I ran across this information by accident while looking for something else:
"On Thursday, 20 June, [ed. note: 1833] the Indians were shown the famous arsenal in White Street. The great cannon, mortars and shells, on the first floor, filled them with astonishment and awe, in spite of their philosophical indifference. On visitiug the second floor, their countenances were seen to enliven. The sight of 10,000 stand of small arms, all as bright as polishing could make them, with all the bayonets fixed, was evidently more agreeable to them than the great unwieldy cannon below. Their admiration was greatly heightened on being shown the operation of Mr. Hidden's new patent artillery lock. It had been fitted for the occasion, on the beautiful brass 3 pounder, which Gov. Tompkins gave the state in 1814. This gun being placed in the yard, and charged with a blank cartridge, Gen. Arcularius, of the arsenal, drew the string attached to the lock, and the discharge was instantaneous. Here again they could not conceal their astonishment, which was much raised by the mysterious operation of the lock. The cannon being again charged, Black-hawk was invited to pull the string and discharge it; but he declined from timidity, and all the rest followed his example. At length the Prophet stepped forward, with a great air of resolution, and discharged it. The report startled him » little ; but the moment after, finding himself unharmed, he laughed heartily. Then all the rest ventured to discharge it. When Mr. Hidden showed them the fulminating wafer, upon which his lock acts, "the vacant seriousness and gravity," says one present, " with which they returned it, as a matter quite too profound for their comprehension, was irresistibly comic." "
Source: Drake, Samuel Gardner, Biography and history of the Indians of North America, J. Drake, Boston, 1834
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