I would disagree just a wee tad...
In brief and to over-generalize...
Historically, Jacob Hawken opened a gun shop in St. Louis in 1815, joined by his brother Samuel in 1822.
They made rifles (and sometimes pistols) for the local St. Louis trade, but also for the beaver trade industry. However, shop records indicate that theirs was an expensive gun especially with the fantastic inflated mark-up by the time they got to "rendyvous" as compared to "Lancaster" style "Pennsylvania" rifles that cost $12 and sold for $200 out West.
A review of Hawken shop records typically shows sales to fur company owners and leaders, as well as the more "famous" of former mountainmen like Kit Carson (who also had a copy of a "Hawken" made by a Kentucky gunmaker).
With the death of the beaver trade around 1835, the Hawkens returned to local business and custom orders, employing a number of gunsmiths. Jake died in the cholera epidemic of 1849. In 1858 Sam turned the business over to son William. In 1860, William sells the shop to William Watt and partners, and moves to Denver. In 1862 J.P. Gemmer buys the St. Louis shop after having been a gunsmith there. Gemer dabbles in breechloading modfications of surplus Sharps, Remington, and Spencer rifles making "Hawken hybrids." But with the rise of the metallic cartridge, Gemmer dabbles in local hunting rifles and repairs. Gemmer closes the shop in 1915.
With the rise of modern buckskining and "rendezvousing," "Hawken" rifles become a fashion and fad, and for a while, the "rifle of choice" even though many mountainmen never likely even saw one in their lives.
Feeding that interest and craze(s), Thompson-Center came out with a half stock "version" that is not much like an actual J., J. & S., S., or Gemmer "Hawken" except that it is short, half stocked, and percussion.
Which lead to the Italains and Spanish marketing their own cheaper versions that for a time could be found at K-Mart.
Because of the "half stock" "percussion" similarities between the Thompson-Center, Italian/Spanish TC clones, and actual Civl War era civilian rifles such as Dimmmick, Leman, and hundreds of local gunmakers East and West more "History-Light" units made them "okay" for use.
And there was a time when they could had for 1/4 or 1/3 the cost of a "Springfield" or "Enfield," in some units they were popular for guys on a "budget," "new recruits", and 12 year sons of members who could not man-handle a full sized weapon.
Over the years, in many Mainstream circles, these Hawken "Hawkins" have been banned as too "unhistorical" or too "unsafe."
Who almost was shot in the face at Antietam 135 by two 10-12 year boys
trying to balance a musket cap on Italian clone "Hawkins."
In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt
Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.