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BICKNELL MUSKET

John Francis Bicknell II of Rangeley, Maine writes, "I have for about thirty years been interested in collecting antique firearms and in doing some research found that there was a Thomas Bicknell from Providence, Rhode Island that had a 1798 contract with the Federal Government to produce 2000 Flintlock muskets at $13.40 an arm. Would this be the black-smith Thomas born in Attleboro (Mass) 2/19/1749, died 1815? Zachary╣, John▓, Thomas, Japhet, Thomas, Up until last fall not one musket had ever turned up. One of our arms collectors found one in Connecticut & notified me of it. He still has it & I hope to get a photo." A check of the records show two Thomas Bicknells possibly residing in the Providence area about that time: (Ref:B35) Thomas (#186) b. 11 Feb 1746, son of Joshua & Hannah (Lyon) Bicknell of Barrington, RI, of whom nothing more is known; (Ref:B47) Thomas (#88) b. 19 Feb 1749, son of Japhet & Martha (Metcalf) Bicknell. Because the latter Thomas’ father & grandfather were both blacksmith, it is not unreasonable to assume that Thomas (#88) followed that trade also and thus would be the logical probability for being our musket-maker as John had surmised.