Hall-North Model 1843 Carbine

Texas Johnny

Private
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
I was fortunate enough to pick up an addition to my carbine collection, it is a Hall-North Model 1843. I think that John Hancock Hall was a somewhat unsung pioneer gun maker. One historian said of him, “The man who changed the world (but the man) you never heard of.” Well ahead of his time, he designed the first American breech loading firearm around 1811 (using a Flintlock firing system). He improved his breech loading design over the years with susequent models of his design, and of course he switched from Flintlock to a percussion firing system.

This Model 1843 carbine was made by Simon North, who had acquired the rights to manufacture the Hall carbine, and it has the "North improvement," with the breech opening by a lever on the right hand side. My carbine is dated 1846 and could have been used in the War with Mexico, this carbine was issued to the 1st​ and the 2nd​ U.S. Dragoons during the war. After the Mexican War it was used on the western frontier, and of course it was used during the Civil War. If only my carbine could talk!

The Model 1843 was produced from 1844 to 1853 and was the largest manufactured version of the Hall carbine with 10,500 produced. It has an overall length of 40 inches, a barrel length of 21 inches and weighs about 8 pounds and 4 ounces.

The stock on mine is very rough, but the mechanics function perfectly. I have always wanted a Hall designed carbine and I am very proud to add it to my collection!

20201009_125203.jpg


20201009_125224.jpg


20201009_125334.jpg


20201009_125408.jpg


20201009_125444.jpg
 

Texas Johnny

Private
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
Congrats on finding your 1843 Hall. Mine is dated 1848. Go back one page in posting to Sept. 11 if you would like to see it.
Thanks! I just took a look at your post, I must have missed it when you first posted it. Your M1843 is very nice! Much better stock than mine. I failed to mention that mine like yours is also a smoothbore. Thanks for reminder on your original post!
 

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
Very nice. I have a M1836 Hall type II from Harpers Ferry. They are truly distinctive guns with a look that can’t be mistaken for any other carbine. Congrats on the acquisition
 

Texas Johnny

Private
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
Very nice. I have a M1836 Hall type II from Harpers Ferry. They are truly distinctive guns with a look that can’t be mistaken for any other carbine. Congrats on the acquisition
VMICraig, a M1836 Hall is very cool. If I am not mistaken Hall was working there at Harpers Ferry when your M1836 was made. Maybe he had actually held your firearm! How is the stock on your M1836? I hope it is better than mine. Is the only difference in the M1836 Type I and Type II is that Type I had an implement box and the Type II didn't? any other differences?
 

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
VMICraig, a M1836 Hall is very cool. If I am not mistaken Hall was working there at Harpers Ferry when your M1836 was made. Maybe he had actually held your firearm! How is the stock on your M1836? I hope it is better than mine. Is the only difference in the M1836 Type I and Type II is that Type I had an implement box and the Type II didn't? any other differences?
My stock has seen better days too, but hey, it's an original and was well used vice sitting in an armory somewhere. Only 2,020 were made, so I doubt many are in showroom condition. Mine is stamped 1839 and has a small wrist crack, dings, scratches and dents, but still fairly solid. The 36's were carried by the 2nd Dragoons in Florida.

I mislabeled mine with a Type designation - actually, the M1836 were not varied by Types, although there may be an experimental model that still exists. The types came into play with the M1840. Made by Simeon North, Middletown, CT, 500 Type I's were produced in 1840 only, whereas 6,001 of the Type II's were produced through 1843. The Type I was fitted with a elbow shaped breech lever mounted on the trigger plate, and one variation was noted with .52 rifled bore, produced in 1840 only (actual number unknown). The Type II's feature a so-called "fishtail" operating lever. There is apparently also a variation of the Type II that was produced 1842-43, having an 8.5" long sling bar and ring fitted to the lower barrel band and the area just above the trigger on the left side of the stock. Flaydermans pg 562 has pics of the Type I and II operating levers that show the visual difference.

Following the M1840, the M1842 came into play, with 1,001 produced again in Harpers Ferry, with similar operation to the Type II above. A M1843 followed, aka Side Lever Hall, made by Simeon North. 10,500 were made between 1844-1853. Per Flaydermans, they were issued not only to the 1st and 2nd US Dragoons, but other outfits in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, NY Wisconsin and Indiana. High productions numbers meant wide usage.

Look up the "Hall Carbine Affair" on Wikipedia regarding the rifle procurement scandal. Interesting stuff. As for your particular model, I pulled the following data directly from the Springfield Armory Museum website....

"The breech loading idea was particularly attractive to mounted men. As infantry armament became more potent with the arrival of the rifle musket in the 1850s, cavalrymen looked to breech-loading carbine to help fill the firepower gap. Although dragoons usually employed their carbines in dismounted combat, breechloaders were also far easier to reload on horseback. Rapid reloading was an obvious plus to often outnumbered American frontier soldiers. At least as important, a projectile would not roll out of the barrel of a breechloader when slung muzzle down over a dragoon's shoulder on a horse jouncing across the prairie.
With these desirable attributes in mind, the United States dragoons were issued the first Hall carbines, with an improved lever designed by contractor Simeon North to raise the breech for loading with a paper cartridge. Like its parent flintlock rifle, the Hall carbine did leak some gas at the breech, a situation exacerbated after considerable use, especially on the frontier. In addition, if the ball was not securely positioned atop the powder, or slid forward, the charge moved away from the ignition point, resulting in misfires. On occasion, powder spilled loading migrated under the breech block, which, as the breech/barrel point widened with wear, occasionally led to unpleasant and unexpected explosions. Last, like the common infantry musket, the Hall carbine did not have a rifled barrel, but was made as a smoothbore in order to shoot buckshot effectively when needed. The general opinion of the Hall carbine was that it was less durable than a muzzle-loading carbine, and that its advantage of more rapid reloading was to some degree offset by its inaccuracy and limited effective range.

The Hall carbine possessed another characteristic that endeared it to dragoon on the frontier. The breech block included the hammer and trigger mechanism. It could be removed from the gun easily by troops going off duty and carried as a pocket pistol for self-defense. Since soldiers did not always frequent the most respectable establishments, these easily concealed hideout guns came in handy in 'social' situations. Dragoon Sam Chamberlain recalled that when off duty in Mexico in 1847 he habitually carried a Bowie knife and loaded Hall carbine chamber for self-defense. On one occasion he 'sprang behind a large table used as a bar, said a short prayer and stood cool and collected, at bay before those human Tigers, 'guerillars.' Although tackled, Chamberlain redeemed himself in a knife duel, had his loaded chamber restored and went on his way. At least that was his story.

As the Hall was beginning to become obsolete as other designs came on the market, a limited issue of the innovative Jenks breechloaders was field-tested. "The Hall-North carbines, often listed officially as the 'Improved Model of 1840' (or M1843), had a side-mounted breech lever protected by US Patent 3686 granted to Henry North & Edward Savage in July 1844. About 11,000 carbines were made in 1842-50. Lacking rod bayonets, they had 21-inch .52 calibre smooth bore barrels and measured 40in overall. A sling bar and ring ran from the second barrel band back along the left side of the receiver.
Simeon North was asked to deliver 1000 carbines of the original model in 1843 (with the Huger fishtail lever), together with 500 carbines with the North & Savage lever. Subsequent deliveries of the improved guns, at the rate of 500 every six months, were to be made until 3000 had been delivered into government stores by 1 July 1846." - Walter

"The Model 1843 Hall-North carbine is the most common of the Hall breechloaders, with a total of 11,000 having been produced by Simeon North between February, 1844 and February, 1853.
During the early years of the Civil War a large number of these arms were issued to U.S. volunteers, such as the Ninth Illinois Cavalry regiment, with whom, for the most part, they were looked upon with extreme disfavor.
The Model 1843 Hall carbine brought to an end the production of this first breechloader, originally conceived in 1811. Though never receiving complete acceptance by the military hierarchy, six carbines and two rifles of Hall's design were instrumental in paving the way to future, vastly improved breechloading arms." - Reilly

It was the Model 1843 Hall-North carbine that entered the history books in what became commonly known as "the Hall carbine affair." What actually happened is still a matter of some debate. It seems that the story changes with each historian who tells it. We will give you a sampling of some of the interpretations here.

"The 1843-pattern Hall carbine featured in one of the more intriguing scandals of the war. New York Arsenal sold 5000 Hall 1843-model carbines in 1861, for $3.50 apiece, to Arthur Eastman of Manchester, New Hampshire. Eastman then re-sold the Halls to Simon Stevens of New York, who rifled and rechambered them. The carbines were offered to Major-General Fremont, commanding the Army Department of the West, who so desperately needed firearms that he paid $22.00 for each gun. Rumours surrounding the deal soon reached the US Treasury, and, outraged, Congress authorized an immediate investigation. No collusion between Eastman, Stevens and Fremont was proven, but it was discoverd that Eastman's offer to rifle and refurbish the guns for a dollar apiece had been rebuffed by the government." - Walter

"Among the profiteering arms merchants of the Civil War was John Pierpont Morgan. Morgan was in his middle twenties when the war broke out, but he did not enlist or shoulder a gun during the entire conflict. He had heard of the great lack of guns in the army and he decided to do his share in bringing relief.

A few years previously the army had condemned as obsolete and dangerous some guns then in use, known as Hall's carbines. These guns were ordered sold at auction and they were disposed of at prices ranging between $1 and $2, probably as curios. In 1861 there still remained 5,000 of these condemned guns. Suddenly on May 28, 1861, one Arthur M. Eastman appeared and offered $3 apiece for them. This high price should have made the officials suspicious, but apparently it did not work. Back of Eastman was certain Simon Stevens who was furnishing the case for the transaction, but the real backer of the enterprise was J.P. Morgan.
After the condemned guns had been contracted for, Stevens sent a wire to GenerWhen Fremont's soldiers tried to fire these 'new carbines in perfect condition,' they shot off their own thumbs. Great indignation was roused by this transaction when it became know, and the government refused to pay Morgan's bill. Morgan promptly sued the government and his claim was referred to a special commission which was examining disputed claims and settling them.

This commission, curiously enough, did not reject the Morgan claim entirely and denounce him for his unscrupulous dealings. It allowed half of the claim and proposed to pay $13.31 a carbine, that is, $66,550.00 for the lot. This would have netted Morgan a profit of $49,000. But Morgan was not satisfied. He had a 'contract' from Fremont and he was determined to collect in full.
Accordingly he sued in Stevens' name in the Court of Claims - and the court promptly awarded him the full sum because 'a contract is sacred,' a decision that was the opening wedge for hundreds of other 'deadhorse claims' which Congress had tried to block. Of this affair Marcellus Hartley, who himself had brought over from Europe huge quantities of discarded arms and had sold them to the government at exorbitant prices, declared: 'I think the worst thing this government has been swindled upon has been those confounded Hall's carbines; they have been elevated in price to $22.50, I think." - H.C. Engelbrecht & F.C. Hanighen

"During the Civil War, Pierpont confirmed his father's fears concerning his rashness. Amid a mad rush of Wall Street profiteering, Pierpont financed a deal in 1861 that, if not unscrupulous, showed a decided lack of judgement. One Arthur M. Eastman purchased five thousand obsolete Hall carbines, then stored at a government armory in New York, for $3.50 apiece. Pierpont loaned $20,000 to a Simon Stevens, who bought them for $11.50 each. By 'rifling' these smooth-bore weapons, Stevens increased their range and accuracy. He resold them to Major General John C. Fremont, then commander of the Union forces in Missouri, for $22 each. Within a three-month period, the government had bought back its own, now altered, rifles at six times their original price. And it was well financed by J. Pierpont Morgan.

The extent of Pierpont's culpability in the Hall carbine affair has been endlessly debated. The unargueable point is that he saw the Civil War as an occasion for profit, not service- though he had an alternative role model in his grandfather, the Reverend Pierpont, who served as a chaplain for the Union army when it camped on the Potomac. Like other well-to-do young men, Pierpont paid a stand-in $300 to take his place when he was drafted after Gettysburg - a common, if inequitable, practice that contributed to the draft riots in July 1863. (A future president, Grover Cleveland, also hired a stand-in, although he had a widowed mother to support). In later years, Pierpont would be humorously refer to his proxy as 'the other Pierpont Morgan,' and he subsidized the his proxy as 'the other Pierpont Morgan,' and he subsidized the man. During the war, he also leapt into wild speculation in the infamous 'gold room' at the corner of William Street and Exchange Place. Prices would gyrate with each new victory or defeat for the Union army. Pierpont and an associate tried to rig the market by shipping out a large amount of gold on a steamer and earned $160,000 in the process." - Ron Chernow

"One of the biggest coups of the arms market occurred when A.M. Eastman purchased from the government 5,000 Hall carbines with all appendages and packing boxes for $3.50 each. These arms had been condEveryone in the Hall carbine deal made a profit. Eastman made $9.50 per arm when he passed them on to Simon Stevens, who was being financially backed by J.P. Morgan. Stevens and Morgan had the arm bored up to .58 and rifled, and then sold them to Fremont, who desperately needed them. The bargain was very complex, since Fremont and Eastman had made an agreement before the carbines were actually in Eastman's hands or ready for delivery. Fremont paid $22.00 per gun and had to pay extra for the appendages; he was even charged $4.00 each for the packing crates. The appendages and crates were those furnished by the government, and were included in the original price of $3.50. A number of reputations were damaged by this affair, including both Morgan's and Fremont's." - Carl L. Davis

"J.P. Morgan Sr. made a small fortune in one deal with the Federal government when he purchased 5,000 defective carbines that had been declared dangerous and obsolete, and sold them back to the U.S. Army at a massive profit. In 1861, shortly after the war began, Morgan found about a new Union regiment being formed in St. Louis that required weapons. At about the same time, he learned of the large surplus offering of carbines being surplused at an armory in New York at $3.50 each. He telegraphed the Union commander and offered the carbines as 'new carbines in perfect conditions.' for $22.00 each. The commander agreed to the price, and Morgan went to the bank to borrow the money for the initial purchase using the contract as collateral. He then wired the armory the funds and ordered the weapons sent to St. Louis. He never even saw them. Nor did he invest a single penny of his own. But when the regiment began experiencing troubles with the carbines, such as having them blow up when being fired, and attempted to sue Morgan, the court inexplicably ruled in Morgan's favor and instructed the government to pay Morgan in full sum of $109,912. The government had purchased its own useless property at a great profit to Morgan." - Craig Roberts
 
Last edited:

Texas Johnny

Private
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
My stock has seen better days too, but hey, it's an original and was well used vice sitting in an armory somewhere. Only 2,020 were made, so I doubt many are in showroom condition. Mine is stamped 1839 and has a small wrist crack, dings, scratches and dents, but still fairly solid. The 36's were carried by the 2nd Dragoons in Florida.

I mislabeled mine with a Type designation - actually, the M1836 were not varied by Types, although there may be an experimental model that still exists. The types came into play with the M1840. Made by Simeon North, Middletown, CT, 500 Type I's were produced in 1840 only, whereas 6,001 of the Type II's were produced through 1843. The Type I was fitted with a elbow shaped breech lever mounted on the trigger plate, and one variation was noted with .52 rifled bore, produced in 1840 only (actual number unknown). The Type II's feature a so-called "fishtail" operating lever. There is apparently also a variation of the Type II that was produced 1842-43, having an 8.5" long sling bar and ring fitted to the lower barrel band and the area just above the trigger on the left side of the stock. Flaydermans pg 562 has pics of the Type I and II operating levers that show the visual difference.

Following the M1840, the M1842 came into play, with 1,001 produced again in Harpers Ferry, with similar operation to the Type II above. A M1843 followed, aka Side Lever Hall, made by Simeon North. 10,500 were made between 1844-1853. Per Flaydermans, they were issued not only to the 1st and 2nd US Dragoons, but other outfits in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, NY Wisconsin and Indiana. High productions numbers meant wide usage.

Look up the "Hall Carbine Affair" on Wikipedia regarding the rifle procurement scandal. Interesting stuff. As for your particular model, I pulled the following data directly from the Springfield Armory Museum website....
VMICraig, Thanks so much, sounds like your M1836 is a very nice one! Yes, the Hall Carbine Affair is quite interesting. I ordered a book off Amazon, "The Hall Carbine Affair" by R. Gordon Wasson, to learn a bit more about it. Thanks again and take care!
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
My stock has seen better days too, but hey, it's an original and was well used vice sitting in an armory somewhere. Only 2,020 were made, so I doubt many are in showroom condition. Mine is stamped 1839 and has a small wrist crack, dings, scratches and dents, but still fairly solid. The 36's were carried by the 2nd Dragoons in Florida.

I mislabeled mine with a Type designation - actually, the M1836 were not varied by Types, although there may be an experimental model that still exists. The types came into play with the M1840. Made by Simeon North, Middletown, CT, 500 Type I's were produced in 1840 only, whereas 6,001 of the Type II's were produced through 1843. The Type I was fitted with a elbow shaped breech lever mounted on the trigger plate, and one variation was noted with .52 rifled bore, produced in 1840 only (actual number unknown). The Type II's feature a so-called "fishtail" operating lever. There is apparently also a variation of the Type II that was produced 1842-43, having an 8.5" long sling bar and ring fitted to the lower barrel band and the area just above the trigger on the left side of the stock. Flaydermans pg 562 has pics of the Type I and II operating levers that show the visual difference.

Following the M1840, the M1842 came into play, with 1,001 produced again in Harpers Ferry, with similar operation to the Type II above. A M1843 followed, aka Side Lever Hall, made by Simeon North. 10,500 were made between 1844-1853. Per Flaydermans, they were issued not only to the 1st and 2nd US Dragoons, but other outfits in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, NY Wisconsin and Indiana. High productions numbers meant wide usage.

Look up the "Hall Carbine Affair" on Wikipedia regarding the rifle procurement scandal. Interesting stuff. As for your particular model, I pulled the following data directly from the Springfield Armory Museum website....

"The breech loading idea was particularly attractive to mounted men. As infantry armament became more potent with the arrival of the rifle musket in the 1850s, cavalrymen looked to breech-loading carbine to help fill the firepower gap. Although dragoons usually employed their carbines in dismounted combat, breechloaders were also far easier to reload on horseback. Rapid reloading was an obvious plus to often outnumbered American frontier soldiers. At least as important, a projectile would not roll out of the barrel of a breechloader when slung muzzle down over a dragoon's shoulder on a horse jouncing across the prairie.
With these desirable attributes in mind, the United States dragoons were issued the first Hall carbines, with an improved lever designed by contractor Simeon North to raise the breech for loading with a paper cartridge. Like its parent flintlock rifle, the Hall carbine did leak some gas at the breech, a situation exacerbated after considerable use, especially on the frontier. In addition, if the ball was not securely positioned atop the powder, or slid forward, the charge moved away from the ignition point, resulting in misfires. On occasion, powder spilled loading migrated under the breech block, which, as the breech/barrel point widened with wear, occasionally led to unpleasant and unexpected explosions. Last, like the common infantry musket, the Hall carbine did not have a rifled barrel, but was made as a smoothbore in order to shoot buckshot effectively when needed. The general opinion of the Hall carbine was that it was less durable than a muzzle-loading carbine, and that its advantage of more rapid reloading was to some degree offset by its inaccuracy and limited effective range.

The Hall carbine possessed another characteristic that endeared it to dragoon on the frontier. The breech block included the hammer and trigger mechanism. It could be removed from the gun easily by troops going off duty and carried as a pocket pistol for self-defense. Since soldiers did not always frequent the most respectable establishments, these easily concealed hideout guns came in handy in 'social' situations. Dragoon Sam Chamberlain recalled that when off duty in Mexico in 1847 he habitually carried a Bowie knife and loaded Hall carbine chamber for self-defense. On one occasion he 'sprang behind a large table used as a bar, said a short prayer and stood cool and collected, at bay before those human Tigers, 'guerillars.' Although tackled, Chamberlain redeemed himself in a knife duel, had his loaded chamber restored and went on his way. At least that was his story.

As the Hall was beginning to become obsolete as other designs came on the market, a limited issue of the innovative Jenks breechloaders was field-tested. "The Hall-North carbines, often listed officially as the 'Improved Model of 1840' (or M1843), had a side-mounted breech lever protected by US Patent 3686 granted to Henry North & Edward Savage in July 1844. About 11,000 carbines were made in 1842-50. Lacking rod bayonets, they had 21-inch .52 calibre smooth bore barrels and measured 40in overall. A sling bar and ring ran from the second barrel band back along the left side of the receiver.
Simeon North was asked to deliver 1000 carbines of the original model in 1843 (with the Huger fishtail lever), together with 500 carbines with the North & Savage lever. Subsequent deliveries of the improved guns, at the rate of 500 every six months, were to be made until 3000 had been delivered into government stores by 1 July 1846." - Walter

"The Model 1843 Hall-North carbine is the most common of the Hall breechloaders, with a total of 11,000 having been produced by Simeon North between February, 1844 and February, 1853.
During the early years of the Civil War a large number of these arms were issued to U.S. volunteers, such as the Ninth Illinois Cavalry regiment, with whom, for the most part, they were looked upon with extreme disfavor.
The Model 1843 Hall carbine brought to an end the production of this first breechloader, originally conceived in 1811. Though never receiving complete acceptance by the military hierarchy, six carbines and two rifles of Hall's design were instrumental in paving the way to future, vastly improved breechloading arms." - Reilly

It was the Model 1843 Hall-North carbine that entered the history books in what became commonly known as "the Hall carbine affair." What actually happened is still a matter of some debate. It seems that the story changes with each historian who tells it. We will give you a sampling of some of the interpretations here.

"The 1843-pattern Hall carbine featured in one of the more intriguing scandals of the war. New York Arsenal sold 5000 Hall 1843-model carbines in 1861, for $3.50 apiece, to Arthur Eastman of Manchester, New Hampshire. Eastman then re-sold the Halls to Simon Stevens of New York, who rifled and rechambered them. The carbines were offered to Major-General Fremont, commanding the Army Department of the West, who so desperately needed firearms that he paid $22.00 for each gun. Rumours surrounding the deal soon reached the US Treasury, and, outraged, Congress authorized an immediate investigation. No collusion between Eastman, Stevens and Fremont was proven, but it was discoverd that Eastman's offer to rifle and refurbish the guns for a dollar apiece had been rebuffed by the government." - Walter

"Among the profiteering arms merchants of the Civil War was John Pierpont Morgan. Morgan was in his middle twenties when the war broke out, but he did not enlist or shoulder a gun during the entire conflict. He had heard of the great lack of guns in the army and he decided to do his share in bringing relief.

A few years previously the army had condemned as obsolete and dangerous some guns then in use, known as Hall's carbines. These guns were ordered sold at auction and they were disposed of at prices ranging between $1 and $2, probably as curios. In 1861 there still remained 5,000 of these condemned guns. Suddenly on May 28, 1861, one Arthur M. Eastman appeared and offered $3 apiece for them. This high price should have made the officials suspicious, but apparently it did not work. Back of Eastman was certain Simon Stevens who was furnishing the case for the transaction, but the real backer of the enterprise was J.P. Morgan.
After the condemned guns had been contracted for, Stevens sent a wire to GenerWhen Fremont's soldiers tried to fire these 'new carbines in perfect condition,' they shot off their own thumbs. Great indignation was roused by this transaction when it became know, and the government refused to pay Morgan's bill. Morgan promptly sued the government and his claim was referred to a special commission which was examining disputed claims and settling them.

This commission, curiously enough, did not reject the Morgan claim entirely and denounce him for his unscrupulous dealings. It allowed half of the claim and proposed to pay $13.31 a carbine, that is, $66,550.00 for the lot. This would have netted Morgan a profit of $49,000. But Morgan was not satisfied. He had a 'contract' from Fremont and he was determined to collect in full.
Accordingly he sued in Stevens' name in the Court of Claims - and the court promptly awarded him the full sum because 'a contract is sacred,' a decision that was the opening wedge for hundreds of other 'deadhorse claims' which Congress had tried to block. Of this affair Marcellus Hartley, who himself had brought over from Europe huge quantities of discarded arms and had sold them to the government at exorbitant prices, declared: 'I think the worst thing this government has been swindled upon has been those confounded Hall's carbines; they have been elevated in price to $22.50, I think." - H.C. Engelbrecht & F.C. Hanighen

"During the Civil War, Pierpont confirmed his father's fears concerning his rashness. Amid a mad rush of Wall Street profiteering, Pierpont financed a deal in 1861 that, if not unscrupulous, showed a decided lack of judgement. One Arthur M. Eastman purchased five thousand obsolete Hall carbines, then stored at a government armory in New York, for $3.50 apiece. Pierpont loaned $20,000 to a Simon Stevens, who bought them for $11.50 each. By 'rifling' these smooth-bore weapons, Stevens increased their range and accuracy. He resold them to Major General John C. Fremont, then commander of the Union forces in Missouri, for $22 each. Within a three-month period, the government had bought back its own, now altered, rifles at six times their original price. And it was well financed by J. Pierpont Morgan.

The extent of Pierpont's culpability in the Hall carbine affair has been endlessly debated. The unargueable point is that he saw the Civil War as an occasion for profit, not service- though he had an alternative role model in his grandfather, the Reverend Pierpont, who served as a chaplain for the Union army when it camped on the Potomac. Like other well-to-do young men, Pierpont paid a stand-in $300 to take his place when he was drafted after Gettysburg - a common, if inequitable, practice that contributed to the draft riots in July 1863. (A future president, Grover Cleveland, also hired a stand-in, although he had a widowed mother to support). In later years, Pierpont would be humorously refer to his proxy as 'the other Pierpont Morgan,' and he subsidized the his proxy as 'the other Pierpont Morgan,' and he subsidized the man. During the war, he also leapt into wild speculation in the infamous 'gold room' at the corner of William Street and Exchange Place. Prices would gyrate with each new victory or defeat for the Union army. Pierpont and an associate tried to rig the market by shipping out a large amount of gold on a steamer and earned $160,000 in the process." - Ron Chernow

"One of the biggest coups of the arms market occurred when A.M. Eastman purchased from the government 5,000 Hall carbines with all appendages and packing boxes for $3.50 each. These arms had been condEveryone in the Hall carbine deal made a profit. Eastman made $9.50 per arm when he passed them on to Simon Stevens, who was being financially backed by J.P. Morgan. Stevens and Morgan had the arm bored up to .58 and rifled, and then sold them to Fremont, who desperately needed them. The bargain was very complex, since Fremont and Eastman had made an agreement before the carbines were actually in Eastman's hands or ready for delivery. Fremont paid $22.00 per gun and had to pay extra for the appendages; he was even charged $4.00 each for the packing crates. The appendages and crates were those furnished by the government, and were included in the original price of $3.50. A number of reputations were damaged by this affair, including both Morgan's and Fremont's." - Carl L. Davis

"J.P. Morgan Sr. made a small fortune in one deal with the Federal government when he purchased 5,000 defective carbines that had been declared dangerous and obsolete, and sold them back to the U.S. Army at a massive profit. In 1861, shortly after the war began, Morgan found about a new Union regiment being formed in St. Louis that required weapons. At about the same time, he learned of the large surplus offering of carbines being surplused at an armory in New York at $3.50 each. He telegraphed the Union commander and offered the carbines as 'new carbines in perfect conditions.' for $22.00 each. The commander agreed to the price, and Morgan went to the bank to borrow the money for the initial purchase using the contract as collateral. He then wired the armory the funds and ordered the weapons sent to St. Louis. He never even saw them. Nor did he invest a single penny of his own. But when the regiment began experiencing troubles with the carbines, such as having them blow up when being fired, and attempted to sue Morgan, the court inexplicably ruled in Morgan's favor and instructed the government to pay Morgan in full sum of $109,912. The government had purchased its own useless property at a great profit to Morgan." - Craig Roberts
I have to take exception your statement on the M1836 being all one, regarding types. "Hall's Breechloaders" by R.T. Huntington on page 204 states regarding variations "more variations exist in the Model 1836 carbine then any other Hall model. Although these changes were not all introduced at one time, they serve to divide producrion into two series. Early production before 1839 and late production in 1839."So he is calling out two series of the M1836. Also in "Hall's Military Breechloaders" by Peter A. Schmidt breaks the Model 1836 into two types. First variation had the tool compartment in the stock for one of the changes. Some of the other changes were: muzzle dia. .782 vs, .835, gas escape gap .13 vs. .17, stock grooves deep vs. shallow and others. My Type1 dated 1837 is posted and can be seen by putting Hall M1836 in the search feature. There were 1017 pieces of the type 1 and 1013 pieces of the type2. So as to variation it is series one and two or types one and two, this does not take into account if any experimental variations. Any M1836 still existing today is still a great carbine.
 

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
I have to take exception your statement on the M1836 being all one, regarding types. "Hall's Breechloaders" by R.T. Huntington on page 204 states regarding variations "more variations exist in the Model 1836 carbine then any other Hall model. Although these changes were not all introduced at one time, they serve to divide producrion into two series. Early production before 1839 and late production in 1839."So he is calling out two series of the M1836. Also in "Hall's Military Breechloaders" by Peter A. Schmidt breaks the Model 1836 into two types. First variation had the tool compartment in the stock for one of the changes. Some of the other changes were: muzzle dia. .782 vs, .835, gas escape gap .13 vs. .17, stock grooves deep vs. shallow and others. My Type1 dated 1837 is posted and can be seen by putting Hall M1836 in the search feature. There were 1017 pieces of the type 1 and 1013 pieces of the type2. So as to variation it is series one and two or types one and two, this does not take into account if any experimental variations. Any M1836 still existing today is still a great carbine.
Thanks for the info. Perhaps on the ‘36, the “variations” were unifficial as compared to the official variations designated in the M1840 by the manufacturer? I’m only going by what Flaydermans had on file.... Just a thought....but yea, the Hall, regardless if model, is truly a distinguishable one of a kind long arm. I sorta put it in the same league as the Burnside carbine - visually it cannot be confused with any other carbine out there.
 

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
I only wish I had them all! I am blessed to have acquired 11 carbines, including one Non-CW (Winchester Model 1873 carbine) and including two Spencer carbines (Model 1860 & Model 1865).
The more the merrier. I’ve collected 10 actual carbines and 2 “quaker” carbines. The Hall, Burnside and S&H Navy are my top 3 in terms of favorites. One is a Tower P56 carbine, non-import, so it doesn’t count!
 

Texas Johnny

Private
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Location
Texas
The more the merrier. I’ve collected 10 actual carbines and 2 “quaker” carbines. The Hall, Burnside and S&H Navy are my top 3 in terms of favorites. One is a Tower P56 carbine, non-import, so it doesn’t count!
Very nice! I have bid on a Sharps & Hankins a couple of times in the past, but I have never been successful. Does your S&H still have the leather covering? Two of the favorites in my collection are a Merrill (First Model) and a Maynard (Second Model). I would like to get a Maynard First Model, but they are rather pricey. My prized carbine is a Richmond carbine.
 

Lanyard Puller

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
South Carolina
In my attempt to focus on Confederate weapons, I sold most of my Federal guns years ago. I'd like to offer some photos of what Virginia, North and South Carolina did to the Hall's they inherited and modified.

First a broad view; all modified to percussion, barrel lengths shortened to various lengths.
top gun: *Virginia mod. Read & Watson chopped up the stock, replaced the breech completely, and made a muzzle loader out of a perfectly good breech loader.

*The middle gun is North Carolina's {Fayetteville's} idea; make them all percussion, retain the lifting breech and remove the flash pan, sand out the flared stock, and cut the barrels to cavalry length.

*Bottom is South Carolina's; left it a breech loader, trash some of the flint lock pieces [left the flash pan on the block} put on a new hammer, and issued them asap.
20201019_091735_resized (2).jpg


Some close ups of the above:

20201019_092020_resized (2).jpg


20201019_091913_resized (2).jpg


20201019_091831_resized (2).jpg
 
Top