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Siege of Boston School Powder Horn for Richard Andrus


Siege of Boston School
Attributed to the Simsbury Carver (w.1775)
10.5” long

The Siege of Boston was the eleven-month period from 19 April 1775 to 17 March 1776 when American militiamen effectively contained British troops within Boston. Roxbury, Cambridge and Prospect Hill were of great strategic importance because of their elevated positions, These areas were occupied, fortifications were begun, and preparations made for maintaining the army of observation in its position.

Richard Andrus (b. 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.

Condition: Two small chips at base of horn refilled.