Painted Militia Knapsack



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Painted Militia Knapsack

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Painted Militia Knapsack
circa 1830

Content Description: 

Flat ceremonial militiaman's knapsack made from coarse linen. Side seams overcast stitch painted with a black asphaltum type paint and embellished with bronze powder "gilt" stripe of 1/2" width that delineates a field within which are the block capital letters "MMLI". Style of the letters suggests the decade of the 1830's and "L.I." obviously stands for light infantry. Brown leather straps and small, square silvered brass buckles secure the cover flap in place. Shoulder straps are 1 3/8" wide twill weave tapes with a central red stripe and yellow border stripes on a white body. Breast strap is brown leather and has a pewter filled brass buckle. Strap is inscribed, in ink, "J. GOODWIN" and, on reverse side, "J.DOW". On inner side of one cover strap is written, in ink, "James Dow Bev--" while on the inner side of the other cover strap is written: "James Dow Beverly". Background info: Manchester Vital Records: Dow, James, Son of Jacob and Anne, Feb. 21, 1792 Beverly Vital Records: Births Dow, James, Son of James and Eliza, Oct. 10, 1820 Marriages James of Manchester, and Eliza Roberts Jan. 20, 1819. James Jr. and Susan Larcom, Sept. 22, 1842 "MMLI" may stand for Manchester Mass. Light Infantry, although available town history does not specify a company by that name. It does, however, suggest that during the 1830's companies were formed drawing personnel from Beverly, Manchester and Marblehead.

Physical Description: 

Linen, paint. Height 16 3/4" (42.5 cm), width 14 1/2" (36.8 cm), flap depth 8 1/2" (21.6 cm)
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road,Massachusetts,Sturbridge,01566
Collection of Old Sturbridge Village