Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Charles A. Siringo Autograph Letter Signed. Two lined pages written in pencil, 8" x 10", August 3, 1925, Hollywood, California, to Frank Caldwell of Austin, Texas. Texas cowboy and author Charles Siringo (1855-1928) moved to Chicago when he was thirty-one years old to join the Pinkerton Detective Agency. After his retirement in 1907, he wrote three controversial books about the agency. One of those books, Riata and Spurs, was conceived shortly after this letter was written.

    Siringo acknowledges in the letter the receipt of "photos of Sam Bass monument and the Cowboy statute in Austin" and writes in the postscript about his most recent manuscript: "The manuscript of my new book, 'Bad Man Cowboys of the Early West' is now in the hands of a New York publisher. If they don't get it out will do so myself this winter." The postscript is signed "S". Despite the optimism in this August letter, the Bad Man Cowboys manuscript, which had already been turned down by Yale University Press, did not get published by winter. It was sent to Houghton Mifflin which also turned it down; instead, the publishing company wanted Siringo, who was desperately short of cash, to write an autobiography. The book the cowboy author produced, Riata and Spurs, was published in 1927, but Houghton Mifflin was forced to expunge most of the text because of objections made by the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Siringo's old employer. In a savvy move, Houghton Mifflin replaced the expunged pages with material from the unpublished Bad Man Cowboys of the Early West. This revised version of Riata and Spurs was published in late 1927 and seemed to please Siringo and his readers.

    Frank Caldwell, the letter's recipient, 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. Included with the letter are the transmittal envelope and a promotional postcard containing an image of "the author and his Russian Wolf Hound 'Jumbo'." All items are in fine condition.

    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
    October, 2010
    23rd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,093

    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

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 8 days left to consign to the "Say it Loud" The John Silverstein Collection of African American Social History!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 November 10-11 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part IV - Dallas
    2018 November 10-11 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $654,236