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Lot 2396
Brigadier - General of the Texan Army, Thomas Jefferson Green, born in North Carolina in 1801, moved to Texas in 1836. Santa Anna was in Green's custody in the 1830's. In 1843 the situation was reversed when Green was a member of an invasion of Mexico by 304 Texans, resulting in the battle of Mier on December 25th, 1842, where they were vastly outnumbered and "after killing three times their number, were induced to surrender by false claims and falser promises. Green protested against the surrender and called for 100 men to cut their way through the enemies lines, but these were not found. Some of the prisoners escaped at Salado, but were recaptured, and the whole lodged in the castle of Perote. Every tenth man was shot by order of Santa Anna, and on the night of July 2nd, 1843, ten of the remainder escaped from Perote by cutting their way through a wall of volcanic rock 8' thick. Eight of these, including General Green, got back to Texas after incredible hardships." (Anonymous citation) Antiquarian William Guthman owned this rifle at one time, and wrote a two piece story of this rifle and General Green for a magazine (copy and original text included). General Green also wrote and published the book JOURNAL OF THE TEXIAN EXPEDITION AGAINST MIER, Harper Brothers, New York, 1845 (copy included). Mr. Guthman relates that in this journal, Green makes references to Texans and their rifles, and it is obvious he is referring to this particular rifle of his with quotes such as "never touch his double trigger until his double sights are right". This double rifle has gold Texas star on right side of butt engraved "Gen. Tho. Green" "Texas". It is a percussion breechloading double with gold rectangle on barrel engraved "S. DAY's PATENT N.Y." (Silas Day working in New York City 1831-1840, who patented a breech loading firearm in 1837). This breechloading system is similar to the system used in breechloading cannon in the 16th century with removable "thunder mugs" holding powder charges which could be inserted from the breech behind a breechloaded ball. In Day's patent small individual cartridges with percussion nipples could be individually loaded and a large number of them carried in your pocket. Once fired the empty cartridge was removed and replaced by a fresh one, and Green at times referred to his rifle as a "repeater". His rifle with 35-3/4" barrels has only the right barrel actually rifled, and the left barrel is smoothbore. The two breech cartridges present differ from right to left with the right being considerably shorter, possibly to avoid mix-up in handling, or an attempt to improve accuracy of the rifled barrel with lower powder charge. The top rib and tops of barrels are nicely scroll engraved, and each barrel is individually sighted with small V-notch rear and elongated gold bead fronts. In place of the unnecessary ramrod, there is a 34" sliding triangular bayonet. The breech section is configured so that the individual cartridges are rotated either right or left into a slot in action, similar to a modern day bolt. Top tang has large fan-shaped wide spur which prevents cartridges from falling on the ground while being removed, and also serves as a pressure point to brace ones hand possibly when bayonet is in use. Peninsula back spring locks are fitted with serpentine flat faced hammers having stylized dolphin heads. Locks are also nicely scroll engraved and accented with game birds on left lock (smooth bore side) and a stag on right lock (rifle side). Trigger for rifle barrel is "set". Stocks are of crotch figured American walnut and are iron mounted with shallow crescent buttplate, also scroll engraved. Right side of butt has cheekpiece with inlaid gold heraldic eagle. Right side of butt has aforementioned Texas star with Green's name engraved. CONDITION: Good, obviously well used, but cared for. All metal parts are a relatively smooth dark brown patina. Wood retains most of its original french polish finish. Well cut closely spaced checkering is worn and gummed. Rifle bore is fine with strong rifling throughout and some scattered pits, smooth bore is very fine with one or two pits. Locks are good, hammers a bit loose. Right wing tip and feet of gold eagle are missing. Star has a minor dent on one point. The book has been rebound with remnants of spine conserved, appears to be complete, and is generally good. Also included is the original text and photographs for the Guthman article, along with some other photographs and correspondence including a photocopy of some pages of "The Prisoners of Perote" by William Preston Stapp, another member of the party that escaped with Green. A unique rifle with wonderful Texas association, which deserves to be in one of the finest collections or museum. MGM 75. Barrel Length: 35 - 3/4"Caliber/Bore: FFL Status: AntiqueManufacturer: DayModel: SXS riflePaperwork: Guthman article, Guthman preliminary work, Goldman article, copy of Texan Expedition Against Mier"Serial Number: NSN

Starting Bid

$13,000

Buyer's Premium

  • 28%

(A) AN INCREDIBLE PIECE OF TEXAS HISTORY, GENERAL

Estimate $25,000 - $35,000
3d
17h
18m
40s
$13,0000 bids
Secure
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