A Wyatt Earp Autograph Letter Signed: An Incredible Rarity

January 15, 1921

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A Wyatt Earp Autograph Letter Signed: An Incredible Rarity
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 391

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      Background

      The great epic story of the American West - so evocative of cowboys and Indians, lawmen and outlaws, covered wagons and endless prairies – would seem to have ended, literally and figuratively, with the 1920s Los Angeles real estate boom. The frontier at last proved finite, and all that was left was to carve it up and sell it off.  Here Wyatt Earp, the hero of the most famous gunfight in Western history, discusses his various land deals.
       
      Your letter in hand - was glad to hear from you in regard to Mr. Burke. You can tell him I would be glad to do business with him but at present cant do anything as I have not got things fixed up on the 160 acres, but am ready to go in with the 40 acres provid­ing I get the bonus. Mains and Bradley was [sic] here and have gone back to Los Angeles again. There is a man by the name of Holt from the Imperial Valley man with plenty of money. He has taken over the Alice property that Vaughn owned. I wonder would Mr. Burke be interested in the mines in any way. I would like to show him my property. I will stay here until I hear from Washington. Mrs. Earp will arrive here tonight.

      Despite all of Earp’s wheeling and dealing, the trail he left behind him was chiefly written in blood. This autograph letter is only one of two, or maybe three - in existence, making it of the utmost rarity.


      Autograph Letter Signed (“W. Earp”), 2 pages, quarto, Vidal [California], January 15, 1921. To John Flood, Earp’s (unpaid) secretary and the ghostwriter of his abortive autobiography. Of the utmost rarity; there are thought to be not more than two or perhaps three Earp letters in private hands.
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      Vidal, Jan. 15 1921.

      Dear Friend Flood.

      Your letter in hand - was glad to hear from you in regard to Mr. Burke. You can tell him I would be glad to do business with him but at present cant do anything as I have not got things fixed up on the 160 acres, but am ready to go in with the 40 acres provid­ing I get

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      Page 2 transcript
      the [text is crossed out] bonus. Mains and Bradley was [sic] here and have gone back to Los Angeles again. There is a man by the name of Holt from the Imperial Valley a man with plenty of money [.] he [sic] has taken over the Alice property that Vaughn owned. I wonder would Mr. Burke be interested in the mines in any way. I would like to show him my property. I will stay here until I hear from Washington. Mrs. Earp will arrive here tonight.

      With best wishes
      from your friend

      W. Earp.