Burden Rifle

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by DanielleG69, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. DanielleG69

    DanielleG69 New Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm possibly wondering if anyone might know how to locate a civil war era Burden rifle. My last name is Burden, and this rifle was made by my ancestors and I would love to find one. Any help would be appreciated.
    notaburden01 likes this.
  2. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Would this be one of your relatives?

    Edmond Collins Burden

    Edmond Collins Burden was born in Nicholas County, July 20, 1826, grandson of Charles Burden (17763-1836) and the son of James Burden (1793-1888) and Elizabeth Collins, who was a granddaughter of Mark Kenton, Jr., an older brother of Simon Kenton. [Elizabeth Collins was the daughter of Edmond Collins and Sarah Kenton, and the sister of Matilda and Mariah, both of whom married William W. Wells, and Lucinda, who married Daniel Wells.] He lived in the community of Crayton where, at an early age, he became an expert gunsmith and long before the Civil War was producing his famous rifles, each marked on the top of the barrel: "E. C. Burden."

    He married on Oct. 17, 1850, in Nicholas County, Nancy Wells, daughter of Uriah Wells and Esther Pollick [sic], and later transferred this gun-making establishment to Carlisle. His youngest brother, James Madison Burden, became his apprentice. In 1852, he was elected Jailer of Nicholas County.

    Burden's excellent craftsmanship was always in demand and brought him recognition far beyond his own county. An Ohio county history book records that during the Civil War, a group of Ohio hunters formed a militia unit. Because each man was armed with his own Burden rifle, the unit was known as "The Burden Rifles."

    These Nicholas County made rifles can still be located in Nicholas and surrounding counties. Having been handed down for several generations, the writer possesses one of these muzzle loaders. It has a thick, octagon-shaped, long barrel and is very heavy; but, when placed to the shoulder, the balance is so remarkable that the heaviness disappears.

    In Feb. 1879, Burden and his married children moved to Kansas and settled near Hutchinson. His eldest son, Dr. William C. Burden, was a practicing physician until his death in 1903.

    Edmund C. Burden died in Feb. 1913, while living with relatives in Arkansas. His wife, Nancy, had died in 1904. Both are buried at Rogers, Ark. -- by Karl Rosenberg, Apdo. 5-472, Guadalajara, 5, Jal., Mexico.

    Cutler, William G. History of the State of Kansas. Chicago, Illinois: A. T. Andreas, 1893.

    Rice County, Part 7 Raymond
    notaburden01 likes this.

  3. notaburden01

    notaburden01 New Member

    Nov 24, 2011
    My GGGGG Grandfather Was Old James Burden. He is buried in the Burden cemetary in Mt Olivet KY. I have had pictures in the past of the Burden Rifle but it has been years since I have looked at them. We do still have family there. They may know of someone who has one or where to go to see one. There is a Mayor in Burden Kansas that has a rifle but as of yet, no one has been able to see. There is also a Burden Book that has a picture of the rifle and Old James, plus all of his children. There were 10 children from his first marriage and 12 from his second marriage. I'm sure one of them may still have one of these rifles.
  4. I know where one that was made by his brother as his brother apprenticed under him! It is NOT for sale and there is no way of putting a price on them IF ever found. I know of 2 here in the county, Nicholas County with at least one at the Neal Center BUT as to it being the real deal, that is up to debate being it is full stocked instead of 1/2 stocked. Right before and during the CW James Burden as apprentice and his brother E.C. the master gun maker received a contract of several of the rifles, enough to outfit a company of sharp shooters out of Ohio with all being commissioned of the same as to style and caliber, 38 caliber. All the guns that James finished were marked by him with his intials ONLY and then hidden either behind the lock plate of on inderside of the barrel but the guns finished by the older brother were marked E.C. Burden, Nicholas Co. KY. There used to be a shotgun and a rifle made by Burden hanging in the old Headquarters store however where those got to is anyone's guess. Maxwell Burden was the last direct decendent here in Nicholas County and he passed away a few short years ago. IF Maxwell had any of the rifles, they are now his daughters or if his son is still anlive, his. They live out of state, TN I "believe" but not for sure. IF you want to see what they look like I can show a picture of one that was made by James in the Ohio contract but for some reason this rifle stayed in Nicholas County or found it's way back.

    As to the above article cut and pasted, they are not as many Burden Rifles as people think around. All of the rifles EC made and the ones James made as an apprentice that are known to still exist can be counted on ONE hand without using your THUMB! I should know being I have one of James's guns, probably the ONLY one left that is known of. Now as to the heft, balance, and rest of the description of the rifles, that is correct. Also all the Civil War Burden rifles have one distingishing feature on them, the percussion drum and nipple are unique in design. The nipple is a rather long nipple and the drum has a rounded end on it, a uniqe round end. They are very accurate to this day being mine is shot at least a couple times a year.

    By the way, James still made some firearms even after being elected sheriff. His guns were not clearly marked except with his initals and they were either on the underside of the barrel where the stock covers thm of on the lock plate on the inside.

    IF you find one for sale, you are lucky being I look for them at every chance I get; auctions, priovate sales, online, and anywhere.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    going to see a Burden is on my hit list for the next trip to the US ( and a couple others ..)

    heres what i have here..

    top one is the burden .. it was in a private collection last time i saw it , now donated to this museum here

    i'm sure they'd love a chat with you about it

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011
  6. sting75ray

    sting75ray Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2011
    Burden is my last name also and years ago our family came from Tenn. and Kentucky.
    notaburden01 likes this.
  7. Jaqck, forgot the wife was having a Thanksgiving dinner here tonight being she had to work at the resort to feed over 1000 yesterday. I will get the pictures posted tomorrow I hope. Deer season goes out Sunday night so might be Monday before I get them up however I will try for tomorrow.

    Jack, that top gun is the one that is highly suspicious as being a real complete Burden. I live in Nichols County and that is in our "community visitor center/museum" and when it was donated there were about 10 of us that KNOW what Burden Rifles look like, all we have EVER seen were 1/2 stocked. There is suspect that rifle being restocked as a full stock rifle some time in the early 20th century or even late 19th century. IF you come to Nicholas County at all, you will be MY guest and will enjoy some good KY cooking from my wife who is a chef as well as some fine country living in my cabin IF it is finished by then (am beginning in spring) which wil be on one of my farms. IF you will bear with me Jack, I will post a few pictures in this thread of a rifle made by James Burden while he was an apprentice under his older brotehr E C Burden, one which is exactly what was ordered by the company of sharp shooters from Ohio. I am deer hunting till dark every night, so far we have taken 5 to fill mine and my SIL/daughter's freezers but would LOVE to have at least 3 more. Yes we eat a LOT of deer! I have 2 left on my 4 limit, son in law has 3 left to fill, my wife has 3 left fill, and my son has all 4 of his being he started a new job thus no time to hunt yet. My oldest grand daughter decided she was in the "girly" stage so she is not hunting and the youngest grand daughter is too young to sit still (she is 5 and actually she and her father, my SIL, were in the deer blind having a "pass the gas war" when she messed her pants YES she is a character to say the least)!!!

    So tonight I will post a few pistures of a James Burden rifle which is exactly the same as the E C Burden rifle EXCEPT for NO visable markings. They are 1/2 stocked, very heavy barrel, and 38 caliber percussion. I will make sure to get the unique percussion drum and nipple in the pictures, I had to have a new drum and nipple made for mine a few years back due to the old ones being too far gone to be safe to use. The nipple threads are same as musket cap nipples but accept a number 11 percussion cap instead of a musket cap. IF anything different on mine from the Civil War guns is it most likely had a converted nipple put on it to accept he more poplular number 11 caps.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
    notaburden01 likes this.
  8. http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?p=828832#post828832
    The above link has pictures of my Burden Rifle made by James Burden while he apprenticed under EC Vurden. This rifle was one of teh lot that was made for the OH sharp shooter company. I have been told that the rifles James finished are not marked EC Burden but rather only the initials of James Burden on the underneath of the barrel where the wood covers it. I have also been told that the rifles made for the OH sharp shooter company were not marked EC Burden at all due to how loyalities were divided here in this area of KY where EC Burden lived and practiced his art. IF that is true then none of the OH rifles will have EC Burden on the barrel BUT will have the initials of who finished it on the under side of teh barrel. I cannot verify the reference as to none being marked but can say my rifle was verified as a James Burden rifle from teh OH lot by a late memeber of teh Burden family many years ago. He tried to buy it to which I would not sell it however he did take some pictures of it and did some research on it himself. He has since passed on with all his research being lost as far as I know. he was maxwell Burden who passed away a few short years ago. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures BUT will take some better ones when I get a chance to bring the rifle inside where I can manipulate the light more.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    Cheers Jim sadly thats the way of many of the fine makers ..
  10. Goldeasy67

    Goldeasy67 New Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Hi, my name is Don Hunker a re-tired Gunsmith in Oregon. Years ago I purchased a E.C. BURDEN .36 caliber rifle. It is percussion ignition,full stocked,octagon barrel handsome rifle. The bore/rifling is as new. When I recieved the rifle,the patch box was missing. We took a rubbing and a company in Oklahoma roughed out a replacement. A friend trued it up and beaveled the edges. We then installed it into the stock mortise. Any interest,please reply.


  11. Roy Burden

    Roy Burden New Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    I have a E C Burden rifle, in a display case, hanging in my den. Sorry, its not for sale.
    I am Roy B. Burden, son of Roy E. Burden, son of Roy Burden, and GG grand son of James Burden (?)
    Like to thank everbodys input on the family history.
    notaburden01 likes this.
  12. SevenOTwo

    SevenOTwo New Member

    Apr 21, 2013

    Do you still have this Burden Rifle? Are you interested in selling it??

    Edmund C. Burden was my Great Grand Uncle


    James Burden
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
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