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Black, William
Place Made:
Mecklenburg County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
curly maple –brass –silver –iron
LOA 61-3/8″; .36 caliber; barrel LOA: 45-1/4″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION; Longrifle with English-type lock; engraved 1813 on the brass lockbolt sideplate and W.B. on the brass patchbox; the patchbox and finial are highly engraved; having decorative brass flanges at trigger guard extensions, the toeplate and on the rear ramrod pipe; having five silver barrel wedges and four “double” ramrod pipes on the forestock. The barrel wedges are silver-headed, fitted through silver engraved escutcheons on the left side with silver false wedges on the opposite side. Having decorative Rococo floral relief carving on the left side of the stock, around the forestock and barrel tang.

MAKER: Known at the time of his book’s publication as “WB,” John Bivins considered William Black (1785-1827) to be among the greatest gun makers in Piedmont North Carolina. Black was born in Mecklenburg County among its Scotch-Irish community. On 26 January 1807, he married his cousin Amelia Black (d. 1837), cementing the ties among the Black family of gunsmiths that included John Black (1763-after 1838) and Samuel Black (d. 1831). William and Amelia lived along McAlpine Creek in Mecklenburg County, and an 1821 deed selling 87 acres positively identifies him as “William Black, gunsmith.”

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund