1719 William Trent House

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Archive for the ‘Colonial History Bits for NJ and Mercer County’ Category

How losing power for almost 3 full days made me think of life in Colonial America

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What was life like without electricity?  How was the night different without lights?  What sounds were alive when there was no noise from machines, cars, or the sounds of our modern civilization?

While the power was out here in Yardley, the stars were amazing.  It was almost as good a show as when we would go to the desert at night when we lived in Southern California.  Usually there is so much light “pollution” competing with the night sky.

We could hear everything that our neighbors did for many houses in each direction.  There was no air conditioning, closed windows, or other modern lifestyle noise to wash out the sounds.  One morning I woke up to my neighbors dog crying, I thought it was in another part of my house!

The songs of the birds, and the insects were much more complex than usual.  I heard birds that sing softer than the average birds.  Amazing.

We shifted when we woke up and when we went to sleep, more in tune with the sunshine.  No tv, no internet, no real entertainment outside of ourselves.  We had flashlights to read books, and candles to eat cold dinners with.  We found a pack of playing cards and it was so weird to play cards in “3D” instead of on the computer!

We told stories and brought up memories.  We are fortunate to have our extended family all living together, so my parents, my husband, my sister, and her children were all together.

My husband and my nephew did a lot of hard physical labor for 2 days to prepare for the storm, and then to keep up with the water during the torrential rains.  The hauled buckets out of the basement for hours and hours starting at 3am on Saturday night.

So, we had a taste of life in the past…

This article is about life in Colonial Times.

http://www.essortment.com/life-colonial-times-21815.html

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Visit the William Trent House Museum!  Beautifully restored to the 1719 condition.

http://www.williamtrenthouse.org/

Music in Colonial American History

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It has been fun researching the music and dances that were popular in Colonial America.  There was not quite as much variety as we have today, and of course it had to be played in person.

The large rooms at the William Trent house were probably alive with musicians on occasions for parties and celebrations.

http://www.colonialmusic.org

Over Hills Far Away  music link!

Billy Boy music link!

Dancing!

http://www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Dance/types.htm

Minuet

Reel

Cotillion

Dancing in Colonial Williamsburg

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Visit the William Trent House Museum!  Beautifully restored to the 1719 condition.

http://www.williamtrenthouse.org/

Written by sallykwitt

August 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Some Colonial American History Bits for Children!

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There are quite a few wonderful online places for children to learn about Colonial America.

Here are a few bits that bring information about the subject alive for children (and adults, too!)

http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/ushistory/13colonies2.htm

The Middle Colonies were part agriculture, part industrial. Wheat and other grains grew on farms in Pennsylvania and New York. Factories in Maryland produced iron, and factories in Pennsylvania produced paper and textiles. Trade with England was plentiful in these colonies as well.

 

 

 

 

photo from gonomad.com

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Colonial_America – excerpt below

The New England Puritans valued education, both for the sake of religious study (which was facilitated by Bible reading) and for the sake of economic success. A 1647 Massachusettsmandated that every town of 50 or more families support an elementary school and every town of 100 or more families support a grammar school, where boys could learn Latin in preparation for college. In practice, some New England towns had difficulty keeping their schools open and staffed, but virtually all New England towns made an effort to provide a school for their children. Both boys and girls attended the elementary schools (though sometimes at different hours or different seasons), and there they learned to read, write, and cipher. In the mid-Atlantic region, private and sectarian schools filled the same niche as the New England “common schools.”

 

http://www.history.org/Almanack/people/african/ excerpt below

Plantation and farm slaves tend crops and livestock

For slaves working on farms, the work was a little less tedious than tobacco cultivation, but no less demanding. The variety of food crops and livestock usually kept slaves busy throughout the year. Despite the difficult labor, there were some minor advantages to working on a plantation or farm compared to working in an urban setting or household. Generally, slaves on plantations lived in complete family units, their work dictated by the rising and setting of the sun, and they generally had Sundays off. The disadvantages, however, were stark. Plantation slaves were more likely to be sold or transferred than those in a domestic setting. They were also subject to brutal and severe punishments, because they were regarded as less valuable than household or urban slaves.

Slaves preparing a mealIn an interpretation of domestic slave life, a mother and daughter prepare a meal for the family.

 

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Visit the William Trent House Museum!  Beautifully restored to the 1719 condition.

http://www.williamtrenthouse.org/

 

 

Written by sallykwitt

August 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Today’s Colonial History Bits for New Jersey and Mercer County

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What meals were common in Colonial America?

I love the tv show on PBS

“A Taste of History”

“Chef Walter Staib, an award-winning internationally known chef with over four decades of experience, is a master of open hearth cookery. He demonstrates a true mastery in the preparation of sophisticated 18th century cuisine, sure to inspire home-cooks.”

photo and quote from http://www.atasteofhistory.org/

 

 

 

 

 

“BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER?
Colonial meal structures/times were also different from what we know today. Breakfast was taken early if you were poor, later if you were rich. There was no meal called lunch. Dinner was the mid-day meal. For most people in the 18th century it was considered the main (biggest) meal of the day. Supper was the evening meal. It was usually a light repast. It is important to keep in mind there is no such thing as a “typical colonial meal.” The Royal Governor of Virginia ate quite differently from the first Pilgrim settlers and the West Indians laboring in Philadelphia’s cookshops.”

copied from – http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcolonial.html#colonialmealtimes

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Visit the William Trent House Museum!  Beautifully restored to the 1719 condition.

http://www.williamtrenthouse.org/

Written by sallykwitt

August 10, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Today’s Colonial History Bits for New Jersey and Mercer County

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Women’s Fashionable Hair in Colonial America in the 1700’s.

http://www.suite101.com/content/for-colonial-women-high

photo from the article referenced above

The article talks about women using feathers, other decorations, and putting a colonial version of “bumpit” to raise their hair up high!!

 

 

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Visit the William Trent House Museum!  Beautifully restored to the 1719 condition.

http://www.williamtrenthouse.org/

Written by sallykwitt

August 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Today’s Colonial History Bits for New Jersey and Mercer County

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Map of the Thirteen Colonies, information on New Jersey

copied from  http://www.personal.psu.edu

New Jersey

  • Year Founded: 1664
  • Founded by: Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret
  • Royal Colony: 1702
from http://americanhistory.about.com/od/colonialamerica/a/colonylist.htm

The Duke of York granted some land to Sir George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley who named their colony New Jersey. They provided liberal grants of land and freedom of religion. The two parts of the colony were not united into a royal colony until 1702.

from http://americanhistory.about.com/od/colonialamerica/a/colamoverview_2.htm

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Visit the William Trent House Museum!  Beautifully restored to the 1719 condition.

http://www.williamtrenthouse.org/

Written by sallykwitt

August 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Today’s Colonial History Bits for New Jersey and Mercer County

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Things were really hopping in the Delaware Valley area in the early between the mid 1500’s and the 1700’s, even though the settler’s considered the area to be uninhabited.

image from http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/11300/11310/indians_del_11310_md.gif

Here is an excerpt from the Trenton Historical Society website

http://trentonhistory.org/His/colonial.html

The name bestowed upon New Jersey by the Indians was “Shejachbi” (pronounced as if spelled “Sha-ak-bee”). They claimed the whole area comprising New Jersey. Their great chief, Teedyescung, stated at the conference at Easton, Pa., in 1757, that their lands reached eastward from river to sea. When I was a boy I assumed the word “Delaware” to be an Indian name, evolved by the savages themselves and by them bestowed upon the river and bay. Originally, however, it was three words, “De La Warr,” the name of an ancient English family ennobled in the time of Edward II, who reigned from 1307 to 1327. It is undoubtedly of Norman origin. The particular scion of that ancient house for whom the Delaware River and Bay, and the State of Delaware, were named, was Thomas West, Lord De La Warr, born July 9, 1557. It was from the lordly title of this distinguished nobleman and adventurer that we get our present name “Delaware.”

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Visit the William Trent House Museum!  Beautifully restored to the 1719 condition.

http://www.williamtrenthouse.org/

 

Written by sallykwitt

August 7, 2011 at 6:52 pm