Simsbury Mine in Connecticut. This mine was used as a prison for Loyalists and suspected Loyalists during the Revolutionary War. It can’t have been a pleasant place.
Learn more about it at the Journal of the American Revolution
be a Tory in the northern colonies was to understand and fear the consequences of confinement at the infamous copper mine of Simsbury, Connecticut. Although already in use as a Loyalist prison, the mine gained official approval for use by the Assembly early in 1776. It quickly gained a reputation as a dismal environment where “the light of the Sun and the light of the Gospel are alike shut out from the martyrs.”The assembly approved an original expenditure of 37 pounds to make the mine escape proof but they still had a good deal of trouble maintaining a lid on the prisoners below.
The mine dated back to 1737 when the landowner, Samuel Higley, started a copper coin operation. He dug copper and minted 3 penny coins for a number of years but the neighbors felt the coins were overvalued and subsequent devaluation caused Higley to cease production after a few years. Late in 1773 the colonial legislature needed a place to put Loyalists in need of confinement. They convinced the current landowner, John Viets, that he should modify the old mine and go into the prison business.
Late 18th century button samples for a button salesman.
Double barrel flintlock pistol with folding bayonet presented by King George III to Sir Henry Clinton, commander of British Forces during the American Revolution. Pistol crafted by Robert Wogdon of London in 1760.
This ship was discovered underneath the World Trade Center in 2010 as construction crews were clearing the ground for the rebuilding projects. The ship has been dated to 1773 and was built in Philadelphia from the same type of trees as were used to build Independence Hall.