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Thursday, December 29, 2011
The Revolutionary War Red Coat Worn by my Ancestor Blog has received a large number of hits over the two years since I posted it. When I recently received my copy of a newsletter From Missisquoi Heritage News, the Missisquoi Historical Society, Fall 2011 issue, I immediately noticed an article about my ancestor's coat. (Missisquoi County is in Quebec, Canada, just over the Vermont border, the area is referred to as The Eastern Townships.)
Earlier this year an application was sent to the Centre de conservation du Quebec (CCQ) requesting restoration for the red wool Ten Eyck coat housed in our museum. The coat was donated by the Ten Eyck family many years ago and dates from the pre-Revolutionary War period (circa 1760s) and was brought into Missisquoi County by United Empire Loyalists Andres Ten Eyck in the 1790s. The coat is one of the artefacts in our collection which serves to represent our museum on a national scale.
The application to the CCQ was successful and before the end of 2011 the coat will be leaving our museum and will travel to the CCQ in Quebec for the many months it will take to have the coat restored to an excellent condition."
I then wrote the curator at the Museum to ask a few questions. Heather Darch, wrote back with quite a bit of additional information. I include some of her information below:
"Thank you for your interest in the Ten Eyck Red Coat. It is a fascinating artefact and over the years since the museum obtained it from Mrs. Ellis, there has been a lot of study on it by myself and Revolutionary War experts. The cut of the coat is what makes it a particular mystery as it reflects an earlier time period than the late 1770s era. It is also free of any accessories such as cuffs and collars very typical of the Revolutionary War coats. A great deal of searching has been done on the first owner Andres Ten Eyck as well and his military records are a little unclear. So the provenance of the coat and its date of fabrication was widened to allow me and researchers other avenues of study and possibility. Andres Ten Eyck appears in earlier records than the Revolutionary War so there is a very strong possibility that the coat was made during the French-Indian Wars of the late 1750s -1760s a decade earlier. The style of the coat suggests this is a possibility. I have dismissed the oral legend that was attached to the coat for many years that Andres Ten Eyck wore the coat to avoid being pressed into military service by the British Navy. The military records that have been uncovered reveal that he was very much in favour of the King's army and served in good faith in the King's service and did not avoid active service. His true story is much more fascinating than the "press-gang" story." She wrote more, which I will share in another blog.
The above two articles were written by Heather Darch, Curator of the Missisquoi Historical Society/Missisquoi Museum, and were used with permission. The photo is from the Society / Museum and permission was granted two years ago.