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Flintlock pistol belonging to Captain Francis Williams Deane

Date: c 1840
Dimensions:
Overall: 52 x 305 x 130 mm, 0.8 kg
Medium: Steel, brass, wood, leather, flint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Maurice Deane
Classification:Armament
Object Name: Pistol
Object No: 00008294
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Description
    This flintlock pistol was manufactured by J Harding, a gunsmith active in London between 1815 and 1840. It was owned by Francis W. Deane, an American sailor who travelled between the gold rushes in California and Victoria in the mid-nineteenth century.
    SignificanceThis pistol is evidence of the strong maritime links between Australia and the United States during the gold-rush era.
    HistoryGold was discovered in California in 1848 and in Victoria in 1851. Over the next fifty years, prospectors travelled between Australia and America to find their fortunes.

    Francis Williams Deane was born around 1820 in Raynham, Massachusetts, USA. He made several trips between the USA and Australia as a pilot or Captain. Deane arrived in Sydney in November 1848 as master of the Bark Milwood of New Bedford, before joining the 'forty-niners' on the Yuma diggings in Arizona. Deane is said 'said to have left America a pier.. jump ahead of the San Francisco Vigilantes' when moving permanently to Victoria a few years later.

    Deane was naturalised in Williamstown, Victoria in 1854. On his naturalization certificate he was described as 'a master mariner who arrived from the US on board the MARY & ELLEN and who intends to purchase land and establish himself in the said colony'. In 1868 Deane married Thirza Haskell, 'daughter of George Haskell, pioneer post-master at Melbourne'.

    According to a local historian, 'Captain Deane called his home 'Yosemite'… it was his habit to ride round the streets of Williamstown on a small skewbald pony, complete with Mexican saddle and savagely rowelled spurs. A heaving line [lasso] was coiled on the pommel like a lariat, and jammed on the head of the pilot would be his shiny stovepipe hat'.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Flintlock Pistol

    Assigned title: Flintlock pistol belonging to Captain Francis Williams Deane

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