Powder horns were used for storing gun powder to refill guns or cartridges. With a cord attached to the ends, soldiers, militiamen, riflemen, and hunters could easily carry the horns over their shoulder while out in the field.
The horns were light-weight, cheap to make and kept the powder dry. Horn is also a non-sparking material that eliminated the risk of igniting the gun powder stored within the horn.
Powder horns were often decorated with engravings, many of which depict maps like the one seen on this powder horn. These maps usually provided a basic geography of an area.
This powder horn shows the Hudson River from New York City to Canada. The powder horn has "NORTH REVER" engraved near the south end of the Hudson which is another name for this segment of the river.
Towns, forts and other significant locations are marked along the river such as Saratoga and Lake George.
The other side of the horn shows a representation of the Mohawk River that is engraved as the "MOOHAWK REVR."
Albany is shown at the fork of the Hudson River and the Mohawk River and as the river heads north to Lake Ontario with "FORT STANWIX," "LAKE ONYDA" and "OSWEGO" engraved along the way.
This powder horn is currently on loan to the park from Rome Historical Society.
Visitors to Fort Stanwix National Monument can view this horn and several others that are currently on exhibit in the Marinus Willett Collections Management and Education Center.
Did You Know?
A baby girl was born at Fort Stanwix on August 22, 1777, the final day of the British siege. To this day we do not know the mother's or daughter's names.