DescriptionAnnie Oakley: Five-Page handwritten Letter to Brother-in-law William Butler, with Original Envelope Bearing her Signature in Full. This is an important letter at several levels. For one thing, Annie signs her full name in the return address on the envelope: "Annie Oakley Butler." For another, she's deeply concerned about Emma's health: "Oh I hope God will keep you together for a time." And, sadly Emma died shortly after this. Annie refers to Frank in the letter by her pet name for him, "Jimmie" (to his nieces and nephews he would always be "Uncle Jimmie.") It begins with a reference to her physical woes, apologizing for not having written in so long: "You would forgive me if you could see what a wreck I am." She describes the trouble and expense of shipping hers and Frank's household goods from a storage barn in Cambridge, Maryland - where Frank originally had insisted they be kept - to the Blakeley home in Ohio, and she declares (referring to herself in the third person) that she will act on her own advice and for her own good from now on: "I am done slaveing and must look out for Annie if she would live a little while longer." It has been expensive living in a hotel and paying medical specialists - $200 dollars! - but now she can turn her notorious frugality on its head: "The money is worth more to Jimmie or myself now than it will be after we have reached the last mile stone." Finally, and perhaps most important, she tells Will and Emma: "I have about half of my memoirs finished but I have been to ill and to unsettled to get at it since I left N.C. But hope to get busy in a week more." She closes "Affect. Annie" and adds an ominous note about Frank: "He has changed much. And does not look so well."
She never did finish her memoirs, bringing them up to just 1891. The parts that she completed were serialized in newspapers in the months just before and after she and Frank died. Fragments of her manuscript pertaining to Sitting Bull survive in the Annie Oakley Center at the Garst Museum, Greenville, Ohio. Excellent condition. 5.25" x 6.5". This lot will be accompanied by a family letter of provenance.
For more information about Annie Oakley and the family provenance of this lot, please click here.
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