Page 98 - 4090-BOOK2
P. 98

LOT 1102
Exceptional, Rare, and Historic Deluxe Colt Lightning Slide Action Baby Carbine Factory Inscribed to Pioneer Carrie A. Strahorn from Her Husband Robert E. Strahorn, “Last of the Great Scouts” - Serial no. 30092, 32 WCF cal., 20 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut checkered stock. This deluxe Colt Lighting Slide Action carbine was manufactured in 1888. It is one of the very rare Colt Lightning Baby carbines chambered for the .32 CLMR cartridge (.32 W.C.F) and has a special order, fancy grain walnut stock and forearm with checkered panels and a high polish “piano” finish. The left side of the frame is factory inscribed: “Carrie A. Strahorn/1888/Christmas/from/R.E.S.” in old English letters, indicating the rifle was given to her by her husband Robert E. Strahorn. Robert Edmund Strahorn (1852-1944), called “Pard” by his wife, was a war correspondent, publicist, and propagandist working with the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Denver News, the Rocky Mountain News, and Union Pacific Railroad. He was an important correspondent during the Great Sioux War of 1876, giving important accounts of the various battles he witnessed and was nearby when Custer and his men were killed. Strahorn actually participated in Colonel Joseph J. Reynolds’ charge on the Powder River village on March 17, 1876, and reportedly screamed so loud during the charge that his voice never fully recovered. General George Cook said, “Strahorn worked as well with his rifle as with his pen.” His writing helped shape public perception of the West in the late 19th century and encouraged settlement that remains relevant today. He married Carrie Adell Green “Dell” Strahorn (1852-1925) on September 19, 1877. One of the conditions for him accepting Jay Gould’s offer of a position with the Union Pacific Railroad shortly after the marriage was that Mrs. Strahorn would be allowed to accompany him wherever he should go, and the two travelled throughout the West along with Hawaii and Alaska by stage, train, steamboat, horseback, and pack train. Mrs. Strahorn recorded their adventures and published them in the two volume set “Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage” in 1911 which includes artwork by their friend and beloved Western artist Charles Marion Russell. The dedication reads “This book is lovingly dedicated to my dear husband Robert E. Strahorn whose constant chum and companion it has been my greatest joy to be for more than thirty years in the conquering of the wilderness.” The Stahorns were influential in the development and settlement of the West, and Mr. Strahorn was the founder of the North Coast Railroad and one of the founders and trustees of the College of Idaho. They both died in San Francisco. She preceded him, and upon her death he wrote, “Here intervened the first real crushing, heartrending sorrow of my life, the sudden death of my deeply loved, superb wife, who had been my inseparable companion, my greatest inspiration and staunchest support for nearly fifty years. The earth, which at times seemed only dangerously slipping before, was now indeed gone from under. How attempt to picture the glory surrounding, permeating, and emitting from such angelic womankind?” Upon his death, his Oakland Tribune’s obituary was headlined “Empire Builder.” He along with “Buffalo Bill” Cody and “Captain Jack” Crawford were known as the “Old Scouts.” Given the other two both died in 1917, Strahorn was the “Last of the Old Scouts.” For more information, look into the writings of the Strahorns as well as “Robert E. Strahorn, Propagandist for the West” by Oliver Knight in “The Pacific Northwest Quarterly.” The rifle has the Colt commercial blue finish on major components with fire blue loading gate and small components. The hammer is color casehardened. The 20 inch round lightweight barrel has the block carbine front sight and a carbine folding ladder rear sight graduated to 900 yards. A staple mounted saddle ring is located on the left side of the frame. The stock has a carbine style buttplate and is inlaid with a round silver plate on the underside near the end of the checkered panel on the wrist.

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