We’ve recently mentioned Miles Standish, in a story about early colonist unconventional warfare. But Standish is an interesting character on several levels. He took his duties as Cmdr. of the Plymouth militia seriously; enough so, that when he perished in 1656, the weapons he had set aside would today have got him named an arsenal. We know this because his inventory of personal property, tken in conjuncyion with hi will, survives to this day.
Standish was a man of some substance for the 17th Century; his estate all told comprised over £350, a serious fortune in the time of the English Interregnum.
But we’re interested in the arms in his death inventory:
It(em:) one fowling peece 3 musketts 4 Carbines 2 smale guns one old barrell
It(em:) one sword one Cutles 3 belts
So, then, he passed away owning no less then ten firearms, of which only one was of the hunting or sporting variety; plus a spare barrel; plus two swords. All in the value of £10, 8s, 0d.
Compare that to the 4-gun “arsenal” of George Zimmerman that so alarmed the media. Or the one-gun “arsenal” by which CBS definitively answered the question, “How small can an ‘arsenal’ be for these meretricious media morons?”
Incidentally, one of the signatories to Standish’s death inventory was his old acquaintance John Alden, originally the cooper (barrel-maker) of the Mayflower, who chose to stay in the Plymouth colony and was elected its first governor. When a colony is that small, everybody knows everybody else.