Flintlock Rifle

Flintlock Rifle

Artist: Attributed to gunsmith Wiley Higgins
Type: .50 Caliber, Walnut stock, steel barrel and lock, gold mounts
Year:
Size/Dimensions: Length: 59.5"
Origin: Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council Purchase
Accession Number:

This presentation rifle made for the first governor of the State of Arkansas, James Sevier Conway. The rifle celebrates Arkansas's statehood as well as Conway's Masonic connections, and his surveyor past. There are 24 gold stars at the muzzle and a large gold star at the breech representing Arkansas as the 25th state to enter the union. The gun includes a compass in the stock cheek, a surveyors rule in the slide at the toe, and all screw heads are engraved with lines of longitude and latitude, which depict a globe. The rear sight is hidden (because he was a Mason) and "Alla" is engraved where a rear sight normally would appear. There is also a Masonic eye at the heal. Three beavers engraved in the gun since the Conway family were fur traders and Arkansas's leading crop was beaver pelts. The barrel reads "Conway Manchester". The locks are made by Manton. There is a secret lock for the patchbox which contained paper cartridges. There is a spare caplock (percussion) that is mounted to a piece of wood. "Conway" is written in script on both locks. The stock is walnut with an ebony ramrod. The earlier lock might indicate the gun was made around 1825 when Conway was surveying in Arkansas Territory.

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Flintlock Rifle