Henry Presentation Rifle

Description
Physical Description
Henry Rifle, serial number 6, .44 caliber, forged steel, wooden stock, engraved gold mounting with floral design and “Lincoln/ President/U.S.A." on right side. Top of barrel is stamped “Henry’s Patent Oct. 16, 1860/Manufactured New Haven Arms Company New Haven, Ct.”
Specific History
This gold-mounted, engraved Henry rifle was presented to Abraham Lincoln in an effort to obtain his influence in their purchase for the war effort. This rifle was awarded the National Rifle Association Collectors Society Gold Medal as an outstanding historical firearm.
General History
The Henry, the first practical, lever action, repeating rifle, is the immediate forerunner of the famous Winchester rifles. About 14,000 were made between 1860 and 1866 by the New Haven Arms Company. Only about 1,731 Henry rifles were purchased by the Ordnance Department between 1862 and 1865. A number of units in the West purchased them at their own expense. It was especially popular in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana. The 1st Maine and 1st District of Columbia cavalry regiments are known to have been issued Henry rifles. Said one confederate soldier, “It’s a rifle you could load on Sunday and shoot all week long.”
date made
1862
recipient
Lincoln, Abraham
maker
New Haven Arms Company
Place Made
United States: Connecticut, New Haven
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
gold (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 8 in x 43 1/2 in x 1 1/4 in; 20.32 cm x 110.49 cm x 3.175 cm
ID Number
AF.67880M
catalog number
67880M
accession number
246404
serial number
6
Credit Line
Robert Lincoln Beckwith
subject
Presidents
Firearms
related event
Civil War
Civil War and Reconstruction
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
National Treasures exhibit
Military
ThinkFinity
Exhibition
"The Price of Freedom"
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Comments

"I saw this Henry in the Museum of American History in Washington in 1989. My recollection of the exhibit indicated that the rifle was actually presented to President Lincoln by Oliver Winchester. Lincoln fired the gun on the Whitehouse lawn. To this day, it was most memorable part of my trip!"

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