Page 3 - Pamplin Collection
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the past is an apparition of what the future can hold. Look- spectives, and he highlights an Edward Percy Moran paint- 
ing at objects from the past, it gives us different messages of ing as an example. The painting depicts Washington bidding 

history. That should be what history is about—seeing some- farewell to General Lafayette, and as Pamplin explains, the 
thing, understanding it, and then being able use it to answer image, which often appeared in history textbooks during the 

the question why.”
mid- to late-19th century, conveys Washington’s abundant
To illustrate, Pamplin points to a pair faith in people. After all, it was Washing- 

of Colt .45 pistols that once belonged to ton’s trust in the French as allies during the 

the outlaw Bob Dalton and are now part Revolutionary War—and France’s naval 
of his Wild West collection. These were support—that led to American indepen- 

the pistols that Dalton used on October dence. “It’s just a part of Washington, but 
5, 1892, when he and other members it’s a part that tells us that if you really 

of his gang attempted to rob the C.M. believe in something, in a lot of ways you 
Condon and First National banks in can will it to happen,” Pamplin says. “You 

Coffeyville, Kan. Citizens of the town can have such a strong faith in what you’re 
took matters into their own hands and doing that it gives a great feeling of support 

killed four members of the gang, includ- to everyone else.”
ing Dalton. According to Pamplin, the 

pistols—and the story associated with 
them—teach a valuable lesson: “Don’t 

bite off more than you can chew.”
visitors to pamplin historical 

Pamplin says there are hundreds of arti- Park and the National Museum of the 
facts and paintings in his Washingtonia Civil War Soldier can view the tens of 

collection that offer similar stories and per-
thousands of objects that make up Pam-

Pamplin (above) owns additional Moran paintings, including a scene depicting the marriage of George and Martha Washington (opposite) 

and one that captures Washington bidding farewell to General Lafayette (top).


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