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NEW ITEM !!    
Vanishing French Heritage  by Jesse Francis

    Colonial French presence in North America lasted roughly 150 years and extended from Canada through the interior waterways to New Orleans. The homes and out buildings the French colonists built in these far-different climates shared similarities in style but varied in dimensions inside and out to better suit local weather patterns.

    This book describes the basic Norman style of construction techniques found in these buildings and how the "post-on-earth" vertical log structure came to be. There are photos of early French buildings in the Illinois Country, most from the town of Ste. Genevieve, MO, along with many line art illustrations and architectural renderings showing how these structures were made.

    While some of the homes shown in great detail are now museums open to the public, some homes remain private dwellings and can only be seen from the street. What's remarkable is that these homes remain in use as residences after more than 200 years continuous occupation!

    If you want to read about this fascinating type of home or even build your own "poteaux-en-terre" log home, this richly-illustrated book is a graphic must read!   MB-041   $25.00

The Ferguson Rifle: Could Have Changed the American Revolution by Tim Jarvisr

    A concise description and history of the rifle and its inventor, this 117-page book tells the story of one of the little-known innovations in the development of the breechloader rifle. Whoever thinks of a breech loading flintlock rifle? And yet, there it was, in the hands of a small company of British riflemen lead by Captain Patrick Ferguson. In 1776 while in England, Captain Ferguson demonstrated his improved rifle at the Royal Military Academy by shooting and hitting a target 200 yards distant at a rate of four times a minute. When word was spread about this amazing feat, he was summoned to demonstrate his rifle for King George III. While King George may have been impressed with the speed and accuracy of this innovative rifle, the War Office thought otherwise: the Ferguson cost four times as much as the Brown Bess to produce and it took the best gun makers six months to make 100 of these rifles while in the same time, they could produce 3,000 Brown Bess muskets.

     In 1777 Ferguson was given a small company of 100 men and sent to New York to serve under General Howe in the hunt for George Washington and his rebel force. In the only known engagement where the Ferguson Rifle was used, the Battle of Brandywine Creek, the men and their rifles were very effective. Fortunately for Washington, Captain Ferguson was wounded and sent back to England to recuperate. He did not return until 1780 and by this time his old company had been disbanded and his innovative rifles put into storage. He returned to America as a major and was given a new command in the southern campaign under General Cornwallis. His rifles, however, were not re-issued to this new command. On October 7, 1780, at the Battle of Kings Mountain in North Carolina, Major Patrick Ferguson was killed and his innovative rifle fell into relative obscurity.

    To this day, only two of the original 200 Ferguson Rifles made are known to exist. Mr. Jarvis has one of the few reproduction Ferguson Rifles made and gives the reader a good account of how it is loaded and fired. This book provides the reader with a great amount of detail in a concise format. The Appendices at the end of the book provide even more good information.

    One unanswered question in the book: What happened to those other 198 Ferguson Rifles that were put into storage following the battle at Brandywine Creek? The British won that battle, forcing Washington to flee Philadelphia in September 1777. The rifles were considered expensive and too complicated for the regular troops to use. Could it be they were packed away in some forgotten warehouse in New York….where they await re-discovery?    MB-002   $15.00


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