William and Helen Crawshaw are retired librarians who live in the Town of Saratoga. William or Bill was the head of the reference department at the Crandall Library and a board member of the Glens Falls Lions Club. Helen was the children`s librarian at the Saratoga Spring Public Library. Bill and Helen have been active for many years in the Saratoga County League of Women’s Voters. The Crawshaw’s also operated the well respected “Book in Hand” book shop for 32 years. They had an extensive collection of New York books and donated many of their local books to the Town of Saratoga Historian’s office.
#Onthisday is the first documented use of the term Brown Bess in North America. The American ‘Connecticut Courant’ newspaper issue of April 2, 1771, which was actually reprinted from British papers of earlier that year used the term for a British musket. This reported remarks made by Hannah Snell, famous for having successfully posed as a man and served as a soldier in the British army.
Snell said: ‘…but if you are afraid of the sea, take Brown Bess on your shoulders and march through Germany as I have done.’
This is an imagine of a English Short-Land Musket from The History of Weapons of the American Revolution by George C. Neumann and drawings by George C. Woodbridge was published by Bonanza Books (NY) in 1976 which is part of the Historian’s Crawshaw Historical Book Collection.
The book explains:
English Short-Land Musket
Here is a Brown Bess typical of those issued to many British troops during the 1770s. There are two indications of this modified short-land pattern: the cock tang is now rectangular and enclosed on three sides by the top jaw… and the second rammer pipe is beginning to expand at its forward end…
From the pike to the pistol, the sword to the rifle, George C. Neumann traces the weapons of the Revolutionary War period. Drawing upon his own and numerous public and private collections, the author has assembled far and away the most complete gallery available of polearms, swords, firearms and military accessories. 1200 photographs and a bonus short 500-year evolutionary history of the world’s hand firearms. Neumann assembled what is known as The Neumann Collection of Revolutionary War militaria for Valley Forge NHP so that present and future generations of Americans can gain a better understanding of the lives of those soldiers who were encamped here. This is the largest publicly owned collection of Revolutionary War artifacts known in the world that was designed to create an accurate awareness of the American soldier’s pledge for freedom.
George C. Neumann, (29 March 1926 – 4 April 2014) was born in New Britain, Connecticut. He attended New Britain High School, Wesleyan University, Princeton University and Harvard Business School. On February 5, 1955, he married Diana L. (Martell) Neumann, and together they had two children: Douglas and Bruce. Neumann worked as a New York City based business executive at various companies, including Johnson and Johnson, Canada Dry and Good Humor. He was a noted expert on the subjects of antiques and colonial military accoutrements and authored several books and periodicals on those topics. In 1979 George sold his extensive private collection of Revolutionary War weapons and artifacts to the National Park Service. Neumann was a founding member of the Brigade of the American Revolution and Third New Jersey Regiment historical reenacting organizations. A man of principle, he was dedicated to God, his country, and his family. He served honorably in the United States Navy during World War II. He was committed to the preservation of the history of America with a focused interest on the ideals of the Founding Fathers. He was a stalwart citizen of the community in which he lived and a man whose life was centered around his family and friends.
Crawshaw Historical Book Collection