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Discussion in 'Accoutrements' started by tna, Nov 4, 2004.
This is a serious question...What is considered credible historical documentation?
I'm sure we all define this a little differently.
Some of us require "Primary Source" documentation. That is, it can't simply be a third-hand account of something someone "heard about". Primary source documentation is the record made by a witness or participant at the time or very shortly after the time an historical event occurred. Examples include,
Claude is on the money here.
The real thing to remember is that you do not have control of history and you cannot bend it to meet your needs. Just because you wish something was a certain way does not mean you can twist what happened around to justify what you want. That is a modern concept, part of our instant gratification system. You do not decide what you will be or do or carry and "make the history meet your needs".
The amazing thing is the so much outlandish stuff happened in frontier areas that you can find some really unusual personas to fil if you just do the research. There is a world of information out there on the net. Many of the questions that are asked here on the forum are covered by pages of material if you do a google search!
That is not the way history has been recorded . . . historically.
The victors and powerful ensure that it is recorded the way they wanted it to have happened.
Oh, I'm such a pessimist.
How true. Thankfully, archeology and the day-to-day details of the common man were usually not effected by the victor's interpretation as much.
This is why primary sources are so important. They remove as much of the politics and mythology as possible from the equation.
I think that at times the "common" thing is overdone, the uncommon or unusual is perfectly acceptable if documentable.some have a "it's gotta be common to be correct" attitude which leaves out much of historu as to be common or average there is an equal spectrum on both sides of the average.Nothing wrong with going the common route but it is not the only "proper" path.
I tried being normal once.
Worst twenty minutes of my life!
Every time I try to blend in someone sees me and starts laughing.
I agree completely. As long as something can be documented it shouldn't cause a problem. It's the outrageous, "it could have happened" attempts that cause people to wonder if the participate is really interested in history, or if they just want to carry a Renaissance dagger at the 1750 Colonial encampment, because they think it's a cool blade. :winking:
O.K. what is 'common'???? Does it make sense that MOST of our 'documentation' is NOT based on the common ? Early writers didnt write much about normal, mundane, everyday things. At least from a typical European eye. They detailed the odd, unusual, peculiar,things & people they saw....Joe Sixpack of 1770 is unfortunatly GONE.. As for the KUKRI ?????? Absolutely NOT !!! :yakyak:
Now don't take this wrong, I'm not trying to be an @#$...but if someone found a diary from great, great, great uncle John that wrote about his using his much coveted kukri on his treks in search of beaver pelts, would that be credible enough?
I have 2 reasons to be skeptical of written history...the first is that history is written by the victors, and the second is that history was usually written by the upper classes because the lower classes were mostly illiterate. Both of these facts lead one to believe that the written accounts are going to be about the upper classes and not so much about the lower classes.
Not trying to be a pain, just trying to understand.
That works for me.
[quote..the first is that history is written by the victors, and the second is that history was usually written by the upper classes because the lower classes were mostly illiterate. Both of these facts lead one to believe that the written accounts are going to be about the upper classes and not so much about the lower classes.[/quote]
Primary documentation is not just diaries of the upper-class. Being poor didn't necessarily mean you couldn't write or convey your story to someone who could. There are many narratives from what you refer to as the "lower class".
There are also many records from Hudson Bay Company, stores, traders, shipping manifests, etc. These things do document everyday life. Society didn't just document the bizarre and unusal. Documentation for everyday life is abundant if you know where to look.
There are thousands of primary sources in the form of shipping manifests, bills of sale, receipts from traders like the Hudson Bay Co., etc. The list goes on.
Not all documentation is written by those with a political agenda or a desire to document the "unusual". Documentation for common, everyday occurrences are abundant. You just have to know where to look and know how to interpret what you find.
See, I not only have this here Kukri, but I wrote about it in this here, backdated to 1802, authentic vellum diary I bought at Barnes & Noble and used squid ink and a Ford Falcon feather to do it.
I'd a showed you in a Library book, but they ain't been invented yet and the copywrite date would be 200 years out of this here period, so's I couldn't bring it with me. :winking:
I was an SCA Merchant, my persona was a Medici merchant, I could get away with using a fork at the table. :: But, I never mixed anything too far fetched. But, truth can be stranger than fiction. Besides, where else can you beat someone with a stick until their ribs look like hamburger and not get jailed for it?
sorry if my "shallow level of historic intrest" has offended you. i am new to muzzleloading and have never done any reenacting but i was intrested in it, untill someone called my question "absurd". i had what i thought was a legitmate question. thanks for positive input. it really helps a guy who's just trying to learn something. maybe next time i will think long and hard before posting.
wouldn't want to ask any more stupid questions.
There are no stupid question !
Anyway , better look stupid for a few minutes
than stay ignorant for the rest of your life .
Still... some question do look funny at first .
Been there , did that , still have the T-shirt .
When I applied to be a member of a F&I war
reconstitution group. I showed up with a very
PC blunderbuss , some people nicely made me
understand that even if a few soldiers in Viet Nam
owned Corvette cars , they probably never used
them for a " fast approach " on ennemy lines .
Well, at least one showed up at Vicksburg...
...and another served out the war with the Rebs...
Kukri's is only good fer fighting fellar's on the other side of a tree from ya. Dinna they used to be 3 fellars named Kukri, Fran, and Ollie?..... :youcrazy: :huh:
AWWWW, now I remembers....Kukri, Fran, and Ollie was a musical group like Peter, Paul , and Mary....or Olivia, Newt, and John.... :redthumb:
Separate names with a comma.