Now this is a piece of Civil War history with such a cool back story, it will make even your most historically-apathetic friends sit up and pay attention. This M1843 is one of five thousand Hall carbines that was infamously purchased from the Federal government by famous American financier JP Morgan and then sold back to the government at a tremendously inflated price. This scandal became known as the "Hall Carbine Affair" and has become one of the most famous examples of a war profiteering in American history.
The scandal started in June of 1861 when Simon Stevens purchased 5,000 Hall carbines at a cost of $12.50 each. Stevens immediately negotiated the sale of the carbines to Field General John C. Fremont for a price of $22.00 each pending the rifles be rifled and the blocks bored out to .58 caliber. Stevens obtained a loan from several bankers to finance the project; with JP Morgan being among the chief loan officers. While most of the smaller investors were paid off almost immediately, Morgan held the rifles as collateral an even submitted a bill to the Federal Government for $58,175 before releasing the finished guns.
During the slow delivery process of the re-bored guns to Fremont, a scandal had developed as it was soon discovered that Fremont had purchased the carbines without authorization and as a result had been grossly over-charged. The Secretary of War set up a House Investigating Committee to look into the matter. The Hall Carbine Affair, to this day, remains a blight on JP Morgan's reputation.
This particular M1843 is one of the "Fremont-altered" guns. It's rifled barrel is in good shape with strong rifling with some rust and light pitting in the grooves. The block is dated locks up very tight against the receiver and has been bored to .58, indicating and all-matching gun.
The stock is in nice shape with no cracks or splits and wonderfully crisp edges. There is a inventory number "4" on the left side of the stock. We are aware of another Fremont Hall in a private collection that features an inventory number with the exact same style and placement as this gun that has been identified to a cavalryman in the 2nd Illinois Volunteer Cavalry; and original records do indicate the 2nd Illinois was issued Fremont Halls. However, without any hard documentation to link the inventory number of this gun to that specific unit, we'll reserve any claims about this particular weapons provenance to a future owner who wishes to research it further.
The hammer locks reliably on both half and full cock and all the furniture is original and matching.