Saturday, March 27, 2010

The first log cabins...

So I'm listening my way through yet another history lecture series, and it's pretty good.

Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies by Robert J. Allison

Strongly recommended, but as always, don't buy it until it's on "sale", which is darn near always.

Anyhoo, I'm plodding through the part when the Dutch still controlled New York (Amsterdam), but what I did not know was anything about New Sweden to the south, essentially around Wilmington, NJ.

It was at this point Allison (who has a massive bass voice, BTW) interjects that the first log cabins in America were built there by Swedes (who were actually Finns).
In the present-day United States, settlers first constructed log cabins in 1638. Swedish settlers in New Sweden (present-day Wilmington, Delaware) used log structures. Later German and UkrainianScots and Scots-Irish had no tradition of building with logs, but they quickly adopted the method. The first English settlers did not widely use log cabins, building in forms more traditional to them.[1] Few log cabins dating from the 18th century still stand, but they were not intended as permanent dwellings. When settlers built their larger, more formal houses, they often converted the first log cabins to outbuildings, such as chicken coops, animal shelters, or other utilitarian purposes.    [More]
Makes me wonder what kind of shelter the New Englanders used.

He also had revelations about the unique slave culture of South Carolina, which, looking back at my years in Charleston during the Navy, helped some pieces fit together.

Also highly recommended: The Art of Critical Decision Making by Michael Roberto.  Great content, poor delivery (sloppy, rushed articulation) but still well worth it, especially if you work with or in groups.

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