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    Description

    Robert Grierson Autograph Letter Signed "Robt. K. Grierson." Ten pages, 8" x 10", Fort Davis, Texas; April 30, 1888. In a lengthy letter to his mother, Grierson describes a double murder that occurred on a train. The conflict occurred between Sam Taylor and Charles Server, the conductor of the train. The event is retold in part:

    "The train arrived at Valentine about 9 PM. As it would stop there a few minutes I got out to walk up & down the platform at the depot. I was standing at the west end of the platform near the lamp post talking to Parson Bloys and Mr. Craven, two of my friends, when our attention was attracted by two persons getting off the cars hastily right near us. The parties turned out to be the conductor of the train and Sam Taylor, a hard and dangerous case & son of Mr. Frank Taylor who owns the Taylor Ranch. Sam Taylor made a lunge at the conductor with a big dagger or Bowie knife. The conductor took a step or so backwards & said, 'you will stab me will you!', and then fired his revolver at young Taylor. They then clinched & Taylor stabbed the conductor four or five times & the conductor fired three or four more shots. They both fell while still stabbing & shooting each other. As soon as they fell, two other men & myself endeavored to separate them. I help the conductor's arm while somebody got the pistol away from him, & somebody else took the knife away from Taylor. The conductor died almost immediately. I helped carry him into the depot. Some other men carried Sam Taylor into the dining room of the depot. Sam Taylor's young wife (formerly Miss Mary Musgrave & a very nice girl) was sent for. She was perfectly heartbroken, of course, at the horrible sight of husband all covered with blood. When she stooped over to kiss him & asked him if he knew her, he answered yes, and then used the most beastly language to her. It was perfectly awful...I was informed that young Taylor died soon after the train left Valentine. I am sorry for the poor young wife, but as far as Sam Taylor is concerned, I am glad he is dead, for he was a desperado, dangerous to the community & was bound to wind up that way sooner or later...Sam Taylor has been gambling & drinking for a couple of weeks & under the influence of liquor. Got on the train at Valentine & raised a disturbance. The conductor ordered him off the train & Taylor then went and armed himself with the dagger & returned to the train...It was a horrible sight, the two men all covered with blood & great pools of blood on the platform. Sam Taylor was shot once in the head, carrying away part of the skull over the eye, & twice in the body."

    Robert K. Grierson (1860-1922) was the son of Union general Benjamin Henry Grierson. He attended the University of Michigan, but was soon pulled from school after a violent episode. He was placed in a mental institution for a period of time before his family bought him land in Jeff Davis County, Texas, which explains his being there in 1888. Grierson attempted to become a rancher, but by 1900 he was returned home and committed to the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane, where he spent the remainder of his days.

    Condition: Flattened mail folds, with light edge toning. There is a minor amount of soiling throughout.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2020
    22nd Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 124

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