A Henry Aboard

posted on September 27, 2016
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Michael Ives

This feature appears in the October ‘16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.   

The original layout as it appeared in print. Photo by Michael Ives.

During the American Civil War, any Henry rifle was highly prized. But after the war, these rapid-fire lever-actions continued to be valued on land and at sea.

This Henry rifle, manufactured in 1866, shipped out on the bark S.F. Hersey from Searsport, Maine, to the Far East under the command of Capt. Charles Waterhouse, who had brought his wife, Maria (right), along for the voyage. While in the Pacific, Capt. Waterhouse died aboard his vessel. On the return passage, a mutiny broke out. Maria Waterhouse and some loyal crew members—armed with this Henry rifle, two six-shooters and meat cleavers from the galley—successfully held off the mutineers. 

This historic rifle, along with many others, is part of a special exhibition of Peter Dowd’s firearms collection that is now featured in the National Firearms Museum galleries. 

The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit nramuseums.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email [email protected]

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