Guidelines for Clothing and Equipment

Discussion concerning Living History programs at Fort Boonesborough.

Guidelines for Clothing and Equipment

Postby Cindy Northup » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:13 pm

Below are the guidelines for clothing and equipment at militia musters, revised on September 9th, 2004.
Reenactors attending the musters should also be aware of the following state park regulations:
1. Pets are NOT allowed inside the fort, except service animals (such as guide dogs for the blind). However, you can camp in the field behind the fort and keep your pet there, as long as it doesn't come inside the fort.

2. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the state park.

Fort Boonesborough Militia Clothing and Equipment Guidelines:

1. We are portraying 18th Century. The time period is 1775-1790. Period correct clothing should be worn at all times. Clothing should be appropriate to the designated time period. This includes children. If anyone, regardless of age, wears a breechcloth, it is to be worn authentically. No suspenders visible. No modern jewelry, squaw dresses, calico shirts (except for period correct patterns), and long fringed buckskin mountain man clothing, western clothing, or moccasin style bedroom slippers. Try to avoid the chrome tanned (yellow color) commercial leather if possible, or dye it. All modern conveniences such as food & water coolers should be kept covered or inside tent out of sight. No cigarettes. If you have to smoke, use a pipe that's correct for the 18th century. Cigarettes were not authentic to our time period and place.

2. Merchants and Traders should keep all trade goods appropriate to the time period.

3. No modern guns or percussion guns.

4. Tents and Shelters should be kept period correct and correct for the Middle Ground area. These would include wall tents, wedge tents, marquees, lean-to & diamond fly shelters etc. No Tee-Pees, Baker tents, Whelen tents, One Pole Hunter tents, or modern day camping tents etc. allowed.

5. Appropriate 18th century type eyewear is encouraged. At a minimum, modern eyeglasses should blend into a 1700s presentation. If not possible, contact the Militia Captain prior to attending a militia muster.

6. Men’s clothing should be typical American mid to late 18th century. Items include: shirt with collar (linen, wool, or cotton material, checked or colored, both being appropriate to area and time period), waistcoat (1750-1780 styles), hat (Tri-corns, flat brim, or head scarves), shoes (Colonial style), boots (colonial-rare on the frontier), moccasins (center-seam or pucker-toe), barefoot (always correct), neck stock or handkerchief, trousers or breeches (drop front or french fly), and frock or coat (civilian or military), leggings/gaiters (heavy linen, cotton, wool, or leather, side seam, either stitched or buttoned up).

7. Women’s clothing should be typical of mid to late 18th century. Items include: shift or chemise (should be white or natural in color and appropriate to time period), petticoat (hems should be between the ankle and mid calf), short gown, jacket, or gown (waistcoats for women should be sleeved, unless worn under a jacket), day cap or period correct hairstyle (caps should be white or natural, or straw hats), stockings and shoes (18th Century style), moccasins, or barefoot (always correct), neck handkerchief, capes, cloaks, mantles, coats, and shawls. A woman can wear men’s clothing, such as a trade shirt, or even a full outfit (this is documented). Any jewelry should be appropriate to the time period, the Middle Ground area, and to the re-enactor’s station in life (keep wrist watches out of sight). Stays and jumps were underwear and should not be an outer garment.

8. Infants: keep plastic diapers covered, bed gown or gown, cap, shirt etc. Keep supplies in period container. Children: Due to expense of children’s shoes, any lace up black or brown shoe or moccasin is acceptable (barefoot is always right). Shifts of linen, cotton, or wool, caps & hats are optional. Petticoats for girls, waistcoats for boys, short gown, jacket, or gown for girls.

***Always Use Caution around open fires, and never let children play with weapons. Parents Are Responsible***

9. Natives: moccasins (center seam or pucker toe), scalp lock or head covering (kerchief or turban), leggings (side seamed, snug fitting, not higher than mid thigh) bead work & trade silver(appropriate for area & time period), knee garters or ties, breechcloths (leather or trade wool, no longer than mid thigh), trade shirt, sashes, match coats, and waistcoats. Native women: skirt (folded over & tied at waist), bed jackets and short gowns, trade shirt, leggings (same as man’s), moccasins(same as man’s), jewelry ( appropriate to area & time period), keep ribbons silk or wool (no polyester). Native bags were kept small ( 7”x 8” would be a very large bag), many were twined bags and decorated same as the moccasins.

References for the Fort Boonesborough Militia Guidelines:

1. Baker, Mark : The Longhunter Series (Vol.1-4), American Pioneer Video 1994-1998

2. Baker, Mark : “Sons of a Trackless Forest”, Baker’s Trace Publishing, 1998

3. Belue, Ted : “The Long Hunt,” ”The Life of Daniel Boone” and “The Hunters of Kentucky” by Stackpole Books, 1996, 1998, & 2003

4. Burnston, S. : “Fitting and Proper: 18th Century Clothing from the Collection of the Chester County Historical Society” by Scurlock Publishing Co. 1998

5. Cresswell, Nicholas : “The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell: 1774-1777” by Dial Press, 1924

6. Dodderidge, Joseph : “Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1763-1783” by Heritage Books Inc., 1988

7. Gilgun, Beth : “Tidings From the 18th Century” by Rebel Publishing, 1993

8. Kenton, Edna : “Simon Kenton, His Life and Period” by Ayer Co. Publishers Inc., 1930

9. LaCrosse, R.B.Jr. : “The Frontier Rifleman” by Pioneer Press, 1989

***Note*** : Many descriptions of clothing taken from the above references are descriptions recorded in the Draper manuscripts
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Cindy Northup
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