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Frederick Humphry/1776 Engraved Powder Horn

12" length, engrailed edge and a double raised ring. Engraved with Fredrick Humphry junr. His Horn Made at Mount Independent Novembery AD 1776, Ticonder and Mountindepedent. Original wood plug with iron D-shaped ring in plug.

Other engravings on the horn include a pine tree, a flowering plant and the shores of the lower end of Lake Champlain. On one shore is the label for Ticonderoga; the opposite shore shows "Mountindependent." The borders probably represent the lake shore as far as Humphrey's eye could see from the hill (at that time cleared of tree cover). On the Independence side are the horseshoe-shaped battery with the saw-tooth battery nearer on the shore and possibly one of the workshops.

Following the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen in May 1775, the Americans began construction of a second fortification opposite Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain to secure the strategic approaches to Albany in the event of a British foray from Canada. Built in 1775-76, Mount Independence was designed by Chief Engineer, Colonel Jeduthan Baldwin as an all wooden star fort with extensive shore batteries overlooking the lake. Several thousand New England militiamen were employed in constructing and garrisoning the fort.

The partially completed work was formally christened "Mount Independence" on July 28, 1776 in the wake of news proclaiming the Declaration of Independence. In late October 1776, a British amphibious force under Sir Guy Carlton appeared off Three Mile Point, but "the formidable appearance of the two forts with flags flying and artillery conspicuously displayed" compelled the British to withdraw. Frederick Humphrey carved this horn shortly after that encounter. The next year both forts manned by an under-strength garrison commanded by Arthur St. Clair were evacuated on July 6, 1777 after a brief siege by John Burgoyne with 10,000 British regulars and Hessians. Following Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga in October 1777, the British quickly found the forts to be untenable, evacuated the garrison and burned Mount Independence.

Frederick Humphrey (1753-1821) had joined the Simsbury Company of Militia that formed part of Colonel Samuel McClellan's Regiment, Connecticut Militia. A brother, John Humphrey, commanded the company in which several other Humphrey brothers served. Sold with a small file of Humphrey family genealogy tracing present day Humphrey descendants to Iowa.

Condition:Horn has been lightly cleaned many years ago and has begun to naturally age with a yellow patina. Very nice condition and Mount Independent horns are very scarce.

Estimate: $5,000 - $8,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$11,500
10/29/2010

 

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