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New Oxford, Pa. 17350


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Siege of Boston School

Attributed to the Simsbury Carver (w.1775)

10.5” long

The Siege of Boston was the eleven-month period from April ,1775 to March, 1776 when American militiamen effectively contained British troops within Boston. Roxbury, Cambridge and Prospect Hill became areas of  great strategic importance because of their elevated positions.  These areas were occupied, fortifications were begun, and preparations made for maintaining the Colonial army in its position.

Richard Andrus (1750-?), of Simsbury, Connecticut was one of the soldiers of Captain Abel Pettibone’s 7th Company, 2nd Regiment raised in May, 1775  and soon after marched into Roxbury. Detachments of officers and men were engaged at the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17th and the company was adopted as Continental in July.

At the camps in Roxbury, Andrus commissioned this powder horn from an unknown camp carver now referred to as “the Simsbury Carver”. This neatly carved horn has a central name band: RICHARD ANDRUS his/horn Made at Roxbury October 5th: 1775. Under the name band is a single soldier and a group of imaginative palmetto-like designs with deeply incised sections, a motif that appears on all of the horns by this carver. Other geometric designs are featured on the horn. A simple incised border decorates the plug end. The plug is secured by wooden pins and retains traces of dark red pigment.

Horns carved by the Simsbury Carver survive from several other soldiers in Roxbury. Two are in the collection of Historic Deerfield and one is in the Simsbury Historical Society. For a full discussion of this group of horns see, Drums A’Beating, Trumpets Sounding by William Guthman, pp. 169-171.

Richard Andrus was at Roxbury until December 10 when their enlistments were over. He reenlisted on January 1, 1776, and served again in Captain Abel Pettibone’s Company until January 1, 1777. In March 1777, he enlisted as a teamster for three years in Captain Ozias Bingham’s Company, and in 1780 he enlisted yet again in Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Hait’s 2nd Connecticut Regiment.

This horn was documented in the late 19th century by a schoolteacher from New York, Rufus Grider. From 1886 to about 1900, whenever his “school duties allowed,” Grider traveled up and down the Mohawk Valley, with occasional excursions to the Cherry and Schoharie valleys and Lake George and Lake Champlain, in search of historic buildings, battlefields, the sites of ancient forts, the relics of Indians and early settlers, all of which he drew or copied and then arranged – with explanatory notes – on pages of albums. His albums are now housed in the collections of the New York Historical Society.

Condition: Two chips near the butt restored. The end plug was originally painted red.