Work is proceeding on my new Lewis and Clark painting "The Departure of Lewis and Clark from the Wood River Encampment, May 14, 1804". One of the difficult parts of this type of work is creating an image of an historic event where there are no images. I have been able to create an image of the L&C Keelboat and the Red and White Pirogue in which I feel comfortable . However, the clothing of the men remains a puzzle. One of the issues that I have been dealing with lately is the type of hat worn by the Sergeants, enlisted men, and non-military recruits. I have been working with Bob Moore, historian, at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. Bob has evidence that the type of hat worn by these individuals was a hat much like that of a top hat, a hat not uncommonly worn on the river and in the wilderness. However, the idea of a true top or hi hat, to me, did not fit the needs of the men of the Lewis and Clark party. Therefore, I took the text and description of a military hat of the period provided to me by Bob and created my image of such a hat. The description given to me was of a U.S. Infantry hat 1801-1811 as follows: The top diameter was to measure 7-3/16 inches and the height 5-7/8 inches with a 3 inches brim. For dress purposes, a Bear Skin, four inches in width, was to extend from the Hat-band in front to the band on the hinder part of the Crown, with a good strong Cockade near the top of the Crown, and a Deer's tail plume, white.
I have created three drawings to render my impression of such a hat. The above drawing serves as an example of the hat as it may have appeared on a daily use. Below, you find the hat used for dress with the addition of the Bear Skin and Deer's tail plume. As common sense would dictate and because of limited storage space, the men would have had but a few types of head gear. I feel the crew would have had to have multiple uses for their gear. Therefore, the hat that I have depicted would serve as good protection from the elements; and, with the addition of the Bear Skin and the Deer's tail plume, could be used for a dress hat in the times dictated by Captains William Clark and Meriwether Lewis.
At this time, I am considering the completion of a suite of paintings dealing with the Lewis and Clark journey entitled: LEWIS and CLARK, The Journey Begins. The works will be an attempt to depict the first eleven days of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery as they journey up the Missouri River in 1804. The first work will deal with the departure and the second will be a depiction of Lewis and Clark at St. Charles. The last painting in the proposed suite of possibly five paintings will deal with the last white settlement on the Missouri River at that time, Ft. Charette. The location of the settlement was around the current location of Marthasville, Missouri. Limited Edition prints will be made of the suite. Please contact the gallery for more information.
|Click here to veiw the finished entry for the Wood River painting.|