The serial number 435 is listed in Edwin Wesson's daybook as being sent to one of his regular retailers, Andrew G. Bull in New Orleans. The shipping date is not listed, however since the company name is Wesson & Prescott, we know it had to be between April 1844 and October 1845, the only years that company name was used. The owner's name and location are engraved on the cheekpiece. The accompanying allover scroll engraving matches the engraving on the cheekpiece assuring that the gun was made by Wesson specifically for Mr Beard and left the factory as such.
The barrel flat marked; "Wesson & Prescott / Northboro / Mass / Cast Steel / 435" and an impressed eagle. The Boxlock with tapered extension to rear with same markings features border engraving centering fine scroll engraving. The hammer, lock, and frame display the same scroll engraving as does the trigger guard, and the topside of buttplate and rub-plate. The silver patchbox is engraved as is the oval cheekpiece which reads: "Joseph A. Beard / New Orleans."
Major Joseph Anthony Beard was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1804. He died in New Orleans in 1857. Beard came to the United States in 1824 for the Dahlonega, Georgia gold rush. He then returned to England and arrived back in the United States in 1833 with two sons [J.R. Beard and Cornelius Collins Beard]. He settled in Augusta, Georgia and fought in the Seminole War and was promoted to major. After the war he settled in New Orleans and by 1839 was an auctioneer in Louisiana. He died in 1857 and was buried in Girod Cemetery, which no longer exists [verified].
Date: Shipped between April 1844 and October 1845 according to Edwin Wesson's daybook; serial number 435
Measurement: .46-caliber. Overall length: 51.75"; barrel length: 34.75"
Material: Steel, brass, silver, and walnut stock
Condition: Excellent, barrel shows beautiful color and smooth surface; the barrel is brown, the tube site is smooth steel and in dark blue patina. Boxlock and breech tang are gun metal gray with scattered brown staining. Gorgeous walnut stock with rich patina. Action is fine and smooth. Retrofitting by Owner; correct/period sight: "When I found/purchased the gun many years ago, the tube sight and mounts were missing, as was the false muzzle. I had the correct Wesson bullet starter. I then had an excellent gunsmith/machinist fabricate a correct false muzzle. Then, as luck would have it, I found the correct tube sight - correct diameter and correct length!!!! An unbelievable find. And after a couple of years, I
found a set of correct period mounts for
Reference: Frank Wesson, Gunmaker, Worcester, Massachusetts by Dan Woods, Dick Littlefield, Tom Rowe, Frank Pellett, and John Hamilton, Volume 1, pp. 50 & 51.