for a start).

These fringes were rather themselves decimated during King Phillip's War.

more later.

thanks

J

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Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:44 pm 
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I cannot remember the specifics, but there are known cases of European settlers and/or military passing the Native Americans blankets which had been used by smallpox victims and which would have had the fleas in them, thus passing along the disease. This was done intentionally although they did not know the vector at the time, they just knew that the clothing and such of pox victims would infect people. This was an early form of germ warfare.

The Mandans, one of the tribes along the Missouri River extensively painted by George Catlin in the 1830s were wiped out by smallpox shortly after he painted and recorded them. His is the only report on them.

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 Post subject: PS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:45 pm 
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Park your horses "Downstream" of the camp please.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:03 pm 
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Well we jumped a century to the late 1600's and King Phillips War!
Sounds good.
Just this weekend I passed by Redemption Rock going apple picking.
http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/mary.html
I for one grow tired of my childrens schools and their new history with "Native Americans" as opposed to the Indians I grew up with dancing merrily through the woods, living harmoniously with nature.
This was a struggle between two people, winner take all. We won.

As a genealogist I can name a half dozen ancestors killed by the Indians in King Phillip and later by French and Indians in the early 1700's and later. I have one family line who lived in Lancaster/Bolton which was destroyed and uninhabited for 2-3 years after the war.

I've read first hand accounts written to the Governor of Massachusetts by Militia Captains of the time of the butchering of women and children. While they asked them where their God was to save them.

That was one nasty struggle. But it was the beginning of towns and people working together, which ultimately made us one nation.

F.

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 Post subject: Well
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:53 am 
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Well, yes Fred we did jump around the centuries a bit freely after your post.

I suppose the point was that because of Old World invasions based commencing in the 15th Cantury had a rather large impact on what permanent sttlement began in North America.

I have learned form hard experience that the law of unintended consequences always applies.

Hugh's point, in part, was to note that, at lest in the case of the tomatoe, it was a "New World" plant which may not hae reached badk to the Old World for quite some time.

As to bathing, the Aztecs, apparently, like ourseles a moderarelty fastidious folk thought the Spanish "stank', were astonished that bathing oneself was considered dangerous and at the same time the Heart rending rituals were being extigusihed by the Spanish, the Aztecs, quite properly, thought burning a human to death was---uh----barbaric.

I doubt the Pilgrims smelt well after the transatlanic voyage in the smallish Mayflower.

Sancta Casa did make a good attempt to expand its influence into the New World.

I do not actually know how effective their efforts were.

But, again, the roots of the massive wave of death to be visited on the Native Americans began in the 15th Century.

J

j

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Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:07 pm 
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f.Channell wrote:
Well we jumped a century to the late 1600's and King Phillips War!
Sounds good.
Just this weekend I passed by Redemption Rock going apple picking.
http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/mary.html
I for one grow tired of my childrens schools and their new history with "Native Americans" as opposed to the Indians I grew up with dancing merrily through the woods, living harmoniously with nature.
This was a struggle between two people, winner take all. We won.


So, might makes right and the Afrikaaners were right in what they tried to do in South Africa and the Germans in what they tried to do in their expansion eastwards in 1939-1945? No, we cannot overturn the results of history but we should not overlook what happened in that history.* As an interesting piece of family history, a personal friend of my great grandfather, Major Junius Jay Wilson MacMurray of the 1st Artillery, US Army, was General Nelson A. Miles, another non-West Pointer who happened to take a more benevolent view of the Native Americans than did Phil Sheridan and 'Cump Sherman. Both MacMurray and Miles felt, but Miles was the only one to publicly recommend, that the officers in command at Wounded Knee be brought up on charges of gross dereliction of duty. Miles could make that recommendation as the Chief of Staff whereas great grandfather MacMurray was but a Major of Artillery. RHIP!

Quote:
As a genealogist I can name a half dozen ancestors killed by the Indians in King Phillip and later by French and Indians in the early 1700's and later. I have one family line who lived in Lancaster/Bolton which was destroyed and uninhabited for 2-3 years after the war.

I've read first hand accounts written to the Governor of Massachusetts by Militia Captains of the time of the butchering of women and children. While they asked them where their God was to save them.

That was one nasty struggle. But it was the beginning of towns and people working together, which ultimately made us one nation.

F.


There is no question that there were atrocities committed by the Native Americans but you need to remember that the hands of the whites were by no means clean in all of this. I know that it is a polemic, but its history is accurate, so you might try reading Dee Brown's Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.

* "Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it" George Santayana or, more colloquially, "History keeps a hard school but a fool will learn in no other." Benjamin Franklin writing in "Poor Richard's Almanac"

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:47 pm 
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Hi Hugh,
Wounded Knee would have been professional soldiers, it's officers living by a chivalrous code I'm sure.

King Phillips War was citizen soldiers, militia at best, who just had their house burned down, wives and children murdered, or if lucky kidnapped and ransomed. Easier perhaps to understand their ruthlessness. Of course the Indians had their lands taken away, and other reasons to be angry themselves.

When you consider all the back to back conflicts, King Phillips, Queen Anne's War, French and Indian War, Revolution and everything inbetween including Phipps Invasion, and after until all the Indians were on reservations, we are talking about a two hundred years or more struggle.

One can't say the Indians aren't great warriors or didn't have great leaders to survive that long a struggle.

F.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:21 pm 
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f.Channell wrote:
Hi Hugh,
Wounded Knee would have been professional soldiers, it's officers living by a chivalrous code I'm sure.

The troops at Wounded Knee were the 7th Cavalry and the Native Americans were a band of Oglala Lakota (Sioux) who had been part of the very large gathering of tribes that defeated and destroyed most of Custer's 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn. What happened was no more and no less than simple vengeance taken out on helpless old men, women, and children as well as disarmed braves. The troopers were on hills surrounding the encampment and openned fire with their rifles and their Hotchkiss breech-loading light artillery. The Lakota had been largely disarmed and the result was a predictable massacre.

Quote:
King Phillips War was citizen soldiers, militia at best, who just had their house burned down, wives and children murdered, or if lucky kidnapped and ransomed. Easier perhaps to understand their ruthlessness. Of course the Indians had their lands taken away, and other reasons to be angry themselves.

When you consider all the back to back conflicts, King Phillips, Queen Anne's War, French and Indian War, Revolution and everything inbetween including Phipps Invasion, and after until all the Indians were on reservations, we are talking about a two hundred years or more struggle.

One can't say the Indians aren't great warriors or didn't have great leaders to survive that long a struggle.

F.

Yes, they did. And I was frequently the odd one out as a kid in the 1950s. I wanted to play the Indians rather than the Cowboys. People like Osceola, Crazy Horse, Tecumseh, Metacomet, Cochise, Red Shirt, Chief Joseph, and even Hiawatha were heros to me.

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