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January 2004


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Kevin Richard-Morrow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 4 Jan 2004 00:00:11 EST
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In a message dated 12/31/2003 9:08:19 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:

> Would anyone be able to tell me what type of firearm might be typically
> found on an upstate NY family farm around 1800 - 1810? I'm assuming most
> such farming households would have included some sort of guns.
> Thank you for your assistance,
> Susan D. Wagenheim, MD
> aspiring writer of historical fiction

A more complicated question than you may think.

Certainly it would be a flintlock (or some variant) as the percussion system
was still years in the future.

Ethnic, financial and geographic questions could influence choice of arm to a
great degree. Are you thinking of a third generation Dutchman who owns and
rents land to tenants or one of the tenants themselves?

The land owner may have a family piece, perhaps a Hudson Valley Long Fowler.
If a somewhat wealthy fellow with "fashionable" pretensions he may have had a
newer arm in the English style made or imported.

A military arm, such as a Brown Bess style Committee of Safety musket or a
French arm, may have been given a man in lieu of pay on leaving service after
the revolution. Such an arm could still be serviceable and would make sense in
the hands of a less wealthy individual.

A newly arrived emigre from Pennsylvania may have a fowler, or perhaps a
rifle, in a regional style from there. A New Englander could have a different
style arm.

Some references:

Lindsay, Merrill; THE NEW ENGLAND GUN


In Moller see the Hudson Valley Long Fowlers and the English style fowler
made (after the revolution I would bet) by New York gunsmith Watkeys.

Should get you started.

                        Kevin Richard-Morrow
    Schuyler's Company, New York Provincials, 1759 (recreated)