Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 38

Manuscript and Collectibles Auction

Western Americana
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 478
James, Frank (1843-1915) Alexander Franklin James was the older brother of Jesse James. Frank and Jesse supported the Confederate cause during the Civil War and joined Quantrill's Raiders. Frank was with the Raiders on August 21, 1863 when they ransacked and burned the town of Lawrence, Kansas, killing 150 people. After the war, the brothers turned to thievery and murder; Frank rode with the notorious James-Younger Gang gang on most of their robberies. After Jesse was killed (3 Apr. 1882), Frank surrendered to Missouri governor Thomas Crittendon on 4 Oct. 1882; he was released from prison in 1885. The last thirty years of his life he lived quietly as a farmer, shoe salesman, race track starter, and directed a Wild West show. Frank is buried at Hill Park Cemetery in Independence, Missouri.

Autograph Letter Signed ("Ben" - his alias), 2 pp (1 sheet), 10x7½", "In Jail at Gallatin Mo," 28 Apr. 1883. Very fine; light toning on a small part of the verso. Handsomely matted with an image of Frank and framed to an overall size of 27¾x14½". A loving, repentant, and very lonely Frank writes to "My Dear Wife" (Annie Ralston, whom he married in 1876), asking for forgiveness for something "mean" he had written to her earlier. In part: "…I know it was mean in me to do so, but at the time my feelings were so wrought up that I did not think of anything….I want you to forgive me wont you. I know that the brain that conceived the idea, the heart that prompted the act and the hand framed the words of my last letter they are all yours….I love you so much that the very idea of thinking you do not love me makes me feel like that I am entirely alone….you have no idea how I have suffered since you left. I dont think I can stand this much longer and honestly believe that you will have to come back….if I continue to suffer mentally as I have I shall write or telegraph you to come to me. I had a real nice pair of shoes sent me for Robie [their son] from Chicago.I am afraid they are too small….Darling for God sake write me often….I should love to put my arms around you tonight….I had a lot of reading matter given me today. I will send it for you….I must now kiss you and Robie goodnight….Your loving husband…."
Estimated Value $5,000 - 7,500.
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