To The Riflemen Of America

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Written by: David Minshall

New York Herald, 14 March 1874
New York Herald, Saturday, March 14, 1874

The challenge that was issued late in 1873 by the Irish Eight, who won the Elcho Shield at Wimbledon that year, was accepted by the Amateur Rifle Club of New York, on behalf of the riflemen of America. The match was set to take place at Creedmoor, Long Island, between 15 September and 12 October 1874.

On 11 March 1874, a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Amateur Rifle Club was held to consider the programme of the proposed match. The Committee accepted the programme with the single exception that the number of competitors upon each side should not be less than six.

It was intended to organise an American team of picked riflemen, and the Secretary of the Club, Frederick P. Fairbanks, issued a circular to all native-born Americans. The Amateur Rifle Club did not “claim that they included among their members the best riflemen in America, but only presume to act as your representatives for the purpose of placing the matter in such a shape as to permit all who prove themselves competent to compete, irrespective of their residence or membership.”

The circular set out the programme and confirmed that the ranges were 800, 900 and 1,000 yards. Those interested in rifle shooting, and who desired to form part of the team to represent America in the match were requested to submit scores. These were to be fifteen consecutive shots fired at each distance named in the programme, and on the appropriate targets, on or before the 1st day of July 1874. The circular was published in the leading newspapers.