Description

    Pat Garrett Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 7.75" x 9.75", Uvalde, Texas, July 1, 1891. This enigmatic letter was written by the famed lawman ten years after his controversial shooting of Billy the Kid in southeastern New Mexico at the home of his friend Pete Maxwell. Addressed to his "Dear uncle," Garrett's letter begins with a detailed account of the death of an unidentified man named Baxter: "Baxter died very suddenly Monday the 29th of June. He took sick about 8 o'clock with a terrible headache and died at 12 ½. Was apparently well when he started to Eagle Pass . . . I got to him in about 40 minutes after he took sick and he did not know me, never spoke."

    Garrett goes on to ask that his uncle "Make inquiry about Maxwell. See if you can find out where his people live and write to them. Ask Mr. Pruett, I think he knew Baxter before he came to Roswell." This passage is quite interesting as Maxwell was the name of the man in whose home Garrett killed Billy the Kid. Although we cannot ascertain with certainty who Baxter was, it is clear that he and Garrett were close and that Maxwell knew them both. It is possible that Baxter is John J. Baxter, a prospector who helped found the community of White Oaks, New Mexico, when he discovered gold there in 1878; both Roswell and Fort Sumner, where the Kid was killed, are nearby. Billy the Kid visited White Oaks regularly; he brought stolen horses to White Oaks to sell, and spent time in the local saloons and gambling parlors. At the time of Billy the Kid's escape from jail, Garrett was in White Oaks buying lumber to build a gallows to hang the Kid. The possible connections here are so tantalizing, but not definitively documented. Regardless, this is an exceptional letter, filled with the names of people and places closely connected to Garrett and the death of Billy the Kid. Faint age toning with several areas of fold separation which can be easily repaired.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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