Lot 1341

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(1840-1915) Settler who moved west to the Kansas Territory at age 16 and helped settle Dodge City. Worked as a scout and Indian fighter, buffalo hunter, and cattle trader, served as Dodge City's Town President. Wright once amassed a fortune from the cattle trade, but lost most of it while suffering from alcohol and morphine addiction. Near the end of his life, Wright decided to publish a memoir of his life and the beginnings of Dodge City: DODGE CITY, THE COWBOY CAPITAL and THE GREAT SOUTHWEST in The Days of The Wild Indian, the Buffalo, the Cowboy, Dance Halls, Gambling Halls, and Bad Men, self-published in 1913. Wright knew Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and many of the other noted lawmen, cowboys, and outlaws who crossed paths in Dodge City, and includes their stories in his book. Archive contains: Autograph Manuscript draft of Dodge City: The Cowboy Capital, 4to-folio size, approximately 350pp., n.p. [ca. 1912], a mostly-readable collection of pencil-written pages now housed in archival sleeves. Many portions of the original manuscript differ from the final published version, in part: "...One of the principal reasons why the Indians were not prosecuted more vigorously...was the United States Army was afraid their avocation would be gone if they exterminated the Indians...the Gold Brick Men claimed they were the last of a gang of Mountain bandits who robbed the Deadwood stage...Jessie James was here for a short time under cover... Doc Holliday- the last I saw of the two, they were starting south over land in a Brick Board with cooking utensils & camp equipment of all kinds, they had along a Race horse, a prize fighter and a fighting bulldog and two prize-winning game cocks. They were sports every inch of them if they were crooks, and both dead shots with the six shooter...The first man killed in Dodge was a negro by the name of Tex some say it was one of the most unprovoked murders ever committed. He was killed by a Gambler named Denver and he had not the slightest cause to kill, but did it out of pure cussedness... ". Also included are approximately 60 letters signed by Wright and book recipients regarding publication, including: T.L.S.'s from ALEXANDER DODDS, the Christian Science Monitor's first managing editor, the entertainer HENRY CLAY BARNABEE, and Professor WARREN K. MOOREHEAD, the archeologist who excavated the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois; additionally, contemporary transmittal covers, promotional materials and related ephemera. Pages are mostly fragile, with heavy toning and marginal chipping, some held together with steel pins. Wright's original pressing was destroyed in a 1913 fire, and had only a small second run. Though the book is available online through the State of Kansas, this autographed manuscript is exceedingly rare.

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January 21, 2010 10:00 AM EST
Stamford, CT, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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