PROGRAMS, DEMONSTRATIONS & LECTURES: Martin and Vickie Can Provide

Contact: mpbrady30 @ aol.com or thistledewbooks @ yahoo.com

BLACK POWDER SAFETY AND SHOOTING.

Martin is certified through the NRA and National Muzzleloader Assoc. to teach this class. He has taught the Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and the Mississippi Society SAR. This includes class work and shooting and the proper way to clean the guns.

WEAPONS OF THE REVOLUTION.

Martin has spoken to various historic groups about the weapons used in the Revolutionary War. This is a display and lecture. There is no hands-on shooting for this program.

CAMP FOLLOWERS OF THE REVOLUTION.

Both of us, or either of us, can explain the term, camp follower, and what these men and women did to aid the troops during the war (blacksmithing, sewing, laundry, cooking, letter writing, nursing care, etc.

HISTORIC FOODS OF THE 18TH AND 19TH CENTURIES

True historic foods are NOT modern recipes passed off as period food. Vickie delves into common ingredients, cultivated and wild plant foods, commonly used spices and herbs, and how dishes were grouped together for meals. (Did you know that to 18th and early 19th century folk, there was no dish called “stew”, it was simply SOUP. The word “stew” was a verb that described a long and slow simmering of ingredients.) The photo below is a meal reproduced from primary sources.

HISTORIC COOKING IMPLEMENTS.

Vickie has collected 18th and 19th century cooking implements for over thirty years. She shows some of her collection and explains what each item is, how it was used, and what it accomplishes in food preparation. Her collection was purchased in the U.S. and Europe. Vickie’s article on the history of waffles along with several photos was published in the October 2022 issue of Early American Life.

HISTORIC COOKING TECHNIQUES.

There was far more to cooking in earlier times than throwing a hodgepodge of ingredients into a kettle and boiling them. Vickie explains the various ways of baking – clay oven, camp kettle, bake kettle, etc.; different methods of roasting meats, making sauces, pickling, drying, and preserving fruits, etc.

HISTORIC PRESENTATION ON SARAH MATTHEWS BENJAMIN.

Sarah is one of only a handful of women who drew a pension from her involvement in the Revolutionary War. Her personal life is as amazing as her war experience. Vickie has diligently researched Sarah and her family in order to separate fact from exaggeration at the hands of census takers and journalists. Sarah died in 1858 and is also one of an extremely few men or women from the Revolution who lived long enough to have their image struck in the new art of photography.

USE OF MEDICINAL AND CULINARY HERBS IN THE 18TH AND 19TH CENTURIES.

See what was used to fight a fever, heal a wound, alleviate a stomachache, etc. Wild or cultivated plants and herbs were, for the most part, all that was available up through the mid to late 19th century. How were these plants used to treat ailments? Were they available for harvesting year-round? Vickie has given this program for historical groups as well as gardening groups. Vickie’s article on the production of saffron in colonial Pennsylvania and its use was published in Early American Life magazine.

CHILDREN’S EDUCATION IN THE 18TH CENTURY.

Martin displays the reproduction horn books he has made and discusses how children and some adults learned to read and do basic arithmetic. One needed to be able to count money to sell produce or animals and sign legal documents.

DOMESTIC LIFE ON THE FRONTIER.

What did it take to live a good life on the frontier? Home food production with enough of something for a cash crop is the simplest answer to this question. Martin and Vickie will discuss essential tasks and various dangers colonists faced.

MUSTERING OUT FOR THE MILITIA

How did these men walk away after the war and return to running their farms or businesses? What obstacles did they overcome? Martin is a retired Marine and lifelong history buff. He will share the difficulty of returning to civilian life after serving in the 18th century military.

NATIVE AMERICANS PRIOR TO AND DURING THE REVOLUTION.

There were Indian attacks but there was also a lot of give and take between Indians and colonists. Learn about native culture and interaction with colonists before, during, and after the Revolution. Martin is skilled in making and using many items and can share his knowledge of native life.

HISTORIC CLOTHING: HOW IT WAS MADE AND WORN.

Martin and Vickie can discuss articles of dress, proper fabrics, construction, remaking clothing, patching clothing and piecing fabric in construction. Learn what to stay away from such as zippers, synthetic fabrics, or inaccurate costumes sold as historic clothing. There is a lot of terrible work out there just thrown together to make a buck. Don’t fall victim to it. Be proud of what you wear.

EMBROIDERED CLOTHING IN THE 18TH CENTURY AND BEYOND.

Vickie will share photos of embroidered clothing and accessories for men, women, and children and discuss how it was made and who made it. A culmination of her material along with photos was published in the magazine Early American Life.

PROPER CAMP FURNITURE.

What do I need and where can I get it? Anyone who wants to participate in historic programs should be responsible enough to purchase what they need in camp. This includes table, chair, tent, eating utensils, bedding, etc. etc. Don’t bring modern items but don’t expect to use what someone has brought for their own use. Learn how to provide for yourself as historically as your budget will allow.

GARDENING VERSUS AGRICULTURE.

Gardening was vegetables, herbs, fruit, flowers, etc. mainly for kitchen use while agriculture was larger scale farming, often for income.

DOMESTIC POULTRY IN THE 18TH/19TH CENTURIES.

What type of chickens did 18th century colonists keep? What sort of domesticated geese, ducks, etc. should one consider? Learn where these birds came from and when they were brought to the U.S.

OCCUPATIONS & TRADES OF THE 18TH CENTURY.

The material for this class comes from extensive research Vickie has done to document the many occupations and trades of the 18th century as she was able to find in primary sources. The information has been arranged alphabetically into a manuscript which will be published at some point in the future. Have you discovered what an ancestor did for a living but have no idea what it was or what it entailed? This class is your opportunity to find out.

18TH CENTURY SEWING FAUX PAS.

Even expensive clothing was sometimes pieced in order to make the least amount of fabric be sufficient to make a period garment. Vickie shows examples from farm clothing to Thomas Jefferson’s coat. If a garment was damaged in wear, it was patched or darned to repair rips and tears. See how to make historically accurate repairs or piece fabric in reproduction clothing.

FOOD SHORTAGES AND SOLUTIONS AT VALLEY FORGE.

Food shortages were very real during the Revolution but fortunately Washington found ways to remedy that situation while at Valley Forge. We will share what shortages plagued the Washingtons and officers and how the troops were fed.

MILITARY HYGIENE, REVOLUTIONARY WAR

Martin will share what was expected as to cleanliness, mending clothing, hair, facial hair, bathing, etc. while in Washington’s army. This included washing clothes unless the soldier could afford to pay someone to do laundry for him.

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