Are you for armed guards at schools?|
|Shopping, medicine and traveling in the 19th century|
"A few pecks of salt, a few pounds of coffee and sugar, and some few cooking utensils, were the most indispensable" items for any pioneer household. That was according to Dr. Andrew Robert Kilpatrick, a planter and physician along Black River at Lismore, who wrote about Catahoula and Concordia parishes in two articles for DeBow's Review in the early 1850s.
"In dress, the good wives and daughters fabricated out of cotton and wool, with the wheel and loom, all that was needed in the family. Calico and checks, and the Northern domestics, were quite rare, and only worn on extraordinary occasions; and one fine dress lasted many, many years."
In 1807, Oliver J. Morgan and John Henry opened the first regional general store in the Catahoula Prairie at Holloway. This was then part of Catahoula Parish. The store's merchandise was shipped on keel boats.
At this store and from other merchants, women could buy a yard of linen for $2, a blanket for $5, an ounce of thread for 37.5 cents, seven yards of velvet cord for $10.50, one and one-half yards of cotton for $1.12, a pair of shoes for $3, two dozen needles for 25 cents, three yards of calico for $3, a pound of pepper for $1 and one-half pound of tea for $2.
By the 1840s, women and men shoppers could find a larger selection of goods at better prices.
In Harrisonburg, Dr. James Holiday, in addition to delivering babies and caring for families, operated a family grocery. There, shoppers could buy coarse salt, almonds, raisins, candles, lemon syrup and lemon juice, citric acid, fresh "superfine" flour, Imperial Tea, Rio Coffee, rosin soap, pepper (black and red), ground cloves, mackerel, molasses, hog's lard and "excellent" vinegar.
And, according to Dr. Holiday's Jan. 29, 1852, advertisement in the Harrisonburg newspaper, items in stock "expressly for sickness" included "4th Proof Cogniac Brandy," Madeira wine, and "water crackers."
At Dr. Holiday's drug store, located in the "house formerly occupied by Mr. A.D. Ratcliff," was a full assortment of medicines "which may be relied on as genuine."
Additionally, women could shop for "Fancy Articles, suitable for the ladies..."
Born in 1786, Holiday was reared and educated in Virginia, and received his medical education at the University of Pennsylvania. According to Kilpatrick, the doctor had been "practising medicine for forty years, the last sixteen of them in Mississippi and this state. He settled here (Harrisonburg) in 1839, and for the space of ten years has devoted a large share of his time to the study and investigation of the geology and mineralogy of the parish..."
A big sale was heralded by Norsworthy & Smyer in Harrisonburg in the late fall of 1851. For this event, the owners "particularly invite the ladies, as we have shoes of all descriptions, to suit their fancy."
For the citizens of Harrisonburg "and the surrounding country," the proprietors said they had a "large and splendid stock of Fall and Winter clothing of the latest styles and Fashions of the day, just in from the city of New York; with a superior stock of Boots and Shoes to suit the season. We also have a variety of fashionable Hats & Caps, which we offer at reduced prices."
For the full story, subscribe to the The Concordia Sentinel's NEW E-Edition!
|Frank Morris Murder Series|