Lot 24 of 539:
Tombstone letter from Mike Grey to J.W. Denver, 1881  

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Title:
Letter written from Tombstone by Mike Gray, onetime Justice of the Peace there, to James W. Denver, after whom the Colorado city is named
Author:
Gray, Mike
Place:
Tombstone, Arizona
Publisher:
Date:
December 22, 1881
Description:

Autograph letter signed by Mike Gray. 2 pages on 2 sheets of plain paper, with original envelope addressed to Genl. J.W. Denver, Washington City, D.C., with cancellation.

Significant letter from Mike Gray, the Tombstone Justice of the Peace who swore in Wyatt Earp as Deputy Sheriff in 1880. He also headed a vigilante party to avenge the victims of the Guadalupe Canyon Massacre, one of whom was the father of Ike Clanton (of OK Corral notoriety, a member of a loose association of outlaws known as The Cowboys who clashed with lawmen Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp as well as Doc Holliday). Another victim was Gray's son Dixie Lee. Wyatt Earp was a suspected perpetrator of the massacre. The letter was written just two months after the gunfight at OK Corral. Gray writes to his old friend J.W. Denver, asking that he "mention to the proper authorities the importance of establishing a Military Post near the Mexican line at a point in New Mexico near the dividing line of Arizona and New Mexico." The presence of troops would ensure the safety of the citizens caught in the conflict between the outlaw Cowboy cattle rustlers and Mexicans, including the Guadalupe Canyon incident, and enhance development of the region.

(Addressed to Gen’l J. W. Denver, Washington City, D. C.
Postmarked Tombstone, Arizona)
 
Tombstone, Arizona
December 22, 1881
 
Gen’l J. W. Denver
Dear Old Friend,
 
You may be surprised to receive a letter from me after so many long years accompanied with so many changes &c. &c. I am yet among the living and have not forgotten your willingness to do favors for your many friends. Hence this request. To be brief, Gen’l, will you mention to the proper authorities the importance of establishing a Military Post near the Mexican line at a point in New Mexico near the dividing line of Arizona and New Mexico. The necessity for such a post is very great. There is a distance of one hundred and fifty miles along the border without any protection at all—the very best of this country that would support one million of stock, with mountains intervening full of minerals, that today is almost abandoned for want of protection by the troops.
 
I will guarantee one of the handsomest places of this country for the Post without cost to Government. After you consult with the proper one, you will communicate the facts to me and my part shall be attended to in haste. Nothing more at present. I remain yours as of old. — Mike Gray
 
P. S. My regards to all Mexican [War] Veterans.
 
Lot Amendments
Mike Gray's last name is spelled with an "a" not an "e"; it was the Guadalupe Canyon Massacre, not Guadalupe Valley Massacre.
Condition:
Fine condition.
 
Item number:
318551
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