"Come Out of that Coat", Murfreesboro, Tennessee; verso: "Arkansas Toothpick": Bowie Knife

Object Number: 
Graphite on paper
Overall: 9 1/4 x 7 1/2 in. (23.5 x 19.1 cm) mat: 14 x 11 in. ( 35.6 x 27.9 cm )
Signed and inscribed at lower right in graphite: "CM. / Murfreesboro -- Tenn. / Dec. 30. 1862"; at lower center: "'Come out of that coat!!'"; verso inscribed at lower center: "Arkansas-Toothpick."
Civil War Drawings Collection. The Arkansas Toothpick is essentially a Bowie Knife: a heavy dagger with a pointed, straight 12-20 inch blade. The "toothpick" is balanced and weighted for throwing and can also be used for thrusting and slashing. Because of its large size, the Arkansas Toothpick is usually carried in a holster across the back. The nature of the Bowie Knife or "Arkansas toothpick" is to be heavy enough to be used as a hatchet for cutting wood, but sharp enough for shaving or combat. Its versatility had such an impact that two of Arkansas's nicknames became "The Bowie State" and "The Toothpick State"
Credit Line: 
James B. Wilbur Fund
John T. Kavanaugh Collection, Rutherford, New Jersey, 1945
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group