Monday, April 20, 2015


Oh, yes, they’ve changed over the years! 

Lets take a look at a few....
A chemise—could also be called a shift, an under-gown, or smock, depending on the period. They were of varied length, most common were either knee or ankle lengths. Could be sleeveless, or have short or mid-length sleeves, depending on the garments they were made to wear beneath. Also, dependent upon the season, they could be made of various cloth, light for warmer weather and heavier materials for the winter months.  

A chemisette was much like a sleeveless 'false shirt', however another version was much more like a camisole, usually waist-length, and often was gathered (had a string tie) a couple of inches above the hem. Dependent upon the style of dress, a chemisette could be mid-thigh length. Shorter and loose flowing ones with matching ‘tap’ pants, often made of cotton and silks, became the ‘underwear’ for women in the 1920’s. These are what gradually evolved into bras and panties.
Corset (also called stays) came in various styles and lengths. Their purpose was to ‘shape the body’, mainly make the waist smaller and the hips more prominent. They often flattened the breasts rather than enhanced them. The sleeveless waistcoats of the 1700’s look a lot like corsets, but were worn as an outer or top layer rather than underclothes.
1784 fashion plate from Gallerie des Modes: “Robe en Foureau, manche retroussé, le bord de la Robe retourné par devant, avec des tresse at un bouton, auquel pend un gland.” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.Bum-roll was just that—a padded roll of material to make the hips wider. So was a farthingale, which often had wire stays making sitting almost impossible. A bustle, worn beneath the dress to enhance the backside, was again a padded pillow of material and tied around the waist.
Pantaloons and drawers (men’s versions were also referred to as drawers) were crotch-less and very loose fitting. Pantaloons would have a ruffle near the ankles that could be seen beneath the skirt. Drawers would have ties near the knees.
Slips and petticoats were worn beneath the dresses to add volume and hold the shape of the skirt. Hooped skirts/slips, had wire sewn in them, which again, made sitting rather impossible.

Men had braies, and drawers. Braies were little more than lengths of fabric pulled up between the legs and tied around the waist. Later ones had waist band and ties in the front. Drawers were usually knee length and tied at the waist.

Like the bustles and bum-rolls, men had things to enhance their bodies too. Cod-pieces had padding and tied around the waist, and calf-pads were strapped around their legs to make their calves look more muscular.

Union suits were both long and short. The top and bottoms were connected. It was during the 1920’s that the two became ‘disconnected’ and men started wearing garments closer to T-shirts and briefs.  

Just a note....there were many variations to all of the above! 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Say What - a Re-blog by Ginger Simpson

Our regular poster notified me she had an emergency today.  Like I always say..."Life Happens," so I'm going to re-share a blog I posted back in 2011.  And we thought it had it rough!

American Indian women in the 1800s had it far tougher than you can imagine.  When the men went on a buffalo hunt and slew hundreds of the huge, shaggy beasts, who do you think did the skinning, the cutting of the meat, the drying, the hide tanning, the recovery of all parts useable?  The women.  Could you fathom your husband telling you to delve up to your elbows into the bloody insides of an animal that big?  I can't. 

The plains tribes revered all animals, and only killed for survival.  The buffalo provided the mainstay for the tribes, so when white hunters started killing the animals for sport, taking only the skins and leaving the rest to rot, we can sort of understand why that angered the Indians.  From the buffalo came their food, blankets, lodge coverings, sinew for bows and sewing, bones for needles, utensils and plates, and myriad of other things I've most likely forgotten.  Instead of pulling a needle from a package you bought at Walmart, could you fashion one from a small buffalo bone, or cut tendons and muscles so thin as to create thread with which to sew?  I can't even resew a loose button, so I'm pretty soon I'd suck at life as an Indian woman.

Women were charged with repopulating the tribe so as I mentioned in yesterday's blog, it was
uncommon for a brave to take more than one wife.  Girls married at young age, and aspired to become mothers, most giving birth in what was known as the 'women's hut, specifically a home to all things women, including monthly periods.  During birth, a woman squatted next to a stick driven into the ground, and holding tight, she delivered her baby into a special trough in the dirt that held a clean piece of hide with which to swaddle the newborn.  OMG!  I thought having to go through labor without pain meds was the height of torture.  Squatting next to a stick and pushing the kid out into a little ditch? Give me a break.  Natural childbirth was popular long before we ever imagined.

The very place that some young women were born, also served as a place they spent their menstruating time.  Women having their monthly time were considered to possess spirits dangerous to the virility and strength of the braves in the tribe.  For that reason, during those days of the month, menstruating women were isolated from the rest of the tribe.  Yeah, right.  Like God didn't make us suffer enough with cramps and bleeding, now we have to go spend seven days in a little hut, away from everyone else.  I don't think so.  Men should fear us.  I guess maybe PMS was around, just not named back then.

The end of the first period for a Sioux maiden was a time for celebration.  Her friends were treated to a feast, given gifts, and listened to chants recited by the tribal Shaman as he paid homage to the Buffalo Woman deity.  The American Indians were big on rituals and celebrations.   BTW, I celebrated the end of my LAST period in June 1995.  No more buying pads, no more cranky moods, no more monthly agony.  No feasts or parties, but a cause for celebration nonetheless.  

One of my favorite books is White Heart, Lakota Spirit.  In this novel, I explore a white woman's shock and surprise at being taken captive by the Lakota and seeing how different her life was even then.  You can find a copy on Amazon/


Monday, April 13, 2015

Horses- much needed in the Old West- today there is a great need for rescues #ASMSG by Kathleen Ball

Horses- much needed in the Old West- today there is a great need for rescues #ASMSG by Kathleen Ball

My last series Cowboy Seasons highlighted to need for rescue horses. I did a lot of research but it wasn't until I rescued a few myself that I realized just how cruelly some horses are treated.

A few weeks ago I got an urgent message about a man who had collected a great many horses and was going to sell them south of the border. He bought them at auction, from Craig's list and ads in the papers. His purpose- buy low- $25.00 or sometimes free and sell to slaughter houses in Mexico.

He wouldn't give them up but he was willing to sell them to buyers. This is Sparrow I paid 250.00 for her to live

She's only three years old. They had to use a hoist to get her to the Crossfire Rescue. She is finally in my and my daughter in law's care. She didn't even know what a treat was and refused them. Finally when she thought no one was looking she timidly checked one out and ate it. 

This is Ellie a pregnant mare the man was going to sell over the border. I paid to save her life too.

There is nothing wrong with her but when the man caught wind the rescue was determined to get all the horses out- he started raising the prices. I can't wait to see what her foal looks like.

Both horses arrived here on Thursday and it was such a relief to see  they both made it. Seeing Sparrow in person brought tears to my eyes. I have never seen a horse so malnourished before. The vet said if it had gone on much longer her organs would have shut down. 

Horses live a pretty long life. They are not pets you can just discard or throw away. I'm just glad Sparrow and Ellie now have a forever home and will be much loved.


Ellie with my Granddaughter

I wish I could save them all but it's not cheap to board and feed a horse. I'm just grateful there are a lot of people out there who have made it their mission to save these horses.  

Sexy Cowboys and the women who love them...

Finalist in the 2012 RONE Awards.

Top Pick, Five Star Series from the Romance Review.

Kathleen Ball writes contemporary western romance with great emotion and memorable

characters.Her books are award winners and have appeared on best sellers lists including

Amazon's Best Sellers List, All Romance Ebooks, Bookstrand, Desert Breeze Publishing and

Secret Cravings Publishing Best Sellers list. She is the recipient of eight Editor's Choice

Awards, and The Readers' Choice Award for Ryelee's Cowboy.

There's something about a cowboy....

***Order of my Books***
Lasso Spring Series

Callie's Heart
Lone Star Joy
Stetson's Storm

Dawson Ranch Series

Texas Haven- FREE
Ryelee's Cowboy
*Alice's Story- free prequel on my website

Cowboy Seasons Series

Summer's Desire
Autumn's Hope
Winter's Embrace
Spring's Delight
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Patent Medicines: Strong Stuff! by @JacquieRogers #oldwest #health

Patent Medicines: Strong Stuff!
by Jacquie Rogers

The labels carried wild promises but no list of ingredients. Patent medicines were ubiquitous in the 1800s, partly because medical science had made advances and partly because the search for health exceeded medical science's capabilities.  What a goldmine for stories!

These elixirs, creams, and compresses were made from any number of ingredients, ranging from vegetable juice to narcotics. Remember, there were no drug laws in the USA until after the turn of the 20th Century. When a patient took a dose of patent medicine, he or she could be taking opium, alcohol, mandrake, belladonna, marijuana, or extracts from hellebore, henbane, datura, and hemlock.

The term "patent medicine" refers to a product with a proprietary list of ingredients and sold directly to the public, not that the medicine was patented. Some of these products originated as old family recipes, but some manufacturers were a bit more mercenary in the development of their tonics. The quest for the almighty dollar soon surpassed any anecdotal or scientific basis for these medicines, and the patent medicine business became a huge economic force.

Tired of Viagra ads? Believe me, these ads certainly aren't new. Here's one of my favorite patent medicine ads, taken from The Owyhee Avalanche in the 1880s:


THE DR. LIEBIG Private Dispensary
400 Geary St. San Francisco, Cal
Conducted by qualified physicians and surgeons--regular graduates. The Oldest Specialists in the United States, whose LIFE-LONG EXPERIENCE, perfect method and pure medicine, insure SPEEDY and PERMANENT CURES of all Private Chronic and Nervous Diseases. Affections of the Blood, Skin, Kidneys, Bladder, Eruptions, Ulcers, Old Sores, Swelling of the Glands, Sore Mouth, Throat, permanently cured and eradicated from the system for life. NERVOUS Debility, Impotency, Seminal Losses, Sexual Decay, Mental and Physical Weakness, Failing Memory, Weak Eyes, Stunted Development, Impediments to Marriage, etc. from excesses or youthful follies, or any cause, speedily, safely and privately cured.

Young, Middle-Aged and Old men, and all who need medical skill and experience, consult the old European Physician at once. His opinion costs nothing and may save future misery and shame. When inconvenient to visit the city for treatment, medicines can be sent everywhere by express, free from observation. It is self-evident that a physician who gives his whole attention to a class of diseases attains great skill, and physicians throughout the country, knowing this, frequently recommend difficult cases to the Oldest Specialist, by whom every Known good remedy is used. The Doctor's Age and experience make his opinion of Supreme Importance.

...and it goes on and on!  I couldn't resist this one--yes, I used it in Much Ado About Marshals.  I managed to squeeze in a few more, too.  Hostetter's Stomach Bitters was another favorite.  But the cash cow for the patent medicine manufacturers would soon be dried up.  Abuse of such strong ingredients couldn't go on.

The patent medicine industry was brought to its knees shortly after the turn of the 20th Century. From the Food and Drug Administration:
A few muckraking journalists helped expose the red clauses, the false testimonials, the nostrums laden with harmful ingredients, the unfounded cures for cancer, tuberculosis, syphilis, narcotic addiction, and a host of other serious as well as self-limited diseases. The most influential work in this genre was the series by Samuel Hopkins Adams that appeared in Collier's on October 7, 1905, entitled "The Great American Fraud." Adams published ten articles in the series, which concluded in February 1906; he followed it up with another series on doctors who advertised fake clinics. The shocking stories of the patent medicine menace were accompanied by startling images, such as "Death's Laboratory."
Good health to you!

coming soon:
Much Ado About Mustangs

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

And the Band Played On

by Shanna Hatfield

My thoughts have been twirling around like the belle of the ball with a full dance card as I imagine what it was like to attend a grand dance back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Location would have no doubt played a key factor in setting the tone and deciding on attendance.

Perhaps it would be a fancy ball with gilded, ornate trim and gleaming floors.

Or maybe it was a simple gathering in a barn to welcome spring or celebrate the end of harvest. Straw might cover the floor while lanterns and a  big fire outside provided the light.

Would the women wear their best calico frock?

Or would their gowns have been elaborately embellished?

Would the cowboys have donned their formal attire (if they owned any)?

I like to think they'd at least have taken a bath and put on a clean shirt for the occasion.

Would they have enjoyed picnic supper? Maybe they held a box lunch auction to raise funds for some philanthropic endeavor.

Or would dinner have been an elaborate affair with multiple courses and perfect manners?

It would be so fun to travel back in time and experience both types of events - a country dance and a grand ball.

Since I have yet to locate a time machine, I guess I'll have to make do with imagining and dreaming... and dreaming up imaginative online parties.

I hope you'll join me for the...

PB Title

 Invite your friends to the party, and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift card. Go to the Facebook Party Page, click on the “invite” button, invite your friends, then post how many you invited. One randomly drawn person will win, but you get additional entries for every 25 people you invite! Also, ask your friends when they join the party to share that you invited them on the party wall. Each friend who mentions your name, earns you another entry in the contest! The winner will be announced prior to the start of the party April 9!


Dust off your dancing shoes and choose your formal attire for the Petticoat Ball Party on Facebook April 9, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Pacific Time). Giveaways and games will make for a splendid event as we celebrate the release of Thimbles and Thistles and the debut of Lacy!
The talented and fabulous guest authors joining in the shenanigans include:
10 a.m. – Julie Lence
11:30 – Christina Cole
Noon – Peggy Henderson
12:30 – Kristin Holt
1 p.m. – Karen Witemeyer
1:30 – Kayla Thomas

 The party is part of a week-long celebration:

    Join in the fun!

    Thimbles and Thistles CoverThe second book in the Baker City Brides series releases Thursday, April 9!
     Thimbles and Thistles takes readers back to Baker City as spring arrives and love is in the air. You can reserve your Kindle copy here:
    Maggie Dalton has no need for a man in her life. Widowed more than ten years, she’s built a successful business and managed quite well on her own in the bustling town of Baker City, Oregon. Aggravated by her inability to block thoughts of the handsome lumber mill owner from her mind, she renews her determination to resist his attempts at friendship.
    Full of Scottish charm and mischief, Ian MacGregor could claim any available woman in Baker City as his own, except the enchanting dress shop owner who continues to ignore him. Not one to give up on what he wants, Ian vows to win Maggie’s heart or leave the town he’s come to love.
    flourish thin

    Lacy Lacy, Book 5 in the Pendleton Petticoats series, will be available for pre-orders April 9.
    Be among the first to order the long-awaited story of Grant Hill. Talk about losing at love… eligible banker bachelor Grant needs to find the right girl.
    Those attending the party will also get a first look at the cover!
    “Will the bonds of love be stronger than the bonds of tradition…”

    flourish thin

    Aundy CoverIt just wouldn’t be a party if  there wasn’t a book available for free! Aundy, Book 1 in the Pendleton Petticoats series, will be available for free Kindle downloads April 7-11. Make sure you grab your copy! If you’ve already read it, tell your friends to download it. If you haven’t met the characters from Pendleton Petticoats, here’s a brief intro:
    Aundy (Book 1) – One stubborn mail-order bride finds the courage to carry on when she’s widowed before ever truly becoming a wife, but opening her heart to love again may be more than she can bear.
    Caterina (Book 2) – Frantic to escape a man intent on marrying her, Caterina starts a new life in Pendleton, completely unprepared for the passionate feelings stirred by the town’s deputy sheriff.
    Ilsa (Book 3) – Tired of relying on others to guide and protect her, Ilsa finally finds the strength and courage to take control of her life. Unfortunately, her independence drives a wedge between her and the man she’s come to love.
    Marnie (Book 4) – After giving up on her dreams for a future, Marnie finds her hope rekindled by one caring, compassionate man and the orphans who need her.



    To enter the drawing for a $50 American Express gift card, autographed books, digital books, chocolates, and original western artwork, fill out this form.

    I hope to see you waltzing by Thursday at the party!

    Shanna Hatfield 2A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
    Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
    She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
    Find Shanna’s books at:
    Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple
    Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:
    ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

Monday, April 6, 2015

Massacre At Camp Grant

By Kristy McCaffrey

Camp Grant, Arizona Territory, 1870.
In the 1860’s and 1870’s, the state of unrest in the southern Arizona Territory varied widely. At times, depredations by Apache Indians was severe, and led to an increased military presence in the area. There existed, however, little unity among the tribes, and some of the more peaceful bands suffered. The massacre at Camp Grant is one such example.

On April 30, 1871, a group of Pinal and Arivaipa Apache Indians were slaughtered at Camp Grant, a crucial garrison located at the outlet of Arivaipa Creek where it meets the San Pedro River, about sixty miles northeast of Tucson.

Royal Emerson Whitman
Several months prior, First Lieutenant Royal Emerson Whitman assumed command of Camp Grant. A respected officer from the northern side of the Civil War, he likely viewed his new commission as reaching the end of the earth. Camp Grant was nothing more than a rectangle of filthy adobe buildings around a dusty parade ground.

In February 1871, five old Indian women from a band of Arivaipa Apaches came to the post under a white flag, searching for a boy they believed was held prisoner. Whitman treated the women kindly, and they stayed for two days. When they left, they asked if they could return with more of their people. Whitman agreed. Eight days later they came with more Indians, along with goods to sell. Whitman again treated them well. The Apache said that many of their band wanted to come in, and Whitman promised that he would protect them.

A few days later, more Apache arrived, represented by their chief, Eskiminzin. Also present was a Pinal chief known to the whites as Capitán Chiquito, and a chief called Santo. Whitman found Eskiminzin to be friendly. His people were weary of the constant danger from the troops, and wanted to settle down in their ancestral territory along Arivaipa Creek. They wanted peace, and asked Whitman to give them tools and issue rations until a harvest was ready. This was a common promise given to Indians at the time, so the request wasn’t out of line.


Unfortunately, Whitman had no authority to make this peace and explained this to Eskiminzin. He suggested they go to a reservation in the White Mountains. But not all Apache got along, and Eskiminzin refused. Whitman decided to take a chance with the thought that if he could pacify this band, then others might follow. He agreed for them to come in and that he would issue a pound of beef and a pound of corn or flour per day per adult. He would also allow them to gather mescal as needed. In the meantime, he would write his commander to gain the required permission. He immediately sent word to Department Commander George Stoneman at Drum Barracks, California.

At the beginning of March, Eskiminzin returned with his entire band of Arivaipa Apaches—about 150 people. Soon, that number doubled, and finally over 500 Indians had come in. Whitman could see that the Indians were desperately poor, so he made arrangements for the Arivaipa’s to gather hay for the fort, at the rate of one penny a pound. In two months, over 150 tons was brought in, worth $3000, which made the Apache wealthy. Before long, it wasn’t just the women and children submitting to labor, but the warriors as well.

Whitman was firm but fair with the Indians. After a time, he relaxed restrictions on them, and relations were good with nearby ranchers, who even hired on some of the Apache. By all accounts, his unofficial reservation was flourishing. But by the end of March, Whitman had still not heard from General Stoneman.

Whitman kept an eye out for treachery, but he could discover no wrongdoing when it came to the Indians. They were happy and content. Other soldiers at the post, civilian employees of the army, and even veteran Indian haters all agreed that something profound was occurring here. The Indians trusted Whitman. Only once did he overstep himself when he asked if they would provide Apache scouts to help fight other, more hostile, Apache bands. Eskiminzin said no, stating that they were not at war with those other bands.
General George Stoneman

Around the beginning of April, a new commander arrived to take over Camp Grant. Whitman briefed Captain Frank Standwood on the situation. Standwood approved, and instructed him to carry on. In mid-April, Whitman received word that his request to General Stoneman had been misfiled, and therefore not approved. It’s been theorized that Stoneman did read the letter, but refused to act one way or another regarding it. Politics were delicate when it came to providing a feeding-station to Indians who might then go out and pillage and raid.

On April 30, only Whitman and a small garrison of fifty men were in residence at Camp Grant because Captain Standwood had left on an extensive scouting mission days earlier. Word came that a large force of armed citizens from Tucson were on the loose and were believed to be headed to Camp Grant and the Apache rancheria. Word would have reached Whitman sooner, but the leaders of the Tucson mob—the influential Oury family on the white part and the Elias family on the Mexican side—had set sentries and sealed the road to insure their success. Reacting quickly, Whitman sent word to the Indians, but he was too late.

The massacre was ruthless. The mob consisted of six whites, forty-eight Mexicans, and ninety-four Papago Indians. Men, women, and dogs were clubbed. Those that escaped were shot. The assault was over in thirty minutes.

Chief Capitan Chiquito Bullis lost
two wives during the massacre.

Whitman did what he could. He tried to contact survivors who’d managed to escape. He sent the post surgeon to help any who lived, but unfortunately there were none. The scene was grisly. Skulls had been crushed, women sexually assaulted and mutilated. Infants had been shot. Whitman took on the task of burying the 125 dead, of which only eight were men. Slowly, survivors returned.

Amazingly, the surviving Pinal and Arivaipa Apache continued to express their confidence in Whitman. Eskiminzin, deeply grieved over losing his family, nevertheless remained steadfast in his determination not to retaliate with war. Some believe it is a testament to the goodwill that Whitman had extended to them, a policy that had been strikingly effective, even in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.

All of the men were acquitted of the crime.
As a side note: Twenty-nine Apache children went missing that day. The mothers implored Whitman to get them back. Two of the children managed to escape. Five were later recovered from Arizona citizens. The remaining twenty-two were taken to Sonora, Mexico and sold. Also, because this was labeled a massacre by the military, President Grant told Arizona Territorial Governor A.P.K. Safford that if the perpetrators weren’t brought to justice then he would place the area under martial law. In October 1871, 100 assailants were indicted under Tucson law, but because the ensuing trial focused solely on Apache depredations, all of the men were found not guilty.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Old West Lingo

Writing a book requires discipline and dedication. And when writing a certain genre, research often comes into play. Such is the case for writing western historical romance. 

As the author, I want my story to be as true to the old west as possible. It’s easy for me to envision the outward appearance of a cowboy; Stetson, denims, chaps and spurs. And thanks to Hollywood movies, I have a vivid concept of the towns and saloons they frequented and the ranches they lived and worked on. Even mannerisms come easy to me. Some are the strong, silent type. Others are the quick-tempered, fist-throwing type. But when it comes to the lingo and the slang from their era, that’s where I sometimes draw a blank. But I have a wonderful reference book at my hands to help with this problem, Everyday Life in the 1800’s.  Below are some of the terminology I consider unique and funny:  

Cowboy Phrases:
Barking at a knot—wasting time
Could follow a woodtick on a solid rock—refers to one adept at tracking or following a trail
Doesn’t use up all his kindlin’ to make a fire—someone who doesn’t waste words on small talk
Don’t go wakin’ snakes—don’t make waves (I have used this one)
Loosened his hinges—someone thrown from a horse
Seven by nine—something or someone of inferior or common quality (I have used this one)

Coffin varnish—bad coffee
Collar and hames—a stiff collar and necktie
Decorate a cottonwood—to be hung
Grass freight—goods shipped by a team of bulls
Lady broke—a very gentle horse
Muleys—hornless cattle
Parlor gun—another name for a derringer
Pull foot—leave in a hurry
Soaplock—a rowdy
Underwears—cowboy’s contemptuous name for sheep

Bedchamber sneak—a thief’s assistant
Bloke buzzer—a pickpocket who specializes in picking the pockets of men only
Calaboose or hoosegow—prison
Kick—code word used by pickpockets to communicate which pocket a wallet is in
Necktie sociable—a hanging (I use this one frequently)
Pettifogger—an unscrupulous lawyer
Rounder—a habitual offender
Scratcher—a forger
Touching a jug—thieves language for robbing a bank