|Documents - Historical|
|Realisation Price||1,500.00 USD|
Goldberg Auctioneers / Fall Manuscript Auction (#101) - 18/11/2017 / Historic Documents/Manuscripts / Lot 186
Younger, Cole; Autograph Letter Signed (1844-1916) Thomas Coleman Younger was a bandit who was a member of the Confederate guerrilla group, Quantrill's Guerrillas, during the Civil War. He joined with Jesse James and formed the James-Younger band, which was composed of Jesse and Frank James and Cole and his two brothers, James and Robert. The Younger and James brothers terrorized Missouri and the surrounding states with a string of bank and train robberies during the 1860s and 70s. Following a failed bank raid in Northfield, MN, on September 7, 1876, the James brothers escaped back to Missouri but all three Younger brothers were shot and captured; all three were sentenced to life imprisonment. Robert died in 1889 of tuberculosis and Cole and James were paroled in 1901. James committed suicide in 1902. Cole was pardoned in 1903 and remained a law-abiding citizen for the rest of his life. Cole eventually reunited with Frank James in a touring Wild West show (Jesse having been assassinated in 1882 by that "dirty coward" Bob Ford). Toward the end of his life, Cole went on the lecture circuit preaching the evils of crime. At the time of this letter, Younger was with the Al Nicols Street Carnival but he wanted to quit show business for a job with an insurance company. Autograph letter signed, one page, 7¾ x 6", and two partial pages, each 3¼ x 6", laid to front and back of another page, Kansas City, Mo. (paper is imprinted Cameron, Mo.), June 27, 1908. To Harry Hoffman, in part: "We have been figuring on making a jump to North West Canada but suppose it is all off and we will play Gallatin, Mo. next month. Thank God, we have had one week of sunshine and if it will only continue we will pull out all right I hope. I see by the papers there is a company in K.C. organizing a new insurance company if convenient find out what they amount to if good see if you cannot get some one to convince them that I would be a good man to represent them at Lee's Summit and the south side of Jackson County. I believe I could get more for them than any one I know. I am tyred of show business and will quit this fall….Remember me kindly to all friends I will be at home in October….Love to all and many kisses to the children. Your friend Cole Younger." Some professional fold repairs on verso of first page. A few words of text on partial pages are missing. Parts of the text have been professionally enhanced, as several large iodine stains previously interfered with legibility. The signature is dark and crisp. Accompanied by a notarized letter from Harry Hoffman, the recipient of this letter, certifying that he was "on a friendly basis for many years" with Younger. Also included are four other letters written by Mr. Hoffman to Mr. John A. Fischbach, the man to whom he sold this letter in 1959, and a transcription of the Cole Younger letter, as well as three photos of Cole, one of Robert Younger, and five envelopes. A rare relic of the Wild West.