From battle-used pistols to presentation-grade masterpieces, here’s a look at some of the sidearms used by—or, in some tragic cases used on—our past Presidents.
GALLERY: Presidential Pistols
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- Marquis de Lafayette, a young French soldier who volunteered to fight for the United States, gave Washington this pair of saddle pistols with barrels made of Damascus steel. Washington reportedly carried these sidearms at Valley Forge, Monmouth, Yorktown and during the Whiskey Rebellion as president. Washington maintained possession of the pistols until his death in 1799. Andrew Jackson owned them for a spell, until bequeathing them back to the Lafayette family.
Image courtesy of Christies