Stay up-to-date with what's happening at the museum and in our community of friends and colleagues, download recent issues of our newsletter, and browse through links to news stories featuring our exhibits, programs and events.

FBI Returns Stolen Revolver to ASHM

publication date

Today the American Swedish Historical Museum (ASHM) retrieved an 1861 Colt Revolver that had belonged to Swedish immigrant Major Nere A. Elfwing, who fought in the American Civil War. The revolver was part of a 50-year-old cold case that was cracked by the FBI in 2019. It was stolen from ASHM in the 1970s by Thomas Gavin, who was recently convicted of the series of thefts in the 1960s and 70s.

ASHM was joined by museum representatives from the Landis Valley Museum, Museum of the American Revolution, York History Center, Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle, and The Hershey Story Museum today for the Repatriation Ceremony at the Museum of the American Revolution. 

The artifacts were recovered through the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Art Crime Team - Philadelphia Division, the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Upper Merion Township Police Department. ASHM is glad to have this artifact returned to our collection as it is one of the few pieces related to Scandinavian involvement in the Civil War.