8:57 AM

Above: Red Heart Shirt from the Arabia Steamboat Museum

Welcome back to my blog.....Watch the facebook video on Arabia Steamboat's Museum's Facebook page
This is exciting and I wonder if anyone has any ephemera or early images of a man wearing this heart shirt?

And what is the meaning of the red heart? 

The museum suggests Red Shirts with the symbolic red heart ... The Border Ruffian's symbol of solidarity to the pro-slavery movement. Does any have any primary sources to verify this?

I want to learn more....don't you?

I've recently added this textile saleman cdv to my collection. Notice the sales tag attached to the coverlet or  shaw on the lower right hand corner.

On a personal note, thanks for all your well wishes as I plow my way to write my book proposal. It is shaping up and with my team's guidance, I hope to be submitting to publishers soon.

Many thanks to Jim Miller for his response to my question about Arabia Steamboat Museums Red Shirt. It led me to a wonderful site called the Midwest Open Air Museum Coordinating Council...I have going to spend time reading (just loved the blog and I could have helped the museum looking for an early sewing machine).

Jim also has an interesting blog: http://www.jimsfortheloveofhistory.blogspot.com/

What I'm doing here is documenting my personal expression of "hands-on history" from a craftsman's perspective. I've been on this path for a large part of my life and it's taken me to some interesting and challenging places. I hope to share the processes and the historically inspired objects I've crafted along this journey into our past. This adventure has deepened my appreciation for past craftsmanship and the intelligence of common place things in 19th Century America. Besides, now I have all this cool stuff to play (teach) with.

AND I AM IMPRESSED!! Like the Rubber hat.....

Greetings Elizabeth,
   Thank you very much for posting the picture of the "Heart Shirt"
from the Arabia Museum. I remember a similar one there years ago but
this one is different I believe. I thought you might be interested in
the following quote.

   The information is from "The Magazine of the Midwest Open-Air
Musueums Coordinating Council", Fall 1995, Vol. XVI No.3. In an
article entitled "Overshirt Overview"by Thomas G.Shaw, he describes
what the volunteers of the First Regiment Minnesota Infantry wore in
Spring 1861.

     The men were wearing woolen shirts of various colors, red
predominating, "....of the kind affected by steamboat men and men of
the frontiers.....some of them were fancifully ornamented with
crescents, stars, trefoils, etc." The quote is from Holcombe, History
of the First Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry 1861-1864.

     There could still be a border-ruffian connection but the passage
suggests that the shirts might have been quite common. I thought you
would be interested in the information since it refers to Steamboat
                          Jim Miller
I asked Jim if there he could send me the complete article for my records? I am a primary source lady and always follow up on footnotes.