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Two-page handwritten letter to a friend, signed once as Clarke and twice as Deadwood Dick, accompanied by an unsigned photo of him in front of his log cabin.
Autograph Letter signed three times: "Richard Wm Clarke (Deadwood Dick)" and on verso "Deadwood Dick", 2 p, 5x8. Belle Fourche, South Dakota, 1927 December 9. To Mr. Max Reimers. In full: "Dear sir your letter of the 3rd received ok and glad to here [sic] from you. I will be glad to put my name on the photo for you [not included]. Have not seen the piece in the Rocky Mountain News, so do not know what the wright up [sic] was. Have not heard from Henry Blakley yet he was old Cpt Blakley's son. I lost the address you sent me it is cold here now hope this will find you ok. I remain yours truly [signature]. Wishing you a merry xmas and a happy new year from your friend [signature] and many of them." Accompanied by unsigned picture postcard (sepia, 5½x3½) showing Deadwood Dick in front of his log cabin. 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 Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, otherwise living in Deadwood and entertaining visitors while selling them souvenirs. Toned. Normal mailing folds. Irregular top left edge. Otherwise, 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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