Historic Pistols

Historic Pistols

This is a discussion on Historic Pistols within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Pistols with a past Presented by Lafayette to George Washington, they're displayed for the first time. Sunday, April 24, 2005 By Rebekah Scott, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ...

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Thread: Historic Pistols

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    Historic Pistols



    Pistols with a past
    Presented by Lafayette to George Washington, they're displayed for the first time.
    Sunday, April 24, 2005

    By Rebekah Scott, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    President Andrew Jackson once called these great guns "sacred and holy relics," and displayed them over his fireplace.

    Today, the elegant pair of combat pistols once owned by America's first president are on public display for the first time, at Fort Ligonier in Westmoreland County.

    The long, lightweight flintlocks were made in France for the Marquis de Lafayette, an important foreign volunteer in the American Revolution. They are walnut set in steel, inlaid with gold and silver, engineered for killing. The daring young aristocrat brought them to America as arms for the rebellion.

    Lafayette soon gave them to his mentor, Gen. George Washington, who strapped them to his saddle at Monmouth, Yorktown and Valley Forge. He later brought them west to Bedford to help quell the Whiskey Rebellion.

    A generation later, in 1824, a Washington heir gave the pistols to Jackson, hero of the battle of New Orleans. He eventually returned them to the Lafayette family, and they remained in private hands.

    In 2002, the pistols went on the block, setting a sales record for weapons at Christie's Auction House, where a "mystery bidder" paid $1.9 million for them.

    That bidder turned out to be the Richard King Mellon Foundation, which has donated the guns to the nonprofit museum and re-created fort in Westmoreland County.

    "These are a link to the founders of the United States," said Martin West, director of the Fort Ligonier Association. "They're weapons of war. They've been fired, for sure."

    "After two centuries in private hands, we are pleased to make these important pistols, which symbolize the tumultuous birth of our new nation, available to the public for the first time," said Richard P. Mellon, foundation chairman. Mellon and West were hosts of a gathering of almost 200 guests yesterday at Fort Ligonier to unveil the museum's newest exhibit, the George Washington Collection.

    There, the guns are joined by another rarity that's existed outside public view for centuries, a Washington manuscript simply titled "Remarks."

    Washington wrote the document in 1787, vividly describing incidents found nowhere else in his writings. It reveals personal thoughts and reflections on the French and Indian War during the early years of his military career.

    It includes a description of a 1758 twilight foray near Fort Ligonier, where Washington's troops mistook one another for French invaders in the dying light. The "friendly fire" incident cost the Virginia Regiments 40 casualties, and was stopped only when Washington stepped between the firing lines and shouted to his men to stop shooting.

    "Remarks" was bought with a grant from the Laurel Foundation and several other donors.

    "Remarks" was simply a draft document for use by an early biographer and was never meant for posterity. Washington told an aide to burn it, but it somehow survived.

    The invaluable gifts are part of an ongoing 250th anniversary observance of the French and Indian War, which played itself out across Western Pennsylvania, upstate New York and southern Canada. Fort Ligonier was an important stop on the pioneer road between Bedford and what is now Pittsburgh. It is part of a string of area sites important in the French and Indian War that raged through the 1750s, opened the West for settlement and launched George Washington's career.

    Fort Ligonier's Colonial-era treasures include a portrait of Sir John Ligonier by Sir Joshua Reynolds, dozens of original or reproduction firearms ranging in size from pistols to howitzers and thousands of items such as stirrups, chamber pots, musket barrels and flea combs found on site during archeological digs.

    The fort stands at Route 30 and Route 711 in Ligonier, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh. It is open daily April through October. For hours and directions, call 724-238-9701.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ


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    On a good biking day QK - just might take a ride up there. Not even as far as Greensburg.

    Beautiful pieces eh.
    Chris - P95
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    It's good to see them on display. Imagine that, firearms helping to bring about freedom and individual rights.

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    Excellent to see them on Display. But how do you do a tactile reload

    Ya know maybe we have gone the wrong way back then they carried 2 pistols 2 shots super slow reloads.. Today we carry 1 pistol up to 18 rounds and a spare 17 round mag and wonder if its enough

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    Thumbs up Reload??? haha

    Follow Up Shots are best accomplished by carrying seven more pistols!

    Hope nobody thought this was boring. I thought it was neat for Pennsylvania to have those pistols.
    It's even MORE amazing that The PGH. Post Gazette actually even reported any positive GUN STORY. Doggone Left Wing Paper.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Follow Up Shots are best accomplished by carrying seven more pistols!
    Blackbeard did something like that.

    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    ...Hope nobody thought this was boring. I thought it was neat for Pennsylvania to have those pistols.
    It's even MORE amazing that The PGH. Post Gazette actually even reported any positive GUN STORY. Doggone Left Wing Paper.
    Not at all. Thank you for posting. It's amazing to me that they have survived. The story isn't about guns, you see. It's about history, and things were different, then. Guns were OK, because they needed them. We don't.
    - Tom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud White
    Excellent to see them on Display. But how do you do a tactile reload
    For those drive by shootings, you have to drive real slow!!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

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    Not boring at all. I love the old guns. Would love to see those up close and personal.
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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    how do you do a tactile reload
    Actually, given that they're muzzle-loaders, your reload would have to be very tactile indeed...

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