Photo and caption via the University of Utah’s collection:
“This was Colt’s 1st Model Dragoon Revolver, Serial No. 3262. This revolver was made in 1848 or 1849 as records show that “a little over 4000 of the first model were made in 1848.” The barrel has been shortened from the original 7 1/2 inch length to 2 1/2 inches. The loading lever has been removed and a new front sight has been dove-tailed in on the barrel. This was a common practice to enable quicker drawing and firing & to carry concealed. The revolver was allegedly brought to Salt Lake City in 1936 by a lady from “Southern Utah,” who said that it had some connection with John D. Lee. It could hardly have belonged to Lee as William Stokes, Deputy U.S. Marshall, who arrested Lee at Panquitch on the morning of Nov. 7, 1874, related that Lee was curious about a similar revolver that he (Stokes) used. Could this perhaps be the Stokes modifed “dragoon pistol?” C.K. Gift of Charles Kelly. “
For reference, John Doyle Lee was famously convicted as a mass murderer for his role in the 1857 Mountain Meadows massacre and executed by firing squad at the Mountain Meadows site in 1877.
For further reference, this is what an unmodified Colt Dragoon looks like: