Henry Presentation Rifle

Henry Presentation Rifle

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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.”
Object Name
date made
Lincoln, Abraham
New Haven Arms Company
Place Made
United States: Connecticut, New Haven
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
gold (overall material)
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
catalog number
accession number
serial number
Credit Line
Robert Lincoln Beckwith
Civil War
Civil War and Reconstruction
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
National Treasures exhibit
Price of Freedom
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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"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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