Proper Footwear??

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NJ Longbeard

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My 5th and 6th great grandfathers were in the Glouchester Co. N.J. Militia from 1775 through 1793 . They were farmers for a living, so what would the proper footwear be for this period and region as I want to take on this persona. My guess would be low buckle shoes or barefoot? but am not sure :idunno: Anyone have any ideas I love to hear them> Ed
 

Spence10

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NJ Longbeard said:
My guess would be low buckle shoes or barefoot? but am not sure
I would guess about the same. Here's an item about shoes and the militia of that time frame, right close by:

The Pennsylvania Gazette
November 3, 1779
PHILADELPHIA
GENERAL MILITIA ORDERS.
"That every officer and soldier hold himself in readiness at a day’s notice, equipped in the best manner possible, with a due regard to the season. It is expected that tents will be provided for both officers and soldiers, but the insufficiency of the public stores will require their endeavouring to provide themselves with proper clothing. - It is expected that every one will bring his own blanket and haversack , and though the march will not probably be long, shoes will be an important article, which it is hoped each militia man will not neglect to procure."

If you choose shoes, maybe low ones with rough-out finish, tied with strings instead of buckled, depending on the economic status. Either shoes or bare feet would be HC, because you know at least a few did "neglect to procure."

Spence
 

Goldhunter

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Shoes with ties are also acceptable instead of buckles and are can be found in the ads.

Collection: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Publication: The Pennsylvania Packet
Date: April 8, 1778
Title: Lampeter, April 7, 1778.

Lampeter, April 7, 1778.

SIXTEEN DOLLARS REWARD. RAN AWAY last night, from the subscriber, living in Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, a servant man named PETER MEYER, about nineteen years of age, born in Switzerland, a little pock marked, yellowish hair; had on when he went away, a half worn snuff coloured coat, and jacket of the same, with pewter buttons marked P.R.B. (Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion) linen trowsers, and half worn shoes tied with strings: It is thought he is gone towards Philadelphia. Whoever takes up said servant, so that his master may have him again, shall have the above reward and reasonable charges, paid by CHRISTIAN ROHRER.


Going bare foot was an issue in some areas because of supply (exerpt of letter from COL Broadhead in 1779;

WISCONSIN HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS
COLLECTIONS, VOLUME XXIII
DRAPER SERIES, VOLUME IV

Fort McIntosh, March 20th, 1779.

Dear Sir:
As I Conceive it to be for the Interest of this Extensive & Fertile part of America that you should be made acquainted with the intelligence we have rec'd respecting the Designs of the Enemy,
I here enclose you Copies of sundry letters received from our Friends at Coochacking. Those addressed to General McIntosh were enclosed to him and me jointly; that from IVIr. Hackenwalder
was sent to me in the pad of a Moravian Indian saddle...

It is some time since I apphed to the Board of War for a supply of Cloathing for my Regiment, and Coll. Bayard informs me that I am to rely on a supply which was lately purchased in Virg'a.
I am not Ignorant of that supply; it Consists only of a Quantity of Cloth, but neither linen, thread, shoes or stockings are provided, nor Taylors engaged to make up the Cloathing, were the means furnished. In the mean time, my Men are barefooted, and very little service can be expected from them until they are supplied. I shall, therefore, be much obhged to you for interesting your self in favor of my Regiment, and preventing the ill Consequences that must attend so great a neglect. We have only one Month's provision at the different Posts.

I have the honor to be. With the sincerest regard and Esteem, Dear Sir, Your most Obed't Serv't,
Daniel Brodhead, Colo. 8th P. Reg't.

P. S. ””Shoes sent for this department ought to be of the best kind.
D. B.
Gen'l Mcintosh, with near 600 Men, is gone to throw a small supply of Provisions into Fort Laurens, which has lately been twice besieged by the Indians.
D. B.
His Excellency, Joseph Reed, Esq'r, Gov'or of the State of
Pennsylvania.^
QUALIFICATIONS OF McINTOSH
 

biliff

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Probably also depends on which side of the time period you're talking about. Buckle shoes were rapidly falling out of favor by the late 1700's as they were seen as a symbol of royalty.
 

Loyalist Dave

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The shoes didn't change..., they just started using a lace instead of buckles, but you are talking post 1790...,

The safest bet would be to buy a good fitting pair of buckled shoes, and punch one hole in both leather flaps, and use a lace through that.

LD
 

Many Klatch

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From long personal experience, I can tell you that low buckle shoes are only good for pavement and barroom floors. If the ground is the least bit uneven you will spend almost as much time out of the shoes as in them. I traded my last pair away and now wear lace up Hi-Low Trekkers. There is some debate as to whether they are HC or not, but if I didn't wear them I couldn't participate.

Many Klatch
 

Spence10

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Many Klatch said:
From long personal experience, I can tell you that low buckle shoes are only good for pavement and barroom floors. If the ground is the least bit uneven you will spend almost as much time out of the shoes as in them.
My experience has been just the opposite of that. I had always used moccasins of one sort or another for most of my hunting and trekking in period garb, because I assumed that would be the case. I decided to try my buckle shoes for all my woods running this fall and was very surprised. I found them comfortable in all kinds of terrain, wet and dry, and especially rocky. They seem to be made of iron, show very little sign of the rough treatment I gave them. I really enjoyed them, not least because I have a very nice period reference to the use of shoes while hunting. Different folks do indeed enjoy different strokes.

Spence
 

Many Klatch

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Spence, my big problem with the buckle shoes was walking on steep hills. It seemed that the moment that I had to go any direction except straight uphill or straight downhill I was sliding out of the shoes. I just couldn't get a buckle shoe tight enough for rough terrain. I finally got to where I would tie on a set of ice creepers when going on a walk in steep ground.

I see you are in Kentucky so I know you have the same geography. If you can make buckle shoes work I applaud your abilities.

Many Klatch
 

BillinOregon

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Well, I've ordered a pair of straight-lasted shoes from Townsend and son. Hope I can make them work. Going by their little video on both the shoes and attaching the buckle, it appears that getting that buckle on tight is pretty important.
 
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