Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Davy Crockett's derringer pistol? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Ruel A. Macaraeg





Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 9:35 am    Post subject: Davy Crockett's derringer pistol?         Reply with quote

Friends,
The State Fair of Texas is currently in session, and on the fairgrounds is the Texas Hall of State, an exhibition hall displaying various artifacts related to state history. Among the objects I saw while visiting was a gun labelled "Davy Crockett's Derringer pistol." I've transcribed the full label at the bottom of this page of derringers: http://www.forensicfashion.com/1881WesternGamblerDerringer.html .



Davy Crockett of course was killed at the battle of the Alamo in 1836. However, I understand that derringers in general weren't produced until the 1850s, and even percussion caplocks -- such as the one on this gun -- weren't made until the 1840s. I suspect, then, that this attribution is false, and the gun has nothing to do with Davy Crockett. Still, millions of State Fair visitors will be passing through and seeing this exhibit, and I doubt anything I say would persuade the curators to change what probably is just another Texas tall tale.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts about this -- about both the authenticity of the gun, and its promotion at a very popular public event. Thanks, r

http://ForensicFashion.com/CostumeStudies.html
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Terry Thompson




Location: Suburbs of Wash D.C.
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks very similar to John Wilkes Booth philadelphia Derringer that he used to shoot Lincoln.

This could be evidence that Davy Crockett was a time traveling zombie. The fact that he has a derringer 10 years before Derringer went into business and then after his own death collaborated with Booth to assassinate Lincoln using a technology that was invented 2 years before his own death. Brilliant! The perfect alibi!

Here's a report of it being stolen and recovered back in 2009:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8svt4IA2WaU

What's further more interesting is that the original plaque clamins that Davy Crockett captured it from the body of a Mexican soldier at the battle of San Jacinto. Maybe the Mexican regulars had time machines.



 Attachment: 45.75 KB
booth derringer 2.JPG

View user's profile Send private message
Ruel A. Macaraeg





Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, there's a persistent local belief that John Wilkes booth escaped capture after Lincoln's assassination and lived out his remaining years here in Texas as "John St. Helen" of Granbury. If he both escaped to Texas AND traveled back in time with another derringer (assuming Davy Crockett's identity in the process), that would explain both mysteries... Surprised

PS: Where is the Booth derringer on display?

http://ForensicFashion.com/CostumeStudies.html
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,217

PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not so fast there guys. Deringer made his first pocket pistols in 1830 so this could have been around for Davy to use. However, it does look like a more recent model.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Terry Thompson




Location: Suburbs of Wash D.C.
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry for the derail. I didn't realize Deringer had produced percussion caps so early (according to something I read earlier tonight, he was using percussion media and making percussion caps on dueling pistos in the mid 1820's!)

The Booth pistol is supposedly still on display at the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site Museum. The pic I posted is from their facebook page.
View user's profile Send private message
Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I recall..Crocket was a US Senator in the late 1820's, early 1830's - it's quite possible that, as a fairly prominent citizen he could have purchased, or been presented with one of Deringer's earlier precussion models that were starting to be produced around that period. Whether or not *THAT* particular pistol on display is his..well that's an unknown. IF it was with him during the battle of the Alamo..I would have expected it to have been looted after the battle..I can't see the mexican army leaving weapons behind for more potential rebels to collect. But if it remained at home with his other possessons..well, it could truely be his. As for the story of the mexican soldier..well..it *is* possible, I suppose..but ..would he have recognised what body he supposedly took pistol from ? Or is it more possible that , whoever he got it from, he 'embellished' the pistols provenance at a later date in order to get a higher price for it ?
Attributing items to one particular historic individual should always be take with a healthy dose of suspicion and skepticism. Especially items that were made on a production line system of many seperate, but nearly identical objects. Only if an un-impeachable trail of evidence connects item A with individual B can we be 99 % sure that they belonged together.
View user's profile Send private message
E.B. Erickson
Industry Professional



Location: Thailand
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 435

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2012 5:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Regarding the claim on the original plaque that the pistol was picked off the body of a Mexican soldier at the battle of San Jacinto by Crockett, wasn't San Jacinto fought AFTER the Alamo? Or am I misremembering the chronology?

--ElJay
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Terry Thompson




Location: Suburbs of Wash D.C.
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2012 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Um. Yes. Yes it was. "remember the Alamo" was the battle cry from Houston's forces at San Jacinto.
What a tangled web we weave....when we fail our American history class. I'd really like to know who provenanced that gun, so I can kick him in the shins.
View user's profile Send private message
Ruel A. Macaraeg





Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2012 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ElJay,
The label seems to be saying that the derringer was taken from Crockett's body at the Alamo by anonymous Mexican soldiers and later recovered [i.e., by Texans] from those Mexicans at San Jacinto, so the chronology appears to be correct.

I'm still absorbing the thought that percussion caps were around so early. They seem to be a much superior technology to the flintlock, so why -- if they were available in the 1820s -- didn't they catch on for several decades? Even by the American Civil War (1860s), flintlocks still hadn't been replaced by caplocks.

http://ForensicFashion.com/CostumeStudies.html
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Michael K Wislon




Location: Santa Rosa CA
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 21

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2012 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Colt Paterson revolver came out that same year(1836). A five shot percussion revolver. Percussion caps were invented about 20 or so years earlier by an English priest that liked to hunt. On the frontier, its easy to find flint on the ground , but not so easy to find percusion caps laying on the ground. Derringer may be used in this context as any generic short barrled , concealable pistol. So while not actually produced by Deringer, that style of pistol did exist in that time period.

Deringer is actually the builder of the gun. But most small easily concealed pistols get called derringer. Notice the extra "R" in derringer as opposed to Deringer. Its kind of like how people call adhesive strip bandages "Band Aid" , Band Aid is a brand name.
View user's profile Send private message
Ryan S.





Joined: 04 May 2012

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is often a period of time between when a new version comes out and when it is generally adopted. After all electric cars have been around since the 1800s, yet are not generally adopted.
View user's profile Send private message
Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,217

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael K Wislon wrote:
Percussion caps were invented about 20 or so years earlier by an English priest that liked to hunt.


The percussion system was actually invented around 1806 by a Scottish minister by the name of Alexander Forsyth (we Scots are a bit sensitive about our famous inventors being referred to as English) who actually came up with fulminate of mercury in a loose powder form which was used in the "scent bottle lock". It was an American by the name of Joshua Shaw who developed the percussion cap, using fulminate as the ignition source. This development took place between 1814 and 1817.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
View user's profile Send private message
Michael K Wislon




Location: Santa Rosa CA
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 21

PostPosted: Wed 10 Oct, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry Lin, was just going off the top of my head.
View user's profile Send private message
William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct, 2012 5:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
Michael K Wislon wrote:
Percussion caps were invented about 20 or so years earlier by an English priest that liked to hunt.


The percussion system was actually invented around 1806 by a Scottish minister by the name of Alexander Forsyth (we Scots are a bit sensitive about our famous inventors being referred to as English) who actually came up with fulminate of mercury in a loose powder form which was used in the "scent bottle lock". It was an American by the name of Joshua Shaw who developed the percussion cap, using fulminate as the ignition source. This development took place between 1814 and 1817.


I can confirm this as well, he specifically invented it to allow him to go fowling since birds would be startled by the flash of the flintlock.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,831

PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was remembering this thread while reading another file and figured the readers might like this image, indded the whole file, as it relates to both Philadelphia gunsmiths and swords.
http://asoac.org/bulletins/89_andrews_sword.pdf

Many more good artilces at the ASOAC site
http://americansocietyofarmscollectors.org/bulletinindex.htm

Cheers

GC



 Attachment: 121.41 KB
Deringer.gif
1810 advertisement for Deringer
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Davy Crockett's derringer pistol?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum