Tecumseh's Northwest Gun


Tecumseh's Northwest Gun


"During the War of 1812, Tecumseh and his supporters gathered thousands of Indians to the British cause in the West. To assist their allies, the British agreed to supply food, clothing and weapons, including over 25,000 guns. This North West gun was one of those, and was made in Birmingham, England in 1812-13.

"As early as 1808 Tecumseh had formed a friendship with an Ohio settler, Jonathan Walker, whose family had been Loyalists during the Revolution. He was sympathetic, or at least neutral, to the British crown. Tecumseh admired a fine rifle owned by Walker, and they traded guns, Tecumseh also giving some silverwork and other valuable property.

"Tecumseh was killed just days later, on October 5, 1813, at the Battle of the Thames, and his dream of an autonomous Indian nation was ended. The Walker family kept the relics as souvenirs of one of the greatest Indian chiefs, and a martyr to his aspirations.

"The Tecumseh gun was purchased from John Walker, great grandson of Jonathan Walker in 1939 by Benton Kidwell of South Charleston, Ohio. He was familiar with the story of the Tecumseh-Walker friendship and was convinced of the gun’s authenticity. It was a prized part of his collection of early American weapons. Museum founder Charles Hanson heard of its existence and visited Mr. Kidwell several times to examine his collection and the Tecumseh gun. Failing health and financial difficulties induced Mr. Kidwell sell it to the museum in 1954."


Museum of the Fur Trade

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