Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

A Catalogue of Early Pennsylvania and Other Firearms and Edged Weapons at "Restless Oaks"

Download options:

  • 310.59 KB
  • 526.45 KB
  • 331.32 KB




For years this writer's aim was to visualize the armed Pennsylvanian of earlier days; how he went forth to fight his Indian foe, to slay the bison, moose, elk and smaller game, and on his expeditions to the fields of love: where his firearms and edged weapons originated. To create the living man his arms must be secured, and gradually the present collection was assembled. And he lived again, dark, grim, bearded, the spirit of lofty pines and hemlocks among which he spent his days, always plotting to kill something. Many of the arms, if they could speak, what tales of war, the chase, and love adventure they could tell! The Pennsylvania woodsman was filled with the romance of slaughter, a heritage of mingled Continental origins, Huguenot, Spanish, Portuguese, Swiss, Waldensian, Levantine, with the strains of Ulster Scot, Alsatian, Palatine, Hollander and Moravian, cooling cross currents in his veins. No wonder that the women of this blended race were the most darkly beautiful in the world, and a group of the curious edged weapons they carried to destroy men who annoyed them might well be the subject of another separate collection. But the arms stacked in silent panoply, or the daggers, dirks and powder flasks, would not suffice to give the collection the answer to the questions it involved. Along with a group of daring Alpinists to "Restless Oaks" came H. Beam Piper, of Altoona, Pa., a modern master-of-arms, who patiently set to work to describe the collection from its oldest to its newest examples. As the results of his intelligent energy and research the following catalogue has been prepared which gives us the skeleton figure of the armed Pennsylvania mountain man, from the frontier days until later and more prosaic times ensued. While many of the arms listed are in imperfect condition and some of the more important ones are lacking, they give the idea of his times. Other pieces of later periods, and a few of foreign use, are included for purposes of comparison. To these are added Mr. Piper's catalogue of his own collection, all in perfect order, to show similar types of weapons at their best. While, as stated, there are many specimens missing, these vacancies emphasize the wide range of weapons used by the old-time Pennsylvanians. The frequent wars kept bringing new types of arms into the wilderness and new ideas for weapons among the woodsmen themselves, and this was most noteworthy after the Civil War, which was also the end of the grand romantic period of the Pennsylvania wilderness. The mountaineer of Pennsylvania was of martial blood, his ancestors had fought in every state of Continental Europe—and the science of armorer was his birthright. David Lewis, the "Galloping Jack" or highwayman of Central Pennsylvania, used new pistols every year, and weapons which he is said to have carried are as plentiful as Ole Bull's violins. The frontiersmen of British origins always named their favorite rifles "My Friend," "My Brother," "Sure Shot," "Confidence," "Never Fail," "Carry My Wish," "Kill Deer," and "Kill Buck," and cherished them almost as living things....