A 1776 reference to a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

The following June 30, 1775 resolution from Volume 6 of the "Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the Province of Pennsylvania" enjoins Bedford county to make 100 "...good new Firelocks, with Bayonets fitted to them, Cartridge Boxes, with Twenty-three Rounds of Cartridge in every box..."

The following 1776 letter is from the "Pennsylvania Archives" and references a Bedford County, Pennsylvania gunsmith.

The following Committee of Safety decision is recorded in the "American Archives", Series 4, Volume 5.

A related Committee of Safety decision is recorded in the "American Archives", Series 4, Volume 6.

The referenced 1776 Bedford County gunsmith was not John Fraser. The May 25, 1774 minutes of the Virginia House of Burgesses include "A Petition of Jane Fraser, Widow, and Administratrix of the Estate of John Fraser, deceased...", so we know John Fraser was no longer alive in 1776.

The referenced 1776 Bedford County gunsmith seems unlikely to have been John Doddridge, because it is said that John Doddridge moved west in 1773, and John Doddridge is known only as a gun repairer.

This leaves William Jones and Jacob Sayler as the only known candidates to be the 1776 gunsmith. Documentary evidence shows both men repairing firearms during the Revolutionary War. According to a Sayler family tradition recorded in 1899, Jacob Sayler manufactured guns for the use of the Revolutionary Army.

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