'Die Generals und Officiers der Koniglich Englischen Armee und dere Hutffs Truppen zu Neu Yorck'.
British officers study a map in their billet, 1776 (c)
Engraving by Jean Benait Winkler, after artist C Trrost, published by Carington Bowles, 1776 (c).
British officers study a map in their New York billet. There were about 7,000 British troops in the American colonies on the eve of the War of Independence (1775-1783). Some of these garrisoned the remote forts controlling the Proclamation Line (the divide between Native American and colonial territory) and the main overland routes.
The remainder policed the towns and ports. As well as defending settlers from border attacks by Native Americans, smuggling and civil disturbances were the main problems faced by the Army.
Soldiers posted to colonial garrisons were generally accommodated in purpose-built barracks. In America, extra soldiers brought in to police the Stamp Act of 1765 were accommodated 'in inns and uninhabited houses' at local cost.
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers