Monday, 3 August 2009

Bateaux and battoe men

There's been a bit of a theme about craft and so I thought maybe some information on the boats used a lot on both sides to transport men and materiel up and down the lakes and rivers would be useful. This article here is an excellent place to start. Also there's another interesting piece on the craft Perseverance - a reconstructed colonial bateau. It has a useful guide to the spelling which as a retired Proof reader is obviously something I cherish

What is the correct spelling of bateau? Putting aside the “spell it as it sounds” method of 18th Century spelling, there appears to be four known deviations in spelling the word bateau:
Bateau (plural: Bateaux) This is the French spelling and refers to any small boat.
Batteau (plural: Batteaux) This seems to refer to a specific type of boat used in North America where it has taken on distinctive characteristics and become its own class.
Batoe (plural: Batoes) This phonetic English spelling was used during the Colonial Wars.
Battoe. A corruption of the term Batoe.
In Colonial North America, bateau referred to a very specific type of vessel. It was double ended (pointed at both ends) and flat bottomed with little rocker. In general it was built as an inland transportation vessel and used both in the civilian and military sectors

There's another excellent historical article here from where this picture of a 1758 example is from. Photos of a reenactment here

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