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An American Contract to Sell Guns in South America during the Paraguayan War

An American Contract to Sell Guns in South America during the Paraguayan War

Crosby, Hiram; Martin Kenney A two-page contract between Hiram B. Crosby and Martin M. Kenney, both Civil War Veterans, to "furnish altered Springfield Rifle Muskets after the Allin patent now in use in the Regular Army of the United States." Contract was written and witnessed in Havana, Cuba. Kenney was to 'sail. for Buenos Ayeres (sic) to open negotiations with the Argentine Republic, Uruguay and Paraguay.' Crosby was to furnish altered/reinforced Allin's breech-loading gun for $20 gold or U.S. currency, guns without reinforcement for $18. If Kenney were to bring back guns to be altered, the charge was $12 and $10 each. In addition, ammunition would cost $35 for 1,000 rounds, or machinery to reload ammunition would cost $12,000 with capability of reloading 20,000 per day. Kenney was to absorb all the risk on this venture, and to receive commission of $1 per gun. Hiram B. Crosby, a Norwich, CT resident, was a Dartmouth class of 1854 graduate, a colonel with the 18th and 21st Connecticut Infantry who was honorably discharged iin 1864; later an attorney and Counsellor at law with an extensive practice in Westchester County NY. Martin M. Kenney was Confederate soldier, surveyor, lawyer, businessman, historian, and ultimately legislator for the state of Texas. After the Civil War he moved to Mexico, then in 1867 moved to South America for the next 7 years before returning to Texas. The Paraguayan War, also known as the War of the Triple Alliance and the Great War in Paraguay, was a South American war fought from 1864 to 1870, between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, the Empire of Brazil, and Uruguay. It was the deadliest and bloodiest inter-state war in Latin America's history. Paraguay suffered immense losses in population and was forced to cede territory to Argentina and Brazil. [Wikipedia] 2 sheets of paper 8 1/2 x11", handwritten, one page written on both sides, with one envelope 8 3/4 x 4", all evenly toned, with original folds, separated at lower fold, very legible. Some small holes in letter margin, envelope ruffled. An interesting look into the business of war.