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    Frank James Autograph Letter Signed "Ben." Four integral pages, 7.75" x 9.75", n. p. [postmarked from Gallatin, Missouri], [April 22, 1883]. Just one year since the murder of his brother, Jesse, and six months since his own surrender, Frank James, charged with murder and imprisoned in Gallatin, Missouri, was awaiting trial.

    Written over the course of two days, the notorious outlaw shows his softer side writing to his wife, Anna, who has left after a recent jailhouse visit: "I have thought of you every hour since you left me. I miss you so much and regret that you went." Of his hosts, he writes: "Mrs. Crozie[r] went out for a walk this PM and brought me a real nice boquet [sic] of wild flowers. She and Miss Emma seem to sympathize very much more with me since you left...I suppose they noticed my sad demeanor..." Mrs. Crozier was the wife of the Sheriff George T. Crozier. "I asked Mr. Crozier to day," he writes, "if he could bord [sic] you and Ma during the trial. The answer he gave me that he thought Mr Burns would board you. He lives right across the street from the jail."

    Having no desire to spend the rest of his life in a cell, he writes that he has "...heard nothing from any of my atty. I'll tell [William M.] Rush the first time I see him that I will go to trial with him alone I am determined that the end shall come if I am to lead this life always death will be preferable." William M. Rush was one of James' defense attorneys, appointed to make the final jury selection for the defense.

    Despite being in jail and awaiting trial, James still signs by his alias, "Ben," for Benjamin J. Woodson. James' trial began on August 16, 1883, and lasted sixteen days. He was acquitted of all charges. With original transmittal envelope. Folds, sections of which are weakened and separating, especially at the intersection of the folds. Slight smudging of the ink.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
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