Author Topic: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area  (Read 6355 times)

Offline CW Smokepole

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Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« on: July 16, 2015, 05:01:23 PM »
Back in my mis-spent youth, I studied and collected Upper Canada (Ontario) percussion rifles. One of my early ones was by J(ames) M(onroe) Jones of Chatham, Canada West. Records were found indicating that JMJ was a negro GunMaker (the only one on record in Canada) and that he had arrived on The Underground Railroad in 1852, and began building upper-shelf rifles. My question then was "who did he apprentice under?" and found no answers. I recently found another of his rifles, and thanks to our Al Gore inventing the Internets, I know now that:-
1. He was born a slave on the Jeffrey Plantation in Wake County, NC (Raleigh area)
2. His father Allen Jones (also a slave) repaired and sold rifles, using some of the proceeds to buy both his family and his father from Mr. Jeffrey (I have a copy of the receipt for his father-cost him $350.00.)
3. JMJ worked in Canada 1852 until he retired in 1892, and moved to Ann Arbor, MI.
My current search is for info and if at all possible, a signed rifle likely showing Wake County characteristics-
I have spoken to Bill Ivey on the subject; he notes multiple "Jones" Gunmakers in the Raleigh area, but no black makers there or anywhere else in NC *edited by Dennis*.
Any and all assistance even SWAGs will be most appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 08:49:47 PM by Dennis Glazener »

Offline JTR

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2015, 05:54:16 PM »
Any and all assistance even SWAGs will be most appreciated.

I didn't know what SWAG means, so I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary  And now I'm not sure if you know what it means either!  

John
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 11:41:44 PM by Dennis Glazener »
John Robbins

Offline Bill-52

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2015, 06:11:41 PM »
John,

I can't keep up with these "shortcuts" either. I looked it up when I saw it used in another post.  I believe in this instance, it's an acronym for "Scientific Wild A## Guess".

But I could easily be wrong......

Bill

Offline smart dog

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2015, 06:35:43 PM »
Hi,
Bill is correct.  Scientific Wild A## Guess it is.  During my scientific career,  I've used it alternatively with "PIOMA", which means "Pulled It Out of My ....  you get the idea.

CW, what a great story.  One question however, if he was freed by his father buying his family, why was he compelled to escape using the underground railroad?  His father must have done a brisk business to be able to pay $350 for a family member in the mid 19th century.

dave
"Flick Lives!"

Offline JTR

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2015, 06:38:36 PM »
Well those certainly sound better than the Urban Dictionary result! Guess I'll just stick with plain English.
John
John Robbins

Offline Don Stith

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2015, 07:48:02 PM »
Must be my age
 Back in the 1940's it was "SillY" WAG instead of Scientific.  That along with FUBAR and several others came out of WWII GI's
lingo.

Offline CW Smokepole

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2015, 01:57:08 AM »
Bill-52 nailed "SWAG".......we used it often on Overseas Construction, along with others like it- equally unacceptable today!
The Jones Story is really something! After Daddy Allen bought his children and father from the Plantation, he moved them up to Ohio. JM attended Oberlin College, and left in 1849 with a BSC. He moved up to what turned into Ontario in 1852, and opened his Gun Shop.
He's considered to be one of the top four Gun Makers in Canada, and two of his pistols and a rifle were presented to Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's Consort) and are today in Queen Elizabeth ll's Collection in London. Both he and his daughter were also skilled engravers, and when the demand for percussion rifles died down, he and his daughter did commercial engraving.
Also a connection to John Brown- When John Brown came up to Canada in 1858 to recruit for his visit to Harpers Ferry, he stayed with JM Jones, and Jones was one of the organizers of the Chatham Convention on 08 May 1858. Jones was invited to join the expedition, but wisely decided to stay up in Canada. There's much more to the story, but not for here-

Offline Bob Pearl

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2015, 12:38:48 PM »
Canada was a safe haven for Confederates. How did you find the underground railroad connection? This is a very interesting piece of history.

Offline CW Smokepole

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2015, 09:02:24 PM »
Bob- I started on Bing, asking for Chatham (Ontario) Black Historical Society.I found them and their Museum. They have much info on J.M. Jones as well as his daughters- They also go deeply into his part regarding The Chatham Convention, when John Brown came up to Canada to both recruit and gather contributions "for the cause"....JMJ is recorded as loaning John Brown $75- no record of repayment found so far.They in turn led me to The George Jeffrey Plantation in the Raleigh Area. A really interesting story there that covers five generations of their Branch of the Jones Family, apparently landing in the US back in 1792 aboard a cruise ship "The Mermaid" sailing out of Gambia, Africa. I believe, based on the lack of a receipt for the cruise that the trip was free. I do have a copy of the receipt for $350 that J..Jones' father Allen paid to The Jeffrey Plantation near Raleigh for his father, though. Father Allen is recorded as both making and repairing rifles after his normal dayshift was completed, being allowed to keep the proceeds, which ultimately bought their freedom.
My interest is primarily J M Jones himself; but now that my question of forty-odd years ago "who taught him Gunmaking?" has been answered, I would consider my part of the story closed only when I could put a rifle by A(llen) Jones from Wake County NC in the rack beside the one of his son's that I recently found. My first JMJ rifle is up in a Calgary Alberta Museum.
Only recently I discovered that Canada's Museum of History has started collecting information and artifacts to build a permanent display featuring JMJ. They are currently attempting to obtain the pair of presentation pistols currently in Windsor Castle in England. Based on my previous always negative encounters with several Canadian Museums, I plan to keep multiple time zones between us!

AGUNCOLLECTOR

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 10:38:03 PM »
CW SMOKEPOLE
 CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A DESCRIPTION OF YOUR JMJ RIFLE(S) AND OR DERRINGER(S)?

Online D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2017, 12:00:09 AM »
CW:  you are on a worthy quest!
I was raised in Canada West, and was intrigued by a small collection of percussion rifles in a display at the University of Western Ontario.  They were by a maker called R.W. Soper, if my memory serves.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline greybeard

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2017, 03:49:13 AM »
I believe that Soper made a presentation grade half stock that is currently in the Queens collection.
   That info is in the Canadian Gunsmiths book .    Bob

AGUNCOLLECTOR

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2017, 04:13:27 AM »
THANX
I AGREE THAT SOPER WAS A GREAT CANADIAN AWARD WINNING GUNSMITH!
AT PRESENT I AM INTERESTED IN LOCATING ANY RIFLES AND DERRINGERS MADE BY JONES, HIS CONTEMPORARY.
I NOTE THAT JAMES JULIA  JUST SOLD  IN APRIL, A JONES DERRINGER AT AUCTION FOR $US17, 250.00 THAT HAS MISSING PARTS.
THANX AGAIN.


Offline CW Smokepole

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 05:49:45 PM »
AGC- Which side of the razor-wire are you on currently?  That pistol of JMJ's that was recently sold......how much trouble would it have been to just file out and polish a chunk of german silver into a key? The two rifles I previously was the custodian of are now back in Kanada- my first one was missing at least a foot of barrel, and is currently in a Calgary Museum as a "Boys Rifle". I do recall two similar pistols turning up for sale in Ontario, but as they were not made in Canada West, were of no great interest to me. The second rifle I found on GunBroker.com sitting down in Gods Waiting Room (FL) it was still in excellent condition when found. Unfortunately, no story explaining how it got to Florida- E me directly, and I'll E you photos of yet another Philo Soper that is at least "gem grade"! It was on the Market recently, and is now up in Calgary-

AGUNCOLLECTOR

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2017, 07:28:30 PM »
CWS
ARE YOU FOR REAL?
YOU MAKE LITTLE SENSE?
CAN'T TELL IF YOUR A FRIEND OR FOE OF JMJ!

Online D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2017, 08:04:21 PM »
Mr. Collector:  I fear I may have side-tracked your thread a bit.  Your inquiry refers to a specific CW gunmaker...I was simply and hopefully adding to the interest of your thread by mentioning another renowned maker from the same region.  My apologies.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

AGUNCOLLECTOR

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2017, 08:22:20 PM »
DTS
Thanx....no problem.
I just expected more from CTS...THAN HIS RAMBLING.

Offline Ky-Flinter

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Re: Canada West Rifle With Tarheel Roots- Raleigh NC Area
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2017, 11:25:16 PM »
Mr. GunCollector,

First, welcome to ALR.  I am one of the moderators of this website.  I have moved your replies and question that were directed to D. Taylor Sapergia from this thread over to the Contemporary Longrifle Collecting forum.  Here's a link  http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=43917.0

-Ron
Life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun.
-Nate McKenzie