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British Army Lieutenant James Grant carried this basket-hilted backsword while serving as an officer in the 77th Regiment of Foot in America during the French and Indian War. Grant, a native of Kinmachlie, Banffshire, Scotland, participated in the 77th Regiment’s successful campaign to capture Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh) from the French and their American Indian allies in 1758. The regiment later battled Native Americans fighting for their own independence against the British in 1763 in the conflict known as Pontiac’s Rebellion. Grant was part of the troops that relieved Fort Pitt and fought in the Battle of Bushy Run in August 1763. Grant retired from the British Army in 1763 and settled in Dutchess County, New York. This sword was preserved by his descendants for more than 200 years.

Object Details

  • Backsword
    Unidentified Maker
    Germany or Scotland
    Steel, Iron
    Museum of the American Revolution through the support of the Frances and Beverly M. DuBose Foundation, the St. Andrews Society of Philadelphia, and the Museum’s Collections Society, 2018.13.03

Detail view of the basket shaped hilt on James Grant's backsword.
A close-up look at the basket-shaped hilt on James Grant's backsword.


Image 111120 Collection 48 James Grants Campaign Chest

James Grant’s Campaign Chest

British Army Lieutenant James Grant kept his personal belongings in this chest while he served in America during the French and Indian War.
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This image shows a British Officer's hanger. It is displayed below the sword on a white background. The hilt is a shade of gold while the sword is silver.

British Officer's Hanger

The stout blades on hangers like this one made them versatile fighting weapons and were easier for infantry officers to carry than longer-bladed sabers.
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This image shows a Sword and British Officers Saber.

British Officer's Saber

Made in London, this officer’s saber features a long, single-edged blade used for slashing.
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