M. T. Wickham Contract Model 1816 Flintlock Musket Early Production
An original M1816, undated musket made by Marine T. Wickham of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1813, Wickham was a government inspector of arms at a U.S. arsenal, and later was listed as a gunsmith in Maryland in the musket manufacturing business. This flintlock longarm was never converted to cap and ball. Musket is a .69 caliber, single shot muzzleloader that retains all its original parts in good condition. The iron lock is flat in the front and slightly rounded at the tail. Lockplate is not dated like the later models but is marked in front of cock and reads “M. T. WICKHAM / PHILa” in a crescent. Standard first type lock markings, mostly standard features, "F/P/U S" on the upper left at the breech and "V/GF on the left stock flat. Two stage action works really nice.
Black walnut stock. Musket has a 42” long barrel secured to the black walnut stock by three iron bands. The original cock, battery (frizzen), battery springs, pan, and screws are original and are in good condition. A large trigger guard secures the sling swivel while the middle barrel band supports the second swivel.
This musket is a nice M1816 non-altered Wickham flintlock musket typically used by militia in the early 19th century
The following was taken from a web page belonging to the Springfield Armory Museum:
Notes: "MARINE T. WICKHAM - 1822 AND 1823 - Philadelphia, Pa., armorer, contractor of July 19, 1822, to the U.S. Ordnance Department for 5,000 Model 1816 muskets at $12.00 per stand, deliverable at the rate of 2,000 per year from January 1, 1823. On December 6, 1823, M.T. Wickham undertook another contract for 10,000 additional muskets to be delivered at the rate of 2,000 a year from July 1, 1824." - Gluckman
"Probably the most notable armorer to work at Harpers Ferry before 1816 was Marine T. Wickham. Born and raised in Frederick County, Maryland, he had 'served a regular apprenticeship to the business of Gun Making' prior to taking a job at the armory in the summer of 1804. Though Wickham was a product of the so-called 'Emmitsburg School' of gunsmiths, we do not know the name of his early mentor. It may have been Jacob Metzger, a Lancaster trained rifle maker who moved to Frederick sometime between 1777 and 1788, or perhaps John Armstrong, a highly skilled gunsmith from Emmitsburg, Maryland. Armstrong definitely had connections at Harpers Ferry because his eldest son, William, later served as an inspector at the armory during the War of 1812. Equally adept at forging, filing, stocking, and engraving firearms, Wickham possessed great talent as a gunsmith. More important, he exhibited a rare ability to manage men effectively while at the same time retaining their admiration and respect. These qualities did not go unnoticed, for in 1808 the secretary of war selected Wickham to succeed Perkin's long-time associate, Charles Williams, as master armorer at Harpers Ferry. In this capacity he played a key role in planning a large expansion of the government works between 1808 and 1810. Yet, after less than three years as master armorer, Wickham became disenchanted with his position at the armory and late in 1810 announced his 'intention of removing to the Western Country.' Before departing, however, Wickham accepted another government position in eastern Pennsylvania, offered by the secretary of war.
Residing in Philadelphia, Wickham served as an inspector of contract arms and general troubleshooter at the national armories between 1811 and 1816. During these years he gained a widespread reputation among associates as a 'superior artist' and played a prominent part in designing the new Model 1812 regulation musket. But, as so often is the case with the men of ability in government service, Wickham decided to enter the world of private business after the War of 1812. Upon resigning his inspectorship in 1816, he took over an existing musket contract with the United States and later that year signed his first regular contract for an additional 4,000 arms at $14 a stand. The following year he opened a mercantile house in Philadelphia for the importation of 'every European article and Material used in the public and private manufacturies of Arms.' Not surprisingly two of his largest accounts were the Harpers Ferry and Springfield armories. Both ventures prospered and Wickham continued to garner wealth from them until his death in 1834. His rise from an obscure country workshop to a leading arms manufacturer and businessman in Jacksonian America was a truly impressive achievement." - Smith