A group of expert contemporary gunmakers visited the Museum of the Fur Trade last week to take measurements of ah historic gun that belonged to one of the key Indian leaders in the War of 1812.
Four men, Larry Spisak of Morgantown, W. V., Ed Rayl of Gassaway, W. V., Mark Sage of Grand Rapids, Minn., and David Wright of Gallatin, Tenn. are planning to construct an exact replica of a gun in the museum’s collection that belonged to Shawnee Chief Tecumseh.
During the War of 1812, Tecumseh was given the rank of general by the British, who recruited over 10,000 Indians as auxiliary troops for the British Army.
The British government purchased over 25,000 special guns for Indian allies during the four-year war.
Tecumseh traded his for a Kentucky rifle just days before he was killed at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario. After his death, the Indian Confederation disintegrated. 2012 marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812, which was fought over the impressment of sailors on the high seas, and control of the fur trade on the western frontier. The conflict essentially ended in a draw, with British armies burning the US national capital, but being defeated at Baltimore and New Orleans.
Each of the four member-team has a specific task in the project. Spisak will do the actual fabrication of the gun. Rayl will make the barrel. and Sage and Wright will record the process in words and pictures.
The replica of Tecumseh’s gun will be auctioned on Aug. 18, 2012 to raise money for the Contemporary Longrifle Association and Foundation.