Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. September 25, 1789        Bill of Rights On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution–the Bill of Rights–and sent them …

Colonial Spymaster (#5) — Pigpen Cypher

The Pigpen Cipher is another example of a substitution cipher, but rather than replacing each letter with another letter, the letters are replaced by symbols. The cipher has an interesting history: although its true origins are unknown, it has been used by many groups. Most notoriously, it was the cipher of choice for use by …

Why I March with the Color Guard

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman….”  Thomas Paine, The Crisis (19 December 1776) So, I just had a stupid argument …

Colonial Spymaster (#4) — Polybius Cypher

The Polybius checkerboard, is a device invented by the ancient Greeks Cleoxenus and Democleitus, and made famous by the historian and scholar Polybius, a Greek historian noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BCE.  Polybius was well known to the Founding Fathers of the United States and was influential on …

Proper Salutes in the British Army

In 1740, the “French salute”, or greeting another by kissing them on the cheek, started to become fashionable in London.  With the Seven Years War (AKA French and Indian War), the “French salute” quickly became controversial, being called unEnglish. Encouraged instead was the “old English” way of “pulling off a Hat. For the British, removing your …

Colonial Spymaster (#3) — Ottendorf or Book Cypher

The Ottendorf Cypher, or Book Cypher, is a cyphertext is made up of numbers in groups of 3, and these numbers correspond to positions in a book (or other type of text).  Most often the numbers refer to Line, Word, and Letter.  To encode a message, the encoder needs only to find the word at …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. September 23, 1779        HMS Serapis captured by John Paul Jones On September 23, the Bonhomme Richard engaged the Serapis and the smaller Countess of Scarborough, which were escorting the …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. September 22, 1776 – Nathanial Hale is executed as a spy on Long Island without trial.  “My only regret is that I have but one life to give to …

Why would an American Soldier carry a Brown Bess Musket?

In my last post I talked about THAT GUY.  You all know that type, the know-it-all who wants to show off by starting an argument with the presenter over something the presenter knows WAY more about.  These guys come looking for a axe fight only to discover that … “wait, they all HAVE axes in …