WILLIAM BARCLAY "BAT" MASTERSON
This extraordinary document is a typed manuscript for Dodge City, The
Cowboy Capital about Western lawman Bat Masterson, with a total of four
handwritten corrections by him, including his very rare full signature.
It was written by Robert M. Wright, former mayor of Dodge City, Kansas, and sent
to Masterson, a former deputy in Dodge City, for his review.
Annotated typed manuscript signed "William Barclay (Bat) Masterson".
Black ink and lead pencil notations in unknown hand. 6 pages, 8½x11, bound
with a needle at top edge. There are a total of four corrections on the first
page. The first is Masterson's signature, correcting the title "W.B.
Masterson (Bat)". He also corrected the initials "W.B." in the first sentence
with "William Barclay". The other two corrections pertain to his
candidacy for sheriff of Ford County, Kansas, which included Dodge City. He
crossed out the "6" in "1876" and corrected it with "7". This
extraordinary document is a short biography of Masterson written by Robert M.
Wright for his book Dodge City, The Cowboy Capital (1913). Wright, a
former mayor of Dodge City, Kansas sent this manuscript to Masterson, a former
deputy in Dodge City, for his review. There are a few corrections on the first
page, including one by Masterson spelling out his first two initials as
"William Barclay". According to Wright, Masterson was "one of the most
notable characters of the West,was one of the Dodge City's first citizens, and
for this reason if no other,de-serves a space in my book." The text
concerns itself with anecdotes from the lives of Masterson and his brother
Ed. Wright describes Masterson's partner in grading railroad lines having
run off with their money, and then praises his character: "...There is
nothing low-down about him. He is high-toned and broad-minded, cool and
brave. In 1876 he became a candidate for sheriff of Ford County, of which
Dodge is the county seat...". He continues: "...There was a train robbery
committed at Kinsley, Kansas and one Dave Rudebaugh was the main guy... [Bat]
gathered a posse... and took the trail. He caught onto a scent that led him to
Henry Lovell's cattle camp... Bat was certain the robbers would seek this camp
for shelter which they did...they were captured without a shot being fired...
Bat was a man most loyal to his friends...exemplified in his action saving
Billy Thompson. Billy and Ben Thompson were brothers, high rollers and desperate
men as well as gamblers. Billy was shot all to pieces in a gun play... Bat
promised Billy to bring him out... Ben Thompson was at the only hotel there
desperately wounded... friends of Thompson were to commence a sham battle at the
big dance hall... by a perfect fusillade of shots... everyone ran out of the
hotel... Bat landed Billy in a sleeper and locked the door... they landed
next morning at William Cody's...". The text also sets forth details of
the killing of Ed Masterson. Masterson would later make every effort to
promote Wright's book, often quoting passages in his column in the New York
Morning Telegraph. Summing up the life of Masterson (1853-1921) in a
few sentences isn't an easy thing. He was an American frontier gambler and
buffalo hunter and a scout for the United States Army. Masterson was also a
lawman, serving as a deputy in Dodge City, Kansas alongside Wyatt Earp and
later sheriff for Ford County, Kansas (1877-1879), as well as town marshal
of Trinidad (1881-1882) and later, during the administration of President
Theodore Roosevelt, as a U. S. Marshall for the southern district of New York.
He was also a journalist, beginning his career in the political hotbed of Dodge
City and later as a sports writer in Denver, Colorado and in New York City at
the New York Morning Telegraph. Lightly toned, stained, soiled and
creased. Light tears along right, left and bottom edges. Random ink stains.
Staple holes at top edge. Folded twice and unfolded. Otherwise in fine
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
WILLIAM BARCLAY MASTERSON
This website image contains our company watermark. The actual document does not contain this watermark.