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ganized in 1819.-French Settlement incorporated with the American Population.-
to the Mexican Confederation of 1824, Departments and Settlements in 1832.-
DISCOVERY AND SETTLEMENT
VALLEY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
BOOK V. THE UNITED STATES IN THE VALLEY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE FRONTIER POPULATION EAST AND
SOUTH OF THE OHIO RIVER.-A.D. 1770 To 1810.
Argument.-Condition of the frontier Settlements of western Pennsylvania ‘and Vir.
ginia. — Characteristic Traits of the Pioneers generally. – Manners and Customs : 1. Costume of the Hunters: the Hunting-shirt; Pantaloons ; Breech-cloth and Leg. gins; Moccasin. — 2. Habitation: the Log Cabin; its Location; internal Appearance.—3. Employments: the respective Duties of Man and Wife.—4. Diet: Meats ; wild Game; Bread; Pone, Journey-cake; Hog and Hommony; Substitutes for Tea and Coffee.-5. Settlement Rights : Nature and Extent; tomahawk Improvements. -6. Fort, or Station : Form and Construction; its Location and Use ; Stations in Kentacky.—7. Hunters : Science of Hunting; a hunting Camp; Game; Hides ; Peltries.-8. Caravans : annual Trips to Baltimore and Frederic; Equipment of Caravan; solitary Route across the Mountains ; Order of March ; Fare.–9. The moral Sense: state of Morals; natural Honesty and Sense of Honor the supreme Law; force of Public Opinion ; “Lynch Law ;” “Regulators.”—10. Social Virtues : Hospitality; Sociality ; Conviviality; a marriage Party; Sports and Amusements.-11. Boatmen : general Character; Costume ; Habits ; peculiar Traits of Character.–12. National Character: Diversity of People and Languages blended ; Peculiarities of Feelings and Habits neutralized; Influence of free Government upon the Enterprise and moral Character.–13. Religious Traits : Religion disconnected with civil Pow. er; Ministers dependent for Support upon their own Merit; religious " Awakenings." or “Revivals,” in the West ; “Camp-meeting" Scene; Origin of Camp Meetings in Kentucky and Tennessee; Camp Meeting at Cane Ridge; at Desha's Creek; at Cabin Creek; astonishing Influence of sylvan Preaching, and the attendant Circum. stances; extraordinary Conversions ; Disturbance of mental and nervous Systems.
Whatever pertains to manners and customs of the early pioneer settlers on the tributary waters of the Ohio, applies, with nearly equal correctness, to the early white population of all the western half of Pennsylvania and Virginia, no less
Vol. II. A
than to Kentucky and Tennessee, from the year 1770 to 1794, and to the white settlements northwest of the Ohio, until the termination of the Indian war by the victorious arms of General Anthony Wayne. All the settlements on the northwest, as well as those on the southeast side of the Ohio, during the hostilities of the western tribes, were placed in nearly the same circumstances in every thing pertaining to frontier life.
(A.D. 1770–1794.] One general trait has always characterized most of the frontier settlers contiguous to hostile tribes of Indians, and that is a daring, fearless, and enterprising spirit; a hardy, robust, and patient constitution, unaccustomed to the refinements, luxuries, or comforts of the older Atlantic colonies. The circumstances by which they were surrounded were such as tended to form constitutions capable of enduring almost any privation or bodily exposure without danger of serious disadvantage, mentally or physically.
Such qualifications were indispensable to those whose situation compelled them to brave the inclemency of the seasons, far remote from civilized life, and to contend with the fierce beasts of prey, and with the wily savage in his native haunts and forests. The pioneer who advances into the American wilderness against the consent of the fierce and vindictive sav. age, must possess no ordinary share of courage, and an iron constitution to sustain him.
To form a proper estimate of the character of the western pioneer, we must view him in all the relations of life, under the circumstances in which he is placed ; examine him in his manners, customs, mode of life; in his pursuits, pastimes, and his domestic relations. Living in constant intercourse with the savage tribes, his costume, manner of life, habits, and customs were necessarily half savage and half civilized, and often the whole character of the savage was assumed.
1. The costume of the pioneer was simple, plain, and well adapted for use, comfort, and durability, and not unlike that of the native savages. The ordinary apparel of the hunter consisted of a peltry cap, pantaloons, buckskin moccasins, and a hunting-shirt, girded with a leather belt. Over
his was worn the cross-belt of the shot-pouch and powder-horn, crossing from the left shoulder to the right side. On actual hunting duty, and during inclement weather, a pair of " leggins" were closely wrapped upon the legs and lower portion of the thighs,
of dressed deer-skin made smooth and firm. The pantaloons, worn tight and close to the legs, were made of domestic linsey, or tow-linen, but more commonly of soft and pliant dressed buckskin, which was both elastic and durable.
Sometimes, instead of pantaloons, the hunter adopted the " long leggins" of the Indian, which extended to the upper part of the thighs, while the breech and loins were covered with the more convenient breech-cloth of the savage, secured by a girdle around the waist. This covering was formed by a piece of cloth or linen, nearly a yard long, and eight or ten inches wide, passed between the thighs, with the two extremities carried under the belt, in front and rear, and the loose ends hanging over the girdle behind and before served as ornamental flaps. These flaps were often ornamented with coarse embroidery. The leggins were attached by straps, or suspenders, to the same girdle. With this dress, the upper part of the thighs and hips, for the sake of free action, were partially exposed, unless covered by the skirt of the hunting-shirt.
After the settlements had advanced to some degree of civilized refinement, this costume, formed of dressed buckskin, had been adopted by the young beaux as a fancy dress to display their fine forms and persons. To do this more effectually, it has been no uncommon occurrence for them to make their appearance in church during public worship, and gravely take their seat in the congregation, or stand gazing with stoical indifference, in imitation of Indian curiosity, but not contributing in the least to the sedate devotion of the young ladies present.*
The hunting-shirt was a characteristic article of costume among the western emigrants. Although many declined assuming the leggins and breech-cloth of the Indian, and still adhered to the pantaloons and breeches of their ancestors, all adopted the hunting-shirt as an overcoat, peculiarly adapted to their frontier mode of life, from its comparative simplicity of form, and its convenience in their rambles and hunting excursions through brush and the forests. Hence, as Dr. Doddridge observes, “ the hunting-shirt was universally worn. It was a kind of loose frock, reaching half way down the thighs, with large sleeves, open before, and so wide as to lap over a foot
* See Doddridge's Notes on Western Virginia, p. 115. This is a valuable little work in one volume 12mo, treating of the early settlements near the Ohio River, the manpers and customs of the people, and the Indian wars in that region, by Rev. Joseph Doddridge, ed. 1825, Wellsburg, Virginia.