The former outlaw writes to a history professor regarding an old
friend and photos of his brothers.
Signed: "Emmett Dalton", 1p, 8½x11. Hollywood, California, 1934 April 1. On
his personal stationery, which is imprinted "Author of/'When The Daltons Rode'"
at upper left. To Virgil Y. Russell, History Dept, Casper, Wyoming. In
full: "It has been seldom that I have been so, in years, that I could not
answer my letters but natural conditions seem to have gotten the best of me. I
have Been [handwritten by Dalton] on the 'Bum' for four or five years,
cant (sic) die nor get well, but in the last few months I seem to be
getting better. I remember old 'Tex Cooper' well. I always considered him one of
my best friends. Under separate cover I am mailing you one of my small photos,
taken about four years ago. It would not be possible to get one of my brothers
at this time, as you suggest, you know, men were not much for having their
picture taken, in those days, little did they think about getting into trouble.
With sincere apologies for my delay in not ansewering (sic) sooner. P.S.
The photograph you mention was publisher (sic) in the American Magazine
about four years ago." The Dalton boys had been raised near Coffeyville,
Kansas, where they rivaled their heroes, the James and Younger gangs. Emmett
was only 21 when the Dalton Gang attempted to rob two banks simultaneously in
Coffeyville on October 5, 1892. He was the only survivor of "Death Alley",
the street between the banks where the Daltons attempted to flee; four
townspeople died on that fateful day. Emmett suffered chest and leg wounds and
his right arm was nearly shattered from the barrage of bullets. Charged with
the murder of two townspeople, he was found guilty and served 14 years of a life
sentence before being pardoned by Kansas Governor Edward W. Hoch in 1907.
He later moved to California where he wrote two books: Beyond the Law
(1918) and When the Daltons Rode (1931). In the 1918 silent,
Beyond the Law, based on his book, Emmett Dalton played three roles:
himself and his brothers Frank and Bob. He consulted on many westerns. Three
years after his death, When the Daltons Rode was released by
MCA/Universal Pictures. It starred Randolph Scott, Brian Donlevy and Broderick
Crawford; Frank Albertson played Emmett. TEX "SHERIFF" COOPER
(1876-1951), mentioned by Dalton, resembled Buffalo Bill, with whom he worked
in his Wild West shows as they toured Europe and the United States. He appeared
in many Westerns as a "face in the crowd". Lightly creased. Folds, vertical
fold touches the second "m" in Emmett. Tape stains at blank corners,
pinhead-size stains at lower left margin. Overall, fine
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