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    Description

    Samuel Colt presents a pistol to the future secretary of his company

    Samuel Colt Letter Signed "Sam Colt." One page, 8.5" x 10.75", on "Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co." letterhead, Havana, March 25, 1861, to Thomas J. Fales regarding the gift of a pistol to Dr. Martin and himself. In full:

    "I have determined to go home with my family in the 'Quaker City' which sails to day. We reached here safely & all write in kindest regards to Mrs. Fales & yourself. Will you be kind enough to present one of the accompanying pistols, with my compliments to Dr. Martin, & receive the other one for your own use. From your obliged & sincere friend."

    A short postscript at lower left reads: "Excuse haste. Please make our regards to Dr. Martin."

    Folds of the letter are weak and have detached, but the letter is mounted to a black backing board, repairing the damage with no loss of paper or text, to an overall size of 9" x 12".

    Thomas Fales left his father's plantation on the island of Cuba in 1832 and obtained a job with Fesser Albers & Co., one of the largest import/export firms on the island. He worked for the firm for fifteen years and, by the end, he was managing the operation in Albers' absence. In the meantime, he married a native of Hartford, Connecticut who found Cuba unfavorable to her health, and the couple moved to the United States, settling in Hartford.

    In 1849, he went into business with John R. Tracy and established Tracy & Fales which manufactured passenger and freight cars for the railroad. In 1852, Tracy was bought out and Tracy & Fales became Fales & Gray. Business went well until 1854, when a boiler explosion destroyed the factory and killed 25 men, injuring 50 others. Coupled with Robert Schuyler's stock fraud the same year, the company went under.

    Fales floated from one business venture to another until he was contacted by arms manufacturer Samuel Colt. Colt offered Fales a job as Secretary of the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, which he accepted in 1862. By this time, the war was on and business was booming. Fales worked for Colt for six years before he returned to Cuba with his family. Civil war broke out on the island, forcing the family to move back to Harford in 1870. He again moved from business to business, returning to Colt once in 1881, before dying sometime in the late 1880s. Lots 34056 through 34060 in this auction are from the personal papers of Thomas Fales.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 974

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