Letters from Readers: Abner Stevens Drum in Booth Family Almost 200 Years
David Booth of Westminster, Maryland writes:
I have an Abner Stevens field drum which I inherited from my grandfather, James David Booth of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He said that it belonged to his grandfather, Samuel Colton Booth, who was a member of the Massachusetts Militia in the early 1800's. The drum label is dated 1813. Decoration consists of the same tack geometry as on the 'Lafayette Tribute' drum [see "The Painted Drums of Abner Stevens", this blog (photo below)], with the same star in gold.
The heads and snares are original, but the rope and tabs were replaced in 1976 at the U.S. Navy School of Music, Little Creek, Virginia. I was a Navy musician, and was there for my annual Reserve Active Duty for Training. The rope used to repair the drum was manufactuerd at the ropewalk at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, and the tabs were tanned and made in Williamsburg, Virginia.
[Ed. Note: We hope that David Booth will send us a complete set of photos of his family's Abner Stevens drum so that we can post them here.]