Wheelgun Wednesday: Jefferson Davis Capture Beaumont-Adams Revolver

Hrachya H
by Hrachya H
Jefferson Davis Capture Beaumont-Adams Revolver (1)

For today’s edition of Wheelgun Wednesday, we have another artifact of American history found in the catalogs of the Rock Island Auction Company. Consigned to the upcoming May 2023 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction, this Beaumont-Adams percussion revolver belonged to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, who surrendered it to Union Cavalryman John Hines at the time of his capture. The revolver was presented to Davis by Robert Adams of London, the co-inventor and manufacturer of these revolvers.

Wheelgun Wednesday @ TFB:

Born on June 3, 1808, in Fairview, Kentucky, Jefferson F. Davis had an impressive military and political career. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and fought in the Black Hawk War and Mexican-American War. Davis represented Mississippi in the Senate and House of Representatives and served as a Secretary of War. But of course, he is primarily known as the first and only President of the Confederacy. As you know, the American Civil War ended with the victory of the Union and the Confederate president was captured on May 10, 1865, at Irwinville, Georgia. And that’s when Davis surrendered this Beaumont-Adams revolver to Corporal John Hines of the 4th Michigan Cavalry.

Jefferson Davis Capture Beaumont-Adams Revolver (3)

British gun designer Robert Adams patented a double-action revolver mechanism in 1851 and started producing DAO revolvers in partnership with the Deane brothers. Five years later, in 1856, Lieutenant Frederick E. B. Beaumont, patented an improvement for the Adams revolver which turned it into a double-action single-action revolver, a pretty advanced design for the time. Beaumont-Adams revolver was adopted by the British Army. In the US, the Massachusetts Arms Company was licensed to manufacture these revolvers.

Jefferson Davis’ Beaumont-Adams revolver is the serial number 40568. It’s a silver-plated and scroll engraved 45-caliber revolver with a 5 7/8-inch octagonal barrel and checkered walnut grips. The provenance of this revolver is well documented from the very moment of its surrender to Hines.

Jefferson Davis Capture Beaumont-Adams Revolver (2)

Jefferson Davis capture Beaumont-Adams revolver is the Lot #1190 in the catalog of the May 2023 Rock Island Premier Firearms Auction and will be auctioned on May 20, 2023. The estimated price range that this lot will likely be sold at is $450,000 – $750,000. To learn more about the provenance of this revolver and the Jefferson Davis capture story, read the RIAC’s description of the lot and watch the following video.

Images courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company, www.rockislandauction.com

Hrachya H
Hrachya H

Managing Editor Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at Hrachya@TheFirearmBlog.com

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3 of 19 comments
  • Mike T. Mike T. on May 04, 2023

    This pistol is almost as pretty as the dress he was wearing when he was captured.

  • Eightysix Eightysix on May 05, 2023

    Such a unique and beautiful old world revovler. It has a certain svelte shape to it. I like how the grip compliments the whole shape instead of looking crudely placed.