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Brigham Young's pistol (courtesy

Rock Island Auctions Press Release [via PRNewswire]

Direct descendants of early Mormon Church leader Brigham Young will place the patriarch’s personal Colt revolver up for sale as the flagship item at an Illinois firearms auction held at the end of this month. It is estimated to sell between $550,000 – $850,000. “This is an iconic piece of Americana,” says RIAC President Kevin Hogan. “Its direct ties to the settling of the West, and to the early Mormon Church are incredible. Frankly, we’re fortunate this piece isn’t already housed in a museum. It is an unrivaled opportunity to own a newly discovered national treasure.” Brigham Young . . .

holds a prominent place in both American and Western history for leading the Mormon exodus across the United States, founding Salt Lake City, serving as the first governor of the Utah Territory, and establishing what would eventually become Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. He succeeded Latter Day Saint Founder Joseph Smith as the second ever president of the church.

Brigham Young's Colt pistol (courtesy

The revolver is personally inscribed to Young and was presented to him by what was then the largest firearms dealer west of the Mississippi, H. E. Dimick & Co. It comes to Rock Island Auction from the direct descendants of Brigham Young and is accompanied by an unimpeachable letter of provenance from Young’s great-grandson.

The gun is certain to endear itself to collectors with its high condition and engraving executed by Gustave Young, the most prominent 19th Century firearms engraver, but the combination of those factors and the historic, iron-clad provenance is what earns this small revolver its hefty estimate.

Other historic items in the sale include a Winchester rifle presented to the man who captured Geronimo, a Colt revolver belonging to a pioneering Texas cattle baron, several revolvers decorated by Tiffany & Co., and a uniform attributed to War of 1812 hero Commodore Perry.

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  1. Wow. This site is almost comepletely unusable now. Had to reboot 3 times just to type this comment.

      • Yea. I have to close my browser and restart it between viewing each thread. If I want to post more than a 3 sentence response I have to type it in a different application then copy/paste it quickly or it crashes before I can post it. The site is getting really unusable without robust add blockers.

      • Not too sure about that. I’m using my backup machine with a now unsupported version of Windows. Chrome, and an adblocker, seems to work just fine.

  2. Interesting historical piece, particularly for members of the LDS.

    Glenn Beck has been amassing a collection of early Americana for quite some time now, and as he is a Mormon (and rather wealthy), I expect he’ll probably be a bidder…

    • That was my first thought; if he manages to pick it up, he’ll probably pimp it on his show as some sort of sign from God….. and I doubt he’d ever shoot it.

      • Let him pimp it, at least it won’t be melted down into a ‘cuddly kitten’ sculpture seen from space…

        • Well, one good thing about that statue … You will be sure to know where to nuke it from orbit…

  3. Considering its previous owner, it’s almost surely a murder weapon. Young didn’t move to Utah because he got along with people in the east so well. He moved there because he was run out of every town he stopped in.

    Cool pistol. Would not be interested in owning it though.

    • Since it’s engraved as being presented to Gov Young I suspect this was presented well after events in the east.

    • not sure what you are getting at here. the Mormons generally and Brigham Young specifically weren’t run out of the country because they were a bunch of miscreants, those that opposed them did so for ideological and political reasons. it was feared that there would soon be Mormon judges and a Mormon Sheriff and maybe even a Mormon Governor. much the same way people today feared Mitt Romney as a Mormon President.

      Mormon history makes a great case for the relevance of the second amendment

      • BS. They were run out of town because they made up revelations that God was talking to them as they tried to take over towns in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. That and they were clearing lying about polygamy and Joseph Smith sleeping with other men’s wives. The Mormon prophet Joseph Smith prophesied in his Book of Commandments that Independence, Missouri would become the Mormon Zion and screw the “Gentiles” who were living there: “Which is the land of your inheritance. Which is now the land of your enemies.” . . . this revelation was delivered well before any Mormons even arrived in MO! (This was latter altered to D&C 52:9, 64:7 and 45:15). For more sources see Dan Erickson’s “As A Thief In the Night, The Mormon Quest for Millennial Deliverance.”

        You obviously don’t know of the many Mormon “apostates” who got in Young’s way and were killed by his Danites. All throughout the early 20th century they were still digging up the bodies in SLC. Just google “blood atonement” and “Mountain Meadows massacre” for all the reasons why the 2A is necessary to stop a very bloodthirsty Mormon theocracy founded on juvenile BS and pretend revelations.

        • Oh cute, making your screen name that of a well-known Mormon author. I’m also curious as to your evidence against the claims of the LDS Church and your accusations of Danites being the ones who were involved in Mountain Meadows and of Brigham Young’s involvement with said group, and not just because I’m a Mormon. Why don’t you try explaining Missouri Executive Order 44 too while you’re at it? If the governor of a state declared open season on a certain group of people that you happened to be a member of, would you not defend yourself too? Give me a break guy.

          Well-known anti-theist Christopher Hitchens said it best, likely without knowing what he actually said: “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. Basically a fancy way of saying that arguing about the veracity of God’s existence is stupid because you can’t prove or disprove it.

        • “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. Basically a fancy way of saying that arguing about the veracity of God’s existence is stupid because you can’t prove or disprove it.

          That’s about 12 miles and a metric fuck-ton from what Hitch said. He said that your insanely stupid beliefs were absolute garbage, that they were as valid as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That you have nothing supporting your beliefs, and as such, they are dismissed out of hand.

        • citing “A thief in the night” is akin to citing an article in “the trace”. it is anti-mormon literature and clearly biased.
          as long as we are playing the mountain meadows card we can bring up the Haun’s Mill massacre and the women and children murdered there. Early LDS church members were rarely the instigators of violence.

          but this is a gun blog not a forum for religious discussion.

        • I would be “on the move” all the time too if I was the 18th Century’s version of today’s “Travelers”. John “Smith” (wonder why he changed his name, read on) and Brigham Young were both deadbeats, they made it a practice to scam businesses, general stores, ranches, livestock sellers and lumber yards out hundreds of thousands of dollars. That “faith” was founded on stiffing creditors, I would change my name to “John Smith” too if I was “on the run”.

        • “but this is a gun blog not a forum for religious discussion.”

          You haven’t been around here long, have you? 🙂

          Here’s your ‘trigger warning’, you’re gonna see more of that.

          Just wait until someone expresses a view on ‘abortion’.

          If you have views on things, just be prepared to defend them…

        • Yawnz, Gov. Boggs order was a direct response to Sidney Rigdon’s July 4th threat to “exterminate” all the Gentiles in the county if any posse or “mob” came to arrest them for the Mormon rampage in Gallatin: “That mob that comes upon us to disturb us; it shall be between them and us a war of extermination, for we will follow them, till the last drop of their blood was spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us.”

          That “we will follow them” was a bit much. And don’t forget that not only did the Mormons arrive in Missouri in 1831 equipped with the revelation that they would “inherit” the “land of their enemies” but also the justification to rip off the “Gentiles” through counterfeiting and forged land grants. (See Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling if you want the truth from a Mormon source.) You don’t roll into a rough and ready frontier state and tell the locals that some con man’s revelations are an order from God for them to either split or be 2nd class citizens. Mormons need to keep everything secret, from their Masonic rituals, to their non-Christian beliefs, to their true history because the cult would never survive full exposure. Like Scientology, your losing young people because they can read/find the truth on the internet now.

          Whether it was his early career as an admitted fraud for treasure hunting or his later one of fake prophecies, polygamy, bank fraud, and destroying presses that revealed his record, Joseph’s entire criminal career was just one step ahead of the law.

  4. Yeah fix it. Cool gun. I may take a TTAG break if I see more “shock waves/plug ins”…

    • Three other words, “Not that impressive” “Others have created” “Big Fvckin Deal” “Not that great”

      I’ve got a dozen more…

  5. I’m a Mormon and have a gun or two. Wish I could afford to add this one to my collection.
    I’d really like to see the pepper box Joseph Smith had on him when he was killed. I was told not all of the rounds went of when he needed it. Too bad glocks weren’t around back then.

    • “Too bad glocks weren’t around back then.” Well, they were a lot smarter back in that time.

    • It’s a shame each of the innocent Christian settlers headed to California didn’t have a brace of those Colt pistols when they were slaughtered by the supposedly “peaceful” Mormons during the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Yep had they had braces of Colt’s they might have survived and saved the lives of 346 men, women, and children.

        • Yeah, it doesn’t help when your prophesy casts the locals as the enemy, you know? Might get a little pushback there. But then, that seems to be a running Mormon theme to this day.

  6. Cool gun. Too bad it will be melted down to make a giant kitten statue instead of making some dolt produce some liberal fear sweat.

  7. Ah, Brigham Young, one of the USA’s most notorious “domestic terrorists”, I wonder if that Colt was used to murder the non-Mormon Christian settlers, men, women, and children, wagon training to California at the infamous Mountain Meadow Massacre. Owning THAT pistol is like owning Patty Hearst’s AK-47 and John Brown’s broadsword. No thanks.

  8. Ah the Mormon bashers (I’m not Mormon BTW)… Go back 150 years and I’m sure you can find grievances from any one group on another. Stop living in the past, or should we bring up the inquisitions? The Holocaust? The pogroms? The death marches of native Americans? Germans killing Russians, and Russians killing Germans?

    When I think of Mormons and guns I think of my prepper neighbors and how they got me into prepping and guns.

    • I think of the towns on the AZ-UT boarder that have open, documented conflicts with Mormon populaces.

    • According to many here the genocide against the natives was just a byproduct of “civilizing” them and is thus excusable.

      But the real reason that some hate Mormons is because they have the audacity to follow a different religion. The supporting evidence to their prejudices are searched for after the fact.

  9. Reading the comments…I’ve seen more level-headed and friendly conversation on the Mormon topic at sites that cater to the liberal and atheist crowd.

    Well done, folks. Well done.

  10. Since it was legal to kill white people in America as long as they were Mormon from 1838 up to 1976, I understand why the Mormons had lots of guns. The only pogrom to occur in america happened to the Mormons not the jews who fled pogroms in Europe to come here.
    It seems there are atheist and others who want a “final solution” for their Mormon problem.

    “Governor Boggs directed that “the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated”

  11. Those 346 from Arkansas shouldn’t have traveled through Mountain Meadows after killing Parley Pratt ( one of the beloved Mormon Apostles) in Alma Arkansas the year before. The West gets pretty wild when people don’t follow the rule of law or if they feel threatened. Thank goodness for firearms.

  12. Here’s another tidbit. The 346 & many others who opposed the church are all gone, yet almost 200 years later the church still stands. And not only does it stand, but it thrives and is the fastest growing Christian denomination world wide. If you believe in evolution then survival of the fittest applies here. If you believe in God, then you cannot deny the favorability He has shown the Church as opposed to James Strang and other religious upstarts of the mid nineteenth century whose religious movements are now extinct. This gun is an amazing piece of world history tied to a man whose decisions pushed the Mormon movement into survivability, set in motion the fast end to the Mexican American War, instigated the settling of San Bernardino CA, San Diego CA, Stockton CA, the expansion of San Francisco CA, inadverdently was responsible for the discovery of gold at Sutter’s mill in 1849, causing the western migration in the 1850’s, the expansion of the United States by bringing Utah, Idaho, Montana and California into the Union, all before the Civil War. Anything to do with Brigham Young is incredibly important.

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