Description

    "Diamond Dick" Tanner Letter Referencing Custer, Buffalo Bill, and More. This is a 1935 letter of transmittal which accompanied a Custer signed document which Tanner was presenting to a friend.

    In 1893, Diamond Dick was in the midst of his famous, record-setting long distance ride (5500 miles in 240 days on the same horse). He stopped in Chicago to visit the Columbian Exposition and met with Cody, whose Wild West show was performing there, "Cody had Chief Rain-in-the-Face on exhibition in his side show," Tanner writes. "We were talking about Rain-in-the-Face and the Custer Massacre, Cody opened his trunk and taking out the document said 'Dick, here is an army document bearing the original signature of General Custer, take it along with you,' and he handed me the document." Tanner carried the document with him in his saddle pack for the duration of the ride, and "since then it has been a part of my historical collection." Tanner was obviously very proud of the document, as he describes showing it to a variety of well-known personalities, including Calamity Jane, Doc Carver and Captain Jack Crawford, as well as several chiefs who had been present at the Custer massacre including Rain-in-the-Face. Interestingly he also claims to have shown it to Crazy Horse-a neat trick as the chief had been dead for some time when Tanner received the document from Cody!

    "Diamond Dick" was famous for self-promotion, but this is nonetheless a delightful and evocative letter by one of the West's most colorful characters. Unfortunately the lot includes only the Tanner letter, not the Custer document. Small, old tape marks around edges, otherwise excellent condition.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    25th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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