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Image - musket
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Queens County Heritage
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Nom de l'objet : musket
Catégorie de l'objet : Tools & Equipment for Science & Technology
Sous-catégorie de l'objet : Armament-Firearm
Matériaux : hardwood with steel and brass
Numéro d'accession : 1967.25
Fabricant : David Splittgerbers sel Erben
Pays d'origine : Prussia
Culture : Prussian
Date de début de production : 1740
Date de fin de production : 1773
Commentaires : The military conflict that erupted in the spring of 1775 at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts was not only a war for independence by rebellious British colonies. It was a nasty civil war pitting neighbour against neighbour and breaking families apart. It was also the central feature of a world war which embroiled the American colonies as pawns in long-standing European geo-political and military intrigue. With upwards of 30% of the American population claiming Loyalist sympathies, it was natural for the conflict to extend to the civilian population. On both sides, the ransacking, destruction and confiscation of personal property were common; the practice known as tarring and feathering was rarer. As colonists drew lines between ?us? and ?them?, remaining neutral was impossible. In an effort to suppress the rebellion, Britain supplemented its regular forces with Hessian troops from Germany and Loyalist regiments such as DeLancey?s Brigade. The musket featured here is known as a Potsdam musket, named for the location outside of Berlin where it was made. The muskets were widely used by the Prussians and soldiers of the various German principalities of the 18th century. The lock plate is engraved POTSDAMMAGAZ and DSE, for David Splitgerbers sel Erben, the maker and a company involved in the Prussian royal arsenal. The brass fittings are distintive and make for an attractive weapon. An earlier version of the musket had been made between 1723 and 1740. In 1740, Frederick William (Frederick the Great) came to the throne of Prussia. He greatly expanded the Prussian army and shortened the barrel of the muskets to make them lighter and easier for smaller soldiers to use. From 1740 onward, the musket bore the crowned royal cypher, FR, in a brass thumbplate on the butt. For our model, the original flint lock mechanism was altered in the 19th century to the more modern percussion cap and one of the brass fittings around the ramrod is missing, but otherwise the musket comes down to us intact. It was probably used by the Hessian troops hired by George III to fight against the American rebels. As France, Spain, the Netherlands and others lined up with the Patriots against the British, the King went looking for allies. With the Royal Family?s German connections, naturally central Europe was an obvious choice when looking for soldiers-for-hire. The Hessians were one of Europe?s most feared fighting forces ? rough, fearless and with a reputation for cruelty. The Hessians regiments were primarily made up of the poor and criminals whose only pay was often their food and shelter. At one point during the war, Hessian troops made up one quarter of the British fighting force. Following the war, many deserted and stayed in the United States and Canada.
Hauteur : 143.5
Largeur : 11.5
Unité de mesure linéaire : cm
Étiquette ou poinçon : on lock plate, POTSDAMMAGAZ / DSE
Établissement : Queens County Heritage
Ville de l'établissement : Gagetown
Province de l'établissement : New Brunswick
Site web de l'établissement :   Facebook-Queens County Heritage  Twitter-Queens County Heritage 

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