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    James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok and William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody: A Rare and Important Signed Autograph Book from the Legendary Play "Scouts Of The Plains." One of the most remarkable Western autograph items it has ever been our privilege to present! This historic autograph book is filled with hundreds of signatures, including various notables of the late 1800s and early 1900s. But, most importantly, it features four pages of signatures and inscriptions from the four principals of Buffalo Bill's 1873-74 production "Scouts of the Plains." Clearly the autograph collector was a great fan of the play as he managed to pursue and obtain all the principals' signatures in one day. Hickok signs twice, once as "Wild Bill" (dated January 15, 1874). Cody signs as "W.F. Cody 'Buffalo Bill'/ Once a scout and guide but now a thin actor/ Norwich, Connecticut/Jan. 15/74". Frank Mordaunt signs and identifies himself as "Director, Scouts of the Plains." Also signing is cast member John B. "Texas Jack" Omohundro, a rare autograph. Hickok's autograph from this period of his life is surely quite rare, as he would remain a part of the play for only a few months (it was said that his tendency to shoot at the feet of cast members hastened his departure).

    Interestingly, Hickok has also signed "Bill Worrell" below his second signature. Worrell was one of the best-known 19th-century circus clowns and a renowned black face comedian, who presumably was present the night Hickok autographed this book. He was certainly not illiterate, having been educated as a civil engineer, so we can only speculate that perhaps he was unavailable, and so Hickok signed his name for him. Another intriguing autograph is that of one Wesley Barney, who signed "I am not Buffalo Bill nor his director. I'm only an actor waiting to excel." Oddly this inscription is dated April 16, 99. Perhaps the proud owner of the autograph book had shown him the "Scouts of the Plains" pages before he signed.

    Also signing was famed early feminist and 1872 presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull, who writes "And the truth shall make you free" in 1875. Another interesting page features nine signatures from members of "John H. Murray's great R R Circus," dated May 10, 1874. Lincoln's first vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, signed, as well as Senator John Sherman of Ohio. Rutherford B. Hayes's vice president William A. Wheeler has autographed the book, as well as future martyred president James A. Garfield. One of the more interesting later entries is an 1899 autograph of Sydney Toler, later known as "Charlie Chan."

    While the cloth cover of the book has deteriorated and separated along the spine, the 7.5" x 4.75" pages are in excellent condition. With only a small handful of clearly authentic Hickok signatures known, this offering presents truly important opportunity for the serious collector of famous Western autographs.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 8,506

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