"Great American Cowboy Race"

    Cabinet Card Albumen Photograph: "Old Joe" Gillespie and Charlie Smith Winners of the Great Chadron Endurance Race, 1893. 7" x 5", mounted to an overall size of 7.25" x 6". Louis Friesleben, Photographer, 3922 State Street, Chicago studio backmark. The great 1,000 mile endurance race from Chadron, Nebraska to Chicago, Illinois is shrouded in myth and misinformation, making fact and fiction hard to distinguish. There is no disputing that the "Great American Cowboy Race" starting on June 13, 1893 with a field of nine riders, each with two horses. On the morning of June 27, 1893 the riders made it to Chicago and the "1,000 Mile Tree" at the site of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, but the winning order was disputed. This photograph shows Gillespie and Smith, who some believe were the first and second place winners, though other sources have identified the seated cowboy as John Berry. Just visible in the background is a Native American peering over the fence rails, no doubt one of the Indian performers in Cody's Wild West Show. The mat board is chipped and bears a thumb-tack hole. There is a small tear along the bottom edge of the mat extending just into the albumen image. The image has one small stain at Gillespie's elbow, otherwise it is sharp and in very good condition. The image is accompanied by several pages of photocopied material chronicling the history of the race.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2012
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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