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Thread: Native American and early frontier knife carrying methods

  1. #21
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know. But it wasn't near as funny with the sheaths.


  2. #22
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyt View Post
    on another note, what was the economic status of Boone? was he well off?
    Boone did not do as well as Crockett.

    He had a problem with land titles since he was working as the land agent for Richard Hinderson, a man that was trying to establish a 14th colony west of the mountains. That land was claimed by Virginia/North Carolina and hunted by the Shawnee.

    Hinderson claimed the land by paying the Cherokee a few wagon loads of trade goods for it. He though he was getting a bargain, and the Cherokee laughed all the way home since the and was normally hunted by the Shawnee.

    After Boone surveyed and sold thousands of acres, and claimed thousands more for himself, lost two sons to Indians and fought the Shawnee for nearly 10 years, at the end of the Rev-War Virginia revoked all claim to any land sold by the Hinderson company, known as the Transylvania Company. Every title Boone had issued was rendered illegal.

    Boone tried to make things right but just did not have the resources and lost all his holdings.

    By the end of the Revolution all the game was shot out in Kentucky and Boone had never been a farmer. At that time he was in his late 50s and found it difficult to "retrain". He tried keeping several taverns and never made a go of it.

    At one point he wrote in his diary that he had reached the lowest point in his life, he had been forced to eat mutton.

    As old age crept up on him he and Rebecca moved to Boonevlle, Missouri and lived with their kids. He finally died of old age. He was around 82 if my memory is correct.

    100 years latter his bones were dug up and reburied in Lexington. He had always claimed he never wanted to see Kentucky again, and some family members have always claimed that those present pointed out the wrong grave to dig when the exhumation took place and the bones in KY are those of a servant buried in the family plot.

    There were a half dozen or so real fine woodsmen in KY and TN that lived through all the Indian wars, got shot up cut up and treated pretty rough and still managed to die of old age. Boone was one, Simon Kenton was another along with Kasper Mansker, James Robertson and Hugh Rogan down in TN.

    James Robertson had been Richard Hinderson's agent in middle TN. He lost all his holdings also, but the Middle TN area had not been heavily settled at that time so not much land had been sold, and many of the purchasers had been wiped out by Indians. They had a 50% death rate early in Nashville's history due to Native American drive by shootings.

    Robertson managed to salvage about 600 acres from his Rev-War allotment as the family farm. The plantation was named Belmont and it is now the location of Belmont College, a Baptist Seminary in Nashville, TN.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 02-07-2018 at 08:15 PM.

  3. #23
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    Interesting about how primitives carry a knife. I have one somewhere from an African tribesman made of two carved pieces of wood tied together. This sheath at least would prevent him from blade cutting him and quick access.
    Bob

  4. #24

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    most native americans of the period carried 10'in damascus hunters , mostly
    with jigged buffalo horn scales, yeah that's the ticket.
    coyotes listen to them, like children of the night what music they make.

  5. #25
    Senior Member DSJohnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayshaker View Post
    most native americans of the period carried 10'in damascus hunters , mostly
    with jigged buffalo horn scales, yeah that's the ticket.
    rabblerouser, pot stirrer, trouble maker.

  6. #26

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    DSJ thank you so much for those kind words.
    now for the OP i would really like to thank
    for posting this thread, the history lesson
    has been nothing less than great, so big rep
    to all those history buffs.do any of the original
    trade knives still exist? in collections or museums,
    be something to see for sure,btw i have a knapped
    knife made from kay county chert, by a friend of mine
    whose cherokee from muskogee oklahoma,
    the handle still has the outer stone surface so it is smooth
    to the touch, it was made like native people would have used
    during pre/post ice age.
    coyotes listen to them, like children of the night what music they make.

  7. #27
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    One method of carrying a large knife that has not been mentioned is to put in a basket with whatever is being brought home. Samoans will put a machete in a coconut leaf basket along with taro or breadfruit. A sheath is never seen.

  8. #28

    Cool

    Great history lesson, a lot of good information I have never known about Davey and Daniel. I have been fascinated by knives and their utility since my first Cub Scout pocket folder. I feel naked without at least a SAK on my person and have never understood the airline and airport ban of them. I haven't flown a commercial airline since 9-11.

  9. #29
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    I relation to Boone and other pioneers and what kind of knife did they carry. The Indians west of the Appalachian Mts. referred to pioneers like Boone as "The Long Knives" because they carried what amounted to a short sword or an early version of a Bowe Knife with a blade over a foot in length. This is/was probably a carry over from militia equipment. Swords were a piece of European military equipment of that era.
    Last edited by Old Professor; 03-08-2018 at 12:03 PM. Reason: better organization.
    Geezer Squad #2

  10. #30
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    One of the things you find with the original knives is that although some of them are long most are no more than 6"-8" long and they are not thick bladed like survival knives of today. Most are no more than 1/8" thick and some thinner than that.

    It is really amazing to see the gear used by those folks when we go to such extremes with out gear today. They were conquering an uncharted wilderness with gear we would consider junk and no self respecting Youtube survival star would be caught holding in front of a camera.

    And once again, the most common blade found on the pioneers' belt was going to be that plain old butcher knife with a handle he had applied himself to the unfinished blade he bought at the trade post.

    Those 6"-8" butcher knife blades were shipped to the posts by the thousands. They have been found in the wells of excavated Jamestown and almost every other post contact archaeological dig site, along with the pocket knives.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 03-09-2018 at 04:20 AM.

  11. #31
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    You have to picture the poor guy that dropped the knife in the well. Standing there looking down the well thinking, "Dang. Some day someone is going to be posting on wilderness-survival.net about me dropping that."

  12. #32
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    They also found one of the nicest early style flintlock pistols ever discovered in that same well. All of it is on display at the Jamestown historic site.

    BTW, the butcher knives they excavated are identical to what we use today with only one single major change. The blade flows smoothly from handle to cutting edge with no transition or jump where the cutting edge is slightly wider than the handle. The holes in the tang for mounting the handle are also usually smaller, about 1/8".

    French butcher knives, known as boucherons, were different having very thin swept blades and half tangs.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 03-09-2018 at 02:31 PM.

  13. #33
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    Half tang? Guys like Benjamin Bonneville might as well go right back to France then. They'd never make it in today's modern survival game where it's full tang or nothing.

  14. #34
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    Thank you for mentioning General Bonneville as I was unfamiliar with his biography. He seems to have been an interesting man.
    I wonder what he would think of our modern "freedom fries".

  15. #35
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    We owe a pretty large debt to foreign born men who either rose to notable rank within our armed services or simply gave service to our country. Men such as Bonneville or Baron von Stueben. Not just men, either. Madeline Albright was born in Czechoslovakia.

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