More Than Just a Cup of Tea

Written by Angela Lucas, program developer at Vincennes State Historic Sites

vincennes_lydia_baconPart of preparing for a living history event like Muster on the Wabash, is seeing the world through the eyes of those you are portraying. I represent the women’s view of military life in 1812. My alter ego, Lydia Bacon, traveled with her husband Josiah from Boston to Vincennes in 1811. The journey took five months! She was 25 and more than 1,000 miles away from her family. Her only form of communication was the old-fashioned kind — snail mail! In our high-tech world, it is hard to imagine waiting four to six weeks to receive a letter from a friend or family member. With the push of a button we are connected in an instant to people around the globe. Not only were these ladies separated from their families, often they did not know if their husbands were alive or dead.

vincennes_fort_knox_teacupThe tea cup uncovered during a 2006 archaeological dig at Fort Knox II gives us a glimpse of life at the fort. In the midst of uncertainty, Lydia’s “social network,” Mrs. Ambrose Whitlock and others, centered around a simple cup of tea. It is certainly a privilege to pay tribute to these brave ladies from the past!

The 11th Annual Muster on the Wabash at Vincennes State Historic Sites is on Nov. 7 – 8. Admission is free; parking is $5.

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