March 25, 2010
One of the beliefs among us historic wardrobe buffs, alright fanatics, is that the "Two-Gun Man" is more or less an invention of Hollywood. While it's somewhat true in the later era (1881-1895) there is some pretty convincing evidence that there was a time on the frontier, at least in Arizona, where it was considered almost mandatory to carry two guns. in 1859 at a duel at Tubac, Arizona's first newspaper, The Arizonian, reported on the estimated 1,000 men who showed up, including sporting men from Tucson, farmers from the Santa Cruz River, and "almost everybody connected with the various mines." An eyewitness is quoted as saying:
"Everybody, as a matter of course, was 'en grand toilette,' i.e. two six shooters and a bowie knife around the waist."
En Grand Toilette
And, of course, these two-gun men were also at Tubac to do damage to a 42-gallon barrel of whiskey (see at right, center).
I'm not positive but I think the term "en grand toilette" as it's used here is clever slang for a woman coming out of a French bathroom with makeup and perfume and all the sexiest clothing attire, but in this case twisted to mean how men look in Arizona.
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true were really true, there would be little hope of advance."
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