With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Samuel Colt Statute

Samuel Colt is probably the closest rival to Mark Twain for Hartford's most famous resident. While the Twain House is a well known local landmark, Hartford's most distinguishing feature is almost certainly the blue onion dome atop the Colt Factory.

If one wants to play a game of six degrees of separation (without Kevin Bacon getting naked) the Colt 45, by Hartford's Samuel Colt, was the gun that won the west. From 1962-1964 the MLB team now know as the Houston Astros was known as the Houston Colt 45's.

In 1963 and 1964 a young second baseman named Joe Morgan played a total of 18 games for the Colt 45's. In 1972 Joe Morgan would be traded to the Cincinnati Reds where he became a a legendary player on "The Big Red Machine" one of the greatest baseball dynasties ever.

Post playing career Joe Morgan became a famous baseball announcer including a lengthy stint on ESPN's (of Bristol, CT) Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts. In 2003 Moneyball was published, forever ingraining the use of advanced metrics into the baseball lexicon. On his broadcasts, Joe Morgan famously derided and eschewed Moneyball (and made a lot of shit up.)

 A couple of years later the blog Fire Joe Morgan, which can only be described as legendary, came into being from friends writing (like Mark Twain) under nom de plumes criticizing the ineptness of Morgan's (amongst others) sports broadcasting.

After Fire Joe Morgan exploded into the sports world, the identity of the authors was eventually revealed. Many were writers of the hit NBC show "The Office." One of those writers and regular "FJM" contributor went by the moniker "Ken Tremendous." Ken Tremendous was revealed to be Michael Schur, a West Hartford native.

A couple of years later, two moronic Hartford locals and huge Fire Joe Morgan fans would take nom de plumes and start Sad City Hartford. And that is how Sad City Hartford is directly linked to Samuel Colt.

The irony of Samuel Colt and the Colt factory being located in a city that is now a shooting gallery in more ways than one is completely lost on us.


  1. So, what's the statute?

  2. Samuel Colt as a wealthy old man and Samuel Colt as a young sailor.

  3. Those are statues, not statutes.

  4. Not sure if there was a Colt Statute (yeah I get the difference) but this from senate.gov details Colt the Lobbyist, another early mark he apparently put on the country:

    "The excesses of ante-bellum. lobbying reached their height in the early 1850's when Samuel Colt sought passage of a bill to extend his patent for seven years. A congressional investigation later disclosed that, in addition to staging lavish entertainments for wavering senators, "more than one" of Colt's agents "have at different times presented pistols to certain members," including "a handsome Colt pistol, as a present," to a representative's "little son, only eleven or twelve years of age."

    The select committee's report noted that:

    The money has been used, as the evidence shows, in paying the costs and charges incurred in getting up costly and extravagant entertainments, to which ladies and members of Congress and others were invited, with a view of furthering the success of this measure. The ladies, having been first duly impressed with the importance of Colt's pistol extension by presents of Parisian gloves, are invited to these entertainments; and the evidence shows that, while there, members of Congress are appealed to by them to favor this particular measure.

    Colt's principal lobbyist was characterized by the committee as having adopted the rule that

    To reach the heart or get the vote,
    The surest way is down the throat.

    -- an altogether appropriate epigram for the lobbying of the period."

  5. This statue is at the entrance of Colt's Park, Wethersfield Ave.