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    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 In a savvy move, Houghton Mifflin replaced the expunged pages with material from the unpublished Bad Man Cowboys of the Early West.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.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    23rd Saturday
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