What is this?

November 19, 2013 · Collections, Exhibits ·

wagon-wheel-thumbOur exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it? To find out more,

Cart wheel, 18th century, Canterbury, CT, gift of Jeff Baldwin

Cart wheel, 18th century, Canterbury, CT, gift of Jeff Baldwin

This wheel was used for a cart that belonged to Jeffery Mathewson of Canterbury, Connecticut who was conscripted during the Revolutionary War to carry military supplies to Yorktown, Virginia.

wagon-wheel-3During the Revolutionary War, towns and families were responsible for supplying clothing, bedding, and food for soldiers. Hundreds of women of all ages spun yarn, knitted socks, wove blankets, and sewed cloth into uniforms and shirts. People distilled rum, churned butter, made cheese, ground grain, butchered cattle and pigs, and salted and barreled meat. Iron workers stoked furnaces and forges and produced cannons, cannon balls, bullets, bayonets, and guns.

wagon-wheel-2These essential supplies, known as “provisions,” were collected, organized, and driven by ox carts over muddy rutted roads to wherever troops needed them. Connecticut supplied more food and livestock to the American troops during the war than any other colony in proportion to its size. This, combined with all of the iron used to make cannons, earned Connecticut the nickname “The Provisions State.”


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To support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Connecticut Historical Society will temporarily close now through April 22. We will re-evaluate the situation at that time. All public programs and tours are canceled during this time. We hope to reschedule some of the events if possible.