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.
Thomas Lawrence (1769—1830)
Oil on canvas. 35 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (90 x 72 cm). Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, Possagno, Italy.
Oil on panel; 60 1/2 x 47 1/2 inches (153.7 x 120.7 cm). Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT.
Oil on canvas; 107 x 69 1/2 in. (271.8 x 176.6 cm). Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT.
Pastel on gouache paper. Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection, Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, Philadelphia, PA.