The Continental soldier often had to provide his own eating utensils, but on occasion they came as standard issue. Maryland troops, for example, were provided a wooden trencher (plate), and bowl, as well as wooden and pewter spoons. Each man would have his knife, of course; and for quaffing his rum, cider, beer, or whiskey, a horn cup, which was extremely light compared with pewter or ceramic. Officers, as might be expected, had more refined utensils. George Washington’s mess kit, for example, was a very elaborate affair housed in a handsome fourteen-compartment wood chest lined with green wool.
Oil on canvas; Height: 28 ½” (72.3 cm); Width: 36 ¼” (92.7 cm). Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library; Winterthur, DE.
Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, DC.
Oil on canvas; 131 x 102 cm (51 9/16 x 40 3/16 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Painted plaster; 9 3/4 x 26 x 19 1/4 in., 30 lb. (24.8 x 66 x 48.9 cm, 13.6 kg). New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.
U.S. Supreme Court, Washington, DC.
Oil on wood; 10.2 x 8.3 cm (4 x 3 1/4 in). Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.
Oil on canvas. John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Katonah, NY.
Oil on canvas. City Hall Portrait Collection, New York, NY.