Chapter

Jefferson Davis’s Musket

Joe Nickell

in Real or Fake

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125343
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135229 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125343.003.0015
Jefferson Davis’s Musket

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This chapter explores the true facts behind an antique firearm that purportedly belonged to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America (CSA). The most common type of fakery in firearms involves the adding of famous names — either makers or owners, or sometimes the name of an historic ship. The most spectacular of this sort of forgery involves obliterating British marks on a pocket or duelling pistol and replacing it with the name of an American maker. As president of the CSA, Davis assumed strong political leadership though frequently disagreeing with military policy. His temperamental and self-righteous personality were among the impediments to broad unification of the southern states. After the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865, Davis was imprisoned and was released on bail after two years. He never regained his American citizenship. The medallion did not authenticate the gun as Davis's but actually detracted from that possibility.

Keywords: Jefferson Davis; Confedarate States of America; musket; American citizenship; forgery; medallion; firearms; fakery

Chapter.  2242 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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