The “Five Ears Pouch” by T.C. Albert & Tim Crosbyadmin
By 1814 even in the far west of the Illinois country the frontier was changing, even so, many blood feuds kindled by earlier mutual antagonisms between the Red and White neighbors still smoldered. Born in just such a place during just such a time, Colonel John Moredock, the celebrated Indian Hater, first sought revenge against the Indians responsible for massacring his mother and stepfather and kidnapping his siblings, but he didn’t stop there. The legend goes on to tell how as a grown man, Moredock continued on the war path killing every Indian he could throughout the War of 1812 and beyond, that is until he nearly murdered his own sister who had been adopted and raised by the Indians that had captured her during that fateful raid. It was then that Moredock swore to never kill again.
Whether the many stories and legends told about John Moredock are all true or not, they do serve to illustrate how the frontier itself was changing, and how as a nation we were beginning to question much of what we once took for granted, including a perceived right to indiscriminately kill Indians even in the name of revenge or vengeance. The seeds of a national conscience were being planted.
The pouch and horn set made by Tim Crosby and TC Albert is inspired by the legend of John Moredock, and like the theme for the 2014 CLA auction, it is dedicated to the turbulent and changing times seen along the frontier during 1814 at the close of our second war for independence.
The powder horn by Tim Crosby is a beautifully made piece representative of the period that incorporates field expedient repairs to its spout made with a separate piece of horn, a silver thimble and a forged square shanked iron nail. Tim also turned the spout for the suggin’ or ball bag and made the small flat priming horn for this set. The bearded pouch made by TC Albert, is decorated with rows of fine leather fringes sewn to the flap and front panel of the pouch, and is based on several early and rare documented originals that are also representative of the period. All of the pieces in the set bear the initials of John Moredock, and the date 1814.
The pouch and horn are accompanied by a scalping knife that fits into a sheath inscribed with only one word. The word that drove Moredock and others like him on their bloody frontier rampages for so long “VENGENCE”. Impossible to ignore and serving as a tangible product of that thirst for vengeance, five severed ears complete with their ear bobs or glass trade bead decorations dangle from the pouch strap as trophies. We often celebrate the rifles, tomahawks and knives that were used to wage war along the early American frontiers, but we take for granted the physical damages and personal casualties such an environment produced. Hopefully the “Five Ears Pouch” by Tim Crosby and TC Albert will stir a little thought about that today just like the story of John Moredock the Indian Hater did back in 1814.
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