Mountaineers and their children…

 

“The mountaineers in their rude hunting dresses, armed with rifles and roughly mounted, and leading their pack-horses down a hill of the forest, looked like banditti returning with plunder. On the top of some of the packs were perched several half-breed children, perfect little imps, with wild black eyes glaring from among elf locks. These, I was told, were children of the trappers; pledges of love from their squaw spouses in the wilderness.”

 

From: Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville. “The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U. S. A., in the Rocky Mountains and the Far West.”

Winter/Spring 2014 Events Update

Just updated the Events Page with some new events this winter:

Texas Association of Buckskinners will be having their Deep Winter rendezvous on a new place near Cameron, TX .    Big John is the booshway for this event, so you know it’ll be a good one.

Grey Wolf has put out the word that Texas Free Trappers will be hosting their 20th rendezvous out at the Shiner, TX site.   He’ll be having a work day for the site on Feb 1st.

It’s still a ways off, but The Fritztown Freetrappers spring rendezvous will be taking place at the 2nd Annual Living History Timeline event, just outside of San Antonio, TX.   Keep an eye out for details, as that should be a pretty awesome event.

Don’t forget about Southwest Regional Rendezvous – which will be hosted near Lampasas, TX.   It’s been a long time since it’s been in central Texas, so if you are in the area – don’t miss it!

Hope to see you down the trail!

– Many Rifles

Texas Free Trappers Get Mention in TPW Magazine!

Grey Wolf sent me over an article that was published on his group, the Texas Free Trappers, in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

Here are some excerpts:

Texas Free Trappers re-create state’s forgotten fur trade.

Grey Wolf stalked his prey, feeling every twig and acorn through the thin soles of his moccasins. Sunlight darting below the thick canopy of the woods glinted off the well-worn antler handle of the knife sheathed on the leather strap across his coarse, pale-blue linen shirt. Below it dangled a powder horn and a “possibles” bag, a handmade leather pouch containing lead balls, patches and a variety of items needed for hunting — or self-defense.

Grey Wolf spied something in the shadows of thick brush and tugged his leather-brimmed cap down tighter. His scruffy white beard bristled across the stock as he shouldered the long rifle, leaned below a limb, cocked the hammer and squeezed the trigger. Acrid blue-white smoke erupted from the muzzle. A loud clang rang out. Forty yards away, a small metal target swung in submission.

“My favorite thing to do is the trail walk. It’s a lot more like real life, when you’re hunting or being hunted, than paper targets,” says Grey Wolf, the name retired architect Joe Wolf goes by when he relives the colorful era of the mountain men of 1825–38 through the organization he founded six years ago, the Texas Free Trappers.

There’s even a few quotes from our friend Taylor:

Rendezvous are a continual learning experience for 23-year-old Taylor Tomlin, who began at age 9 in New Mexico with his grandparents.

“I’ve made hand-forged knives and made my own leather from hide,” he says. “It keeps me interested. I’m always working on a new project.”

Tomlin, a consultant on costuming and historical authenti­city for films and documentaries, attends other rendezvous across the country and, like some other members, participates in re-enactments of Texas battles, such as the ones this year that marked the 175th anniversary of independence from Mexico.

“You can’t get anything out of a book like the experience,” Tomlin says. “A rendezvous veteran not only can tell you exactly how they would have lived but also how they would have felt because they’ve done it. I’m fortunate to have started so young. A rendezvous is one of the coolest things to take a kid to, to get away from video games, cellphones and computers and use your imagination, learn new things, work, sweat and be uncomfortable. Not a lot of people can camp in the woods for days at a time and perform essentially lost skills.”

Check it out – there are some great pictures and good words from some friends who are active in the Texas buckskinning community.

Here’s the full article!

Huzzah to you, Grey Wolf!

April 19, 1775 – The Battles of Lexington and Concord


The morning of April 19, 1775 saw soldiers of the British Army arriving at the Massachusetts town of Lexington. Their mission was to seize and destroy militia weapons and ammunition, but the local militia, known as Minutemen, stood on Lexington Green, awaiting their arrival. During the stand off, a someone fired a shot, which led the British troops to fire at the colonial militia. The Minutemen dispersed, and the British headed toward nearby Concord.

At the Concord North Bridge, a small group of militia battled a force of British soldiers. At this point, the British commander decided to retreat back toward Lexington, as it became evident that more and more Minutemen were arriving from all of the local villages and farms.

During this retreat, the British kept to the road, while the American farmers fired at them from behind trees, walls and any obstacle they could find. When the British force returned to Lexington, they were met by a relief column. The combined British units then headed for Boston. The Minutemen continued to harass them the whole way.

By the end of the day, British casualties numbered 273, while the colonials suffered only 94, 18 of whom fell during the initial clash at Lexington. The American Revolutionary War had begun.

More info from The History Guy
.

Shipwrecked with the Aborigines in Australia

Gourmet Jack is a friend currently traveling over in Australia, visiting family and friends. He sent over this report on spending some time with a local Aboriginal elder, who gave Jack some colorful history on his great great grandfather – James Morrill.

It was a truly amazing day for all of us. Rusty Butler took us right through all the places where ‘James’ or, ‘The Old man’, as he called him had been. [This man, James Morrill, was John’s great great grandfather, who was shipwrecked there and one of the first white people the aboriginals had ever seen.] All the special spots that you had to be with an elder to even know where they are, let alone find your way to them. He showed us all sorts of medicinal plants and bush food. Amazing things like how they knew where fresh water was, even on the edge of a tidal salt pan. Us white folks just drive past so much stuff because we don’t know what’s there and we don’t see them … wild apples, figs, small yams, hearts of palm type of things. Mary has eczema on her arms and Rusty found the weed that grows everywhere beside the roads up here, showed her how to break the stalk, get the white sap out, and rub it on her arms …. said it would start to clear in a week.

Rusty had spears and boomerangs and we got a lesson on how to throw a spear with a woomera and how to throw a boomerang so it comes back or throw it straight to kill something. We all got a boomerang that Rusty had made, special for left handed and right handed.

There were a lot of areas he pointed out up on the range where there are very large galleries of art, but he couldn’t take us there, because they were ceremonial, and sacred areas for men or women, and whitey is not permitted to go there. We did see some amazing art though, the oldest was 5000 years old. We saw the James red ochre personal rock paintings. The St George Cross from the English Merchant Marine flag that would have been on the Peruvian , a pair of scissors (totally unknown to the aboriginals), a painting of his sailors’ splicing spike, that he was said to have with him all the time, and the strangest thing was a windmill with the lattice blades, like you see in Dutch paintings. Apart from the fact that Rusty knows they were done by James, they all obviously were done by a European, not an aboriginal.

The essential history from the aboriginal perspective is that if you go back in their history, to the time before the last big global ice melt in the northern hemisphere, they lived on the then shoreline which is where the Barrier Reef is today. The water rose and drove the people ‘inland’ to where the coastline is today. He says he knows where all sorts of art galleries are under water out on the reef!!

So, jump forward in time to when Jimmy got shipwrecked. When he was found, the tribe who found him and the others immediately though they were ancestor spirits (ancestor spirits are white, or depicted as white in dance) who had come in from the Reef. All aboriginal tribes have what they call ‘skin groups’. Because they live in small groups of about 20, they intermarry a lot, and they knew they could inbreed to some extent, but knew they had to swap women out regularly with another tribe to avoid the genetic defects. These women were known as the transfer group. Transferring women was the single most cause of fighting and killing between them. You would approach another tribe and offer to exchange a group of women. If they were recalcitrant, you would invite them to special fighting areas where you would fight it out. The winner got new women, and the loser got the winners transfer group. Go figger!!

The tribe that found them knew they were not their ancestors, because they had wrong facial features. James was white with red hair and a long red beard … not one of them at all. So, they sent out message sticks (about 6″ long and 1/2″ thick with dots, swirls and lines on them) to tribes all over Northern Australia and as far south as Ne South Wales, letting tribes know that some spirits had come ashore from the submerged lands, and that they should send some emissaries to check them out and see if they belong to their tribe. Amazing stuff. No one claimed them so the local tribe, the Bindal adopted them. The captain and his wife didn’t survive long, and the other survivor a cabin boy took a fancy to a girl in a tribe from down near Bowen and headed out with them. He also didn’t survive long.

James was a smart person and learn’t the ways quickly, in exchange, he was able to use his seaman skills and show them how to make rope, string and fishing nets. Valuable skills to hunter, gatherers, To stay and be accepted into the tribe, he had to learn all the foods, medicines, hunting and cooking knowledge. Once he had done this, he was permitted to marry, which he did, and had several wives and some number of kids … number not specified.

So we went to places he camped, favorite fishing spots, lagoons where they would go and catch wild ducks and gather eggs. A place and story noe of us had heard, was one of the places they would snare ducks, also a favorite place for crocodiles.james was showing one of his sons how to et a duck out of a snare and the son was attacked by a crocodile. James in turn attacked the croc with his splicing spike. He killed the croc, but not before he got badly bitten on his left leg. The son died of the injuries and James injuries were healed with bush medicine, herbal wraps and stuff. He walked with a limp for the rest of his life.

When the white people came, there was the famous exchange of ‘Don’t shoot me I am a British object’ This got his life spared, but the cattle people were afraid of the aboriginals and thought of them as animals and started to hunt and kill them if they were anywhere near Europeans or cattle. The guy Townsville is named after – Robert Towns (Towns Ville}, was a ruthless bastard apparently. James had many meetings with him and his people arguing that the aboriginals were a proud people with thousands of years of history, meant no harm, and simply wanted to live in peaceful harmony on the land they knew. Nothing would be accepted by Towns, and even at the end when the Bindal asked to be left alone on the tidal flats and mangroves, no one would agree. They were seen as savages and best hunted down. The massacres started in earnest apparently, and the tribes took to pretty rough and difficult to get to land to avoid being killed.

Rusty, other tribal elders and descendants are constantly protesting any memorial, street naming, development etc, planned to be named after Robert Towns, As far as they are concerned he is a murderer and a criminal not to be honored.

When we got back to Mary’s place, we all sat under Mary’s mango tree and Rusty told us dreamtime stories. The kids were fascinated. Things like Why curlews call out at night, Why owls only fly about at night etc.

Gourmet Jack is originally from Australia and is a self-described foodie and self-taught chef. You can read more about Gourmet Jack and his food adventures at http://gourmetjack.com/.

There is even a great recipe for ANZAC biscuits, which is sort of like and upgraded hard tack. =)

– Many Rifles

Taylor’s Ride – In the News!

Taylor Tomlin’s border to border period ride has a write-up in a Silver-City paper.

Below is an excerpt and a link to the full article.

Modern-day mountain men making their way to Canadian border

SILVER CITY – They were just passing through, the three buckskin-clad riders traveling on horseback along Route 35 in the Mimbres Valley on Tuesday afternoon, heading “short-term” for the Gila Hot Springs and “long-term” through the Grand Canyon to the Canadian border near Glacier Park.

Outfitted like mountain men of the past, complete with long guns and pack animals, they said they are riding for freedom and independence and they call themselves, with neither apology nor bravado, freedom riders.

“We’re trying to hold onto the real America,” explained 52-year-old Rick “Hawk” Hawkhurst of Montana. “Freedom and independence were the cornerstones of America. They were what this country was built on. And every law that’s passed takes away more of our freedom and independence.”

“The last time this type of border-to-border mountain man ride was done was 25 years ago,” said 22-year-old Taylor Tomlin of Mineral, Texas. “We figure in another 20 years, what with more laws and more fences, a ride like this won’t be possible.”

More here.

To all you enterprising young men . . . HORSE BACK RIDE 2010

To all you enterprising young men…

This is a preliminary call for riders for the expedition to the Western National Rendezvous next year in Creede, CO. I have spoken to some of you about this already so you know roughly what is going on.

The ride will hopefully (Still finalizing and getting through the red tape) start at The Martinez Hacienda outside of Taos , NM . From there we will ride west to the Carson National Forest and then North to the Rio Grande National Forest and into Creede.

I’m am still fine tuning the route, I’ll get you a copy of the maps when I’m finished with it. But the basics of the route I plan on taking is from Martinez Hacienda west either N or S around the Taos Indian Reservation( or possibly through it) crossing one of the two bridges(the south bridge has less traffic) over the gorge into Carson Nat’l Forest and riding N through Carson into the Rio Grande Nat’l Forest up through the South San Juan Wilderness area, following the Conejos River, over Stunner Pass just north of Platoro and then cutting back west on Park Creek and Beaver Creek towards South Fork and then heading NW towards Wagon Wheel Gap along the Rio Grande or maybe across Elk Mtn(if it is low enough to pass) and dropping down into Creede. The rendezvous site is sort of in the middle of the triangular area of Spar City , Creede, and Wagon Wheel Gap a couple of miles south of Marshall Park. I’ve backpacked all through that country and don’t think that it will be too rough following the east side of the San Juans. All those places mentioned above should be on most NM and CO highway maps. And we will be in national forest for nearly the whole ride crossing only a few(maybe 5, and only crossing not riding along) paved roads. If things don’t work out with the Hacienda, I am looking for an alternate start point in Carson Nat’l Forest,maybe somewhere around Madera . I’d like to start somewhere with historical significance but if we have to travel too long in populated areas or if it is just too difficult I will settle for just starting at one of the Nat’l Forest horse camps.

Look the maps over and let me know of any comments you may have.

I will send hwy and NPS map copies out to those who have a serious interest.

The ride is roughly 180 miles by highway, so I am estimating that the actual ride length as a crow flies will be between 150 and 170 miles. If we stay on schedule, don’t get lost or fearsome confused, and stick to trying to make 20-25 miles a day we can do it in around 7 days, I am planning on 8-10 to be safe. The rendezvous is July 10-18, you can find info about at

http://www.rockymnt natlrendz. com/rendezvous2006.html

I was at this vous the last time it was in Creede in 2006, it is the best event I have ever been to, as well as the best site I have ever been to. The way the camp is set up provides natural barriers between long term, short term, and the parking lot so that if you are in long term camp you never see anything modern other than one barb wire fence unless you go to the short term camp or parking lot. No roads, power lines, nothing. And the head waters of the Rio Grande cut through long term camp and there is fairly decent fishing on site. If you don’t go on the ride go to the rendezvous, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Horses have been the main set back so far, there are some of us who will be bringing personal mounts, but some of us, including me who will be traveling a long distance and will not easily or cheaply be able to do so, and I don’t suggest anyone from the flats bring their horses anyway as horses from the flats do not know how to behave and react in the Rockies. I am working on finding an outfitter to rent horses from and plan on having something definite by the end of January. I have a very positive lead that I will be checking into this week. Renting horses is going to cost between $500 and $800 for the ride, which will include delivery to the start point and pick up from the end point. I have also been offered use of horses from some friends however the number of those horses available are limited.

This ride WILL BE PRE 1840, so if you want to go make sure that your gear is appropriate, I will be providing a check list of gear you need to have for both you and your horse in the next round of information. If you would like to have any input in that list I’d be happy to have the help so speak up or forever hold your peace. I’m sure most of you currently have the gear that you need, but be prepared to purchase some items if you do not. This is not solely a mountain man ride, I’m not requiring anybody to be dressed in leathers, any clothing that is period will be allowed. There will also be some items that I don’t mind if you have but would rather you leave at home so we don’t have multiples. It will be COLD, not too cold but cold none the less, typical weather for that time of year is 30s and 40s at night and 70s in the day. Weather can be VERY unpredictable in the Rockies . We should be riding during the Monsoon season so once we hit the higher elevations it will rain most likely every day, but monsoon rains usually only last 30-90 minutes. And it is likely that we may catch some sleet, hail, or a small snow flurry. Guns and live ammunition are allowed in NP so we will carry them. You are all experienced and know what you can take and how much, so use your common sense.

There will be some gear that I will be providing for the ride out of my own pocket such as a shovel, axe, and I’d like to have a rain fly for every 3 men to use as a lean-to shelter. I will also be bringing my cell phone and a GPS just as a safety precaution as well as a modern pistol and I will allow two others to carry modern firearms. Anyone who would like to bring their phone do so, but they will not be allowed out of your saddle bags while riding, unless it is an emergency. Once we stop and make camp for the day, and only after we stop and make camp and your horse has been attended to may you go outside of camp and use your phone, unless as mentioned before it is an emergency. Cameras will be allowed anytime during the ride. And I suggest that everyone bring appropriate paper, journal, and pen or pencil so that you can record the trip as it progresses.

I would like to purchase all the food for the ride in one set so that there is no chance that someone forgets it or doesn’t have enough, or has something inappropriate. For now I have pinole, jerked meat (dog and mule ), rice, and some flour on the menu. I also expect to do some scavenging while on the trail. There will also probably be some hard tack in there somewhere. If you have any suggestions on food let me know. There will, hopefully, be a designated quarter master for the trip, he and I will gather and prepare staples. You will most likely have to provide you own bags for storing the food that we can’t get on the pack animal. I will let you know how many and what size bags you will need. Material and construction of the bags is optional, you can make them or buy them.

There will be a command structure for this ride, most of the positions will be voluntary and some not. I would like to have a quarter master, two captains, Booshway and Segundo. I will be in charge and the Booshway my Segundo will be the most experienced rider in the group which I will determine based on the qualities and experience of the participating riders. Whatever the Booshway or Segundo says goes during the ride, but there will be plenty of opportunity for input from everyone. In matters of safety, route, and travel the Booshway and Segundo will have final say, allowing for input from the brigade, but I WILL EXPECT everyone to respect the Booshway’s and Segundo’s decisions.

I would like to start the ride on July 3rd, camping at the Martinez Hacienda on the 2nd, and leaving at first light the next morning, so that we should arrive at the rendezvous one day on the first weekend.

I will be heading up to New Mexico and Colorado in early June to make preparations. I will also be going to the rendezvous site before the ride and setting up camps for all of us going on the ride. I will be bringing a wall tent and large pyramid tent. If you want to sleep out under the stars at the event that is fine, I will probably be staying in digger camp. However, we will have a place to go and stash gear if the weather turns bad, which at the last one there was some rain. If you would like for me to haul any gear that you would like to have at the vous but can’t take on the ride let me know and I will make arrangements to get it and take it up there with my gear and the camp.

You are welcome to stay at the rendezvous for as long as you like, I will be staying for the duration of the event, but I know many of you will not be able to stay as long so you decide on your departure dates. And keep in mind that there will be a registration fee for the rendezvous which can be found at the website listed above and I suggest you pre-register.

If you are interested in participating in this ride please contact me asap. There will be a limited number of slots, 8-10 riders max; I will open two alternate spots in case someone has to back out at the last minute. Do not be discouraged if you are not selected to go, as formerly mentioned there are a limited number of slots because of NPS regulations and any more than ten riders will be a handful. However, I plan on repeating variations of this ride in the future as I’ve heard that the Rendezvous will probably be cycling to Creede every two years so you can plan on the next one. There will be a deposit required for the food and horses that will be rented in the future so be prepared. Just to throw some tentative dates out, I would like to have all money in for food by April 15th and the horses deposit will probably be needed around mid March or mid April. Money for your part of the food will need to be paid in full by April 15th and the food is not going to be expensive. For the horses I will try to arrange a deposit of half in March or April and half when the horses are delivered to the start point. These dates are tentative and I will work with people on the money side, this is just an idea so that if you want to go you can be financially prepared. And remember these will be in addition to your travel expenses to and from, I suggest carpooling with other riders if possible.

I will have the next round of information on the ride, cost, required items, and checklist sent out by the end of January to mid February.

Feel free to pass this along.

Thanks and I look forward to riding with you,

Taylor Tomlin
empresariotomlin @ yahoo.com
(361) 319-2287

April 21, 1836 – The Battle of San Jacinto

The battle of San Jacinto was the concluding military event of the Texas Revolution. On March 13, 1836, the revolutionary army at Gonzales began to retreat eastward. It crossed the Colorado River on March 17 and camped near present Columbia on March 20, recruiting and reinforcements having increased its size to 1,200 men. Sam Houston’s scouts reported Mexican troops west of the Colorado to number 1,325. On March 25 the Texans learned of James W. Fannin’s defeat at Goliad, and many of the men left the army to join their families on the Runaway Scrape. Sam Houston led his troops to San Felipe de Austin by March 28 and by March 30 to the Jared E. Groce plantation on the Brazos River, where they camped and drilled for a fortnight. Ad interim President David G. Burnet ordered Houston to stop his retreat; Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk urged him to take a more decisive course. Antonio López de Santa Anna decided to take possession of the Texas coast and seaports. With that object in view he crossed the Brazos River at present Richmond on April 11 and on April 15, with some 700 men, arrived at Harrisburg. He burned Harrisburg and started in pursuit of the Texas government at New Washington or Morgan’s Point, where he arrived on April 19 to find that the government had fled to Galveston. The Mexican general then set out for Anahuac by way of Lynchburg. Meanwhile, the Texans, on April 11, received the Twin Sisters and with the cannon as extra fortification crossed the Brazos River on the Yellow Stone and on April 16 reached Spring Creek in present Harris County. On April 17, to the gratification of his men, Houston took the road to Harrisburg instead of the road to Louisiana and on April 18 reached White Oak Bayou at a site within the present city limits of Houston. There he learned that Santa Anna had gone down the west side of the bayou and the San Jacinto River, crossing by a bridge over Vince’s Bayou. The Mexicans would have to cross the same bridge to return.

Viewing this strategic situation on the morning of April 19, Houston told his troops that it looked as if they would soon get action and admonished them to remember the massacres at San Antonio and at Goliad. On the evening of April 19 his forces crossed Buffalo Bayou to the west side 2½ miles below Harrisburg. Some 248 men, mostly sick and ineffective, were left with the baggage at the camp opposite Harrisburg. The march was continued until midnight. At dawn on April 20 the Texans resumed their trek down the bayou and at Lynch’s Ferry captured a boat laden with supplies for Santa Anna. They then drew back about a mile on the Harrisburg road and encamped in a skirt of timber protected by a rising ground. That afternoon Sidney Sherman with a small detachment of cavalry engaged the enemy infantry, almost bringing on a general action. In the clash Olwyns J. Trask was mortally wounded, one other Texan was wounded, and several horses were killed. Mirabeau B. Lamar, a private, so distinguished himself that on the next day he was placed in command of the cavalry. Santa Anna made camp under the high ground overlooking a marsh about three-fourths of a mile from the Texas camp and threw up breastworks of trunks, baggage, packsaddles, and other equipment. Both sides prepared for the conflict. On Thursday morning, April 21, the Texans were eager to attack. About nine o’clock they learned that Martín Perfecto de Cos had crossed Vince’s bridge with about 540 troops and had swelled the enemy forces to about 1,200. Houston ordered Erastus (Deaf) Smith to destroy the bridge and prevent further enemy reinforcements. The move would prevent the retreat of either the Texans or the Mexicans towards Harrisburg.

Shortly before noon, Houston held a council of war with Edward Burleson, Sidney Sherman Henry W. Millard, Alexander Somervell, Joseph L. Bennett, and Lysander Wells. Two of the officers suggested attacking the enemy in his position; the others favored waiting Santa Anna’s attack. Houston withheld his own views at the council but later, after having formed his plan of battle had it approved by Rusk. Houston disposed his forces in battle order about 3:30 in the afternoon while all was quiet on the Mexican side during the afternoon siesta. The Texans’ movements were screened by trees and the rising ground, and evidently Santa Anna had no lookouts posted. The battle line was formed with Edward Burleson’s regiment in the center, Sherman’s on the left wing, the artillery under George W. Hockley on Burleson’s right, the infantry under Henry Millard on the right of the artillery, and the cavalry under Lamar on the extreme right. The Twin Sisters were wheeled into position, and the whole line, led by Sherman’s men, sprang forward on the run with the cry, “Remember the Alamo!” “Remember Goliad!” The battle lasted but eighteen minutes. According to Houston’s official report, the casualties were 630 Mexicans killed and 730 taken prisoner. Against this, only nine of the 910 Texans were killed or mortally wounded and thirty were wounded less seriously. Houston’s ankle was shattered by a rifle ball. The Texans captured a large supply of muskets, pistols, sabers, mules, horses, provisions, clothing, tents, and $12,000 in silver. Santa Anna disappeared during the battle and search parties were sent out on the morning of the 22. The party consisted of James A. Sylvester, Washington H. Secrest, Sion R. Bostick, and a Mr. Cole discovered Santa Anna hiding in the grass. He was dirty and wet and was dressed as a common soldier. The search party did not recognize him until he was addressed as “el presidente” by other Mexican prisoners. One of the eight inscriptions on the exterior base of the San Jacinto Monument reads: “Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty.”

From The Handbook of Texas Online

You Might Be a Buckskinner if…

Received this via email and thought it was too good not to pass on . . .

You Might Be a Buckskinner if . . .

You set up a hawk block in your yard.

You have a closet designated just for period clothing

You determine which new vehicle to buy based on the amount of camping gear can fit into it

You spent more money on beeswax candles than on light bulbs last year.

You display more canvas then the local art gallery.

The smell of wood smoke lowers your blood pressure and makes you smile.

You will pay $80.00 for a linen hunting shirt, but refuse to squeeze out $12.99 for a half-decent oxford at Wally World.

You proudly display historical weapons in your house, but your modern firearms are all in put away in a storage closet.

You go modern camping with friends and show up with candles, lanterns and no flashlights.

The power goes out and you grab candle lanterns instead of using the readily available flashlights.

Your house looks like an armory, museum and/or taxidermist shop.

You have various parts of animals laying around your house.

You have a separate room in your house designated for camping equipment.

Your wedding gift to your spouse has the word “baker”, “wedge” or “wall” in it.

You look into the trunk of a friends new vehicle and think about how much gear you can pack into it.

You and your friends have a totally different meaning of the term “roughing it”.

You think the participants on Survivor are wimps.

You see someone you’ve known for years and don’t recognize them in modern clothing.

You have seen bed sheets, bed spreads or even drapes that you thought would make good clothing.

You’ve driven past some open land and thought, “What a great place for a rendezvous!”

You’ve worn wool even when the temperature tops 100 degrees.

Your kids can correct their history teacher.

You have been asked in a gas station if you are Amish.

In a conversation with a co-worker about camping, they all think you are insane when you tell them what type of gear you use.

You see a beautiful girl in a bikini and wonder what she looks like in a bodice.

Your $36,000.00 vehicle sits in the rain so your $200.00 tent can stay in the garage.

You plan the pregnancy of your child so it has the least impact on your re-enactment schedule.

You will eat items that have fallen onto the well trampled ground around a campfire, but not if it falls on your kitchen floor.

You have two levels of hygiene, “at events” and “at home”.

You own your own artillery.

You annually dispose of your Halloween pumpkins by cutting them up with various tomahawks to test which one works best.

And Finally:

If you’ve contemplated relocating your family to another region that has more rendezvous.

Don Ogg

I got the word this weekend from Smoke-In-Face that Don Ogg died late last week of a massive heart attack.

Ogg was one of my first friends at TAB and I’ll miss him dearly.

I’ve posted a remembrance of him here.

The funeral service will be this Tuesday, July 22nd at Austin Street Baptist Church in Yoakum, TX and the interment will be at 2:15 PM at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetary in San Antonio.