1863 1864


Spencer Model 1863 Army repeating rifle with Blakeslee 1864 Patent magazine box

Manufactured by Spencer Repeating Arms in Boston, Massachusetts c.1864, magazine box manufactured by Erasmus Blakeslee c.1864 in Chicopee, Massachusetts - serial number 5164.
.52RF Spencer 7-round tubular magazine, the wood tin and leather Blakeslee box holds 10 spare magazines for a total of 70 spare rounds of ammunition. Lever action repeater, manually cocked hammer, full length musket-style foregrip with the barrel bands and the whole shebang.

The Spencer military rifle’s success with mounted Union infantry is what prompted its better known variant, the M1860 carbine, to be adopted en masse by Union cavalry units by the end of the American Civil War.
The magazine box however was barely used, despite 30000 units being delivered to the Union during the war.


John Everett Millais (1829-1896)
“My First Sermon” (1862-1863)
“My Second Sermon” (1864)
Oil on canvas
Both are located in the Guildhall Art Gallery, London, England


Ikeda Nagaoki (池田 長発, August 23, 1837 – September 12, 1879), formally “Ikeda Chikugo no kami Nagaoki”, was the governor of small villages of Ibara, Bitchū Province (Okayama Prefecture), Japan, during the end of the Tokugawa shogunate.

He was, at 27, the head of the Second Japanese Embassy to Europe (Japanese:第2回遣欧使節), also called the Ikeda Mission, sent in 1863-1864 by the Tokugawa shogunate to negotiate the cancellation of the open-port status of Yokohama. The mission was sent following the 1863 “Order to expel barbarians” (攘夷実行の勅命) issued by Emperor Kōmei, and the Bombardment of Shimonoseki incidents, in a wish to close again the country to Western influence, and return to sakoku status. Nagaoki left with a mission of 36 men on a French warship, stopped in Shanghai, India and Cairo through the Suez canal. His mission visited the pyramids, a feat which Antonio Beato photographed at the time (last picture). He finally arrived in Marseille and then Paris, where he met with Napoleon III and with Philipp Franz von Siebold. He stayed at the Grand Hotel in Paris.

The request to close Japanese harbours to Westerners was doomed as Yokohama was the key springboard for Western activity in Japan. The mission was a total failure. Nagaoki however was very impressed with the advancement of French civilization, and became very active in promoting the dispatch of embassies and students abroad, once he had returned to Japan. He was finally put under house arrest by the Bakufu. Nagaoki brought many documents from France, related especially to physics, biology, manufacture, textiles and also fermentation technologies. He is considered as one of the fathers of the wine industry in Japan.

Cooper M1863 2nd Model revolver

Manufactured in Philadelphia c.1864-69 - serial number 1135.
.31 cap and ball 5-shot rebated cylinder, double action, creeping loading lever, generally an upgraded Colt M1849 Pocket design.

I can’t wait for affordable 3D printed antique gun replicas to be a thing.


Orchid and Hummingbirds by Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904)

..Heade travelled in Brazil from 1863 to 1864, where he painted an extensive series of small works, eventually numbering over forty, depicting hummingbirds. He intended the series for a planned book titled “The Gems of Brazil”, but the book was never published due to financial difficulty and Heade’s concerns about the quality of the reproductions. Heade nevertheless returned to the tropics twice, in 1866 journeying to Nicaragua, and in 1870 to Colombia, Panama, and Jamaica. He continued to paint romantic works of tropical birds and lush foliage into his late career. (wikipedia)

Dreyse M1862 Needle Carbine

Manufactured in Sömmerda, German Empire c.1864.
15mm paper cartridges, bolt action.

One of the half a dozen models of needleguns in Dreyse’s successful military rifles series, they were capable of firing near to five times faster than any of the muzzle-loaders that equipped most armies at the time.
However the problem of sealing gas inside the weapon in bolt action rifles wouldn’t be ‘solved’ - with a rubber band, hence the quotation marks - until 1863 with the Mle 1866 rifle designed by French gunsmith A.A. Chassepot, and thus these Dreyse rifles were notoriously dangerous to aim, leading to many soldiers from various German states to only fire the gun from the hip, limiting its effectiveness. It was however a major step-up from Minié rifles in terms of firepower and marks with the Gatling gun one of the first step toward the change in battle tactics that would culminate in WW1.

Dreyse M1841 Needle Rifle

DBQ/FRQ First Aid (Precolonial to Imperialism)

Tomorrow, you will be taking the APUSH Advanced Placement Exam. Determining on what college you want to go to, at least a three is commonplace. I don’t know about you guys, but my biggest problem is going the length of an entire essay (for example if they want me to talk about Colonial Times through the Revolution, but they just write “1763-1781” I wouldn’t know what to write about). Furthermore, I’m going to list eras, what happening during them in chronological order and a very brief description of what they did. Keep in mind that many eras (such as the 1960’s) are important both in foreign policy and domestic affairs. I will divide them accordingly. The DBQ will not ask for specific years, but it’s better to have a general understanding of the era they are asking you about so you can throw in some “specific evidence” to get that 7-9 essay. This chart is also particularly helpful with the FRQ. Anyway, let’s begin.

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