Pre-French and Indian Horns?

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rich pierce

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If we can document Bison/buffalo in the 1600's as far east as Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois etc. etc.

1700's inhabitants were using the hides for robes, bull boats, meat for sustenance and the wool for weaving etc. explain why they would not use a bison horn for powder just as soon as they would a cow.
Agree. This falls into the “could have happened” category, like using gourds or canteens or wine bottles as powder horns in the Illinois region pre-1750.

I repeat there are zero documented bison powder horns pre 1770. There are hundreds of documented cattle powder horns pre-1770. If the goal is to settle on whatever seems possible and feels cool, without any likelihood attached, that has nothing to do with the original question, which was aimed toward what would be a likely powder container for someone in the vicinity of Fort de Chartes pre-1750.
 
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And my contention would be that it would be very likely the French inhabitants would have powder horns made of bison especially before 1721 when cattle were first brought to Kaskaskia. The French and the Indians would have used what was available.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
 

rich pierce

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And my contention would be that it would be very likely the French inhabitants would have powder horns made of bison especially before 1721 when cattle were first brought to Kaskaskia. The French and the Indians would have used what was available.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
My brain works in probabilities. That old saw “absence of proof is not proof of absence” is admission that a great deal of actual data is going to be ignored in favor of a notion.
 
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And again, since there were no domestic cows around the Fort de Chartres area before 1721 what do you think the probabilities were that they made a powder horn out of what was available.

I do not even like bison horns that much, to much curve in most of them to carry well, but you are really stuck on this idea that they did not use them even though they used every other part of the animal.
 

rich pierce

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And again, since there were no domestic cows around the Fort de Chartres area before 1721 what do you think the probabilities were that they made a powder horn out of what was available.

I do not even like bison horns that much, to much curve in most of them to carry well, but you are really stuck on this idea that they did not use them even though they used every other part of the animal.
Most everyone came from somewhere and brought stuff with them. Most goods were bought or traded. Not much evidence that most goods were only locally sourced. Native Americans near and far from cows used cattle powder horns.
 
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Most everyone came from somewhere and brought stuff with them. Most goods were bought or traded. Not much evidence that most goods were only locally sourced. Native Americans near and far from cows used cattle powder horns.
Horn was the plastic of the day. Used for combs and spoons and lantern glass. Except when scraped so thin as to be panes did it make much difference as to the color?
Would people have specified Buffalo vs cattle?
I ask this question in knowledge that most items used by French colonials came from France directly or indirectly
But would some one who mentioned a horn piece on a ledger or other written source specify?
“ I bought a horn spoon and comb’ with out saying “a Buffalo horn spoon or comb’
But….
Most settlers were issued supplies for militia duty from government stores. So horns may have been all government made(?)
????
 
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Most everyone came from somewhtuff with them. Most goods were bought or traded. Not much evidence that most goods were only locally sourced. Native Americans near and far from cows used cattle
Most everyone came from somewhere and brought stuff with them. Most goods were bought or traded. Not much evidence that most goods were only locally sourced. Native Americans near and far from cows used cattle powder horns.
Ok, your turn, show me a documented cow powder horn that was used before 1721 in or around Fort de Chartres

If, you can not can we assume they did not exist?
 
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Exactly, I can not document a bison powder horn in the area in the time frame and you can not document a bovine powder horn in the area in the time frame.

You think I am being ridiculous for saying bison horns are possible and I think you are being ridiculous for saying they are not.

I agree to disagree.
 
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Ok, your turn, show me a documented cow powder horn that was used before 1721 in or around Fort de Chartres

If, you can not can we assume they did not exist?
Actually, there is documentation that the Spanish were selling cow leather and raw cow horns as early as the late 17th century to French Traders and settlements in Louisiana (as well as the English Colonies). I can't document whether they turned the raw cow horns into powder horns OR used the raw horns in trade, though it may have been or even likely some of both.

We also know the French were selling many tons of lead ball and shot to Native Americans all up and down the Mississippi and even eastward of that, before Fort de Chartres was built.

Though this doesn't document how many raw or finished horns were traded along with the shot to NA's, it does show it was done even before the Fort was built.

A good starting point to research the French Trade at the time is in the book, "Colonial Frontier Guns," by T. M. Hamilton

Gus
 

rich pierce

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Exactly, I can not document a bison powder horn in the area in the time frame and you can not document a bovine powder horn in the area in the time frame.

You think I am being ridiculous for saying bison horns are possible and I think you are being ridiculous for saying they are not.

I agree to disagree.
You are misquoting me as well as using false logic. I never said bison horns were not possible. I argued that given all the data we have, cattle horns are much more likely than bison horns as powder horns for this period and place based on 1) documented extreme commonality of cattle powder horns all over North America in the period and 2) lack of documentation for bison horns as powder horns in North America in the period.
 
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Had to look up something I wrote here in 2014.

"There was a HUGE trade in leather from Mexico and also horns throughout the 18th century. Horns were very CHEAP because they were considered "waste" to the leather supplying process. Horns only cost a penny apiece, when imported, because they were considered waste and were not taxed when imported.

We tend to forget that "horn" was sort of the period "plastic" and used in a lot more items than just to carry powder. Horners made Combs, thread winders, cups, pill boxes, buttons, salt/pepper/spice horns, etc., etc. from horn. Horners also made both plain and elaborate Powder Horns.

There is a very good chance that many people on the frontier either got plain/finished horns from Horners back east or raw cow horns at trading posts that were originally imported from Mexico, rather than killing the family milk cow or family oxen that pulled plows and did other work. Matter of fact, many of the cattle breeds brought into the [English] Colonies in the 18th century did not have horns that would have made good powder horns."

Gus
 
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And as stated before we know the French were killing bison, utilizing and trading meat, tongue wool, hides, every part of the bison except for the horns which we are to believe they threw away and bought cow horns to turn in to powder horns.
Damn those French guys were dumb.
 
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And as stated before we know the French were killing bison, utilizing and trading meat, tongue wool, hides, every part of the bison except for the horns which we are to believe they threw away and bought cow horns to turn in to powder horns.
Damn those French guys were dumb.
Doesn’t make sense. Yet cow horn objects were sent to rendezvous, even though there was an buff horn there
We tend to see frontier folk as jacks of all trades, though it seems commercially produced objects were very popular
The French came from a society still dominated by the idea of a guild. And horners were a guild at one time and still a profession in the eighteenth century.
A French hunter or farmer may have thought nothing about making a powder horn from a buff horn.
or
May have no more attempted a horn then a gun repair, or glass making.
Its awful easy to see both sides of thinking here
 
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The thing with horn is it a biological material , subject to moth larval attack , rotting , splitting , fire, dog chew , breakage from dropping and hard use .
It was inexpensive , relatively easy to work and carve into interesting objects .
It was/is not a substantial material . It is a wonder that any horns are still in existence after 300 or so years . Bullock/Oxen horn ( castrated males used for draft work ) and steer horn is usually thinner and bigger than bull horn , which has to be thicker and tougher for fighting , Cow horns are smaller and thinner .
Buffalo horns are smaller and more curved than domestic cattle breeds , ie cattle horns can carry more powder than buffalo horns . Many of the English beef breeds Hereford , Shorthorn etc have very thick and small horns and are almost useless as powder horns ,The dairy breeds have thinner horns but they are usually too short .
As someone says the Mexican / Texas breeds had better horn for Horners to work . I used to find Mexican souvenirs made of cow horn in second hand / junk shops . A lot were birds and fish but some had useable cow horn for making powder horns .
New Zealand has laws banning the shipping / trucking of cattle with horns , too much economic damage ,most calves are disbudded before their horns start to grow so horned cattle are rare and finding horns suitable for powder horns is hard indeed
 
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Close to my old home in Oklahoma were a pair of Texas Longhorns. Typically thin waisted, large chest - and LONG horns. These were prize animals and the spread of their horns exceeded 10' tip to tip. We called them Homer and Jethro, and I dreamed of a powder horn that would hold about 5 pounds...
Of course, being Oklahoma, further down the road were buffalo. Large herd, beautiful animals. Loved to watch them, especially around breeding time - great battles here and there. Most of them had horns that would be hard put to carry more than one pound. Helped butcher one - an all-day job for two, but we wasted very little. Even the scraps made excellent food for the dogs. Bones, too.
I do not doubt for a minute that there WERE buffalo horns being used at the time of the F&I War, there is just not the documentation available that we have on bovine horns. Rich Pearson is right on with his statement regarding the buff horns.
 
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I know Colonial British American Militia were often required by Militia Laws to carry a minimum amount of powder in their powder horns, if they did not have the required number of already made cartridges.

I know nothing of what French Militia Laws were or even if they had them.

I wonder if there were French Militia laws that required each man to carry a minimum amount of powder?

Gus
 

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