Preserving Amos Chaffee’s Memory

On July 7, 2012 Fort Ticonderoga received a remarkable donation.  For over two centuries the Chaffee family has preserved their ancestor, Amos Chaffee’s, engraved powder horn, musket and walking stick.  Now the family is entrusting the Fort Ticonderoga Association to preserve their family’s Revolutionary War objects for future generations.  Amos Chaffee served at Fort Ticonderoga between mid-January and mid-March 1777 with the Hampshire County Militia.  Raised in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, the militia served as part of the Fort’s garrison guarding the Fort, going on scouts to spy on the British, and working to maintain Ticonderoga’s fortifications and sustain it through a long, cold winter season.

Amos Chaffee's powder horn was made in Woodstock, CT April 8, 1762. It is engraved with a map of the western hemisphere.

Amos Chaffee’s powder horn was made at Woodstock, Connecticut in 1762 and is inscribed with his name and an image of a globe showing a detailed map of the western hemisphere.  His musket, which has seen heavy use, was restocked and used as a militia piece in the early 19th century.  It continued to serve the family well for many years later as it was converted to percussion ignition in the mid-19th century.  The musket’s barrel is 54.5 inches long and is 0.60 caliber.  His 41-inch long walking stick is made of ash using pieces of broken brass candlesticks as its head.

Chaffee's musket saw exensive use for several generations. It was restocked in the early 19th century and later convereted to percussion ignition.

Amos Chaffee was born in Woodstock, Connecticut, August 9, 1744.  He married Anna Brown while living in Stafford, Connecticut about 1769.  By 1770 Amos and his family moved to Wilbraham, Massachusetts.  In August 1775 Amos Chaffee was one of 125 men from Wilbraham who signed a non-importation agreement stating that they would not support Great Britain by buying British-made goods.  In 1778 Chaffee and his family moved back to Stafford, Connecticut where they resided until 1797 when they moved to Athens, Vermont.  In 1806 they moved to Rochester, Vermont where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives.  Amos Chaffee died February 3, 1815 and is buried in North Hollow Cemetery.  Chaffee’s service in the American Revolution and his final resting place were officially honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution, October 3, 1975. (Source, The Chaffee Genealogy, (The Grafton Press, New York) 1909, pp. 121-122)

The walking stick is made of ash and uses parts of broken candlesticks for its head. The "T" shaped piece was inserted in to the top of the stick to form a solid end. It is the ejector piece from a mid-18th century patent candlestick.

Blog post by Christopher D. Fox, Curator, Fort Ticonderoga.

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