Thomas Lawrence (1769—1830)

by 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.

by Thomas Lawrence (1769—1830)

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.

by Thomas Lawrence (1769—1830)

Oil on canvas; 107 x 69 1/2 in. (271.8 x 176.6 cm). Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT.

by Thomas Lawrence (1769—1830)

Pastel on gouache paper. Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection, Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, Philadelphia, PA.

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.

Michael Stephenson
Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (2007)