Even though Eli Whitney was not given a Federal musket contract in 1808, his armory kept busy by building arms for state militias like New York and Connecticut. These arms were largely identical to the "Charleville" pattern of 1795 until 1709, when New York requested several changes be applied to the arms that it was purchasing from the Connecticut-based firm.
1st. The barrel would need to be 1/4 to 1/2 pound heavier
2nd. Additional strength needed to be added to the limbs of the lock
3rd. Additional strength needed to be added to the breech plug; increasing its length 2 to 4 threads
4th. Addtional strength would be needed in the grip of the stock.
5th. The stocks were to be made from seasoned black walnut and the whole to be completed in a "workmanlike manner".
Whitney adopted these changes into his official pattern and by 1810 he was delivering the updated muskets to both New York and Connecticut. It wasn't long after, that the Federal Government was given a chance to inspect this new pattern musket, as Whitney sent several to Philadelphia in 1812 for a conference that was being held to adopt a new standard infantry musket. Whitney's new pattern was quickly approved and designated the M1812.
The Model 1812 also has historical significance as the first US military weapon that was actually designed in America. The two models that preceded the M1812, the M1795 and the M1808, were more or less copies of the French M1766 Charleville muskets that had been heavily imported by the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. However, with the new improvements implemented by Whitney and later adopted by the War Department, the US finally had its first uniquely "American" musket.
This particular musket is in excellent condition. The lock is still in its original flint lock configuration; and has not been reconverted like so many other examples on the modern collector market. The cock holds solid on both full and half cock and the frizzen spring in sharp and crisp.
The stock is in excellent condition with no major damage; only a few isolated cracks near the rear lock bolt and a small chip missing from the tail of the lock mortise. All the edges are crisp and square; indicating that this musket has never been refinished.
The barrel is full length and the bore is good with some scattered rust and pitting throughout.
The furniture is all original, including the ram rod; which is full length.