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Powder Horn from the French and Indian War


Powder Horn, 1754-1763
American; French and Indian War Period
Horn and wood; 10.25” L
Gift of Mrs. H. Merritt Adamson
6367 This engraved powder horn was carried by a soldier of the French and Indian War. The horn would have been filled with powder used to fire a musket. Powder horns were usually engraved with their owner’s name and a variety of other personalized and meaningful texts and images. The engravings were either made by the owner or were taken to professional engravers; this particular horn was executed by the soldier who carried it. The engraved lines were filled to clarify and accentuate the designs and this original brown and red tinting is retained within this object’s lines. The horn depicts a pictorial map. At the top a full sailed ship floats in a body of water that eventually tapers into a river. Five forts are engraved throughout the map as well as two tall pine trees, a small lake containing two islands and winding rivers, probably representing the Hudson and Mohawk. The main decorative element is a heraldic shield featuring the British lion and unicorn. Below the shield are the initials F.N.P., to the right the initials S.F. and above the shield is a fort (perpendicularly orientated) flying the British flag. The engraved “OSAWEGO” (incorrectly spelled with a letter “a”) refers to the British fort established first as a trading post in 1722 and increasingly enlarged and fortified with thick walls and bastions. The fort was captured and destroyed by 5000 French and Native American soldiers on August 14, 1755. Old Fort Ontario is presently located on the U.S. Military Reservation at Oswego.
All text and images under copyright. Please contact Collection Department for permission to use.
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