Idaho State Sons of the American Revolution is proud to present our Patriot Chest.
The Patriot Chest is relatively new to the SAR across the country. The State of Georgia was the first followed by Colorado. Georgia’s has been so successful they have ten the last I spoke with their Secretary. And I’m sure more states are putting their own together.
So what is the Patriot Chest or Traveling Chest? Pretty much what it sounds like. It is a Chest, like an old blanket chest or a smaller storage chest used commonly in the country up until the early 20th century. We still see these chests around today, but they are more decorative than utilitarian as they used to be.
A partial list of what ours contains is 18th Century period items, such as candle makers and the wax they used, and 18th Century British and Spanish coins. Interesting thing with the Spanish coins or Pieces of Eight is how they used them. If they had a coin, we’ll call a dollar for simplicity, and they bought something for fifty cents, they would cut it in half or twenty five cents they would cut it into quarters.
It contains tools used in the past as well as locks, and we have a compass with a sundial built in. We also have a letter sealer. Wax was heated and a drop placed on the envelope to seal it. The wax was pressed with a “stamp” that would have the family initials, family crest or a Masonic symbol. This is where the term stamp that we use today came from. Ours is a Masonic symbol. Masons were a very large and powerful organization in those days.
We have children's clothing such as a boy’s frock jacket. Those are the long tail coats we see our founding fathers and most men of the time wearing. We have a girl’s skirt and bonnet; these can be tried on by younger children.
The presenters will be dressed in period clothing also.
Edible items are also included. Sugar was packed in paper cones and tea and spices were available to pack easy and take on trips. Remember 15-20 miles a day was a good day!
We have muskets balls and some children’s toys. This is just a sample of it’s contents.
This is part of our Community Outreach Program which we will take to schools, Elks Clubs, Rotary Clubs, etc. The age of interest ranges from 5 to 90.