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Login Name Post: Neck Knives for White Men - Scalper or Patch?        (Topic#183400)
Marc Adamchek 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1592
10-23-05 09:05 PM - Post#183400    


Came across this in some recent reading: The Indian wore his scalping kife around his neck. No other knife hung there but that which was used specifically for scalping. So, what's up, white man? I always assumed it was the patch knife that swung about the 18th - 19th century Caucasian.

 
Harddog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 485
10-23-05 10:12 PM - Post#183408    

    In response to Marc Adamchek

Quote:

Came across this in some recent reading: The Indian wore his scalping kife around his neck. No other knife hung there but that which was used specifically for scalping. So, what's up, white man? I always assumed it was the patch knife that swung about the 18th - 19th century Caucasian.




Marc,

I don't know about the 19th century, but the neck knives worn by NA's during the 18th century were rather large and would be the size of what we call a belt knife. I believe the idea of a small cute little neck knife is a totally modern idea.

Harddog

 
Okwaho 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1864
10-23-05 11:37 PM - Post#183418    

    In response to Harddog

Very true,Harddog

"...and that horrid weapon the scalping-knife hangs by a string which goes round their necks" [Robert] Rogers 1765: 227-8,cited by Karlis Karklins "Trade Ornaments Usage among the Native Peoples of Canada" PP. 73-74 @ 74.
See also "The Annotated and Illustrated Journals of Major Robert Rogers" by Timothy J. Todish,P.256,commenting: of the Temper and Genius of the Indians "Their arms are a fusil or rifle,a powder horn,a shot pouch,a tomahawk,and a scalping knife hanging to their necks".

See Todish again @P.50 describing Rangers' carrying of scalping knives, "...scalping knives were usually the clasp kind and not carried in sheaths"

I have two knives of the type referred to as "scalpers" Both are about 9 1/2" overall with a blade length of about 5 1/2"One is the classic English style the other a French bucheron {butcher}style.I have at the present time one quilled sheath which fits both knives. I wear these only when fighting but in the village I sometimes wear a smaller knife{4 1/2" blade,8 1/2" overall copied from a 17th century blade found in an Oneida site,"The Iron Trade-Knife in Oneida Territory" by Gilbert Hagerty, Reprint from Pennsylvania Archealogist,Bulletin of the Society for Pennsylvania Archealogy,Vol.XXXIII July 1963,Nos.1-2

I am not familiar with the quote on scalping knives but agree with the concept contained therein.I also have doubts about the "patch knife" being worn about the necks of Whites in the 18th century or even being carried then for that matter, just as I doubt the 18th century use of priming horns and bullet blocks.
Tom Patton
The French make great allies for Indians


 
one feather 
45 Cal.
Posts: 838
10-24-05 05:44 AM - Post#183453    

    In response to Okwaho

my scalper has a 7 inch blade but i wear mine from the belt.when i wear a nech sheath in the feild,the sheath goes everywhere but where i need it.i also know i could put it on my back and keep it there with a strap or the same in the front.but it seems like more of a danger to me than my enemy.but i got a question.if they didnt use bullet boards then what did they use?it would seem that loading on the frontier would not be very fast

 
Anonymous 
10-24-05 06:59 AM - Post#183485    

    In response to one feather

Don't worry One Feather, in 50 years reading, that includes serious research for two advanced degrees in history, I have never seen a reference to an 18th century bullet block or outhouse, but I know those folks had to crap somewhere!

I have reference to chamber pots, latrines and the fact that the fields were "not well tilled but they were well manured", but not to outhouses.

I therefore suspect that the outhouse is a thoroughly new concept promoted by the port-o-let industry. We should immidiately refrain from the use of these plastic pavilions and revert to the historically accurate crap-on-the-ground method of historic interpretation.

Since everyone in the 18th century had bodily functions, and only a small percentage would be concerned with bullet boards or neck knives, the proper interpretation and presentation of waste disposal should be of eminant importance.



 
Harddog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 485
10-24-05 01:44 PM - Post#183636    

    In response to ghost

Quote:

Don't worry One Feather, in 50 years reading, that includes serious research for two advanced degrees in history, I have never seen a reference to an 18th century bullet block or outhouse, but I know those folks had to crap somewhere!

I have reference to chamber pots, latrines and the fact that the fields were "not well tilled but they were well manured", but not to outhouses.

I therefore suspect that the outhouse is a thoroughly new concept promoted by the port-o-let industry. We should immidiately refrain from the use of these plastic pavilions and revert to the historically accurate crap-on-the-ground method of historic interpretation.

Since everyone in the 18th century had bodily functions, and only a small percentage would be concerned with bullet boards or neck knives, the proper interpretation and presentation of waste disposal should be of eminant importance.






Ghost,

I have to wonder what was your motivation for posting the above message???

If it was to impress us with your formal education, the two messages you took offense to were written by one man with at least an undergrad degree and a law degree and the other was written by a man with two undergrad degrees and two Masters degrees. We have both been collecting and studying early american firearms, related accoutrements and their use for over 50 years. That is over 100 years combined.

Perhaps your motivation was humor?? In my case that didn't work. I know that at least I would rather have serious answers to the original question as well as serious responses to our messages.

If your intent was to let everyone know that you have spent a lot of time studying and researching fecal material, the disposal of same and bodily functions of our ancesters, then you have succeeded. I have to agree that you personally know way more about $hit then Tom and I combined.

Harddog

 
one feather 
45 Cal.
Posts: 838
10-24-05 04:36 PM - Post#183696    

    In response to Harddog

i agree with ghost on this one many things were not written cause they were just so normal to them.they probally never thought the world would change as much as it has ,so they didnt write everyday things down.but we will never know what it was like but im a firm beleiver that common things were not always written down

 
Anonymous 
10-24-05 05:19 PM - Post#183724    

    In response to one feather

My post was to highlight the fact that we become much too obsessed with things that matter not a whit.

We know very little about the important things in colonial life, things that contributed to good health and well being, and often concentrate on insignifigant details that defy common sense and good judgement.

One Feather grasped that concept, babe in the woods that he is.

I know what degrees and professional standings that many of the people on the forum maintain. I do not want my dentist doing my heart surgery or my attorney repairing my brakes.

An attorney can file charges against me if I attempt to give legal advice, but history requires no liscense to qualify its practitioners.

I will trouble you no more. Continue with your back patting.



 
Henry 
45 Cal.
Posts: 792
10-24-05 06:05 PM - Post#183747    

    In response to ghost

Per Kalm mention that the french militia men
carries up to three knives : belt , neck and
garter , since they used smooth bore fusils none of those
was a patch knife . Wich one was the scalping knife ????
I wish I knew . Just a guess , tells me that they probably did not use the same knife for eating and scalping .
( or did they ???)

My version of Ghost's affirmation used to be :
" There are no decription of what they used to wipe their
ass , but I hope they used something " .
Well , no description maybe , but a lot of archeological
search . For an archeologist a latrine is a gold mine .
http://www.pacmusee.qc.ca/ecole/default.asp?id=17

From the ones found in the old part of Qu

 
one feather 
45 Cal.
Posts: 838
10-24-05 06:22 PM - Post#183755    

    In response to ghost

babe in the woods ha.when you said that the wetzel bots came to mind lol.we will never know how well we would have made it back then but in my youth i try to be as martin wetzel.if i was in most indian tribes this year would be the second year that i would be hunting.but can anyone answer this.what age did boys join war parties? thanks you guys bye

 
Henry 
45 Cal.
Posts: 792
10-24-05 06:33 PM - Post#183760    

    In response to one feather

French militia : 16 years old.

 
Harddog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 485
10-24-05 07:18 PM - Post#183786    

    In response to ghost

Quote:

My post was to highlight the fact that we become much too obsessed with things that matter not a whit.

We know very little about the important things in colonial life, things that contributed to good health and well being, and often concentrate on insignifigant details that defy common sense and good judgement.

One Feather grasped that concept, babe in the woods that he is.

I know what degrees and professional standings that many of the people on the forum maintain. I do not want my dentist doing my heart surgery or my attorney repairing my brakes.

An attorney can file charges against me if I attempt to give legal advice, but history requires no liscense to qualify its practitioners.

I will trouble you no more. Continue with your back patting.






I wouldn't call it obsessed, and maybe you don't give a whit about such things, but many of us do. We research for years to present the best possible portrayal of the 18th century. If you don't care to get into such a subject as unimportant to you as proper neck knives then your message seems to be just to put somebody down and not to add to the topic.

You might be amazed at what others know about things that contributed to good health and well being during the colonial period. Just because you don't know certain things is no reason to assume that others don't know. As far as that goes you would apparently be amazed about what our ancesters knew about good health and well being. They may not have known what we know today, but they weren't complete dummies.

I don't want a dentist doing my heart surgery either, but I will say that I have learned more about history and our colonial ancestors on my own then I ever learned from any of my many history professors who did have credentials.

History may not require a liscense, but what does qualify many people who study the 18th century is a modocum of intelligence along with the drive to research literally thousands of sources of primary and secondary documentation.

Back patting? BACK PATTING?? Hey Bud, you were the one who stated his credentials like it gave you a god given right to denigrate messages posted by others.

Have a nice day,

Harddog

 
Harddog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 485
10-24-05 07:36 PM - Post#183794    

    In response to one feather

Quote:

i agree with ghost on this one many things were not written cause they were just so normal to them.they probally never thought the world would change as much as it has ,so they didnt write everyday things down.but we will never know what it was like but im a firm beleiver that common things were not always written down




One Feather,

You are so right that everything was not written down, but there are other sources of documentation to use. There are contemporary paintings and drawings, objects in museum collection, objects found at archeological sites, etc. Just because something was so common that it wasn't written about does not mean that it was or was not used, it just means that you have to look elsewhere than the written word for documentation.

Harddog

 
one feather 
45 Cal.
Posts: 838
10-24-05 07:45 PM - Post#183804    

    In response to Harddog

whatever.would you write about your tooth brush?no.they also had another use for paper.the un written about out house need something to wipe your but with you know.but i still think alot wasnt wrote about.i have spent hours on the correct portral of my persona.

 
Henry 
45 Cal.
Posts: 792
10-24-05 08:31 PM - Post#183827    

    In response to one feather

I agree that everything has not been written ,
but sometime something HAS been written , you have
to find it .

As an exemple , if you were to look for evidence
for those little combs used to pick lice out of
people 's hair , in the colonial French period ,
to my knowledge there is none , but there is one
in the British period , it is a private letter where
a lady ask a merchant if he has " those litle combs
that we used to get from France "

The only description of a white man wearing a trade silver
ring broach , that I ever found yet ,is from a single description of a drowned
body found on the shore of a Richelieu village .
( the man used it to close his shirt , under the
collar button )
If I was looking especially for those small details
I could be searching for days or months .

This is why the internet forums are so usefull .

Now , one subjet that I find very interesting , is the
history of history teaching .

It used to be that history scholar would read books
written by earlier scholars , and later write their own book
on the same subject. ( my guess , pardon me , my hypothesis is that Ghost learned that way ) By 1960 scholars started to
look at the original archives : deeds , inventories, land claims , sales bills , contracts , military orders ,
private letters , medical prescriptions etc. etc.
and came to new conclusions .
Archeology came to the rescue , even ethnology , even
ethno-musicology as some bits of information about
first nations history has not been written but preserved into songs , legends and tales. Art historians are also
helpfull.

And here come the re-enactors , some more PC than others
some better hunters , better cooks ( usefull )
some better moral boosters ( very usefull in cold rain )

As PC nazi as I would like to be , it is a group of
buckskinners who taught me to shoot a flintlock .
I think everybody can bring something interesting
sometime the most interesting thing is a good question !

Amen

 
oomcurt 
45 Cal.
Posts: 573
10-24-05 11:25 PM - Post#183882    

    In response to Henry

I'm just adding this at the end of the thread...rather than posting a reply to several of the postings here.

For what it is worth...I took Ghost's reply as a sort of tongue in cheek humor.

Regarding the business of stating academic accomplishments...I don't give two cents worth of care what degrees someone has. Those folks put thier pants on the same way I do.

This forum very recently had a thread that went on ad nauseum about what is historically accurate and what people thought of it both pro and con. Let us not start that crap all over again. All that is necessary is to post one's view without dragging degrees and all that into it. Also..it would help a hell of a lot if folks were to loosen up and not be so dang stiff necked.

 
Anonymous 
10-25-05 06:42 AM - Post#183942    

    In response to oomcurt

I agree 100%, oomcurt, and I too thought that ghost's reply was meant to be taken light-heartedly [dang cold-hearted computers]. I was not offended by ghosts offhand reference to his degrees--I did not think he was rubbing them in anyone's noses. Ghost typically has good input, but does get a little flippant at times--but we should all be able to take input without getting all bowed up. I am personally the proud owner of three degrees, none of which have anything to do with the subjects discussed here (another point ghost made) so I don't mention them. I am an amateur historian, at least ghost has professional degrees in history!

 
one feather 
45 Cal.
Posts: 838
10-25-05 12:01 PM - Post#184081    

    In response to Mike Roberts

from what i have read that ghost has posted i have found little reason to doubt him.but mainly i agree with him cause i share the same feelings in this matter

 
Musketman 
Passed On
Posts: 10652
10-26-05 09:44 AM - Post#184409    

    In response to one feather

Let's recap the original thread to swing back on track...

Quote:

Came across this in some recent reading: The Indian wore his scalping kife around his neck. No other knife hung there but that which was used specifically for scalping. So, what's up, white man? I always assumed it was the patch knife that swung about the 18th - 19th century Caucasian.




 
Puffer 
40 Cal.
Posts: 253
10-26-05 11:42 AM - Post#184460    

    In response to Henry



The archeologist does come to the rescue of the historian
some time , it is called " material culture "
and some time it is the re-enactor who comes to the help
of the archeologist , it is called " archeological
experimentation "




Actually in the fields of Archeology,it is now a Standard procedure @ many digs & the followup,prior to publishing, to include other disciplines (botanists (seeds in feces etc.), as well as those we call "re-en-actors"who keep alive the period means of doing things (blacksmiths,flint knappers,gunsmihs,carpenters,etc.,etc.)

Although I have a good start on a "library" focused on my
"era" I have found this forum to be of IMMENSE value
It has not only given me great insight & knowledge, it has allowed me talk & think things through in a non "academic" way.( this is NOT to say that there is not some VERY good research done,but we also view it from a "practical" way One of the 1st things I learned,was "acedemics often have "tunnel vision" & are NOT practcal"

Oh yes, Ghost, I do have "credentials"(2 in a field of history (not related to our field of interest)& a minor in Arch.)

Puffer

 
Claude 
Cannon
Posts: 13771
Claude
10-26-05 12:40 PM - Post#184490    

    In response to Puffer

Quote:

...I have found this forum to be of IMMENSE value
It has not only given me great insight & knowledge, it has allowed me talk & think things through in a non "academic" way.




I too find it useful just to bounce ideas off the members to see if my line of reasoning is sound. I've often changed my way of looking at something based on all the input. I want the truth, even if I'm proved wrong. That's how we learn.

Quote:

Oh yes, Ghost, I do have "credentials"(2 in a field of history (not related to our field of interest)& a minor in Arch.)




Well, since we're all listing our credentials...

I have none, other than what my friends and family think of me.


 
Puffer 
40 Cal.
Posts: 253
10-26-05 08:24 PM - Post#184698    

    In response to Moderator


I have none, other than what my friends and family think of me.




Those are the ONLY ones that realy mean anything

Puffer

 
Okwaho 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1864
10-29-05 10:44 PM - Post#185175    

    In response to Musketman

Quote:

Let's recap the original thread to swing back on track...

Quote:

Came across this in some recent reading: The Indian wore his scalping kife around his neck. No other knife hung there but that which was used specifically for scalping. So, what's up, white man? I always assumed it was the patch knife that swung about the 18th - 19th century Caucasian.







I stand on my original post on this thread {the third one down as I recall} but I also recall some additional information on the use by Indians and Whites of clasp knives for a variety of purposes including,I would presume, scalping.There were large numbers of such knives shown on the HBC lists and in looking at the 1701 shipment of supplies to the Fort at Bioxi{T.M.Hamilton,"Colonial Frontier Guns" PP.12-15} there are found four gross of medium large pocket knives at 14 livres per gross and two gross of butcher knives at 24 livres per gross,{Pp.12-13}.
The second page shows "For Presents to Be Given to the Savages of the aforesaid country": 20 gross of large pocket knives at 12 livres per gross and 8 gross of butcher knives at 24 livres per gross,PP.14-15
It can readily be seen that clasp knives at least on these lists in 1701 sent over by the French outnumbered butcher knives more than two to one.I submit that many and possibly most of these clasp knives, at least in the Louisiana country,may have been used as scalping knives.
I will be looking at the Montreal Merchants Records this winter and may know more then.I will also have to look at the Sir William Johnson papers which largely concern his Mohawks and other allied Iroquois.
Tom Patton
The French make great allies for Indians


 
CrackStock 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3015
10-30-05 02:58 PM - Post#185451    

    In response to Marc Adamchek

I have learned that humor is not universal. Many of us write in a manner that is intended one way but can be taken in another manner by some readers.

I see that two people seem to have experienced some sparks. I like them and owe a debt to each for good information given.

Hopefully, we can all understand that these forums do not offer the luxury of seeing the true demeanor of the writer and do not always permit us to know the qualifications of our members. Therefore, we must issue a bit of tolerance for the other guy at times (whether we be writing or reading)lest we get overly annoyed or annoy and thereby discontinue the opportunities for learning and study which we so greatly treasure.

For any who may not know him, I have seen the writings of HardDog previously and found him to have good information to offer and experiences to share. I thank him for his help in the past (mostly at TOF's MLML)and welcome him gladly. Good to see you here!

YMHS,
CrackStock
NRA Life, NMLRA TMA State Rep SC


 
agm 
32 Cal.
Posts: 25
10-30-05 04:23 PM - Post#185489    

    In response to CrackStock

Crackshot, You might be able to pass muster on the next Supreme Court nomination! Would someone please post a picture of a flint scalper?

 
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