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A Gun For The Guv


Arms maker Samuel Colt was renowned for presenting embellished guns to high-profile personalities of the day. One special Colt on display in the National Firearms Museum is a cased and engraved Model 1851 Navy revolver that was given to Joseph Hawley, editor of the Hartford Evening Press, who later became the 42nd governor of the state of Connecticut. During the American Civil War, Hawley rose to the rank of brevet major general of volunteers and later served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He continued in politics as a U.S. senator, serving four terms from 1881 to 1905.

Hawley’s engraved, ivory-stocked Colt was owned by several notable collectors over the years, with Arnold Marcus Chernoff, Col. Charles Fritz and John G. Hamilton being just three of the previous owners.

The National Firearms Museum is the repository of historical arms that echo through the ages. Visitors touring the galleries can view thousands of firearms that were used in America’s battles for freedom. Famous guns associated with shooters like Annie Oakley and Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, as well as pieces from Gettysburg and Iwo Jima, are all on display daily with no admission charge (donations appreciated). For more information, e-mail, call (703) 267-1600 or visit the online galleries at