Brownwood Officials to Coke, June 3, 1876

For good or for ill, the image of Texas is inextricably linked with the gun. From the days of the Texas Revolution, the Colt revolver was the weapon of choice in rough-and-tumble Texas, and the Texas market in turn made the fortune of the Colt company.

By Coke's time, the single action Colt revolver was as important as barbed wire in enabling the settlement of the frontier. Known as "the Peacemaker" or simply as the six-shooter, this gun was standard issue for the military, the Texas Rangers, and the cowboys of the 19th century. At one time, there were as many Colts in the state as there were male citizens. Widespread violence caused the government to put in restrictions on carrying handguns in the 1880s, but gun possession was slow to decline in the frontier culture of Texas. Guns in Texas were here to stay.

This letter from officials in Brownwood asks Governor Coke to restrict the carrying of guns in Brown County.

"The Wild West"

Gandy, et al, to Coke

Brownwood Texas June 3'd 1876

Hon Richard Coke



Dear Sir

Having become thoroughly satisfied

that it is no longer necessary to allow the

carrying of pistols in 'Brown' County we

respectfully ask a Suspension of the law which

allows it in this county. Our county has

settled very rapidly in the last few months

and when lawless men are disarmed we

will have no trouble enforcing law

and order. And besides that, law abiding

citizens are more liable to commit crime

when allowed to carry six shooters. And

with the assurance that it will work

no hardship on any citizen and in our

judgement will prevent the commission of

crime we are very respectfully

B. Gandy J.P. Precinct no (1)

Wm. H. Scott Co. Judge

Henry Ford Co. Clk.

J.N. Gideon Dist Clerk

R.J. Ferguson County Atty

"The Wild West"

Brownwood officials to Coke, June 3, 1876, Records of Richard Coke, Texas Office of the Governor, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 30, 2011