The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Home Collection Search

Object Record

    New Search

Lincolnís Henry Rifle
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Lincolnís Henry Rifle

Date: 1860
Catalog #: 67880M    Accession #: 246404
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History


New Haven Arms Company (Manufacturer)

In 1855, the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company was formed and Oliver Winchester bought stock in the company. The next year, the offices were moved to New Haven, Connecticut and the name was changed to New Haven Arms Company. The Henry rifle was patented in 1860. In 1866 Oliver Winchester bought control of New Haven Arms Company and changed the name to Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 8" H x 43.5" W x 1.25" D

Physical Description

Henry Rifle, serial number 6, .44 caliber, forged steel, wooden stock, engraved gold mounting with floral design and engraved cartouche “Lincoln/ President/U.S.A." on right side. Top of barrel is stamped “Henry’s Patent Oct. 16, 1860/Manufactured New Haven Arms Company New Haven, Ct.”

Specific History

This gold mounted, engraved Henry rifle was presented to Abraham Lincoln in an effort to obtain his influence in their purchase for the war effort. This rifle was awarded the National Rifle Association Collectors Society Gold Medal as an outstanding historical firearm.

General History

The Henry, the first practical, lever action, repeating rifle, is the immediate forerunner of the famous Winchester rifles. About 14,000 were made between 1860 and 1866 by the New Haven Arms Company. Only about 1,731 Henry rifles were purchased by the Ordnance Department between 1862 and 1865. A number of units in the West purchased them at their own expense. It was especially popular in the border states of Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana. The 1st Maine and 1st District of Columbia cavalry regiments are known to have been issued Henry rifles.


Country: United States
State: Connecticut
War: Civil War
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Printable ScriptVisit the MuseumEducationCredits