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    Frank James Autograph Letter Signed to His Wife Annie ALS "Ben" (his alias, B.J. Woodson), 4pp., 5" x 8", Gallatin, Missouri, dated October 25, 1883; including the original handwritten transmittal envelope. He writes, in full: "My Dear Wife For fear you may not get off to-morrow I will write you so if you send to the Office to morrow you will not be disappointed. We have been having real winter. Snowed all day nearly yesterday. I thought if you were having the same kind of weather Rob would say now Mamma I want my boots, I don't want you to be disappointed when you come for I am satisfied you will have to board at Mr. Bradleys Hotel. I am rather of the opinion you will like it better than a private house. The only thing it will come higher but the attention you will have will make up for that, I am bound to see you if it should cost 128 per week which we have payed I can stand it a few weeks any way. If you now here this morning, I would love you to death so hope you will git here to morrow night.

    Mamma bring all your good clothes if you have any I don't see any use in keeping them for I don't know when I will git out. I want to see you with that satin on Sundays at least, I hope you will get such things as you may need. I would hate to see you spend a nickle in this detestable town. I want you to remember me to all our friends tell them I would love to hear from them and hope they will write me. Tell Aunt Mollie and Mrs. Holland if I am here Christmas.

    I hope they will not forget me, I hope Ma has got well. Why in the thunder don't Mage write. I do wonder if she has gone back on me? My room is real comfortable I promise not to let you freeze Hope to goodness you will get here to morrow night. Tell my little man if he comes he may just make up his mind to stay in jail for the weather will be so bad that he cannot go out doors. I will now close asking you to come at once I will tell you right now you may expect to be eat up when you come so you can git some of your friends to prepare your epitaph I know no one on earth was never half so dear to any one as you were to me, Lord but I love you from head to foot. I have been studying of having you board with me in jail. How would you like that? I was in earnest no foolishness about it. Why not I could git us a little bed stand, damned if I don't do it if I am to stay here all the winter run. I can not be seperated [sic] from you any long so you may prepare yourself to accept the situation again I will say come good bye Love to all. Your loving Hubby Ben"

    Just a few months after the death of his notorious brother, Jesse (April 3, 1882), Frank surrendered to Missouri Governor Thomas J. Crittenden (October 4, 1882), laying his gun on the governor's desk with the epitaph, "no living man except myself has been permitted to touch [these] since 1861." His trial began on August 21, 1883, but by February, 1885, all cases against him had collapsed or were dismissed, or were no longer pressed. By now a celebrity in the pro-Confederate west, Frank won acquittal following his sensational trial, based on the argument that many of the crimes of which he was accused had been committed by others who had found it expedient to blame him in absentia. In the interim, however, James was confined to prison while fighting his legal battles. In fine condition.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 950

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