Documentation, or lack thereof

Discussion in 'Primary Documentation' started by brayhaven, Dec 7, 2018.

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  1. Dec 14, 2018 #41

    Artificer

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    From other research on where leather came from to the 18th century American colonies, one source mentioned as a side note that along with the hides, cow horns were imported from the Spanish colonies including Mexico and sold for a penny a piece. They were not taxed on importation as they were considered "waste," which surprised me a bit as horners and others made so many items out of cow horns for everyday use.

    I wonder if powder horns were not often mentioned because they were so inexpensive? Of course powder horns carved and decorated by a professional horner would not have been cheap.

    Gus
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
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  2. Dec 14, 2018 #42

    Elnathan

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    I love the way the off-hand comment that Gusler thinks something morphs into a declaration that Gusler is right because he is Gusler, and in a discussion of methodology of a particular article the article in question itself doesn't count as sufficient evidence.

    I suppose when all you have is a hammer....
     
  3. Dec 14, 2018 #43

    Black Hand

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    Allow me to be abundantly clear - Muzzleloader magazine IS NOT a scholarly publication and no review of the information, which you said only he has ("He has something like forty years worth of research - stuff that no body else has...") has been done. I don't care who he is but I do care about the evidence/documentation. I can't accept his distillation of the evidence (and potential confirmation bias) without examining the evidence myself - At that point, I might agree and I might disagree. And NO, the article itself doesn't count as sufficient evidence but the sources he bases his article upon MIGHT be evidence (depending on the source and provenance). Stop trying to make this personal...

    You might be tempted to use the statement "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." The absence of evidence is just that - the absence of evidence. If there is no evidence (or a silence, as you call it), we can say it means something but we still can't prove it...

    I've done this down the rabbit-hole thing with journal articles before. One guy uses a paper by the 2nd guy as a citation to support his point and the second guy has used a 3rd and so on. Following the citation trail back to the original article and guess what - what the original author said isn't even close to what the most recent author said. In at least 1 case, it was completely opposite. I'm sorry if I can't categorically and unquestioningly accept Mr. Gussler's conclusions at face value - but that is just how I was trained - be skeptical of everything until you can examine the evidence yourself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
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  4. Dec 15, 2018 #44

    Elnathan

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    I am under no obligation to prove Gusler's thesis, which I only mentioned in passing as an illustration that there was debate on the point. It is relevant to the subject to the extent we have been told that, since there are no surviving pouches with that feature, it is a 19th century invention (I'm not sure what the common wisdom among reenactors is on that point these days). My interest is in methodology - if you want to know whether Gusler has enough evidence to prove his point, go read the article and start a new thread. As it is, whether or not Muzzleblasts is a peer-reviewed publication (it isn't) is irrelevent. Unless you want to claim that I am lying about how Gusler arrived at his conclusion there is no need for me to produce anything like what you demand of me -as a matter of fact, in that case it would be I who could demand evidence of you.

    As for the charge of Appealing to Authority, I was merely responding to your slight of Gusler as being merely "well-known" by pointing out that he has a fair amount of practical expertise - this defense is substantively no different from your invocation of peer-review as an indication of reliability, so you are free to consider it a fallacy so long as you also acknowledge yourself also guilty. I might also point out that your constant references to your own training in science (incorrectly and clumsily applied to a humanity) also arguably constitute an Appeal to Authority, if you want to go down that path.

    Since you have decided to introduce the personal note by telling me not to make it personal (cute trick!):

    That display of misrepresentation and sciencebabble you posted earlier was either the result of stupidity or dishonesty, and since all the other evidence suggests that you are an intelligent man, I am forced to conclude that you knew exactly what you were doing. As a result, I don't see any point in trying to engage you in honest debate.

    If you want to make a substantive point instead of burning straw men, hauling goalposts around, and generally misbehaving, I might respond. Probably not, though.
     
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  5. Dec 15, 2018 #45

    Black Hand

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    You are correct - it isn't your job to prove Mr. Gussler's hypothesis and I never claimed you should. As to demanding evidence - As I made no claim other than questioning the conclusion, I am under no obligation to provide evidence (I have made no positive claim). I expressed my skepticism, which any person should when presented with a claim that is using the absence of something to support a positive claim.

    Questioning his claim isn't attacking the man personally. At least with peer-review, others with knowledge of the art examine the claims & evidence to see whether the claim/hypothesis is at least supported (as you claimed, NO ONE else has this evidence). As Mr. Gussler is using the lack of mention (a negative) as support for his hypothesis, I am still wondering how this confirms that powderhorns were attached to pouches. Perhaps a more judicious application of the scientific requirements of what actually constitutes valid supporting evidence to the humanities would result in better-supported conclusions.

    I used it to indicate that the source of the information MUST be checked for accuracy. Merely accepting someone's word or distillation of evidence is often not sufficient, but much depends on the claim. I can claim I have a car in my garage and you wouldn't question this. If I claimed I had a rainbow-colored unicorn that pooped cotton-candy in my garage, you would want more evidence. I could then claim the unicorn is invisible to everyone else but me and the fact that you can't see it confirms that it is indeed invisible and therefore real.
    This is an invisible unicorn claim - I can't see it, therefore it must be real...(?)

    I have not misrepresented Mr. Gussler's claims, so there are no Straw-men to burn.
    I haven't moved the goal-posts, as all I've questioned is how the lack of something in the documentation constitutes an indication of something (using a negative to prove a positive, when there isn't anything to confirm the negative or the positive conclusion it draws from the negative - Oh, dear, I'm getting dizzy going around in a circle...).
    I'm sorry if you dislike people questioning the work of someone you respect and admire, but that still doesn't constitute misbehavior.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
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  6. Dec 16, 2018 #46
  7. Feb 12, 2020 #47

    Beau Robbins

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    No. Negative evidence does not support a conclusion. That's not how scholarship works. Nothing gets proven by having a lack of evidence for the proof.
     
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  8. Feb 13, 2020 #48

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  9. Feb 13, 2020 #49

    tenngun

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    On another thread about shooting bags there is a cartoon of an American rifleman with his bag an horn on his left side.
    On Townsends shifting the past there is a painting of a girl handing out handbills of some sort. In the crowd of working people one man has a wheel hat on, its the only eighteenth century I think I’ve ever seen of a man with a wheel hat in this century.
    So you going to put on your rifleman kit, sling your bag and horn on your left side slip on a wheel hat and head to an event?
    It’s documented.
    What exactly is common use?
    We know of at least one riflemans shirt fitted with pockets, and how many surviving ones from the eighteenth century do we have. Is it three or four, is it ten? One out of ten is a high number. You slapping pockets on your riflemans shirt?
    Should you see one would you say it’s not typical.
    Buttons were expensive. Typically we see a ton on clothing. I think my last coat had twenty. Did everybody put buttons every inch and a half? Were there ladies sewing up a short coat for her husband that had a button every three?
    What’s typical?
    Looking at cartoons and village scenes with a bit of, shall we say variety?
     
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  10. Feb 14, 2020 #50

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    Hit em' again! That horse is still moving!
     
  11. Feb 14, 2020 #51

    Brokennock

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    ???? I don't get it. Which part of this is "beating a dead horse?"
     
  12. Feb 14, 2020 #52

    Loyalist Dave

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    Do We?

    We have a written source that says the shirt had pockets..., we don't know if a) it was a repurposed clothing item being used as a hunting shirt so described as such, b) how good the author of the ad was at clothing description....c) what exactly was meant? Were they obvious pockets easily seen like perhaps it was an unfinished sleeved waistcoat so no buttons or holes but the pockets had been installed (I think they were or else why mention them) ?

    So you're quite right about A reference vs. many references to something being present...

    The now defunct Cresap's Rifle Company did a very early AWI impression, and based on early deserter descriptions, they ratio'd the number of hunting shirts with civilian coats allowed in their ranks. I think it worked out to like 20% or so were allowed to have hunting shirts ...

    LD
     
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  13. Feb 14, 2020 #53

    Spence10

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    Archives of Maryland, Vol. 12, Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Safety

    Tories who broke Goal at Frederick Town on the night of the 23rd September 1776.

    Hennith Sewart a Scotchman well made about five feel nine Inches high, wears a long hunting shirt with pockets in the sides of it, a pair of leather breeches, white stockings, a brown surtout coat and scotch bonnet, pretends to have some knowledge in Physick.

    Spence
     
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  14. Feb 14, 2020 #54

    Marinekayak

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    I am going to chime in a little here. I am going to guess that grunt during the AWI and the CW didn't differ much in mentality from the modern grunt. I bet then, as now, when in rear areas or formations, issue or required items had to be worn or carried in a certain way. However when in the "field" I bet there was as much modification and individuality of how equipment was used and worn as there is today.
     
  15. Feb 14, 2020 #55

    tenngun

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    I’m not big in to hunting shirts so have not did much more then an over view of them. It seems to me the photo of the shirt was used in the paper often quoted on this forum ‘a Kind of Armor’ that had the photo of the pocketed riflemans shirt. As I recall there were only three existing shirts known from AWI times.
    I don’t want to get off in an argument on this because that’s not the point of my post. In fact your point is very good. An alteration could have been done long after the fact.
    During the Second World War we have bombers that in the South Pacific was turned in to gunships, while tanks in France were fitted with special hedge cutters.
    While people stayed in the styles of the time they lived in I don’t doubt that boys fitted things to fit their own needs.
    We have to be real careful here. As ‘they could have done’ such and such till we replace historic with bushcraft. But the flip side is we can try to create a uniformty that didn’t exist out side the military.
     
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  16. Feb 15, 2020 #56

    Spence10

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    Neal Hurst's paper The American Hunting Shirt may be what your are thinking about. He discusses the Crowe hunting shirt, which has an inside pocket, but I don't believe he showed that. Here it is. Pocket is made of striped ticking, may have been added later. The shirt was made 1799.

    huntingshirt3.jpg
    huntingshirt3 copy.jpg

    Spence
     
  17. Feb 15, 2020 #57

    Loyalist Dave

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    Oh I'm sorry guys, as I thought you were referencing one of the deserter descriptions from the 1770's that referenced a hunting shirt with pockets. :oops:

    LD
     
  18. Feb 15, 2020 #58

    oreclan

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    I was a member of Cresap's Rifle Company (BAR unit) during the Bicentennial) and I don't remember any quota for hunting shirts, in fact all of us wore them; of course back them we used priming horns ( Some made by Roland Cadle- a member.)and bullet blocks as well. These today are questioned as to their use in the 18th C.
    There was and is a BAR(?) pamphlet , "A Guide to Clothing & Accouterments of Frontier Militia in the American Revolution" compiled & edited by Floyd A. Barmann written for units participating in the bicentenial siege of Fort Liberty and the battle of Picawey that offered clothing & equipment ratios on page 4. There it states that of a ten man unit- four might wear linen hunting shirts, two might wear coats, and the remainder might wear frocks (smocks); two wool and two linen.
    As to pockets - yes they were used per two of the for extant 18th Century examples.
     
  19. Feb 15, 2020 #59

    Loyalist Dave

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    As well you shouldn't because I am referring to Cresap's Rifle Company of The British Brigade, 20 years or more after the Bicentennial, and the quota was based on deserter descriptions found via the internet, searching old papers. We also did very early war impression, when the Marylanders moved overland from what today is Old Town, Maryland to New York. ;) Which is why we didn't do the more accepted practice of wearing rifle shirts, because our source showed very few did so that early in the war.

    LD
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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