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Document-style typed note with autograph sentiment, attesting that he is "the original Deadwood Dick"
. He has signed twice as Clarke and once as Deadwood Dick"
Document signed twice: "Richard Wm. Clarke", 5½x3½. Deadwood, South Dakota, (dated twice by him) "Nov. 24 - 1927". Typed portion: "Yes, Sir! I am the original Deadwood Dick, and I sign below, together with my real name." [signed as Clarke]. Autograph portion: "May your life be one of Peace, Love & Prosperity/Yours truly" [signed with both names]. Deadwood Dick was a fictional creation of pulp writer Edward L. Wheeler, starring in 21 stories between 1877 and the author's death in 1885. (Deadwood Dick stories continued to be published by other authors, and would inspire a film serial.) At least five real people claimed to have been the model for Deadwood Dick, among whom Richard William Clarke (1845-1930) had probably the strongest and most widely recognized claim. Clarke, born in England, immigrated to the US in 1861, and soon made his way west to South Dakota, becoming a gold prospector, Indian fighter, and original settler of the town of Deadwood. (He claimed to have fought with Custer at the Little Big Horn (1876) and lived to tell the story of the battle.) The town of Deadwood recognized Clarke's claim, sending him East in 1928 to invite President Coolidge to the town's anniversary celebration. Clarke traveled for a time with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, otherwise living in Deadwood and entertaining visitors while selling them souvenirs. Lightly toned. Fine condition.

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Born: December 15, 1845 in Hansborough, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: Circa 1930 in Deadwood, South Dakota

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