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    Description

    Charles A. Siringo Archive spanning the years 1915 through 1927 and containing seven autograph letters signed by Siringo, with other letters, envelopes, and various ephemera. Charles Siringo (1855- 1928), a Texas cowboy and author, moved to Chicago when he was thirty-one years old to join the Pinkerton Detective Agency. After he retired from the agency in 1907, he wrote three controversial books about the agency.

    Each of the following seven autograph letters signed is 8" x 10", written in pencil, signed "Chas. A. Siringo," and in fine condition. (All quotations are as written.)
    (1) Four pages, June 5, 1925, Hollywood, California, to Texana collector Frank Caldwell of Austin offering to sell for "$1 post - paid . . . a bill of sale which the Kid wrote in 1878. This is the only handwriting of Billy the Kid in existence." Siringo also reports to Caldwell that he has "just written a new book: 'Bad Man Cowboys of the Early West' [also known as Bad Men of the West] which I hope to have published this fall." The book, however, was never published. Frank Caldwell lived his entire life in Austin, Texas. An active book and Texana collector, Caldwell amassed a large collection which he gave to the University of Texas in the 1950s. This letter comes with its transmittal envelope. Some separation is beginning at the folds.
    (2) Three pages, June 20, 1915, Santa Fe, New Mexico, to close friend and Idaho rancher William E. Hawks apologizing that he can't repay his $200 loan yet. Siringo also informs Hawks that he is "busy writing a new book entitled: 'Reminences of A Lone Star Cowboy.' Rand McNally & Co. wrote that if I would write a book which suited they would get it out for me this fall. It will give a history of the old Chisholm cattle trail and the long-horn cattle business - along with other incidents of the cattle ranges." Siringo then confesses his fear of leaving New Mexico and being apprehended by Pinkerton detectives: "As matters stand I dare not leave this state yet." An included newspaper article (ca. 1915), mentioned in the letter, reports on the Pinkerton Detective Agency's attempt to arrest the Texas author for writing a book "squeling a lot of inside secrets." Some uneven toning, with transmittal envelope.
    (3) Two pages, November 5, 1925, Hollywood, California, to Frank Caldwell concerning the death of Sam Bass ("I want to mention it in my new book [Riata and Spurs], which I hope to get out this winter").
    (4) Two pages, December 2, 1925, Hollywood, California, to Doctor E. A. Duncan concerning the never-published Bad Men Cowboys of the Early West "which I hope to have published this winter."
    (5) Two pages, December 3, 1925, Hollywood, California. In this letter, Siringo notifies Charles M. Wood that he is processing his order for Cowboy Detective and Lone Star Cowboy and that he will send him a copy of Bad Man Cowboys of the Early West "when out."
    (6) Four pages, September 14, 1927, Venice, California, to Frank Caldwell concerning the changes made to Riata and Spurs because of the demands of the Pinkerton Detective Agency: "In reply will state that the Pinkertons put a stop to the Houghton Mifflin Co. publishing my Riata and Spurs, claiming that I had exposed secrets of the agency. Hence they had to cut out all my 22 years experience as a Cowboy Detective. In its place they have taken material from my 'Bad Man Cowboy's' [?]. The new material will give the lives of many 'Bad' cowboys of the Early days. . . . The publisher writes me that the new Riata and Spurs will be a better book than the old one. Hope so." Siringo also reviews other western books written by authors Robert M. Wright ("it disgusted me"); Fred Sutton ("a pack of lies"); and Douglas Branch ("a good one. It has a lot about me in it.") With transmittal envelope.
    (7) Three pages, October 11, 1927, Venice California, to Frank Caldwell, concerning Frank Jackson, a former member of Sam Bass' outlaw gang ("no one but old friends knew his identity"). With transmittal envelope.

    Each of the following two typed letters signed written to Siringo is toned and in fine condition.
    (1) Henry F. Hoyt Typed Letter Signed. Two and one-half pages, June 17, 1921, Long Beach, California, containing stories about Billy the Kid. One story concerns an interview of Billy in a Santa Fe jail by New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace, who took as gifts "a bottle of red eye and a box of cigars." The letter also includes Hoyt's remembrance of his final goodbye to Billy. As a young physician, Henry Hoyt met Siringo in 1878 when Siringo taught Hoyt to ride and rope. The two young cowboys soon befriended Billy the Kid. Hoyt, commenting on Siringo's book, History of Billy the Kid, writes, "He [Billy] and I became the very best of friends while he was in the vicinity of Tascosa. . . . I have read a lot [of Billy the Kid history] at one time or another by many different writers about him, but your I consider the most correct of anything I have seen. You certainly have his life down pat all right." Hoyt later became a doctor and author.
    (2) Henry F. Hoyt Typed Letter Signed, one page, June 21, 1921, Long Beach, California, including a description of the receipt signed by Billy the Kid (mentioned above in the first Siringo autograph letter signed). Earlier, Billy had killed a sheriff and kept his horse. He then gave the horse to Hoyt, along with this receipt. Hoyt writes in this letter, "I always wondered where that horse came from but Billy would never give me anything definite about him except that he came from New Mexico . . . and that a bill of sale would come in mighty handy if I ever took him to the territory. That was why he come to give it to me."

    This archive also includes the following:
    (1) Henry F. Hoyt Typed Letter Signed to E. M. (Ted) Dealey. One page, 8.5" x 11", July 1, 1921, Long Beach, California, providing a "narrative of facts" of "a few stories from memory" of old Texas. (Dealey, the future publisher of the Dallas Morning News, was a staff writer in 1921.)
    (2) Various ephemera: a Siringo obituary, a publication advertisement for A Cowboy Detective, a published letter from Will Rogers, various blank postcards pertaining to Siringo, and a business card. Ex Ben E. Pingenot.


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    21st Saturday
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