Talk:John C. Colt

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Good article John C. Colt has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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December 14, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
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Loud who?[edit]

"Lane, Wheeler, and an employee of Loud " This is the first time the article mentions this person. Who is it? (talk) 18:15, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

He was Mrs Loud's little boy. Fixed, thanks!--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 21:44, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

she did what?[edit]

"a common-law wife who committed perjury to enlist and exit the Marines" This verbage places the appositive phrase "who committed..." after the wife, which in English syntax means the wife committed perjury. Fix it. (talk) 18:18, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Fixed, sorry about your broken fingers :)--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 21:45, 31 October 2011 (UTC)


The bibliography entry Edwards, William B. (1953) does not match the shortened citation (Edwards 1914). ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 20:50, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

fixed...thanks--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 21:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:John C. Colt/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Dana boomer (talk · contribs) 20:52, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi! I'll be reviewing this article for GA status, and should have the full review up shortly. Dana boomer (talk) 20:52, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    • In the majority of article, the bibliography section would go after the references section, but if this is your preferred style, then I won't argue!
    • I've made a few copyedits - feel free to revert any of them you don't like.
    • Standardize either linking town and state or just town.
    • Don't shorten Samuel Colt's name to Sam - it's unencyclopedic, and going back and forth could confuse the reader.
    • I did it in one instance to show the difference between Henshaw's son and John's brother. I didn't want to call hin "Junior", I changed that section to show "Junior" as "Sam" and Samuel Colt as Samuel Colt. Fixed.
    • The lead could stand to be expanded a bit. I'm especially concerned about the coverage of Adams' murder and the trial. The description of these makes up approximately half of the body of the article, but is relegated to two sentences in the lead. Contrast this to the description of conspiracy theories, which occupies most of a paragraph in the lead, but only gets a single paragraph in the body of the article.
    • I will take a look at this today. I expanded it a little more, do you want me to keep going with it?
    • Early life, "He returned to Hartford and studied". When?
    • fixed
    • Early life, "his sister, Sarah Ann committed suicide". First, this is a duplication of information found in the previous paragraph - the reader doesn't need the information twice in just a few sentences. Second, do we know why she committed suicide?
    • I will take another look. Yes, definitely a suicide. fixed
    • I wasn't really questioning that it was a suicide - I'm wondering if any of the sources say why she committed suicide...
    • Not that I've found, beyond James Colt saying insanity ran in the family, then he pointed to his sister. I'll keep looking, maybe in the books about Samuel as oppossed to John?
    • Early life, "illness prevented him from serving". What kind of illness?
    • Sources are vague on thar, they don't say it outright, but it sounds like a form of TB
    • Early life, "was disillusioned with the military lifestyle". Why?
    • Probably because he missed the movement of the ship he was suppossed to be on and found himself working as a clerk while he had TB or something similar.
    • Early life, "citing Colt's "illness" as the reason". Why is illness in quotation marks? Did your source believe it was a faked illness?
    • no, he was sick, it goes back to the previous sentence with the forged letter. He should have been discharged for fraudulent enlistment, instead they gave the reason as his illness (which typically was not enough for a discharge)
    • I've removed the quotation marks - feel free to revert and continue the discussion if you don't like it. The quotations make it look like the illness was false/faked (it obviously wasn't), when instead it was being used as an excuse. I think that the language you added clarified the matter and that the quotations are unnecessary.
    • same here, it can now do without the quotes
    • Early life, "was challenged to a duel over a shared mistress." What happened? Did he fight the duel? If so, what happened to the other guy?
    • It is dooubtful that there was a duel, but the challenge was public enough that it added to his reputation. In reality the guy was making himself to be a "dashing badass", but all based on innuendo or association. In the trial he was mentioned as being a "riverboat gambler, dueler, Marine, streetfighter" but in actuality these were all circumstantial details based on standards of a bare minimum.
    • Double-entry bookkeeping, link Louisville
    • done
    • Double-entry bookkeeping, "Colt moved to 14 Cortland Street in Manhattan, New York in 1839." Where were they originally?
    • Cincinnati...fixed
    • Murder of Samuel Adams, "a decapitated naked male corpse". Where was the head?
    • I think that the fact that the body was decapitated is quite interesting and didn't need to be removed - I just wanted you to add the information on where the head was so readers (like me!) didn't think Colt had maybe dropped it down a privy somewhere.
    • Actually he wasn't found decapitated, that was my error by using a source I should not have used, fixed. I think that writer, may have been drawing conclusions from the ME presenting the head in court, when the ME removed the head as evidence.
    • Arrest and trial, "or other beliefs." Like what?
    • "proficiency in iniquity" for one. I didn't want to turn this into a morality of the early 19th century section.
    • OK, and good point. I just thought it might be interesting to have another example or two, but I like your rewording.
    • Arrest and trial, "Throughout the trial Colt was repeatedly "Found guilty of cold-blooded murder" in the New York press." Why does the middle part need to be in parentheses? Is this a summary by the author of this source?
    • No, I think it was me using a modern colloquialism to summarize...should I strike it?
    • Hmmm. If "cold-blooded murder" is not a phrase used by any of the sources, then I think it runs the risk of being editorializing. Perhaps just "...Colt was repeatedly found guilty of murder in the New York press."? It's not as flashy, but then, we're an encyclopedia, not a newspaper :)
    Actually "cold blooded murder" was the term they used repeatedly, being "tried in the press" was my attempt at summary.
    • Arrest and trial, "Halfway through the trial, Whiting made allegations that Adams had been murdered with a Colt Paterson revolver rather than a hatchet." What was the basis for these allegations? What bearing did he think the murder weapon would have on his case?
    • Sounds from the scuffle, wounds on the body, John Colt owned a very ornate Paterson with engraving, pearl grips, etc. The revolver was a brand new weapon at the time and trial lawyers are always looking to make a name for themselves. Had a revolver been used, Samuel Colt could have been implicated and it could have called for his recent invention, the revolver, to have been banned. Tucher says that the prosecution may have gone this route to show premeditation on Colt's part; the coroner appeared in the court with Adams' head and demonstrated the hatchet, alone, responsible for the wounds by matching the blade with the cuts. This was an early 19th century CSI monment for sure.
    • I think it might be best to go into a bit more detail in the article about this, at least about Whiting's reasoning for bringing this up. As the article stands now, it comes completely out of the blue and makes Whiting look like he's creating things out of thin air, since nothing about revolvers has been mentioned up until now.
    Good point, I'll offer up the different reasonings for it, to by the different authors on the subject. Although, from what I've read, your take on it was exactly the point of view Selden and the Defense took when it came up.
    • Arrest and trial, "asking for a new trial as the jury at the previous was misinformed". What was their basis for this argument?
    • The judge refused to allow arguments for self defense and gave the jury the options only of "murder"(premeditated) or "manslaughter" (accidental). Colt's subsequent actions to the killing were in his opinion (and most jurists of the day) the actions of a guilty man.
    • Again, it might be interesting to go into more detail on this in the article. As it stands now, the article doesn't say anything that I can find about the judge refusing to allow self-defense arguments... Additionally, if this section is made much longer (or maybe even as it stands now), it might be made more readable by splitting in at least one spot by level three headers. It's up to you, though.
    OK, i'll take another look at it, I had considered that but I've been whacked before for having "one paragraph sections".
    • Arrest and trial, "Seward in the end could not pardon Colt," "would not" would probably be best here, as Seward certainly technically could have pardoned Colt, he just wouldn't as he felt it was not the right thing to do.
    • fixed
    • Marriage and death - why was he allowed such a luxurious prison life?
    • Because he had money and powerful friends and the prison sytem back then was vastly different than today's.
    • Fair enough.
    • Marriage and death, "A doctor was hired who claimed he could resuscitate Colt from the hanging," Hired by who? And what was the point - isn't the sentence usually to "hang by the neck until dead"? In which case, if the doctor had resuscitated him, wouldn't the prison have just hung him again?
    • Friemds of Colt's hired him on the basis of the doctor's statement that Colt's size would make him pass out or appear dead but not actually strangle. Ironic because death from hanging is usually caused by the weight of the body breaking the neck, rather than choking the hangee.
    • I see. So the plan was to pretend he was dead, smuggle out the "body", then revive him and quietly remove him from town with no-one the wiser about his still being alive? Again, might be interesting to expand on this a bit more.
    Right, there was at least one other documented attempt to break him out of prison by smuggling in women's clothing, I don't remember if I put that in the article. apparently that was common in a prison break, Eamon DeValera got out of prison that way, and a buddy of mine stopped a car in Gaza of the passengers was none other than Yasser Arafat dressed in a Burqua trying to get into Israel.
    • Marriage and death, "the Tombs" or "The Tombs"?
    • fixed
    • Aftermath, "watched by private detectives for years". Hired by who?
    • City of NY
    • Did they take the news sources seriously and think that he may still be alive? Again, giving the reader more context is a good thing!
    • They did, probably because of the fire happening at the same time, one thing to keep in mind was at this time Samuel Colt's first revolver business had failed and he was currently developing mines for the Navy and blowing things up in Battery Park. So he may have had access to incendiaries,etc. All these events happened before he founded Colt's Patent Firearms and had success with the Walker Colt and all the more famous guns that followed.
    • Aftermath, second paragraph. First sentence says "it has been said" that Samuel Colt was the father of her son, last sentence says the son provided a valid birth certificate. Was this conjecture (first sentence) or fact (last sentence)?
    • I am not sure. He never got any of the Colt fortune after Samuel died. The record is silent on this, just saying that he provided the marriage certificate, not birth. His birth certificate would have listed John Colt.
    • Ah, from reading the article, I thought he was one of the heirs. Due to this, I would suggest changing "and this document made him an heir to the Colt Manufacturing Company." to something like "and argued that this document made him an heir to the CMC; he never received an inheritance from the estate." (or similar wording).
    • That will require more research on my part. All I know was that he whipped out the marriage license when they were reading the will. There is no mention of him in any company archives or letters since then. It is probable that a lawyer paid him off with some of the Estate, but I cannot say for sure, yet.
    • Found it, Sam Colt left the kid $2million in today's money when he died 20 years later; his widow protested and then the kid produced the marriage license and got the money. Also goes into more detail about Colt referring to him as his "nephew" in letters using the quotes like that, to be accurate the letters actually say "neffue"...and I wonder why my spelling goes to hell after reading these old texts!
    • Aftermath, second paragraph. So Caroline's marriage to John was bigamy? Was there ever any discussion about this?
    • At the time they kept it quiet, especially since it was a marriage in a rural church in Scotland, it mostly came out later after reading letters after these people were dead. Sam Colt basically felt she wouldn't be part of his image to make him successful and a divorce would probably ruin him in business, so he passed her off as not being his wife and married her over to John to legitimize her unborn son.
    • Wow. Sucks to be her (and her son).
    • Aftermath, "divorce was a social stigma at the time." Divorce from which one? They thought that bigamy was a better option than divorce?
    • A public divorce would have fininshed Colt's firearm business. No one outside the families knew they were married as it happened in Europe in a rural church, so no one would accuse Samuel of bigamy when he married Elizabeth Jarvis.
    • References in literature. Is the allusion made in Melville's story just the one sentence you have quoted? If so, one sentence is not really an "extended allusion".
    • fixed
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    • See comments in prose section, especially about Early life section.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

Overall it's a nice article, but I find a lot of spots where I am confused or asking questions. More context or explanation is needed in many spots in order to make the story into a coherent narative for the reader. My comments are above; once they are addressed I will take another read through the article. Please let me know if you have any questions, Dana boomer (talk) 01:47, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Made a bunch of strikes and some replies above. There are still a few things I'd like to see cleared up, still mostly relating to providing additional context for the reader. Dana boomer (talk) 00:13, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, everything above and in the article looks good - I think those last few pieces that you added yesterday really helped to bring the story together more coherently. I'm going to pass the article to GA status now - nice work, and thanks for your prompt and patient responses! I would still be interested to see more about his sister's suicide and its affect on his life, but this isn't really within the "broadness" criteria of GAN. Anyway, that's about it from me; I'll go do the paperwork now, and I look forward to seeing more of your work at GAN! Dana boomer (talk) 01:21, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Murder location clarification needed[edit]

"Colt moved to 14 Cortland Street in Manhattan, New York in 1839." --- Colt's office where the murder of Samuel Adams took place was in the Granite Building at 273 Broadway. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

"August 2 (1841): JCC rents (subleases) an office in New York from Asa Wheeler--a teacher of writing (penmanship) and bookkeeping in the Granite Building, corner of Chambers Street and Broadway." (source) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:13, 23 October 2012 (UTC)