This July 31-Aug 2, the inaugural Peacemaker Fest hopes to, “bring a diverse cultural, musical, and art experience to Downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas.” Judging by the talent lineup consisting of country, blues, rock, gospel, and bluegrass acts, we think it is safe to assume that the festival is definitely going to achieve that goal. In addition to that, the festival will highlight local and regional artists. So, what is a Peacemaker, and how is it relevant to Fort Smith, Arkansas?
“The good people in this world are very far from being satisfied with each other and my arms are the best peacemaker.” You may not be familiar with this quote, but perhaps you’ve heard of the man behind these words…his name was Samuel Colt. In the mid-1800’s, Colt began to read about inventors who worked with firearms and gunpowder and became interested in creating an effective revolving mechanism for firearms. Then, in 1832 Colt traveled out to sea and observed how the ship used a capstan with a ratchet and pawl mechanism that could be set to hold the wheel, no matter which way it turned. This, strangely enough, is what inspired him to invent the first Colt Revolver. Unlike other guns, his revolving mechanism allowed a small pistol to hold multiple bullets that could be shot from a single barrel. This invention catapulted Colt to fame and greatly popularized the use of his revolving pistols. His success continued until his untimely death in 1862. Colt had made a name for himself as an innovator in the world of firearms, but who would keep this legacy alive?
Now a widow, Elizabeth Colt led Colt Manufacturing into its production of the company’s most successful revolver — the 45 caliber Single Action Army (SAA) Peacemaker — to date, and she did so while pregnant with their 5th child! Also referred to as the Frontier Six-Shooter, Colt .45, Model P, and Gun That Won The West, Colt’s Peacemaker quickly earned the reputation as an everyman’s gun. Not only was it attractive, it was reliable and perfect for quick-draw combat. So, it only makes sense that it became the most popular gun in The Old West. It didn’t matter if you were a lawman, outlaw, frontiersman, farmer, drunkard, or saloon owner…if you lived in The Old West, you probably owned a Peacemaker. It was first used by the United States Military during the Indian Wars, and by The United States Marshals who tracked down outlaws hiding out in Indian Territory. Ultimately, the revolver made its way into the hands of outlaws, gunfighters, and common folk who used it for good and for bad purposes.
No, the Peacemaker wasn’t always used by people with peaceful intentions. However, it allowed lawmen to establish and keep the peace, and it gave everyday men and women of The Old Wild West the power to fight for it! Ergo, why the Peacemaker is known as The Gun That Won The West!
Now, you know what a Peacemaker is and how it is relevant to Fort Smith, Arkansas — The Original Gateway to The West! Experience Fort Smith for yourself at the inaugural Peacemaker Fest, which will celebrate MUSIC, ART & PEACE in the city where The New South Meets The Old West!
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