PATRICK F. "BIG CASINO" GARRETT - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 07/16/1893 - HFSID 285977
Sale Price $3,187.50
Letter to his wife about their old ranch in Roswell, New Mexico; with envelope incorporating a second signature.
ALS: "P.F. Garrett", 3p, 6x8½. Roswell, N.M., 1893 July 16. To his wife. In full: "This is Sunday evening. I got here Thursday and find this country dryer than I ever saw it. Everything looks bad. The cattle are dieing (sic) and everything has a desolate appearance. I went out to our old place this morning. It looks about as it did when we left except the cotton-woods have grown considerable, the grape vine (sic) are loaded with grapes and look well but the Peach trees look bad several have died. I find the Horses in bad shape. Garvey has sold and stole them so that there are not a great many left. I will begin to gather them tomorrow and am going to sell for some price. I intend to close out all we have here. So I will never have to come to this country again. I cant tell yet when I will get home. Write me at once and let me know how you all are getting along. If you had come with me this trip you would never want to see this country again. Mr. Coburn died yesterday and was buried this morning. All of the old settlers want to leave this country and say we acted wise in selling out and leaving. Captain Len told me that he was anxious to get away from here. Mr. Ballard's foals are all well. Love to all and also for my Baby for me get her to sing Little Red Riding Hood for Lila and Lizzie. Good bye. Yours." Torn top edge. Folds, none touch signature. ¼-inch separation at left and ½-inch separation at right of horizontal fold on first page touch some words, all intact. ¼-inch separation at cross fold on second page touches some words, all intact. Lower left corner missing on second page. Black stain at blank right edges. Writing is very light but legible. With original envelope, 6x3½, printed return address: "Return in Ten Days to/Hotel Pauly./J.P. Church, Propr./Roswell, New Mexico", 2-cent "Landing of Columbus" stamp affixed, postmarked on verso Uvalde, July 19, 1893. Addressed by Garrett to: "Mrs P.F. Garrett/Uvalde/Texas". Pat Garrett (1850-1908) is best known for killing the outlaw Billy the Kid. Garrett was elected sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico in 1880. As Sheriff, he captured his onetime friend Billy the Kid, who had been accused of murder. The Kid killed two guards and escaped from jail just before he was to be hanged. On July 14, 1881, Garrett caught up with him at Fort Sumner, a military post near the town of Fort Sumner, New Mexico and shot him to death from ambush in a darkened house. It was in Fort Sumner that he met and married Apolonaria Gutierrez, with whom he had nine children. In April 1882, Garrett published The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid. He lost the next election for Sheriff of Lincoln County. In 1884, he ran for the territorial Senate and lost. He moved from Lincoln County to Tascosa, a settlement on the Canadian River, in the Texas Panhandle. He served as Captain of a unit of Texas Rangers that Texas Governor John Ireland had assigned to protect ranchers from cattle rustlers. Within weeks, Garrett quit the Texas Rangers and returned to southeastern New Mexico, this time to Roswell. He set up a scheme to irrigate the desert in an area with impoverished soil and bad water. In 1890, Garrett ran for Sheriff of Chavez County, which had been carved out of Lincoln County, with Roswell as the new county seat. He lost. In 1891, he moved to Uvalde, a community in south Texas where he raised and raced horses with 22-year-old John Nance Garner, future vice president of the United States under FDR (1933-1941). In this letter, he writes from Roswell to his wife in Uvalde about the land they had left two years earlier. Pat Garrett was shot to death by rancher Wayne Brazel because of a land dispute. A witness supported Brazel's claim of self-defense. Brazel was tried and found not guilty but people generally suspected that it was murder since Garrett's body showed a bullet in the back of the head as well as one in the stomach. Two items.
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