Native Americans coveted guns as trade items even though they continued to use traditional methods to hunt and fight. Although guns required additional trades for powder and shot, Indians desired them as status objects. Their access to guns, at first, was highly restricted by the French government, but French smugglers as well as Dutch and British traders frequently undermined their efforts. This fascinating trade gun has white wampum beads set into the maple stock. The owner of this sporting style of musket probably added the decoration. There are small and large crosses on both sides of the stock and a beaded series in linear fashion along the underside of the butt stock. The musket was recovered from the shipwreck of a 1690 military campaign from Boston. At least two Indians are known to have been on board as part of the expedition.
Date: circa 1625 - 1650