Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Deringer

My friend Jay is a police officer in our nation's capital and was recently assigned to watch over the Deringer that killed President Lincoln. I can only imagine how it feels to hold a piece of such a small size but of an immense weight.

Digging around the web, I found an interesting article on whether this weapon had been stolen from the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site and replaced with a reproduction... FBI Case File, The Booth Deringer—Genuine Artifact or Replica?. (The bullet that altered history is displayed separately at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.)

Henry Deringer bio.

17 comments:

Barbara Martin said...

Interesting post, David. Another facet of the assination was Lincoln had a disturbing premanition dream of his death several days before it occurred. He spoke to a soldier in the drawing room where a coffin stood with Lincoln inside, and a bullet wound to the head.

Cloudia said...

Really interesting David.
I always wanted a derringer to secret in my garter!

Aloha, writer ;-)

Comfort Spiral

Charles Gramlich said...

A pistol like that is history's distilled essence.

David Cranmer said...

Barbara, I’ve read about that disturbing premonition. Though, with DC in danger of being overrun it isn’t hard to imagine death was always foremost on his mind. Still it's eerie.

Cloudia, I think I will leave that one alone. Aloha.

Charles, Very well said.

dMix said...

As someone who works with museum collections, I've always thought that best part of the job is being able to handle the objects. I can’t say that I’ve ever handled a piece of the same caliber as this one, but it’s still awe-inspiring.

Laurie Powers said...

Great post, David. I had no idea the derringer was so small.

Leah J. Utas said...

Great post. I've always been curious about the Deringer.

pattinase (abbott) said...

No idea is was this tiny. Wow!

I wonder if all Presidents have dreams like that--given the likelihood of an attempt on their life.

ARCHAVIST said...

Only one thing I can say - WOW!!!!!

David Cranmer said...

dMix, It’s interesting how a historical object can hold such fascination. I always feel like a time traveler whenever I’m at a museum with my charmer. And she’s the smart one always pointing out this detail or that fact that would escape me. Te amo mi Corazon.

Laurie, I’m use to seeing the one that Jim West uses on the old show but it’s usually in action. Jay’s photo definitely puts it in perspective.

Leah, I can’t say that I have but once I started researching it I became captivated by its history. There’s many more links if anyone is interested.

Pattinase, I’m betting at least since the first assassination.

Archavist, Carumba indeed!

Clare2e said...

Wow, David, fascinating! I'd seen the top hat at the Smithsonian, but this is something else again.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

That's pretty fascinating. I suspect I'd be feeling the stress if it was me doing the watching-over.

Kieran Shea said...

That's some really cool stuff there, D.

David Cranmer said...

Clare, When will the old top hat come back in fashion? Why was it ever in fashion?!

Alyssa, Yeah I'd be a nervous wreck working at a museum. All thumbs. But I think the biggest whoops along those lines has got to be when Steve Wynn accidentally poked his elbow into a Picasso he just bought. The painting dropped in worth from $139 mil down to something like $89. Thats gotta smart.

Kieran, That it is.

Corey Wilde said...

I'd be overwhelmed every time I touched a historic object like that. I was a blithering mess when I visited the Texas School Book Depository once.

Richard Prosch said...

Cool. For some reason, I thought of all the comic book "horror" stories I read as a kid wherein a historic artifact like this would be haunted ---by the ghost of either the killer or the victim.

David Cranmer said...

Corey, The Texas School Book Depository is another heavy scene. Of course, I remember visiting Civil War battlefields (an open field of trees and grass) and being overawed by the sheer number of men that fell in war. If someone doesn't believe in ghosts have them visit Gettsyburg.

Richard, I will have Jay's wife keep a very close eye on him.