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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Slinging in Colonial America
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Message started by rudyb on Aug 1st, 2012 at 12:42pm

Title: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by rudyb on Aug 1st, 2012 at 12:42pm
I am looking for sources that can document the use of slings in Colonial America by the colonists.  Has anyone found any information on this? :-/

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Aug 1st, 2012 at 8:33pm
In all my info on colonial America there is no reference to colonists slinging. Doesn't mean they didn't do it. Just nobody wrote about it. :(

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by rudyb on Aug 2nd, 2012 at 7:07pm
I know that slings were still being used in medieval Europe into the 16th century, plus the early colonists were all aware of the bible story of David and Goliath, which tells me that they were at least aware of what a sling was.  I've also found references to Abenaki use of slings in hunting, and those were the people in the area that is now NH and ME.  So I feel that there is a high probability that the colonists, in particular the children, may have used slings both as toys and for hunting.  But, as yet, I've found nothing written about it.

Rudy

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Aug 3rd, 2012 at 9:25pm
Slings were in use by many tribes throughout the Americas. I don't think it ever caught on with the colonists though.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Lugh-Lamhfada on Aug 13th, 2012 at 8:03am
With later place names like Palmyra Indiana and Carthage Illinois etc this tells me that at least after Independence and probably before also there were quite a few settlers who came from outside Europe, in particular the middle east and North Africa.  Given the strong slinging traditions there until very recently perhaps they brought slings with them?

So I suppose then there is a chance that during the Colonial period peoples from French and British territories elsewhere may have arrived in North America? Maybe with slings?

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Aug 13th, 2012 at 9:04pm
By the time of the American Colonial Era none of the peoples coming from Europe still maintained a strong slinging tradition. Certainly not the British or French.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Lugh-Lamhfada on Aug 16th, 2012 at 3:53pm
I meant their subject peoples. North Africans etc. Just a thought.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Aug 18th, 2012 at 9:07pm
Some of the Africans brought to this country as slaves probably had some knowledge of slings and slinging. I doubt if it was passed on as most things African were severely discouraged by the new owners.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Mauro Fiorentini on Aug 18th, 2012 at 10:04pm

rudyb wrote on Aug 2nd, 2012 at 7:07pm:
the early colonists were all aware of the bible story of David and Goliath, which tells me that they were at least aware of what a sling was.


I have to disagree on this Sir.
We all are aware of the bible story of the Conception, but we don't really become aware of it until it's too late  ;D
By the way, welcome to the forum! Why don't you present yourself properly?
And about your question, I second bigkahuna, for it doesn't seem there're enough evidences for slinging in colonial America (not yet).
Greetings,
Mauro.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Aug 19th, 2012 at 9:45pm
Most of the Native American groups that had a history of sling use soon gave them up when they realized the advantage of firearms. Same for the bow and arrow.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by timothy42b on Aug 20th, 2012 at 1:26pm

bigkahuna wrote on Aug 18th, 2012 at 9:07pm:
Some of the Africans brought to this country as slaves probably had some knowledge of slings and slinging. I doubt if it was passed on as most things African were severely discouraged by the new owners.


Until 1840 the US had 3 African American immigrants for every 1 European.  Most of these would have been from West Africa.  Is there a tradition of African slinging?  

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Aug 20th, 2012 at 9:27pm
The use of the sling was wide spread throughout Africa. There is, so far, no documentation that any of the African people brought here continued the use of the sling. The only well documented craft brought from Africa was the making of baskets by the Gullah people of South Carolina, who still make the same kind of baskets today as their African ancestors did.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Pikaru on Aug 21st, 2012 at 11:48am
There's an often forgotten colonial frontier in the United States that was never taught when I was in school. I don't know whether it's more than a footnote these days but there was the Spanish colonial frontier in the southwest and central US. The Spanish had established settlements and a capital in northern New Mexico as early as 1598.  
My father talks about his great-grandfather using a sling. Now whether slinging came over from Europe with these pioneers or whether it was picked up from the natives here I am not qualified to answer.
It's not a solid lead, like a book reference but it's an area to look into.
The Spanish kept good records, the Church kept good records too.
In a related topic some of the best pre-contact historical records for the Marianas came from Jesuit priests.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by ChuckRocks on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 4:18pm
Fascinating Subject.
Non-evidential subjectionism is always fun as long as everyone gets to play and no one gets his eye shot out.

First; I am not a scholar of African or Colonial America Slings.
I can only suppose that if I were a slave and had the knowledge of sling warfare I would have made use of it; I would have not submitted to be taken into slavery. Furthermore, I would have led a slinged rebellion. Armed peoples are called citizens.
BUT, not seeing any evidence of slingging by slaves I can only draw the conclusion that they didn't have that knowledge.
And as a side note, my friends serving as missionarys in Coast d'Ivory have not seen any sling activity.

But what about schoolboys in Boston?
The Boston Massacre is said to have come about from schoolboys throwing snowballs (laced with rocks) at the Red Coats and got shot in return. Never bring a snowball to a gun fight.
I am sure these boys had the lesson of David and Goliath in their Sunday School class. (Yes, they had those then.)
And being all American red-blooded boys, they would have re-invented the sling based on their teacher's lessons.
If therefore, they had access to a servicable sling, why screw around with snowballs when provoking the British?

Can we suppose that the slings they used were servicable?
Or should we presume that these supposed boys had no real understanding of the awesomeness of our mutual love, the sling?
I propose the latter; they didn't know how to make good slings for beaning the Brits in Beantown.

I do not know of any slinging in Colonial America

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 9:21pm
Unfortunately, none of the documentation on the "Boston Massacre" says anything about slings, and none of the contemporary drawings or engravings of the incident show slings, which I think would have figured prominently.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by timothy42b on Aug 27th, 2012 at 12:14pm

ChuckRocks wrote on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 4:18pm:
Fascinating Subject.
Non-evidential subjectionism is always fun as long as everyone gets to play and no one gets his eye shot out.

First; I am not a scholar of African or Colonial America Slings.
I can only suppose that if I were a slave and had the knowledge of sling warfare I would have made use of it; I would have not submitted to be taken into slavery. Furthermore, I would have led a slinged rebellion.

Many slaves became so by becoming prisoners of war - so they were originally soldiers in their own area.

That meant escaped slaves were a known danger, as they were essentially trained warriors.  All of the early extractive colonies had huge problems with this.  

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Aug 27th, 2012 at 8:25pm

timothy42b wrote on Aug 27th, 2012 at 12:14pm:

ChuckRocks wrote on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 4:18pm:
Fascinating Subject.
Non-evidential subjectionism is always fun as long as everyone gets to play and no one gets his eye shot out.

First; I am not a scholar of African or Colonial America Slings.
I can only suppose that if I were a slave and had the knowledge of sling warfare I would have made use of it; I would have not submitted to be taken into slavery. Furthermore, I would have led a slinged rebellion.

Many slaves became so by becoming prisoners of war - so they were originally soldiers in their own area.

That meant escaped slaves were a known danger, as they were essentially trained warriors.  All of the early extractive colonies had huge problems with this.  





Escaped slaves were delt with very harshly, usually involving maiming or crippling to some extent. Slave revolts, of which there were several during colonial times, were brutally crushed. If a slave was lucky the best he could hope for was to escape to some Indian village where hopefully he/she would be taken in.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by woodssj on Sep 12th, 2012 at 10:24pm
This is why you ask the Colonial History Museum Man. This is really simple, in all reality.
http://books.google.com/books?id=E83tF_SwUZQC&pg=PA239&dq=Slinging+stones&hl=en&ei=BqDhToHxC4bZ0QGBp5j_BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CEgQ6AEwAzhG#v=onepage&q=Slinging%20stones&f=false

Slinging was exercise and sport in colonial America. Its use also shows up in many kid's books in the 1830s and 1840s as a good amusement, as do Bolas.  They were known, they were used, but not as weapons.  Kids also used them for pest control by hitting groundhogs, birds and such with them, from what we can tell.
http://books.google.com/books?id=gecIAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA11-PT554&dq=Slinging+stones&hl=en&ei=1qDhTumpO4ru0gG5suy-BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDcQ6AEwADhk#v=onepage&q=Slinging%20stones&f=false
They were also a child's preferred weapon against passenger pigeons.
They were considered for use by Grenadiers for getting further range on Grenades.
http://books.google.com/books?id=RONZAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA219&dq=Sling&hl=en&ei=T5fhTry8BOPe0QHIsOD2BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CGUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Sling&f=false

Any Other Questions I can weigh in on?  I use one occasionally for Museum Ed purposes for 18th and 19th Century Activities and skills.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Sep 16th, 2012 at 8:59pm
There is no documentation of slings being used by colonists or any Europeans in Colonial Times. As I said, it doesn't mean it didn't happen, just that nobody wrote about it.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by alex knapp on Sep 18th, 2012 at 9:11pm
very good point. nobody noted a large tunnel under my street either. nor the creek that runs past my house in a wooded area.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by timothy42b on Sep 19th, 2012 at 10:41am

bigkahuna wrote on Aug 27th, 2012 at 8:25pm:

timothy42b wrote on Aug 27th, 2012 at 12:14pm:

ChuckRocks wrote on Aug 22nd, 2012 at 4:18pm:
Fascinating Subject.
Non-evidential subjectionism is always fun as long as everyone gets to play and no one gets his eye shot out.

First; I am not a scholar of African or Colonial America Slings.
I can only suppose that if I were a slave and had the knowledge of sling warfare I would have made use of it; I would have not submitted to be taken into slavery. Furthermore, I would have led a slinged rebellion.

Many slaves became so by becoming prisoners of war - so they were originally soldiers in their own area.

That meant escaped slaves were a known danger, as they were essentially trained warriors.  All of the early extractive colonies had huge problems with this.  





Escaped slaves were delt with very harshly, usually involving maiming or crippling to some extent. Slave revolts, of which there were several during colonial times, were brutally crushed. If a slave was lucky the best he could hope for was to escape to some Indian village where hopefully he/she would be taken in.


Your information is incomplete.  In many extractive colonies escaped slaves mixed with the remnants of the native populations that sruvived the old world diseases and formed a significant percentage of the population.  On some islands escaped slaves essentially became the population.  

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Sep 19th, 2012 at 9:57pm
We were discussing colonial America.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by timothy42b on Oct 1st, 2012 at 1:12pm

bigkahuna wrote on Sep 19th, 2012 at 9:57pm:
We were discussing colonial America.


So was I.

Colonial America was not white, despite what many of our history books may seem to depict.

Until 1840, by immigration records and ship's logs, 3 of 4 colonists were black.  Further south some of the colonies were close to 25 to 1.  

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Nov 5th, 2012 at 10:06pm
So what does ethnic population makeup in the American Colonies have to do with slinging?? :-?

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by bigkahuna on Nov 5th, 2012 at 10:08pm

wrote on Sep 18th, 2012 at 9:11pm:
very good point. nobody noted a large tunnel under my street either. nor the creek that runs past my house in a wooded area.


If nobody wrote about it then nobody in the rest of the world would ever know it was there.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Mark-Harrop on Sep 2nd, 2014 at 3:27am
Perhaps they were so ubiquitous as to be non-noteworthy.

Seems they were outlawed in urban areas shortly after someone got their eye shot out.



Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Mark-Harrop on Sep 16th, 2014 at 6:39am


Seems us rowdy Colonials were slinging horseshit at the British…

http://books.google.ae/books?id=ohV_-4GJaU0C&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&dq=slinging+in+colonial+america&source=bl&ots=hD7j2nWzsO&sig=qN6aXzR1fcAEDa09OWL3ocLe2zA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uhEYVPXxA43haOKmgoAM&ved=0CCsQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=slinging%20in%20colonial%20america&f=false

That'll teach 'em…

;)

The Sling is responsible for American independence!

;)

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Mangudai on Nov 24th, 2014 at 9:28am

Quote:
With later place names like Palmyra Indiana and Carthage Illinois etc this tells me that at least after Independence and probably before also there were quite a few settlers who came from outside Europe, in particular the middle east and North Africa.  Given the strong slinging traditions there until very recently perhaps they brought slings with them?

So I suppose then there is a chance that during the Colonial period peoples from French and British territories elsewhere may have arrived in North America? Maybe with slings?


I don't think the name of towns can be used as evidence for where the early settlers came from.  I think those names were known to Euro-American settlers because they appeared in the Bible and other ancient histories.  There are not many American towns named after North African or Middle Eastern cities that are less than 2000 years old.  While there are lots of American towns with names like "Shiloh", which are not significant in the old world except that they are referred to in the Bible. 

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Thearos on Nov 25th, 2014 at 10:35am
Woodssj's post is pretty amazing-- period sources mentioning slinging as a normal pastime in Colonial America !!

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by Mark-Harrop on Dec 5th, 2014 at 3:04pm
The industrialisation of rubber did to the sling what the cassette did to the 8-track.

Title: Re: Slinging in Colonial America
Post by timann on Dec 6th, 2014 at 5:16pm
@ Thearos. I agree, there was lots of interesting stuff in those articles.

@ Mark-Harrop. Agree again.  It was probably lots of sloppy slingng going on back in the day, and the slingshot would seem like an easy fix for that.

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