This muzzle-loading revolver and its case were donated to the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in 2002 by Mr. Basil McCormick, originally from Lochiel. This Whitney Navy Percussion Revolver is in good condition but not functioning. It has a wooden handle and is stamped with the name E. WHITNEY N. HAVEN, the maker and the location of fabrication. Eli Whitney (1765-1825), the fabricator of the gun, revolutionized the mass production of cotton in the United States by inventing a machine that cut down man hours by separating the cottonseed from raw cotton fibers. Unfortunately he failed from making any profit on his invention because of failure to patent his machine. Whitney eventually regained his wealth when he became a manufacturer of muskets.
The revolver was given to the donor by his grandfather, Alex Baker McDonald (1872-1965) at the age of ten. At the time, being that he had very little interest in such a gift, he gave it to his older teenage neighbor, Harold MacMillan, an active volunteer at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum and the Glengarry Historical Society, who had more interest in the gadget. To Mr. McCormick’s surprise, Mr. MacMillan returned the gun in early 2002, almost 40 years later. It is unsure how his grandfather acquired the high-quality revolver or how it ended up in Lochiel, so far from its manufacturer. The revolver currently remains in the Museum’s possession as a treasured and unique piece of history.