Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Dr. Rueben Samuel: A Rare Early CDV Photo and an Important Letter by Jesse and Frank's Stepfather, Referencing Frank and Zerelda. Samuel writes in 1903 to his daughter Sarah (Sallie) Louisa Samuel Nicholson (1858-1915). Sarah was the first child of Rueben and Zerelda Samuel, and half-sister if Jesse and Frank James.

    The letter is written from St. Joseph to Sallie in Kearny, and is mostly of a personal nature, saying how he wishes he could be there, asking how the crops are there, etc. Dr. Samuel had never fully recovered mentally from oxygen deprivation when he was famously strung up by Union militiamen at the James farm in 1863, and by this time he had been committed to a home for the insane in St. Joseph.

    As Samuel brings his letter to a close, he writes of a visit he received from Joe Hall, and says he was glad to see Joe. He asks Sallie to "Tell your ma (Zerelda) why she can't (i.e. why can't she) come up with you and spend the day also. And if she doesn't want to shake hands with me she doesn't have to." Apparently relations between Samuel and his wife were strained after his commitment to the institution in St. Joseph.

    Probably in part because of Dr. Samuel's hanging ordeal, he was always loved by Jesse and Frank. He closes his letter by noting that "Frank James come one day when the wards (?) were called to come in so I bid farewell to him." While Dr. Samuel would live another five years, dying in 1908 at age 80, he seems that he felt his life was near an end, and that he would never see Frank again.

    The letter is in strong pencil, with a fine, clear "Dr. Rueben Samuel" signature. 5" x 8". Minor roughness along one edge where the sheet was torn from a notebook.


    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 373

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 August 18 Americana & Political - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 April 18 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2018 April 18 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,015,299