Composite Colt Model 1848 "Baby Dragoon" Belonging
Composite Colt Model 1848 "Baby Dragoon" Belonging to Gold Mine Owner Henry Wickenburg with Docs
.31 cal., 4" octagonal barrel, S/N 5102. Cylinder with stagecoach scene and rectangular cylinder slots. Square back brass triggerguard with brass backstrap; walnut grips. Firearm is inscribed H. Wickenburg/Ariz on the grip butt.
Henry Wickenburg (1817-1905) was a German immigrant who moved to Yuma, Arizona. His legacy today is formation of the town of Wickenburg, Arizona was a result of the prosperity of a gold mine he discovered. On two occassions it was nearly chosen to be the capital of the state of Arizona.
In 1863 Wickenburg discovered the 'Vulture Gold Mine'. The mine produced gold at an astounding rate of $3,000 a day. A flood in 1890 put a financial strain on the mine's future. Unfortunately for Wickenburg, three years after his death in 1905 a new vein was discovered in the 'Vulture' mine that produced $2,000,000 over the next seven years.
In 1905 it was reported that Wickenburg commited suicide with this very firearm. The gun was lost in history for 62 years until a Baltimore attorney, Neil J. Lewis, found it in 1967 and sold it to William E. Dalrymple. The inscription is believed to have been done by Wickenburg himself.
In the Spring 2004 there is a feature article in The Rampant Colt detailing the information above in the description for this lot. The lot further contains a large folder with articles and personal correspondance relating to research on this firearm.
Barrel backstrap and triggerguard have matching serial numbers; frame is from a '49 pocket Colt with no numbers. Hammer has a roller. Grips have been replaced. All metal is grey and pitted. Backstrap and triggerguard with some traces of original silver-plated finish.