Author Topic: French & Indian War Pouches?  (Read 3788 times)

Offline Panzerschwein

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French & Indian War Pouches?
« on: July 21, 2020, 08:41:13 AM »
I have hunted for this on the search engine bar with not much luck. I am wanting to know more about shooting pouches of the F&IW period. I have learned of the Lyman belt pouch. Were belt pouches most common for the long hunters and explorers? Did white men use such pouches, or mainly indians? Did anyone use shoulder strap pouches?

I would like to know more if anyone here would like to share. Just trying to get ideas that would be appropriate for a white impression, a colonist, long hunter or explorer using a trade gun (I heard whites used them too sometimes) and what pouch might have been carried. Seems to be more info on F&IW era horns than pouches.

Thanks.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2020, 09:04:51 AM »
There is a well known engraving of Robert Rogers who headed up Roger's Rangers in the Seven Years War in America. He is shown with a horn and bag outfit that is displayed with some prominence in the scene. Not sure where to send you to see this, but you should be able to find it online with some ease or in a good book on the F & I War. Some of the folks here may do better than that and give you a website. Good luck!
Dick

Offline Brokennock

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2020, 12:06:57 PM »
Careful with the "longhunter," moniker. The longhunter was a very specific type person at a very specific, and narrow, time and place. The term often gets used as a generic but it is not.

The description I have read of the belt bags used by Rogers' Rangers as a  bullet pouch, describes them as being of seal skin. Not much description beyond that. Given that this would be a very soft and flexible leather I am picturing a bag something similar to a sporan, but this is conjecture and could be way off.

I have read references to shoulder slung shot pouches as well. However, what you probably would not see are these big bags holding everything from shooting gear to survival gear to the kitchen sink. Most indications point to early bags being rather small. As shot pouches, they were/are only meant to carry what is needed for the next shot.

Offline Top Jaw

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2020, 02:21:44 PM »
I sold my copy a while back, but I believe that Robert Rogers drawing Being referred to is in the Madison Grant hunting pouch book.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2020, 02:38:27 PM »
The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West.

Andover, Vermont

Offline Elnathan

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2020, 04:36:14 PM »
Here is the portrait of Robert Rogers: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/RobertRogers.jpeg

Not really much detail, but I think it is meant to be a fingerwoven bag of the sort portrayed in the Benjamin West painting above. Speaking of which, here is the actual bag that West used as a prop: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/E_Am1991-09-4

Having posted those, I must point out that there is a school of thought among art historians that these kind of bags were the product of a relatively small number of artisans located at major trading centers and were made as prestige items for prominent or wealthy individuals, rather than being typical of what the average person used on a daily basis or indeed what the owners carried for actual use. In other words, these may be showpieces intended for the council chambers rather than the woods. The West pouch has a bunch of tinklers or metal cones on it, which look cool but would be a bit of a drawback when trying to move stealthily, which lends weight to that theory, I think.

To address the original question, the short answer (IMHO) is "We don't know, as no examples have survived and we have no pictures or detailed written descriptions from that period." Modern reenactor convention holds that small and simple is the way to go, but this is based more on a desire to avoid any distinguishing feature that could be picked out and challenged rather than any really solid evidence ruling out fancier bags. We do have some pictures of Natives showing D and square bags, plus of course the fancy fingerwoven and buckskin bags noted earlier. We also have a bunch of pictures of bags from European sources that range from fairly simple to rather fancy - James Rogers can speak with some authority on those, I think - which seem to be largely overlooked as models for backwoods pouches, plus some pictures and surviving examples from the Revolutionary period which confirm square and D-shape pouches as in use at that period (not that there was much doubt). I think that there are some cursory descriptions of gun bags from runaway ads as well, including a mention of one made from blue velvet.

One other thing to note is that the Scots-Irish were known for flamboyance, and this in an age when outward appearance and social status were more important culturally than they are now. I suspect that folks who could afford a decent gun also put some effort into getting a nice pouch as well, and they had both Native American and European traditions of leather-working to draw upon.
A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition -  Rudyard Kipling

Offline rich pierce

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2020, 05:04:20 PM »
Nice summary Elnathan. Wandering way off into speculation, I wonder about the origin of the design of the Native American bag in the painting. Two obvious possibilities arise. One, the design is an adaptation of bags used by Native Americans from the get-go. Two, the design is an adaptation of bags used by white colonials.

Trade guns were being used since the 1600s so by the time of the F&I war, there had been plenty of time for many styles to develop among Native Americans. As the colonies were the land of immigrants Id suspect many used styles that were familiar to their cultures, likely simplified. So, if I was making a bag for a F&I War era impression, Id be influenced by my culture of origin.
Andover, Vermont

Offline Marcruger

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2020, 05:36:35 PM »
Hi Rich,

With due respect, I shy away from using that beautiful painting as a reference.  It was painted 11 years after the event, and was questioned at the time.  Hence things like bags, clothes and the painted rifle I have been told are all in question. 

The more I learn, the less I realize I know, so I am open to comment on this of course.

In regards to pouches from the F&I period, are there any survivors?  Hard to imagine, but maybe somewhere.  I'd also hazard that bags for the French, British, settlers and native populations may have all been vastly different in appearance.   My suggestion would be to look at contemporary painting, and see if any show up.  Of course, you'd mainly get the rich folks, as they were the ones with money for paintings.   

Best wishes,  Marc


Offline Bob McBride

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2020, 05:52:03 PM »
Hi Rich,

With due respect, I shy away from using that beautiful painting as a reference.  It was painted 11 years after the event, and was questioned at the time.  Hence things like bags, clothes and the painted rifle I have been told are all in question. 

The more I learn, the less I realize I know, so I am open to comment on this of course.

In regards to pouches from the F&I period, are there any survivors?  Hard to imagine, but maybe somewhere.  I'd also hazard that bags for the French, British, settlers and native populations may have all been vastly different in appearance.   My suggestion would be to look at contemporary painting, and see if any show up.  Of course, you'd mainly get the rich folks, as they were the ones with money for paintings.   

Best wishes,  Marc

Marc, there is probably a lot to what you say but I see it as a contemporary representation of what a person of the period, the painter, would have assumed would have been carried and worn by the people in the piece. It may not be accurate in regards to the situation depicted but bags, clothing, etc. etc. were so ubiquitous that it would be something like asking an artist today to paint a pic of what kinds of Purses, cell phones, backpacks, or clothing people wore 10 years ago. Youd have to be a pretty terrible observer to mess up too bad.

 I could be wrong.

Offline James Rogers

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2020, 06:11:34 PM »
We have the Lyman bag and then we have images of the period and prior as well as a few things written As Marc said the images are mostly of the wealthy with some military added in. There are however some images from Europe that show various bags in use by those other than the upper class. Together, all these images can still give us an idea of construction, shape and size.
For America,  I think we have several options.
1. The work of a local professional craftsman
2. An import
3. Native work
4. Home made

It then comes to who, what, when and where.
Will a lower sort with a trading gun have an import bag? Very possible as his gun is also an import but would it be a fancy bag the governor would use? Probably not but it won't look like a folk affair.
Would he have a home made affair? Quite possible but would it have the saddle and other stitching, bindings, welts, etc.  associated with the work of a professional? Doubtful. I have observed later period home made bags to incorporate a likness to stitching techniques associated with cloth.
Would he have a bag made locally by a saddler or the like? Possible. Would that bag be full of bullet holes and have bits of hair hanging of it? I think not. 
As for the native bags, that is beyond my scope.

As to size.... The Germanic game bags go back to that period for sure and they are anything but small.  The non-game carrying part of the bag is usually huge. Again, one would need to satisfy the who, what , when and where for that.
Then we have the Lyman size bags found on a belt or shoulder strap. There is a reference to making cloth bags during the war and they were to have a divider to separate loose shot such as goose or buck shot from balls


Each Company is to draw a sufficient Quantity of Dutch or Russia Drilling to provide Each Soldier with a Shott Pouch with a partition in division in the middle to keep buckshot and bullets separate. Each Soldier to make his own sack and Shot Pouch as near one General Size Pattern as possible
Second Virginia Regiment ,1775

 No mention is made of the kitchen sink or other items. I believe these smaller bags are mainly what we see referred to as "shot bags" in period writings.  They were intended to mainly carry the bullets and maybe some patching or tow.
I find many images of bags in between these two aforementioned sizes.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 06:19:56 PM by James Rogers »

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2020, 06:54:49 PM »
I don't know if it's relevant, but this pouch came directly from Madison Grant's personal collection and was identified by him as Rev War period.  I don't
know if they changed much between F & I and Rev Wars.  It was a should strap pouch.



Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2020, 07:04:40 PM »
I want a simple bag made with red hair cowhide. Pretty sure thats the ticket.  Cant find documentation though beyond Jim Mullins book Of Sorts For Provincials pg 115. 

Dexter or Scottish Highland hide?  I suppose Hereford would do.
Andover, Vermont

Offline Elnathan

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2020, 07:27:39 PM »
I don't know if it's relevant, but this pouch came directly from Madison Grant's personal collection and was identified by him as Rev War period.  I don't
know if they changed much between F & I and Rev Wars.  It was a should strap pouch.




That one was discussed here some years ago and Artificer pointed out that the flap design was the same as a Hessian boot (Hessian boots in this context indicating a style of footwear, not just one worn by German dragoons during the Revolution). He suggested that it was probably either a recycled boot or possibly a practice piece by an apprentice cobbler, IIRC. A bit of research indicates that boots of this design only became fashionable after 1790 or so, and evidently were still in use until after the Civil War in the US (though they fell from favor after 1830 or so in Britain, I think). I'd say that was most likely a 19th century piece.
A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition -  Rudyard Kipling

Offline Marcruger

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2020, 07:30:41 PM »
Rich, I love those Highland Scottish cows.  :-)   One of those shaggy hides would make a heck of a cool bag.  Great idea.  If they smell like a banded Galloway "Oreo cow", I hope the tanning knocks out the smell. LOL. 

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2020, 07:53:47 PM »
I don't know if it's relevant, but this pouch came directly from Madison Grant's personal collection and was identified by him as Rev War period.  I don't
know if they changed much between F & I and Rev Wars.  It was a should strap pouch.




That one was discussed here some years ago and Artificer pointed out that the flap design was the same as a Hessian boot (Hessian boots in this context indicating a style of footwear, not just one worn by German dragoons during the Revolution). He suggested that it was probably either a recycled boot or possibly a practice piece by an apprentice cobbler, IIRC. A bit of research indicates that boots of this design only became fashionable after 1790 or so, and evidently were still in use until after the Civil War in the US (though they fell from favor after 1830 or so in Britain, I think). I'd say that was most likely a 19th century piece.

   That said, you don't know if it was from a Hessian Soldiers boot or from the later boots modeled after them and I don't know if Madison Grant had some knowledge of the history
of the pouch which made him state it was Rev War.  He was a knowledgeable collector/author and until it's period of creation can be determined, I'm withholding judgement.  Didn't
mean to Hijack this thread.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline John SMOthermon

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2020, 07:55:27 PM »
Great discussion on bags Guys!

However some of us do still carry the kitchen sink, or at least a wash pot...

Smo

Good Luck & Good Shootin'

Offline Marcruger

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2020, 09:47:25 PM »
"That one was discussed here some years ago and Artificer pointed out that the flap design was the same as a Hessian boot (Hessian boots in this context indicating a style of footwear, not just one worn by German dragoons during the Revolution). He suggested that it was probably either a recycled boot or possibly a practice piece by an apprentice cobbler, IIRC. A bit of research indicates that boots of this design only became fashionable after 1790 or so, and evidently were still in use until after the Civil War in the US (though they fell from favor after 1830 or so in Britain, I think). I'd say that was most likely a 19th century piece."

Elnathan, I did some looking online, and it does appear to me that at least the flap is from an actual Hessian boot.  It appears to be the top of the boot, inverted, opened down the back seam and laid open.  I noticed that those Hessian boots had the "pull tabs" on the sides, so I zoomed into the photo here.  Yep, on each side you can see a line of stitching from tabs from its previous use.  If it was from an apprentice, I would expect it to lack those stitch lines. 

Not sure why they cut the "pent roof" top line versus straight, but it sure looks like an upside down boot top.  Maybe the rest of the bag is from boots too, but I cannot see enough to say. 

I looked for that "mustache" line of stitching on boots, and could not find it, but that means nothing.  Could be a slightly dressed-up variation, or could have been added when a boot was reused as a flap. 

From my limited research, it sounds like some limited Hessians (officers, horsemen??) may have used them in the Revolution, hence appearing on the English radar screen so to speak.  They became a British Regency Period fashion statement as you noted, and were later called Wellingtons.  So it is possible that the bag could be from a wartime Hessian boot, re-used.  As you also noted, it would be a safer bet to say 19th Century. 

Thank you for sharing that with us.  Very cool.  God Bless,  Marc

Offline James Rogers

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2020, 12:47:50 AM »

Its for sure a boot bag from a Hessian type boot that was in use a long time thru the 1800s. I thought Al Segudo was going to look at this bag. Maybe he could tell by the construction, pebbled grain(if thats what I'm seeing on my little phone) etc., the age of the boot. Other than that, since it has no provenance its a guess as to age. It's a neat little bag. I could have sworn I've seen that same stitch design on a pair of boots somewhere but I'm sure its not connected to reenacting, etc
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 12:55:51 AM by James Rogers »

Offline Panzerschwein

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2020, 06:37:58 AM »
Very nice, thank you my friends.

Offline acorn20

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2020, 05:27:09 AM »
Panzer..., I don't know how you would contact them, but three artists that research the heck out of their painted subjects are Robert Griffing, John Buxton and David Wright.  A lot of their paintings depict American Indians in and around the F & I war and later.  I'll bet they've done research into your original post.
Dan Akers

Offline Panzerschwein

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2020, 07:40:11 AM »
Panzer..., I don't know how you would contact them, but three artists that research the heck out of their painted subjects are Robert Griffing, John Buxton and David Wright.  A lot of their paintings depict American Indians in and around the F & I war and later.  I'll bet they've done research into your original post.

Very neat, Im going to look them up. Thanks!

Offline Marcruger

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2020, 08:57:54 PM »
I located the earlier thread about that Hessian/Wellington boot bag.  Sadly, the photos are gone.  Does anyone have saved off some other views of that bag?  I like to try something along those lines.  Many thanks, and God Bless,   Marc

Offline Elnathan

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2020, 11:45:59 PM »
I located the earlier thread about that Hessian/Wellington boot bag.  Sadly, the photos are gone.  Does anyone have saved off some other views of that bag?  I like to try something along those lines.  Many thanks, and God Bless,   Marc

Here are the two I have:
Rev-War-Pouch-Back-zps78157e14" border="0
Rev-War-Pouchfront-zps13d08e84" border="0
A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition -  Rudyard Kipling

Offline Marcruger

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2020, 03:42:12 AM »
Many thanks Elnathan.  Very helpful. 

I noted in the old thread that the strap attachment is trapped in the seam.  I am guessing the stub strap is folded in half and ends up like a welt, and then opens above the bag top to form a strap attachment?  I've seen something similar in old mountain bags. 

Best wishes, and God Bless,   Marc

Offline electricfactory

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Re: French & Indian War Pouches?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2020, 02:38:37 AM »
This makes a lot pf sense to me. Paintings of the period are in large part impressionistic, not meant to serve as 'photographs' as we often see them today. Thanks for posting this thread, very interesting!

Hi Rich,

With due respect, I shy away from using that beautiful painting as a reference.  It was painted 11 years after the event, and was questioned at the time.  Hence things like bags, clothes and the painted rifle I have been told are all in question. 

The more I learn, the less I realize I know, so I am open to comment on this of course.

In regards to pouches from the F&I period, are there any survivors?  Hard to imagine, but maybe somewhere.  I'd also hazard that bags for the French, British, settlers and native populations may have all been vastly different in appearance.   My suggestion would be to look at contemporary painting, and see if any show up.  Of course, you'd mainly get the rich folks, as they were the ones with money for paintings.   

Best wishes,  Marc

Marc, there is probably a lot to what you say but I see it as a contemporary representation of what a person of the period, the painter, would have assumed would have been carried and worn by the people in the piece. It may not be accurate in regards to the situation depicted but bags, clothing, etc. etc. were so ubiquitous that it would be something like asking an artist today to paint a pic of what kinds of Purses, cell phones, backpacks, or clothing people wore 10 years ago. Youd have to be a pretty terrible observer to mess up too bad.

 I could be wrong.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 02:42:13 AM by electricfacrtory »