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    Important Civil War Letter Signed from Famed American Arms Inventor Samuel Colt to the Editor of the New York Tribune. A remarkable letter in which Colt pointedly addresses the controversy surrounding Colt supplying arms to the Confederacy, a contention that persists among some historians to this day. The 7½" x 9¾" letter is in pristine condition on Colt Company stationary with an engraving of the Colt factory at the top and dated December 19, 1861. The letter is clearly written by a clerk but bears Colt's bold crisp signature at the bottom. Colt states to the editor of the Tribune: "Your editorial statement in the Tribune of this morning that you are 'assured' that 'agents' of Colonel Samuel Colt are actively engaged in England in aiding the manufacture of revolvers for the Southern Rebels calls for attention." Colt goes on to assure the editor that all resources of the Colt Company are dedicated to the "wishes and purposes of our own Federal Government" and that "if any persons have, in any manner afsumed [sic] to act as my agents in giving aid to the rebels of the Southern States, they are acting under false pretenses/" Colt further states that "At the first outbreak of the rebellion I tendered to the Government in writing the whole energy of my large arms establishment for its support", and that the documentary evidence in the hands of the War Department represents "a sufficient defence against all such slanders".

    There is no question that Colt and his agents were aggressively pursuing the sale of arms to both individuals and state governments in the south prior to the outbreak of hostilities, and, while there is the very real possibility that Colt agents in England were "turning a blind eye" to purchases by Confederate agents scouring Europe and England early in the war for weapons, there appears to be no hard evidence that after the outbreak of the war Colt or his agents were engaged in any organized efforts to continue sales to the Confederacy. Archivally matted and nicely presented in a large gilt frame with a small litho portrait of Colt. A significant document in both the history of the Colt Company and the American Civil War.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,532

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