26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt’s Colt Automatic Pistol to be Offered at Public Firearms Auction. December 2011
Rock Island, Illinois. One of the most interesting and important personal effects of the celebrated 26th Presidents of the United States Theodore Roosevelt, known for his animated and energetic personality, wide variety of interests, a love of the outdoors, will be auctioned off Saturday December 2nd by the Rock Island Auction Company.
The item to be sold is a Fully Documented Colt Model 1902 Semi-Automatic Pistol Factory Gold Inlaid with initials “T.R.”. The pistol is one of a handful of firearms ever to have been presented to a standing U.S. President. The pistol is accompanied by a factory letter which confirms all features of this pistol. More importantly though are a pair of letters, the first of which was discovered in the Library of Congress dated March 4, 1903 and is a thank you letter from President Roosevelt to Colt President Franklin Julian Price in which he inquires about what cartridges the pistol fires. The second letter dated March 5, 1903 comes from the Colt President Mr. Price “I am glad you like the Colt Automatic. As to the cartridges, the weapon takes either the .38 caliber Automatic Colt or the .38 Caliber Rimless Smokeless. The pistol is expected to fetch upwards of $150,000.00
The President was an avid outdoorsmen, and hunter. And among many other things is considered the father of our National Park system. He was also known to be a fantastic marksman and from the documentation that accompanies this pistol it is clear the President had every intention of firing this pistol. The practice of presenting special firearms to diplomats, and other high ranking influential people, was originated by Samuel Colt in the early 1850’s as a means to secure large government contracts.