JOHN H. SELMAN - MANUSCRIPT DOCUMENT SIGNED 09/10/1880 - HFSID 285912
Sale Price $3,825.00
JOHN H. SELMAN
The criminal signs documents in jail; he later becomes a lawman and kills John Wesley Hardin.
Manuscript DS: "J.H. Selman", 1p, 7¾x5¼. Shackelford County, Texas, 1880 September 10. In full: "Personally appeared before me John Selman who on oath says that the allegations in the foregoing petition he believes to be true." Also signed: "W.C. Pace/CDCSC". In full: "Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 10 day of Sept AD 1880." On verso is related unsigned manuscript. In part: "The petition of John Selman would show that petitioner is illegally restrained of his liberty by H.C. Jacobs sheriff of Shackelford County Texas…." Selman lived on both sides of the law. His career included cattle rustling, robbery and murder -- and arresting cattle rustlers, robbers and murderers. Three months before this document was signed, he was arrested in Fort Davis, Texas just two days after his second marriage. His brother and fellow outlaw Tom Cat Selman had been lynched when they were taken into custody, but John was transferred back to Shackleford County for trial. He had lived there several years earlier and had connected with gunfighter John Larn. Together, they rustled cattle and robbed. In jail in Shackleford County, Selman bribed his jailers and escaped. THIS DOCUMENT MUST HAVE BEEN SIGNED DURING SELMAN'S INCARCERATION BEFORE HIS ESCAPE. He fled to Mexico and sold farm equipment. In 1888, upon hearing news that he was cleared of rustling charges in Texas, he moved to El Paso with his two sons. He then led a life on the right side of the law, being elected City Constable in 1892. On August 19, 1895, he killed Texas' most notorious gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin, for money that was owed him. Holding his gun to the back of Hardin's head while Hardin was throwing dice at the Acme Saloon in El Paso, Selman pulled the trigger. Witnesses say that Hardin reached for his six-shooter as he fell to the floor. Selman kept shooting, even though Hardin lay dead. The gunfighter's death came as a huge relief to many townspeople. Ironically, Selman was killed the next year by a fellow lawman who owed him money. Fine condition.
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