Serial #50 of 150 manufactured by C. B. Allen. Only 12 exist presently. They were made specifically for the Wilkes' South Sea Exploring Expedition of 1837.
The Library of Congress has the Charles Wilkes' papers, described as:
Official and family correspondence, journals and diaries, legal and financial papers, autobiography and other writings, and scientific notebooks relating to Wilkes's command of an expedition (1838-1842) to the Antarctic, Hawaii and various other Pacific islands, and the northwest coast of the United States; his capture of J. M. Mason and John Slidell in the Trent affair (1861); and his command of the James River Flotilla and West India Squadron during the Civil War. Includes legal and business papers of the Wilkes family in England.More about this Bowie Knife Pistol here.