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Riddle, Buss, & Scalp Games & Pix

A wonderful artwork exhibit at the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, PA.


Enlisting Foreign Officers

In this 1857 painting by American artist Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887), entitled "Baron DeKalb introducing Lafayette to Silas Deane," the German-born officer Johann de Kalb introduces American diplomat Silas Deane to the youthful Marquis de Lafayette in Paris in 1776. The Continental Congress had sent Deane as a secret agent to France in order to seek financial and military assistance against the British. Deane enlisted the services of a number of foreign officers, including De Kalb and Lafayette, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1777 to take up positions in the Continental Army.

Some of the following images have links to the websites referenced.

Click directly on the picture to see where it leads!

Here I am sitting on a settle at the City Tavern, in Philaelphia, PA. This historic hostelry, where Washington first met Lafayette, was rebuilt in 1976 for the Bicentennial. Two scenes of The Riddle of Penncroft Farm are set in this building, one in the eighteenth and one in the 20th century.

A horse-powered cider press at Old Sturbridge Village like the one Geordie used at Penncroft Farm to make apple cider and perry!


The horse would be harnessed to the long, curved pole and power the press by walking in circles!

In The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, Geordie tells Lars that Washington encouraged his troops to wear hunting shirts because the British assumed anyone in such a shirt was a skilled marksman. Happily, the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia not only has one on display but also agrees with Geordie! Here is what the museum says about this exhibit:


Fringed Hunting Shirt

In the summer of 1775, riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia joined the New England troops already gathered in Boston to form a Continental Army.   Many of these mid-Atlantic troops wore fringed hunting shirts like this example.  A uniquely American garment that originated in the Virginia backcountry, it was thought to evoke the dress of Native Americans.  As stories of the riflemen's marksmanship spread, General Washington saw a psychological advantage in outfitting thousands more of the American soldiers in these distinctive shirts.  In his headquarters orders for July 24th 1776, Washington wrote that he "earnestly encourages the use of hunting shirts," in part because they were "justly supposed to carry no small terror to the enemy, who think every such person a complete marksman." This Hunting Shirt is on view in the "Join or Die" Gallery.

I will be posting more pictures of people/places/things/ and, yes, recipes for historic food found in my historical novels for young readers: The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, A Buss From Lafayette,and A Scalp on the Moon (in progress).

Meanwhile, check out all the pix I have on Pinterest!

If you make some of these historic foods, take a picture and send it to I just might post it right here!

I could not find a real recipe for squash, but when I was served it in a restaurant in the historic area of Philadelphia many years ago, I was told it was a mix of equal parts orange juice and lemonade.

Mrs. Weeks had sent over plenty of cold fried chicken, a salad made with tomatoes and cucumbers, and some freshly baked Anadama bread. After this repast had been placed on the table, I took one look and realized that my day’s work in the berry patch had made me as hungry as my brother, for once.

-A Buss from Lafayette © 2017 by Dorothea Jensen

Geordie and Squire Cheyney try to warn Washington