Object Title

Tomahawk or camp-axe

Tomahawk or camp-axe


about 1750-1759

Object Number



Presented by the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, New York, 1938. Found on the reputed site of the 1795 camp of General Amsherst's army near Fort Ticonderoga (letter of 24 August 1938 from S H P Pell on inv. file).

Physical Description

Found near Fort Toconderoga. Small heavy head with axe blade of 'beaded' form convex and cutting edge; short socket of oval section with a beak towards the blade; short modern haft.
Condition: The front of the blade has been ground and polished and is surprisingly sharp, suggesting it may have been sharpened since it was found (presumably excavated, though this is not definitely stated). The remainder of the blade and the socket are heavily pitted which could be the result of a poor casting as well as exposure in the soil.


Dimensions: Overall length: 424 mm (16 11/16 in), maximum width (blade and socket): 127 mm (5 in), max. width across blade: 75 mm (2 7/8 in), depth of socket: 38 mm (1 3/8 in) Weight: 565 gm (1 lb 4 oz)


According to a letter (on inv. file) of 3 August 1938 from S H P Pell of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, a 'great many' of these weapons were 'picked up on the various camp-sites on the place [the meaning of the latter is not clear], one marked '42' which belonged to a Royal Highlander, and a number marked with the broad arrow'. As all this information dates from 1938 it is possible views on the date of this and the associated finds have since been revised.
'300 'Tommihawks' were issued by the Board of Ordnance to the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Americans in 1761 (C. ffoulkes and E.C. Hopkinson, Sword, Lance and Bayonet, 2nd edn, 1967 (first edn, 1938), p. 120, citing W.O. 34/4, p. 156).