Because of the number of rapiers throughout the colonies, it may be assumed that there would have been at least an even number of daggers as well. Tampa Metro Map The two worked together because of the European development of a special style of fencing involving the use of both. When employed in this fashion, the dagger became known as the left-hand dagger, as this was the hand holding it. The left-hand dagger developed into two types: the poignard and the main gauche. The poignard was also known as a quillon dagger, due to the style of its cross-guard. This cross-guard was of a simple style, usually with curved quillons, pointing back toward the point.
Daggers with straight quillons and with wider, more triangular knuckle bows became known as main gauche daggers. Polearms The sword, dagger, and hatchet were joined by still another type of edged weapon that saw widespread service throughout the colonies. This weapon was the polearm. Unlike their references to other devices previously discussed, the early colonists were very specific when mentioning these weapons. The polearms utilized in the colonies were the lance, halberd, partizan, bill, pike, and half-pike. A lance was the primary offensive weapon of the mounted soldier, and it was a special spear designed to be used from horseback. A lance would usually be 10 to 14 feet in length with a steel, leaf-shaped head attached to the shaft by either a socket or a tang driven into the wooden shaft. The shaft would ideally swell to its widest point just before the grip. On occasion, just before the grip, a medal shield, known as a vamplate, would be added to protect the hand.
The Spanish introduced the lance into their colonies, and it remained popular there until about 1600, but its use never truly developed in any of the other colonial areas. A typical weapon noted in almost all colonial records was the halberd, which was a polearm with an axe head balanced with a beak or fluke and topped off with a spear point. The butt end of the pole would be typically enclosed with an iron or brass cap, known as the ground iron, butt cap, or foot. Used on occasion as a combat weapon, the halberd was typically carried by noncommissioned officers as a symbol of their rank, or as a ceremonial arm. In the Jacques Le Moyne painting of Native Countrys in Florida during 1564, a halberd with a concave blade is present. The 1578 inventories of the Spanish forts in Florida also recorded the presence of halberds.