Author Topic: Why is this period so completely ignored?  (Read 27928 times)

Offline Oregon Bill

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Why is this period so completely ignored?
« on: May 17, 2011, 11:06:11 AM »
I have posted this in a couple of spots in hopes of drumming up some thought and discussion. What do y'all think here?

I find it really odd that the fertile historical period from about 1840 to 1860 is virtually ignored in the re-enacting/living history community. Pre-1840 you have the fur trade/mountain man camp; post-1860 you have the Civil War re-enactors followed by all the cowboy action shooters taking things up to about 1900.
But the 1840-60 period lies virtually fallow. This is the period that nursed Sam Colt's revolvers to perfection. This is the period in which Texas struggled with nationhood and Comanches. This is the period that inaugurated the great migration west across the Plains along the Oregon Trail. This is the period of the Gold Rush. This is the period when Jayhawkers, pro-slavers and John Brown spread terror on the Kansas/Missouri border. And almost no one re-enacts it. At least there are no mainline organizations that do that I know of.
Don't y'all find it ironic?

Offline Medicine Bear Charley

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 11:28:15 AM »
While I have never thought about it like that, I suppose you are right. As far as Texas they do have groups that cover this period, dealing with Texas Independence. Some fairly large groups heavily researched. You may check with them, as far as the others I think they tend to fall in with other periods or it's left to living historians at the sites.
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Offline joec

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 11:43:00 AM »
Great point it was also the time of the Morons and Utah with Brigham Young. I know that the first saga of the Lonesome Dove series also was into this period with Dead Man's Walk and later Comanche Moon. I have the whole series and still enjoy seeing them from time to time. All of these are pretty much period correct also at least as far as I can tell with my limited knowledge of the guns, clothes etc.
Joe
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Offline Major 2

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 11:54:58 AM »
I tend to agree.... Course there is the TEX/Mex era and the Repiblic Of Texas which is reenacted
( not pehaps to the Degree as Texas Indpendence Alamo, Goliad & San Jacinto)
Then there is the Gold Rush era in Calif.
Illinois supports the early Lincoln history, and at Nauvoo Mormon living history.
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Shotgun Franklin

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 12:32:31 PM »
Try here;

http://www.sanantoniolivinghistory.org/

As mentioned this outfit mostly deals with 1835 'til about 1840.
Off hand I don't know of a group doing the Mexican-American War stuff but
the above group might or might know.
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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:23:36 AM »

Offline St. George

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 04:33:02 PM »
There are several groups that re-enact Dragoon units, but uniforms and equipment to outfit a Dragoon gets kinda expensive, with relatively few outfitters offering much to prospective buyers - forcing them to go to high-end sutlers, but on the other hand - they wind up with very high-end, accurate equipage...

Most of this is done more locally, than on any sort of national level - with folks honoring their forebears' experiences.

Plus - these events chronicled late Fur Trapping, Westward Expansion and the Gold Seekers - all of whom were pointed towards a focused goal, where Indian encounters varied wildly - as did actual warfare.

I'd lump the Anti-Slavery Movement in with the Civil War reenactments, though - their activities are too intertwined to separate them into a their own category.

There's also the fact that for many in the C&WAS arena - these actual historical events aren't nearly as interesting nor exciting as the shoot 'em up version of 'history' as played out on the Silver Screen.

Folks re-enact 'everything', today - even down to Great War trench warfare, through to Vietnam...

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Offline Forty Rod

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011, 05:27:59 PM »
Great point it was also the time of the Morons and Utah with Brigham Young. I know that the first saga of the Lonesome Dove series also was into this period with Dead Man's Walk and later Comanche Moon. I have the whole series and still enjoy seeing them from time to time. All of these are pretty much period correct also at least as far as I can tell with my limited knowledge of the guns, clothes etc.

The Mormon expansion west is largely ignored, but they went into places other people didn't want and created civilized communities, established laws and government and schools, built roads and canals, dams and industries, strung telegraphs and aided in building railroads all across the country.  The Mormons even established currencies with printing offices and mints, had a working postal system before the Pony Express, ran some of the first stage and freight lines in the west, recruited and trained armies to be used by the United States, and set up colleges which are now the equal of most in the country. 

They were preceded only by Lewis and clark, a few explorers, and the mountain men, none of whom left much of a mark on the country.
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 05:33:51 PM »
There is stuff concerning the great overland movement both Morman and the Orgon/California trails around here all the time.
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Offline Drayton Calhoun

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 05:36:58 PM »
Excellent point all. The Gold Rush, the silver strikes in Nevada, as stated the Mormon exodus, in fact the initial westward expansion.  It is a rich time of our history. There was also a lot of confilict with Native Americans. It was also the true birth of the revolver's general usage. The Crimean war, The Walker Expeditions...
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Offline joec

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2011, 05:43:12 PM »
The Mormon expansion west is largely ignored, but they went into places other people didn't want and created civilized communities, established laws and government and schools, built roads and canals, dams and industries, strung telegraphs and aided in building railroads all across the country.  The Mormons even established currencies with printing offices and mints, had a working postal system before the Pony Express, ran some of the first stage and freight lines in the west, recruited and trained armies to be used by the United States, and set up colleges which are now the equal of most in the country. 

They were preceded only by Lewis and clark, a few explorers, and the mountain men, none of whom left much of a mark on the country.

I agree with that though I'm sure not a Mormon they did add to the history of this country both good and bad. Their movement west is as important as Texas and California movements.
Joe
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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:23:36 AM »

Offline WaddWatsonEllis

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 06:45:29 PM »
This was the period of the Califonio, Randheros, and an almost feudal system in California History.

Most history books would rather sweep this period off the books  ... they go  from Richard Henry Dana to Fremont almost in the same paragraph ... Feom Sutter to Statehood with little mention of the 'Anit-Greaser Laws' (later remnamed) or the outright prejudice displayed by both sides.

As a reenactor who occasiionally plays a Californio, I am constantly amazed at how little is known about the time period we are speaking of ....
My moniker is my great grandfather's name. He served with the 2nd Florida Mounted Regiment in the Civil War. Afterward, he came home, packed his wife into a wagon, and was one of the first NorteAmericanos on the Frio River southwest of San Antonio ..... Kinda where present day Dilley is ...

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Offline Shotgun Franklin

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 07:15:51 PM »
'Back Woodsman' magazine is kinda gear toward that time period. I know they have many ads about guns, gear and clothing fr that era. They have Rendezvous but I don't know where or how often?
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Offline JimBob

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 08:02:27 PM »
I think one reason this period is ignored to an extent is many of the signal events were confined to one group or one region and don't lend themselves to large scale re-enactment groups nationwide.However on the living history side I think if you look around you will find many state and local based groups bringing the period to life in local and State Park locations.Sometimes they're a little hard to ferret out but they are out there.

Offline Delmonico

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2011, 09:49:12 PM »
This is also the era of the mass migrations from Ireland in the potate famine, plus the start of gangs in the large cities back east.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline WaddWatsonEllis

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2011, 09:51:58 PM »
As For the Gold Rush, it is still alive at:

Sutter's Fort

http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=485

Old Sacramento

oslhp.net

http://sacramentogoldrushdays.com/


My moniker is my great grandfather's name. He served with the 2nd Florida Mounted Regiment in the Civil War. Afterward, he came home, packed his wife into a wagon, and was one of the first NorteAmericanos on the Frio River southwest of San Antonio ..... Kinda where present day Dilley is ...

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." John Wayne
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Offline Oregon Bill

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2011, 11:35:41 AM »
Wadd: I know there are a number of site-specific living history programs on the Gold Rush. We have gold history here in the Rogue Valley, where the gold rush town of Jacksonville sprang up in 1851.
But I know of no civilian organizations that hold independent events for private re-enactors. When I think of all the juried Civil War, Fur Trade and Colonial-era gatherings, I can't think of one for the period in question.

Offline Delmonico

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 12:02:45 PM »
We have a local guy, Russ ledger that has been doing wagon trains across the country for a long time.  Some folks go for a few days only, but he's crossed this country on horse back leading wagon trains quite a few times.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Offline Caleb Hobbs

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2011, 04:40:32 PM »
I really love the period surrounding Kansas in the mid-1850s to mid-1860s -- Hawken rifles and Navy revolvers, buffalo hunters and Indian traders. Someday I'm going to build a two-wheeled cart to portray a trader. It would fit my age and impression better, now that my beard is turning gray.

Offline Shotgun Franklin

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2011, 05:11:22 PM »
I think maybe it's not that there's not groups and events doing stuff about this era as that the info isn't getting out.
I hear about a lot of Civil War and Old West events but just don't hear about  a Rendezvous or event about this time period.
I know that the week of March 6th there will be Alamo events. I know that the OK Corral Shootout will be recreated.
There are re-enactments of Battle From the Texas Republic days but I read about them in the newspaper after the event.
Bad Press or poor advertizing?
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Offline Delmonico

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Re: Why is this period so completely ignored?
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2011, 05:41:01 PM »
Well one, most evernts don't have a lot of money to advertize.  However just for fun I typed in Renactment Events in 2011 and got pages and pages of event from all over and all different time periods.  Searches can be narrowed down to region and time period. 

Sometimes one just needs to do a little footwork, although now it's easy you can use your fingers.  Check local tourisms depts and such, most ain't hard to find if you put in some effort.  If there is not one suitable, find a historcal park that suits and find out about forming one.  Most places are glad to get events, often their budjet don't allow much to be done with out outside help.

I'll be at Rock Creek Station up here in Nebraska the 3-5th of June, that covers fur trade to 1880's, got involved with it about 15 years ago, was real simple, I called the park and asked if they had anything going on and if they wanted a dutch oven cook to demo, got lots of other folks down there that do other skills.
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

 

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