The Carrigan Knife

The Carrigan Knife

Artist: James Black
Type: Guardless coffin-shaped handle wrapped with silver
Year: c. 1830
Size/Dimensions: Length: 10 1/4"
Origin: Anonymous loan
Accession Number:

In 1853, Judge Thomas Hubbard gave this knife to Augustus Garland, his step-son upon Garland's entrance into the legal profession. Garland treasured this gift, especially for the fact that the knife was made by James Black. Both men knew Black, and knew that he made a knife for Jim Bowie. Garland called his knife a bowie knife, assuming that only Black made "real" bowie knives. When serving as United States Attorney General under President Grover Cleveland, Garland monopolized an entire cabinet meeting exhibiting this knife and telling the story of Black and Bowie.
Garland passed the knife onto another statesman from Washington, Arkansas, United States Senator James K. Jones, whose grandson, Steve Carrigan, wrote a history of the knife for the statehood centennial edition of the Hope Star in 1936.

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The Carrigan Knife