One of my primary goals in researching this piece was to find out what founder cast it, since the founder's name is not marked on the gun.
Today I got some unexpected help from another researcher who had made notes while reading through the correspondence the Secretary of War, contained in National Archives record group 107.
As background, many months back I looked through some of the records of Paul Revere's cannon casting business, to see if the cannon could have been cast by Revere and Sons. The Revere Family Papers are extensive, and in a couple of days at a microfilm reader, I couldn't get through much of them, but I did go through those whose written descriptions sounded mostly likely to contain useful information. I couldn't find records that I thought could link my cannon to Revere, so I gave up on that avenue of inquiry.
I've had to shift gears again based on the new information. What the researcher sent me was this:
RG 107, Microfilm reel 6, Secretary of War, Letters Sent
Note: Letters sent are arranged by volumes and page numbers. These are bound volumes containing the office files of letters sent.
SW to Jacob Eustis, 9 March 1812
"You are requested to contact with Paul Revere & Sons to have cast at their foundry at Staghton [sp.?] twelve pair [pieces?] of brass six pounder cannon, six pair [pieces?] of brass twelve pounder cannon, the six pounders to weigh not less than six hundred, nor more than six hundred and a quarter: the twelve pounders not less than twelve hundred nor more than twelve hundred and a half. at fifty cents per pound according to a model which will be transmitted from this department, the surface within and without to be smooth [to be inspected and proved -- 1/2 to be delivered in April, the other half in May."
SW to Jacob Eustis, 7 May 1812
[Revere has requested and recd permission to raise weight of 6-pdr guns. "This must on no account exceed 650 lbs." [Proof to be 4, 3, and 2 lbs of powder for 1, 2, and 3rd trials, shot and two wads each time]
This answers a big question I had, as to what founder was contracted to cast "brass" cannons in March 1812. The March 1812 contract date, as one of the last brass cannon contracts awarded prior to 1835, was mentioned by Birkhimer, who did not supply any other information.
This information also brings back the possibility that my cannon was cast by Revere, especially since a weight limit of 650 lbs. was mentioned. Mine weighs 653 lbs., which would probably have been within the tolerance allowed when a maximum weight of 650 lbs. was specified.
Several Revere-cast brass guns are known, and others are suspected Revere products; none bear any maker's markings. The Revere identity was arrived at by comparing contract and delivery information with surviving specimens, such as with the four small field guns belonging to the Newport Artillery Company.
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