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“To Colonel Morgan, for the use of the Light Infantry, twenty four Dutch Blankets & four pair

of
rose Blankets.”: Examples of Bed Coverings Issued to Continental Troops

Compiled by John U. Rees

For additional information and images see:
“Images and Descriptions of Wool Blankets and Wool, Wool/Linen Coverlets in the American Textile History
Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts (The Chace Catalogue)”
https://www.scribd.com/doc/273789670/Images-and-Descriptions-of-Wool-Blankets-and-Wool-Wool-Linen-
Coverlets?secret_password=9AeF0J9Ae2vyuCCoKqRC

John U. Rees, "`White Wollen,' 'Striped Indian Blankets,' 'Rugs and Coverlids': The Variety of Continental
Army Blankets," The Brigade Dispatch, vol. XXVI, no. 4 (Winter 2000), 11-14.
http://www.revwar75.com/library/rees/variety.htm

Gregory S. Theberge, “18th Century Material Culture: Blankets”
http://www.scribd.com/doc/190090340/Bedding-Blankets

Gregory S. Theberge, “18th Century Material Culture: Bolsters, Pillows, & Sheets”
https://www.scribd.com/doc/190108639/Bedding-Pillows-Bolsters

Gregory S. Theberge, “18th Century Material Culture: Bed Covers Part I” (Bed Rugs, Quilts, and Coverlets”
https://www.scribd.com/doc/249156391/Bedding-Bed-Coverings-Part-I

Recommended makers:
Robert G. Stone, weaver, robstoneweaver@gmail.com
T&R Quednau Hand Weaving, Facebook Page, https://tinyurl.com/T-RQuednau

Massachusetts militia wearing blankets tied to their knapsacks or carried on slings (tumplines).
Capt. David Brown’s Company of Concord Minutemen, 19 April 2014, Concord, Massachusetts.

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A 3-point blanket (53 inches by 72 inches) carried by Private Henry Marble of Massachusetts in
the Revolutionary War. White wool, with 2 3/4 inch indigo blue stripes and points. Museum of the
Fur Trade Collections, Chadron, Nebraska. Frederick C. Gaede and E. Bryce Workman, "Notes
on Point Blankets in the Military Service," The Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly, vol. 15, 2,
(Summer 1979), 1-2.

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A 3-point blanket carried by Private Henry Marble of Massachusetts in the Revolutionary War.
White wool, with 2 3/4 inch indigo blue stripes and points. Marble's blanket is in the foreground.
Behind it is a 19th century 3-point Hudson's Bay blanket. Museum of the Fur Trade Collections,
Chadron, Nebraska. Frederick C. Gaede and E. Bryce Workman, "Notes on Point Blankets in the
Military Service," The Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly, vol. 15, 2, (Summer 1979), 1-2.

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Blankets often served the soldiers as cold weather outwear, as well as bedding. With little alteration,
blankets also occasionally served as soldiers' overcoats. In December 1777 the Marquis de Lafayette
recommended that "The [mens'] blanckets must have one or two buttons to surround the breast and
be a kind of great coat ..." Had sufficient blankets been available, such expedients would have been
welcomed by Washington's troops in the winter of 1779-1780. Stanley J. Idzerda, ed., Lafayette in the
Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Papers, 1776-1790, vol. I (Ithaca, N.Y., 1977),
199-201. Model Company event, Valley Forge, March 2013.

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Dutch Blankets

Large numbers of Dutch blankets were issued to Continental troops,
from early war to 1783.
(No images are available, see below for documentary evidence.)
__________

To date (March 2018) the exact form and design of Dutch blankets is unknown. Weaver
and historian Robert G. Stone itemizes the known attributes of Dutch blankets:

They are a white woolen blanket with stripes … [and] twilled with no center seam.
They were finished at the mill indicating that they were fulled and napped. They
were not very wide (54"). Some … wider than others. They came in a piece (bolt)
containing 15 or 16. As such, an individual blanket would not have had the ends
finished. There is one reference to the stripes being red, but I doubt that red was the
only color [for the stripes]…

I would add, and Mr. Stone agrees, it is not even certain Dutch blankets were made in
the Netherlands, but that the name could have been an epithet (as very cheap and cheaply-
made blankets the name would reflect what British manufacturer thought of the quality of
Dutch woolen goods), or attached for some other reason.

Mr. Stone offers anyone with solid information enabling reproduction of mid to late 18th
century Dutch blankets a complimentary reproduction of same.

For details contact Mr. Stone at robstoneweaver@gmail.com
Dutch Blanket Controversy

There has been some contention over the design and appearance of Dutch blankets. An
article on the website “Of Sorts for Provincials” includes period references to both Dutch
and striped blankets, inferring that all the pictured blankets can be considered suitable
examples of mid to late 18th century Dutch blankets. While the article content is excellent,
the pictorial evidence covers a wide range of time, from 1566 to 1825, with the bulk of those
dating 1730 and earlier. Additionally, the pictured blankets are so varied in their stripe
placement, color, and number as to allow no conclusive basis for a representative
reproduction of Dutch-made blankets, circa 1770-1783. At one point the Dutch blanket
moniker is connected to a blanket fragment found in a Rhode Island Native-American
grave dated to the late-17th century. While the curator’s description of the fragment as
“Striped Duffel, a trucking cloth of English manufacture” may be contended, there is
certainly nothing connecting the artifact with late-18th century Dutch blankets.
The aforementioned article is available online at
http://ofsortsforprovincials.blogspot.com/2011/05/dutch-blankets.html

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Dutch Blanket Use and Issuance, 1775-1783

“DESERTED from Capt. Nathaniel Fox's company of the 6th Virginia, James
Anderson, a black soldier, six feet high, about forty years of age … and fond of liquor; had
on when he went away, a light grey cloth coat and waistcoat: the coat faced with green, a
pair of oznabrig overalls, and a small round hat with a piece of bear-skin on it: He took
with him a pair of leather breeches which he had to clean, and also his firelock, cartridge-
box, and new Dutch blanket … John Gibson, Col. 6th Virginia Reg.” (Pennsylvania Packet,
13 May 1778)

“Report of Clothing Committee,” 1780: ““To Colonel [Daniel] Morgan, for the use the
Light Infantry, twenty four Dutch Blankets & four pair of rose Blankets.”
Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina, XIV, 1779-1780 (Wilmington, N.C.:
Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1993), 120.

February 17, 1776 Note for “Fourteen Dutch and homade Blankets for the Use of
Connecticut Troops in the Continental Army,” signed by Abel Hine, one of the
Representatives or Deputies of the Freemen of New Milford in the General Assembly of
Connecticut. (Private Collection) (Courtesy of 18th Century Material Culture Resource
Center, http://materialculture18t.wix.com/18thcmcrc )

Courtesy of Jim Mullins:
Virginia Gazette, (Purdie & Co.), Williamsburg.
May 2, 1766.
“RUN away from the subscriber, the 16th of February last, two Virginia born Negro men
slaves, of a yellow complexion, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high; had on when they went away
Negro cotton waistcoat and breeches, shoes and stockings, and osnabrugs shirt, and took
with them several other clothes, and five Dutch Blankets. One named CHARLES, is a
sawyer and shoemaker by trade, carried with him a set of shoemaker tools, is about 28
years of age, speaks slow, can read, and may probably procure a pass and get on board

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some vessel. The other named GEORGE, about the same age, is round shouldered, which
causes him to stoop when he walks; they are both outlawed. Whoever brings, or safely
conveys, the said slaves to me, in the upper end of Charles City county, shall have 5 £.
reward for each, if taken in this colony, if out thereof 10 £.
CHARLES FLOYD”

Courtesy of Jim Mullins:
[William Lee] to Richard Henry Lee.
“Paris, 12 September, 1778.
My dear Brother:...
I have sent from Holland 2,000 Dutch blankets and 3,000 pr woolen stockings, on acct of
the Secret Committee.”
Ford, Worthington Chauncey Ford, ed., Letters of William Lee, Sheriff and Alderman of
London; Commercial Agent of the Continental congress in France, and Minister to the Courts
of Vienna and Berlin. 1766 – 1783, vol. II. (Brooklyn: Historical Printing Club, 1891), 480.

George Washington to Clement Biddle, “Hd. Qrs., Newburgh, May 15, 1783.”
“Dear Sir: It is reported to us, that, Goods in Phila. are now selling below the prime cost, or
below what formerly was the prime cost of the like articles in England. Should this be the
case, of which none can judge better than yourself, it would suit me very well to procure for
my Family the following Articles.
1000 Ells of German Oznabgs. or Ticklinburg
4 ps. of Linn. at abt. 18d
4 Do…Do 2/6
4 Do…Do 4/
2 ps. of Sheeting 3/6
Sterlg. prime Cost
a piece of fine Cambk. 2 pieces strong Check, wide kind 2 dozn. large Table Cloths 3 dozn.
Napkins to suit Do. 12 pt. largest, and best kind of Bed Blankets
200 (Dutch) Blankets for my Negros. …
You will be pleased to observe that the purchase of these things depends absolutely upon
the price; as I do not mean to buy them unless they are as low as they are reported to be.
The Blankets which I used to Import for my Negros came under the description of Dutch
Blankets, abt. 15 in a piece, striped large and of the best quality, such I now want. In case
of a purchase, I would have them sent to my House upon Potomack River consigned to Mr.
Lund Washington at Mr. Vernon abt. 10 Miles below Alexa.
My Compliments to which Mrs. Washingtons are joined are offered to Mrs. Biddle and I
am etc.”
(George Washington Papers, Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775-1785, Subseries 3H,
Personal Correspondence, 1775-1783, Letterbook 3: Jan. 8, 1783 - Nov. 15, 1783,
http://www.loc.gov/resource/mgw3h.003 )

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George Washington to Clement Biddle, “Rocky Hill, October 2, 1783.”
“Dear Sir … Altho' I am fully persuaded you endeavoured to act for the best, in the
purchase of the Blankets and Ticklenburg (the cost of which you have rendered me) yet I
cannot help observing that the prices greatly exceeded what I was led to believe they could
be had for; and what I have been told by some Gentn. since, they themselves actually
bought for at the Vendue's; where very good Osnabs. sold from 9d. to 11d. The largest and
best kind of (striped) Dutch Blankets that I ever imported, never cost me more than seventy
or seventy five shillings the piece (of I think 16 Blankets). 10/9 then, by the quantity of 200,
would have been esteemed, I conceive, a handsome profit, in the most flourishing period of
the trade.“
(George Washington Papers, Series 2, Letterbooks 1754-1799: Letterbook 11, Feb. 28, 1778
- Feb. 5, 1785, http://www.loc.gov/resource/mgw2.011 )

________________________________________________

Blanket, undyed and dark blue wool, twill. Woven in pieces sewn in the center with 4-ply S twist
cotton, twill goes in opposite direction on the two panels. Center seam doesn't keep the continuity
of the pattern. The hem was sewn with 2-ply cotton overcast. (American Textile History Museum,
Lowell, Massachusetts; Accession Number: 1966.33.2.) (Image courtesy of Mara Riley)

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A member of Capt. David Brown’s Company of Concord Minutemen, wearing his blanket on a
tumpline, slung over his knapsack. The blanket is a reproduction of an original. The maker is T&R
Quednau Hand Weaving, Facebook Page, https://tinyurl.com/T-RQuednau

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Rose Blankets

Captain Henry Beekman Livingston's 1st Company of the 4th New York Regiment did receive 27
Indian blankets and 45 rose blankets in August 1775. We can infer that this was typical for the
1775 establishment, though rose blankets formed only as small portion of the bed coverings issued
during the war. Two years later, "Colo: Lamb's Regimt: Artillery to the Public Store of Cloathing
at Albany," delivered to Captain Mott, 3 April 1777, "4 Rose Blankets... [and] 2 Blue D[itt]o:" 4
“Report of Clothing Committee,” 1780.
Issued to Captain Gibson, “twenty & half pairs of rose Blankets”
“To Colonel Thomas Sumpter, for his own use … One rose Blanket.”
“To Major Mazarett, for the use of the Corps of Artillery, … four Rose Blankets …”
“To Colonel [Daniel] Morgan, for his own use … One pair rose Blankets.”
“To Colonel Morgan, for the use the Light Infantry, twenty four Dutch Blankets & four pair of
rose Blankets.”
“To A. Thomas, A.Q.M.G. , One pair rose Blankets …”
Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina, XIV, 1779-1780 (Wilmington, N.C.:
Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1993), 120.

1st Pennsylvania Regiment, “Regml. Orders, Camp Ashly hill [South Carolina] Decembr 20.th 1782
The Commanding Officers of Companies are to make returns immediately to Lieut. Lodge of the
number of men Actually present, he will then Deliver one good warm blanket to each man, which is
to be charged to the Soldiers as part of the Annual Clothing they are entitled to from November 1782
to November 1783.
As there may be some difference in the quality of the blankets, Lieut. Hays will deliver an equal
number of Rose and Duffil blankets to each company.
Jos: Harmar Lt. Col.
Commg. 1.st Penna. Regimt.”
Regimental orders, 20 December February 178, "Lieutenant Colonel Harmar's Orders for the First
Pennsylvania Regiment [Book] No. 1., 6 November 1782 to 28 March 1783, Josiah Harmar Papers,
William C. Clements Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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A 6/4 English rose blanket from the collection of Robert G. Stone, who notes, “It is typical
of the 6/4 rose blankets I have researched.” Mr. Stone provides other details: “Rose
blankets are sized by their width as expressed in quarters of a yard (9 inch multiples)” and
“range from 6/4 (54”) to 14/4 (126”) wide.” “By specification, rose blankets are 2/4 (18”)
longer than they are wide,” but “Seldom do rose blankets in collections measure what they
are suppose to.”
(Information and image courtesy of Robert G. Stone.)

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(Top) Original blanket from private collection, showing one of four roses stitched at each corner.
Depending on the maker, blanket roses were variously placed in the center, at one corner, or on all
four corners of a blanket.
(Bottom) Reproduction rose blanket made by Thistle Hill Weavers for the film "Master and
Commander."

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New Jersey soldier, 1778, wearing a British-pattern linen knapsack with his blanket rolled and tied
to the top.

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American or English Green Bed Rug, circa 1700 – 1800 (Winterthur)
Charles Willson Peale’s journal (lieutenant, 2d Battalion Philadelphia Associators): "12th. [December,
1776.] Some rain. Three days' provision ordered to be cooked for a march. Send of all our heavy baggage in a
wagon. My chest contained a new mattress and a green rug, my miniature apparatus, 3 or 4 dirty shirts, etc.
ordered to be ready to march early in the morning." p. 273. Horace Wells Sellers, ed., "Charles Willson
Peale, Artist-Soldier," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. XXXVIII, no. 3 (Philadelphia:
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1914), 273.
Captain-Lieutenant John van Dyke, Continental Artillery: "In the year 1779, the American army lay at
White Plains; I obtained a furlough from Major General Knox of the artillery. I went home to see my wife at
Elizabethtown; while the British troops came to surprise our troops. With the advice of General Maxwell, I
joined Capt. Randel's company of United States artillery of the brigade[.] As my furlough was out after the
British left Elizabethtown, I returned to Staten Island [sic] In a few days I returned to the camp and joined
the army at Quaker Hill. I was attached to General Conway's brigade, in in Capt. Thomas Clark's company
of artillery, as a Captain Lieutenant. The day I arrived, Capt. Clark asked me for the use of my bed; he said
he had been taking medicine. I insisted that he should occupy it; that I had lain on the ground before, and
could again. On the field adjoining the fence of the road, had been a corn field. and the ground ascended up
from the fence: the furrows of this corn field were deep. I at this time had an old-fashioned green rug; my
waiter folded it four double and laid it on one of the deep furrows for my bed[.] When we retired, as the custom
was with the officers of the army, when going to bed to take off all but the shirt, I turned in and soon fell
asleep. At this time of life I slept sound; and as far as I can recollect never awoke until daylight; when,
behold! in the night there had been a heavy shower of rain, and when I awoke found myself as wet as though I
had been dipped in a river. " The Historical Magazine and Notes and Queries Concerning the Antiquities,
History and Biography of America, vol. 7 (New York: Charles B. Richardson, 1863), 147. (Courtesy of 18th
Century Material Culture Resource Center, http://materialculture18t.wix.com/18thcmcrc )

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Coverlet dated 1771 (Collection of Laszlo and Melinda Zongor, Bedford, Pa.)
http://www.fineantiquecoverlets.com/abo
utus.html; see also the National Museum
of the American Coverlet
http://www.coverletmuseum.org/museum
.htm, also in Bedford.

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Coverlet of wool and linen (New York, 1773), held by the Winterthur Museum (Object
Number: 1958.0100). Details: Inscription in one corner, woven into the fabric, "A. B.
1773." Dimensions, 83.5 inches by 65 inches.

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New England blue calamanco quilted bed cover, ca. 1780, 92" x 89". Provenance: America
Hurrah, who stated that it was made by Katherine Littlefield, Chesterfield, Massachusetts, 1780.
http://www.pookandpook.com/cat/2015-04-25/1386

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New England red linsey woolsey coverlet, late 18th c., stitched in corner MS, 96" x 82".
Provenance: Pat Guthman, 1988. https://www.pookandpook.com/cat/2015-04-25/1325

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British blanket captured 19 April 1775 (The Concord Museum)
(Courtesy of 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center,
http://materialculture18t.wix.com/18thcmcrc )

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British army blanket found on the field at the Battle of Hubbardton, 7 July 1777.
(Approximate dimensions, 8 feet by 7 feet.)
http://www.lakegeorgemirrormagazine.com/2014/06/30/%E2%80%9Cfounding-
fashion/#sthash.djexDWwv.dpuf

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British army blanket found on Boston Common by William Hickling on 17 March 1776, the day
Crown forces evacuated Boston (dimensions, 81 x 65.5 inches). (Duxbury Historical Society)
See, Patrick Browne, “Evacuation Day and a Discarded British Blanket”
http://historicaldigression.com/2013/03/16/evacuation-day-and-a-discarded-british-blanket/
(Courtesy of 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center,
http://materialculture18t.wix.com/18thcmcrc )

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Continental soldier ready for a march, with his blanket tied at the top of his knapsack.
Welbourne Farm Philadelphia Campaign Immersion Weekend, October 2012

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