Autry Museum of the American West

Presentation Model 1851 Navy Revolver

right side

right side

1856; serial number 59492
Owner: Kansas Territorial Governor Robert J. Walker
Inscribed: Gov. R.J. Walker / Col. Colt’s Compliments
Manufacturer: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
Engraver: the shop of Gustave Young

The American frontier moved gradually across the North American continent over several generations. In the 1850s, the frontier included areas such as the Kansas Territory and border towns in the state of Missouri. The issue of slavery, and whether or not it should be allowed in the Kansas Territory, was hotly debated. The debate often turned violent, and with so many people losing their lives, newspaper editor Horace Greeley dubbed the area "Bleeding Kansas." In 1857, at the height of the violence, Samuel Colt presented this Model 1851 Navy Revolver to Kansas Territorial Governor Robert. J. Walker, an influential politician. The revolver was commonly referred to as the "Bleeding Kansas Colt."

  • left side

    left side
  • inscription

  • multiple objects

    multiple objects

  • Kansas Territorial Governor Robert J Walker, served April through December 1857

    courtesy of Library of Congress
  • Newspaper editor Horace Greeley

    courtesy of Library of Congress


Jeffrey Richardson

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Marilyn Kim, Vlasta Radan, Carmel France, Rebecca Menendez, David Benitez, Susan Eisenstein


Marlene Head

Special Thanks

Greg Martin, R. L. Wilson

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