Samuel Colt presented this firearm to a distinguished United States governor. The politician had previously served as a Civil War general, and would go on to become the editor of one of the leading Republican newspapers in the country.
As far as his political career, he only served one year as governor, but later became one of the key Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Senate—holding a House seat from 1872-1875 and a Senate seat from 1879-1881. He was chairman of the Republican National Convention in 1868, and was a delegate to the conventions in 1872, 1876 and 1880. It was at the 1868 meeting that he uttered his famous declaration: “Every bond, in letter and in spirit, must be as sacred as a soldier’s grave.”
The former governor was an outspoken advocate for social reform and a popular politician. Mark Twain was said to have introduced him as an honest man in the Senate, and noted that he was also “mighty lonely there.” Just two weeks after stepping down from the Senate, he passed away at age 78.