The Matchlock Gun

The Matchlock Gun

Book - 1941
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In 1756, New York State was still a British colony, and the French and the Indians were constant threats to Edward and his family. When his father was called away to watch for a raid from the north, only Edward was left to protect Mama and little Trudy. His father had shown him how to use the huge matchlock gun, an old Spanish gun that was twice as long as he was, but would Edward be able to handle it if trouble actually came? This classic, first published in 1941, has an updated, kid-friendly format that includes the original black-and-white illustrations.
Publisher: New York : Putnam, c1941.
ISBN: 9780399219115
0399219110
Characteristics: x, 50 p. :,some col. ill. ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Lantz, Paul 1908-2000

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IndyPL_SteveB Mar 23, 2019

Edward Van Alstyne is a 10 year old Dutch-American boy living in New York State in 1756, up in the Hudson Valley when raids by the French and the Indians were a constant threat. His father has ridden off with other men to stand guard at a bridge into the area, after reports of Indian attacks, leaving only Edward, his young sister, and his mother at home. One of their possessions is an ancient Spanish matchlock gun, similar to a blunderbuss, unusable for normal shooting. The story details an attack on the home by several Indians who are driven off by the mother’s bravery and Edward’s use of the gun.

Exciting as a slice of life at the time; but maybe too small a slice for greatness. It seems like a lot of detail is missing to place the story in history for children. It ends rather abruptly at only 50 pages. Striking lithograph illustrations by Paul Lantz. Edmonds was well known as the author of *Drums Along the Mohawk*, a best-seller for many years.

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