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    The Old West: Notorious Killer John Wesley Hardin Signed Document. Others had more sordid reputations, but in reality there was no greater killer in Western history than Wes Hardin. In tumultuous Reconstruction Texas, he killed over twenty men, driven by strong anti-Union and racial prejudices, after experiencing as a teenager the brutal murder of relatives by a gang of Unionist marauders. Possessed of a violent temper, Hardin was the most dangerous of a dangerous breed. He was accorded hero status by a large portion of the Texas populace because of the political and racial nature of many of his encounters. An increasing reputation for his gunslinging abilities probably most directly caused his downfall. His spectacular killing of Deputy Sheriff Charles Webb, who contrived to get the drop on him in Comanche, Texas, on May 26, 1874, made Hardin a fugitive in Florida and Alabama, where has was captured and returned to Texas for conviction and imprisonment in 1878. While in prison his wife died, leaving three children. Having taught himself law while incarcerated, he attempted both politics and legal practice unsuccessfully after his 1892 release, then drifted to lawless El Paso, where his time was spent womanizing, drinking and gambling. We offer a 4" x 2.25" receipt or bar-tab from the Wigwam Saloon in that town dated August 17, 1895. Hardin incurred charges of $3.80 on that date for "Dice loss" and "Shots Rye" and has acknowledged the debt by signing "J. W. Hardin". Just two days later, he was shot in the back and killed at a different saloon by John Selman, an outlaw turned policeman with whom Hardin was on bad terms. Included in the lot is a Hardin business card which appears to be a fantasy piece or reproduction of recent manufacture.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    11th-12th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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