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Rifle-toting personas 1750-1760
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Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 313
Location: Yosemite
Real Name: Ken Prather

PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of Morgans riflemen came from other military orgs like the 8th PA. I think there were at least three companys of riflemen that came from the 8th PA and were with Morgans during Saratoga.
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red squirrel

Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 80
Location: Illinois
Real Name: Simeon England

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:47 pm    Post subject: rifle toting personas 1750-1760 Reply with quote

Some info
"Shooting at marks was a common diversion for the men, when their stock of ammunition would allow it; Their shooting was from a rest, and at as great a distance as the length and weight of the barrel of the gun would throw a ball on a horizontal level". From Rev. Joseph Doddridge, Notes on the Settlemants and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1763-1783

"The committee appointed me captain of this company of rangers. . ..
I taught them the Indian discipline, as I knew no other at that time, which would answer the purpose much better than British. We succeeded beyound expectation in defending the frontiers, and were extolled by our employers." From-James Smith, Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith, 1799, describing the dress of his "Black Boys" when formed in the early 1760's.
This account tells about Col Smith dressing and teaching these men like Indians to defend the frontier.
Sounds like this second account may be interesting for your group.
Hope this helps,
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Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 80
Location: Virginia
Real Name: Jim Mullins

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In keeping with this thread, how do jeager fit in this scenario?

not so much for Rich's target date of 1750-60 but interesting refs none the less:

SC Gazette Sat Feb 18, 1764

JOHN DODD, Gunsmith, Has imported in the Heart of Oak, Capt. Henry Gunn, an assortment of the following articles, viz.

BEST Dutch rifles, with moulds and wipers, flat rifle locks, from 20 sh. to L 5, round ditto, brass mountings for ditto, a variety of smooth bore barrels, which with sundry other articles in the gunsmiths way, he will sell cheap, at his shop in Meeting-Street.

N.B. Said Dodd is in want of 4 or 500 feet of WALNUT PLANK, from two inches and a half, to three inches thickness, for which Nine pounds per hundred will be given, delivered at any wharf in Charles Town.

July 3, 1766
The Pennsylvania Gazette

WAS LOST, on the 8th or 9th of May last, on the great Road betwixt HarrisFerry and Shippensburgh, a German rifle Gun, about two Feet in the Barrel, large Bore, carved Stock, a white Metal Lion upon the Barrel, near the Lock, with a Scepter in his Paw, double Tricker, double Sight, the under Brass or Copper, and the upper Iron. Whoever delivers said Gun to the Subscriber, or to Robert Sample, in Carlisle, or to John Miller, above Carlisle, shall have TWO DOLLARS Reward, paid by me


October 4, 1770
The Pennsylvania Gazette

SAMUEL HOWELL HAS, at his Store, in Water street, near Chestnut street, a Quantity of Jamaica Rum; Madeira Wine, from 40 l. to 60l. per Pipe; 100 German Rifle Barrels, and Locks.

All Persons indebted to Samuel Howell, whose Debts are now due, are desired to pay this Fall, to prevent Cost.

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Don Beltrami

Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 76
Location: New England
Real Name: Don Beltrami

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 02 Apr 2010
Posts: 31

Real Name: Don Elicker

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being from SC Pa. and working on my persona of a farmer/ longhunter I found this to be a very enlighting thread.
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Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 3
Location: colorado
Real Name: Glenn May

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would long hunters have ranged more in the Southern Appalachians or would they have been west of them? I was thinking that they would have been in the mountains of western VA, WV, eastern KY, eastern TN, western NC & areas like that.
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1
Location: New Joisey
Real Name: Robert English

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see Mario mentions Sir William Johnson repairing rifles for the Iroquois. What year was this?

Something profound and /or funny will be visiting this space soon.
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Loyalist Dave

Joined: 21 Aug 2008
Posts: 294

Real Name: David Woolsey

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PLEASE don't get wrapped around the term "longhunter", and forget the term "hunter". The "Longhunters" were folks who went into the Ohio Valley, the Kan-tuc-kee lands, for extended periods, up to a full year, to harvest hides for leather. It's a very specific group of men, mostly from Virginia (iirc).

Morgan in Kaskaskia, in the Illinois country (ca. 1760) employed "hunters" who carried rifles, to hunt both for hides, AND for meat. His inventories and records show that his hunters had the choice between rifles and smooth bore fusils; the vast majority chose rifles. Some of his men left his employ, and went hunting for hides on thier own.

Army posts regularly employed "post hunters" who hunted meat for the outpost.

Cresap and Smith formed the first two Maryland Rifle Companies of the AWI, from men from what is now Allegany County, Maryland. These men were "hunters" as well as some farmers, but few if any were "longhunters".

"Yesterday the Company were supplied with a small Quantity of Powder from the Magazine, which wanted airing, and was not in good Order for Rifles; in the Evening, however, they were drawn out, to shew the Gentlemen of the Town their Dexterity in shooting; a Clapboard with a Mark the Size of a Dollar, was put up; they began to fire off hand, and the Bystanders were surprized, few Shot being made that were not close to or in the Paper; when they shot for a Time in this Way, some lay on their Backs, some on their Breast or Side, others ran 20 or 30 Steps and firing, appeared to be equally certain of their Mark - With this Performance the Company were more than satisfied, when a young Man took up the Board in his hand, not by the End but the Side, and holding it up, his Brother walked to the Distance and very coolly shot into the white; laying down his Rifle, he took the Board, and holding as it was held before, the second Brother shot as the former had done. - By this exercise I was more astonished then pleased. But will you believe me when I tell you that one of the Men took the Board and placing it between his Legs, stood with his Back to the Tree, while another drove the center.

- Taken from a letter from Fredericktown, Maryland, Aug.1st as published in the Pennsylvania Gazette 16 August 1775.

"I have had the happiness of seeing Captain Michael Cresap marching at the head of a formidable company of upwards of one hundred and thirty men, from the mountains and backwoods, painted like Indians, armed with tomahawks and rifles, dressed in hunting shirts and moccasins,"
- Extract From A Letter to a Gentleman in Philadelphia, 1775.


It's not what you think you know; It's what you can prove
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Ranger Boyd

Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Posts: 3

Real Name: John Patterson

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:22 am    Post subject: German-settled Carlisle? Reply with quote

Just a quick clarification: While Lancaster and points east were indeed heavily German settled in the 1750-60s, Carlisle and the western frontiers of the Cumberland Valley were overwhelmingly Scots-Irish. The leading gunsmith in Carlisle by the Revolution was Thomas Butler, whose 5 sons were all officers in the Continental Line.
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Joined: 28 Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Hudson Valley, New York / North Carolina
Real Name: Jamie McSpedon

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:27 am    Post subject: Rifle carriers Reply with quote

Despite the wide opinion, especially New York etc.. in the 1750" & 60's as you framed your question, many men owned & carried rifles or smooth bore. This was the period of the French & Indian war. Many battles were fought in NY
& the surrounding area. The "frontier" was in western Pennsylvania at the time, with the majority of western NY inhabited by the Seneca Nation. Many Mohawks were employed by the French & there were many attacks on lone homesteads while the men were conscripted by the British in militias. For self protection, home & family protection, anyone who could afford a musket would own one, carrying them into the fields to farm. The threat was real & ever present. There were also gun makers in other areas than the famous ones. Many guns were unsigned, & no examples exist. One, The Hudson Fowler, is a prime example. A purely New York gun. There is so much deeper a history than those on the surface, & one should read & research as much as possible, especially the obscure. The world was very diverse, and not a "Colonial Williamsburg".

You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 67
Location: Oyo
Real Name: Doc Shaffer

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found Mario's post about the Sir William's papers showing that he was repairing rifles for the Iroquois, but not that he ever ordered any for them.

According to Zeisberger both the Delaware and Shawnee had a preference for rifle's and should be added to the list here. In James Smith's journal, he mentions his Indian brother Tontileaugo as having a rifle. I think he was a Caughnewago, of the Mohawks?

Rifled guns start showing up on the trade lists for Indians in 1761 (Ft. Pitt).

Doc Shaffer
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 560
Location: Mohawk Valley, NY
Real Name: Mario Doreste

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


In "Account of losses sustained by the Oneidas & Tuscaroras, in consequence of their attachment to the Untied States in the Late War" (transcribed by Anthony Wonderley, Oneida Nation Historian, 1998), the Oneidas claim loss of a fair amount of rifles (avg. 3 each).

Still nothing about SWJ ordering/distributing them.


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