Dr. R. Scott Stephenson Discusses Musket's History

Museum of the American Revolution President and CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson discusses the history of a Revolutionary War-era musket during an FBI Art Crime Team repatriation ceremony on July 1, 2024. The musket was stolen from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in October 1968, and formally returned to the museum during the ceremony.

Video Transcript

Dr. R. Scott Stephenson: I’m incredibly excited and honored to be receiving this firearm, which was stolen from our predecessor, the Valley Forge Historical Society, in 1968.

I wasn't even reading yet, but as soon as I started reading, I got interested in the Revolutionary War during the American bicentennial and actually saw pictures of this fire, which was only known from a few black-and-white photos.

So, it was made almost exactly 250 years ago, around 1774, as the American colonies were preparing to confront the British Empire to restore their liberties.

It is an amalgamation of parts from earlier weapons that have been put together, kind of cobbled together, as we believe a Rhode Island gunsmith was getting ready to arm someone to defend American liberty.

So, it's not just a firearm. It actually has amazing stories to tell.

And, now, people can actually experience this—along with at least 500 other pieces of art, manuscripts, weapons that are on display—at the museum, so we're incredibly excited to have it here on the eve of America's 250th.

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