Eli Whitney, Jr. (Manufacturer)
When young Eli Whitney, Jr. took over management of the Armory in 1842,
he set about tooling up under his new contract from the U.S. government
for making the model 1841 percussion rifle. Machinery and fixtures for
making the 1822 contract flintlock musket had to be retooled or replaced
in order to produce the lock and barrel of the new model. Whitney, Jr.
had the good sense to hire Thomas Warner as foreman, who, as master armorer
at Springfield Armory, had just been making the same kind of major changes
there. Thomas Warner had spearheaded the drive to equip the Springfield
Armory with a set of new, more precise machines and a system of gauging
that made it possible for the first time to achieve, in the late 1840's,
the long-desired goal of interchangeability of parts in military small
arms. Under his tutelage, Eli Whitney, Jr. equipped the Whitney Armory
to do likewise.
Dimensions / Weight
Dimensions: 7" H x 50" W x 2.75" D
M1841 Mississippi rifle, .54 caliber.
This gun derives it's nickname of the Mississippi rifle from the Mississippi
Riflemen led by Jefferson Davis. The Mexican-American War began in 1846.
Davis looked favorably upon the war as the United States stood to acquire
a considerable land south of the Missouri Compromise line. It was an area
which Southern institutions could expand. He resigned his House seat in
June, and rejoined the Army. On 18 July 1846 he was elected colonel of
the first regiment of Mississippi riflemen. In September of the same year,
he participated in the successful siege of Monterrey, Mexico. In June,
the Army offered him an appointment as a Brigadier General of a militia
unit but he declined. In traditional Southern style he believed the appointment
was unconstitutional. The United States Constitution, he argued, gives
the power of appointing militia officers to the states, not to the federal
Rifle shown shows alterion to percussion by COLT