Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 267: Half Stock Percussion Plains Rifle

Auction Date: July 6, 2022

Half Stock Percussion Plains Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $500 - $700

Half Stock Percussion Plains Rifle

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Percussion Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50
Barrel: 41 inch octagon
Finish: brown
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 482
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Class: Antique

OF - FAIR- some major parts replaced; minor replacement parts may be required; metal rusted, may be lightly pitted all over, vigorously cleaned; rounded edges of metal and wood; principal lettering, numerals and design on metal partly obliterated; wood scratched, bruised, cracked or repaired where broken; in fair working order or can be easily repaired and placed in working order.


Consignor states rifle was owned by noted American pathfinder and scout, Elisha Stephens. Elisha Stephens was born on April 5, 1804 and had many occupations throughout his life including being a blacksmith and trapper. In 1844, he resigned from his position as a government blacksmith, outfitted a wagon, and joined the 50 member wagon party of Dr. John Townsend and Martin Murphy, Sr. (Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party) that was heading west from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Alta California (Mexico Territory). Stephens was quickly elected as "captain" of the wagon train based on his leadership and experience in numerous different fields. Utilizing the help of eighty year old guide Caleb Greenwood and a Paiute Indian Chief later named "Truckee" (who had previously helped guide John C. Fremont during his 2nd expedition), the wagon party became the first to successfully cross the Sierra Nevada during the west expansion; occuring two years prior to the ill-fatted Donner-Reed party. Elisha Stephens eventually settled in Kern County, California (near what would later become Bakersfield) and died on September 9, 1887.

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