Sample Chapter January 22, 1755 – George Washington Buys Blacksmith Tools

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Colonial American History Journal – Book 2

 January 22, 1755 – George Washington Buys Blacksmith Tools

A Year of Colonial American History Stories – Book 2 366 Days in History SeriesJanuary 22, 1755 – George Washington Buys Blacksmith ToolsA receipt found in the archives of the Mount Vernon Plantation lists a number of blacksmithing tools purchased by twenty-two year old George Washington for the blacksmith shop on the plantation. 

Blacksmithing at Mount Vernon

Blacksmiths were valuable tradesmen at any plantation. The blacksmith added to the many craftsmen that made a large plantation like Mount Vernon as self-sufficient as possible. The blacksmith performed many tasks on the plantation. These ranged from shoeing horses, repairing iron pots, tools and implements on the plantation. The blacksmith also made many of the tools used on the plantation. 

Tools Made by the Blacksmith

There were four different types of tools manufactured by the blacksmith in his shop. These included farm tools and implements, kitchen accessories, weapons for hunting or war and blacksmiths tools. The farm tools included axes, plow points, hoes, shovels and cultivators. Kitchen and domestic tools included tongs, forks, spoons, cleavers and things for the hearth like pokers and ash shovels. Hunting weapons included knives, tomahawks, gun parts, and other necessities. The blacksmith also made some of his tools like tongs. On the List

The items found on the receipt include a bellows, a vice, files, anvil, tongs and a nail-making tool. These were all necessary tools for the blacksmith. The bellows supplied a steady flow of air to stoke the fires of the forge; he used the vice to hold items while working on them, the anvil to beat metal into shape and the nail-making tool to make the scores of nails needed for construction projects on the plantation. 

Slave Labor

On plantations like Mount Vernon, the blacksmith was a slave. Most, if not all, of the artisans employed on a plantation were slaves. Many times farmers in the area brought work to the blacksmith shop for repairs for which the plantation owner charged fees. Many times the owner gave the slave a percentage of the profit from the fee. The blacksmith also produced nails and other things for the plantation owner to sell. A skilled blacksmith might produce several thousand nails a day in various sizes and styles. The owner sold many of these nails to area farmers and merchants, producing a profit, which in turn he might share with the blacksmith. 

The Blacksmith Shop at Mount Vernon

The easiest reference to a blacksmith shop at Mount Vernon is around 1755, the time the tools on the list were purchased, though researchers have evidence of earlier shops. Visitors can find a replica of this shop at the Mount Vernon Plantation.




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A Year of Colonial American History Stories – Book 2

A Year of Colonial American History Stories – Book 2

Description:
Undertake your own journey into Colonial American history with the Colonial American History Journal – Book 2. The volume includes both little and well known tales of the events and people that made up the building blocks of the United States.
497 Pages
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Softbound Price – $19.99

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Other Books in the Series
Colonial American History Journal – Book 1
Colonial American History Journal – Book 2

Available In Multiple Formats – Ebook And Softbound:
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Sample Chapter – A Year of Colonial American History – Book – 1 – January 7, 1698 – Fire Destroys Jamestown Virginia

A Year of Colonial American History – Book – 1
Sample Chapter
A Year of Colonial American History – Book
January 7, 1698 – Fire Destroys Jamestown Virginia

January 7, 1698 – Fire Destroys Jamestown Virginia 
After its establishment in May of 1607, the colonists in Jamestown faced a harrowing existence. Salt poisoning from the briny river water they drank, dysentery and typhoid ravaged the men of the colony. The relationship with the surrounding native tribes ranged from hostility to reluctant friendship. There was the constant threat of attack by the Spanish, who often explored the area. Their arrival coincided with the beginning of a seven-year drought, thus adding to their difficulties.
A Commercial Venture
Since the settlement was primarily a commercial venture, the men had not expected to hunt or grow food. They expected provisions from England or trade for supplies with the local native tribes. These men did not wish to spend time hunting or growing crops. Additionally, the directive from the King that the first five years be an experiment in communal living had failed. They depended upon the exploration and scavenging ability of Captain John Smith, whom a few months earlier, they had condemned to death for accused insurrection. Only the intervention of Bartholomew Gosnold saved his life, but they kept him in shackles. They only released him upon discovery that his name was on a list of seven names, handpicked in England and placed in a sealed box. This list named him a member of the seven-member council that would lead the colony.
Progress
In spite of the difficulties, by January 1608 the men managed to build a storehouse, church, and several houses. They surrounded this settlement with a log palisade for protection from the Spanish and the native tribes.
Capture
Captain John Smith engaged in frequent explorations of the area surrounding them. He usually returned with corn and other foodstuffs acquired by trade or theft from the Algonquin tribes. It was on one of these missions that a party of Powhatan captured Smith after killing his two companions. The Powhatan chief threatened to kill Smith also. This was the fabled encounter with Pocahontas. Smith later claimed the eleven-year-old girl saved his life.
Return
They allowed him to return after agreeing to give the colonists food in exchange for iron hatchets and copper trinkets.
Condemned Again
When he returned, what remained of the population accused him of causing his companions death. The Council condemned him to death.
Supply Ship Returns
Captain Christopher Newport, after leaving the previous summer to gather supplies, returned. Captain Newport found a colony in collapse. Of the original 104 men, only 38 survived and of these, only ten were able to work. Disease and hunger had so weakened the rest that they could not walk. One of the leaders, John Smith, was under sentence of death and food was in short supply. His ship’s arrival with fresh supplies and a new contingent of colonists revived the colony.
Disaster
Then, on January 7, a few days after the ship arrived, disaster struck. A spark somewhere in the colony started a fire. It took little time for the fire to spread and consume the buildings, the new supplies and the fort.
Captain Smith again saved the colony by returning to the Powhatans and negotiating for food and supplies.
Perseverance
The colony persevered, rebuilding the buildings and the fort by spring. The colonists eventually elected Smith leader of the colony and it was his leadership that saved the colony.


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Colonial American History Journal – Book 1

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Colonial American History Journal – Book 1
A Year of American History Stories
Buy Direct from Author
Softbound Price – $24.99  USD






 Undertake your own journey into Colonial American history with the Colonial American History Journal – Book 1. The volume includes both little and well known tales of the events and people that made up the building blocks of the United States.
Preview Chapter
Other Books in the Series
Colonial American History Journal – Book 1
Colonial American History Journal – Book 2
Available in multiple ebook formats and softbound:

–>

Kindle
Amazon Softbound
Playster
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble – Softbound
Kobo
Google Play
Scribid
24 Symbols
Apple
Walmart Books
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© 2019 Paul Wonning