The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

Browse Items (6 total)

  • Mss_BL_S963_001.jpg

    Field notes and plat of a survey done in Jefferson County, Kentucky, by George May. Taken from George May's survey book.

    The spider pot was brought to Bourbon County, Kentucky, from Frederick County, Maryland, by the Liter family before 1800. During this period, cooking was the second leading cause of death for women. Overheating, skirts catching on fire, exhaustion, and infected burns were causes for serious injury or even death. Some frontier appliances made the job a bit safer. Due to the 'three-legged' nature of spider pots, it allowed them to sit right on the hearth over a bed of hot coals. The cook then used its long handle to safely remove the pot from the coals.

    The Dutch oven and its hook were brought to Bourbon County, Kentucky, from Frederick County, Maryland, by the Liter family before 1800. In addition to many other household tasks, free and enslaved women prepared three meals a day for their household, working many hours over a cooking hearth without air conditioning or fans. They cultivated and prepared all ingredients themselves. Cooking was labor intensive and exhausting. The Dutch oven, despite its heavy weight, made cooking a bit easier. Dutch ovens were an important tool in the kitchen and were used similarly to ovens today. Dutch ovens were capable of baking, boiling, roasting, and frying, and good for cooking stews, breads, and cakes.

    Translated from the French by an English gentleman, who resided in America at the period, with notes by the translator. Also, a biographical sketch of the author, letters from Gen. Washington to the Marquis de Chastellux, and notes and corrections by the American editor.
  • 0002v.jpg

    John May in his 15 April 1780 letter to Samuel Beall proposes to go down the river to talk to Spanish officials about navigation on the lower Mississippi and also discusses Native American threats.

    In a letter to St. John de Crevecoeur, dated 25 August 1789, Tardiveau discusses his activities in Kentucky, events occurring there, the state of agriculture, manufacturing, and trade (specifically mentions Kentucky trading with the Spanish settlements on the Mississippi) the climate of Kentucky versus that of Cumberland (Tennessee) for growing certain crops, and the economic future of Kentucky and the United State in general. He also mentions frequent Native American activity along the Green River and southward. He states how surprised his brother (Pierre Tardiveau) and other friends were upon his and a fellow travelers return to Danville after a trip to Cumberland; they were three weeks overdue and those in Danville assumed they had been killed by the Indigenous peoples.
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