Friday, March 24, 2017

Brigham Young's .31 Cal

In May of 2016 on behalf of the direct descendants of Brigham Young and in association with Michael Simens a personal friend of the Young Family, Brigham Young’s Colt pistol was put up for auction. It was said to have sold for between $550,000 and $850,000.
This is a factory engraved Colt Model 1849 Pocket percussion revolver manufactured in 1854 and presented to Brigham Young, by H.E. Dimick & Co., a major St. Louis firearms dealer. Brigham Young was Prophet at the martyrdom of Joseph Smith from 1844 until his death in 1877. This revolver was presented to the Prophet by H.E. Dimick & Company while he served as Governor of the Utah Territory (1851-1858).
It sold to an anonymous buyer in May of 2016 for $632,500.
There are some who wonder why the Church has not come out against what is commonly called “gun violence”. I think that followers of Christ are against ALL violence, not just that which comes from a gun. I believe there are some Mormon Liberals that like to think they hold the moral high ground and that guns could not possibly be any good. My feeling is that they feel that way until a criminal attacker/terrorist/madman starts shooting at them. Then they call 911 for someone to save them…with a gun.
Brigham Young knew the importance of self-defense.
“…do as I do—keep some person awake in your house all night long, and be ready, at the least tap of the foot, to offer a stout resistance, if it is required. Be ready at any moment to kill twenty of your enemies at least. Let every house be a fort. … I am my own policeman, and have slept, scores of nights, with my gun and sword by my side, that is, if I slept at all. I am still a policeman. Now is the day to watch. It is as important for me to watch now, as well as pray, as it ever has been since I came into this kingdom. It requires watching, as well as praying men; take turns at it, let some watch while others pray, and then change round, but never let any time pass without a watcher, lest you be overtaken in an hour when you think not;”
Brigham Young -JD 1:171-172
Clint Eastwood’s Josey Wales said: “You gonna pull those pistols or whistle ‘Dixie?’”
This gunslinger famously brushed off a group of Union soldiers with those sneering words—just before he shot all four of them dead. The line was more than a bit reminiscent of the oft-misquoted line Eastwood said in the 1971 movie that catapulted him to fame: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?,” his Dirty Harry character asked the bad guy at the mercy of his Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum.
When Eastwood’s character ruthlessly killed those soldiers in 1976’s The Outlaw Josey Wales, he chose as his weapons of death the 1847 Colt Walkers from his belt holsters. It’s not surprising that Hollywood would have him draw Colt’s first six-shooter, as much of the credit for taming the Wild West is usually assigned to six-shooters and big-bore rifles. But had he met those soldiers at a poker table, Josey might have reached into his vest pocket for the little five-shot pocket revolver that played its own part in the saga of the American frontier.
That hideout revolver, the 1849 Pocket Colt, was the most produced of all Colt percussion arms. It also became the best-selling handgun in the world during the entire 19th century.
During the 1840s, people had a myriad of single shot pistols to choose from for personal portable protection. These guns varied from huge and cumbersome large-bored horse pistols to miniscule, largely ineffective “coat pocket” handguns. As insurance against malfunctions, some of these pistols were actually designed with auxiliary weapons such as affixed knives or heavy club-like handles.
One of the few repeating pistols offered at the time, the multi-barrelled “pepperbox,” was a popular, but somewhat unreliable gun. (The pepperbox was the gun Joseph Smith emptied while being attacked in Carthage jail) Named for condiment canisters, a host of these single-action and double-action pepperbox pistols were produced by manufacturers including Allen & Thurber, Blunt & Syms and the English firm Manton. While some considered the pepperbox pistol one of the best pistols of its time, others saw it as unreliable, inaccurate and sometimes downright dangerous for its possessor. In his classic work Roughing It, Mark Twain claimed that the safest place to be when such a contraption fired was in front of it. A justice of the peace in Mariposa, California, agreed with Twain and actually ruled in an 1852 assault case that an Allen’s pepperbox could not be considered a dangerous weapon. This was not so for the Colt.

Brigham Young was pretty clear about how he felt about guns and defense.

"Keep your guns to yourselves. Trust no one; and when you shoot, take a good aim."
(Brigham Young, CDBY, 17 Sept. 1845.)

Semper Paratus
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