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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

I suspect most folks are aware that in the Civil War, many Confederate soldiers ended up (or started out) going barefoot. In the south, they’d all probably grown up wearing shoes only occasionally, and as the war continued, supplies were hard to get.

Here’s a story, though, of a Union soldier known for going barefoot.

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Abyssinia Barefoot

The 1800s were a big time for English voyagers to travel the world and then write up their adventures. Mansfield Parkyns went to Abyssinia (nowadays Ethiopia and Eritrea) when he was 20 and lived there for 3 years.

While in Abyssinia, he adopted their dress and customs. That included going barefoot.

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The Barefooted Farmer Boy

George Peck was a late 19th, early 20th century humor writer. The following is from his Sunbeams: Humor, Sarcasm and Sense, published in 1902. The book is made up of stories that originally appeared in Peck’s newspaper, The Sun.

There’s a lot of essential truth in the story.

 

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About two years ago I had the opportunity to visit Glenford Fort, a Hopewell hilltop enclosure in Perry County, the next county over from my county, Fairfield County. (Other Hopewell hilltop enclosures include Spruce Hill, Carlisle Fort, and Fort Hill.) As part of that visit to Glenford Fort, I used my LiDAR-processing software to look at the area.

But about a year later, in a totally unrelated context, I was using the same software to look at a different place. And what I saw AMAZED me! (Clickbait!)

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Here’s a story about a barefoot lawyer.

But no, it’s not recent.

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It’s Myths All The Way Down

There is something about bare feet that seem to generate myths. We’re all familiar with health department myths, and athlete’s foot myths, and warts myths, and that feet are supposedly these fragile things.

But it’s been going on for a long time.

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F—burg, Massachusetts

While barefooters will often tell you that there are no health codes prohibiting bare feet in establishments like restaurants, many who have been around for a while know that there is one area that has them. There’s a cluster of town ordinances in Massachusetts, including Lexington (of Lexington and Concord fame). Birthplace of freedom? Bah! More like the cradle of priggery.

And it started a long time ago.

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