[Unrecorded Captain Jack Crawford] Amazing Archive of John Wallace “Captain Jack” Crawford Including 23 Mostly Manuscript Items Including a Number of Unpublished and Unrecorded Short Stories, Poems and Plays.
Items generally in very good condition. Minor chipping to some pages with no loss of content. Toning to most items. Additional photos upon request.
Captain Jack Crawford (1847–1917), known as "The Poet Scout", was born in Ireland and emigrated to the United States at the age of 14. He was wounded twice in the American Civil War, where while convalescing, Crawford learned to read and write. After the war he moved to Centralia, Pennsylvania to work the coal mines and later became the local postmaster. In 1875 Crawford went to the Black Hills to prospect but ended up working as a correspondent for the Omaha Daily Bee. A year later Custer City miners organized a 125-man militia known as the "Black Hills Rangers" and Jack Crawford was appointed as Chief of Scouts for the Rangers. It likely was during this period that he became known as “Captain Jack”.
During the Sioux War of 1876 Crawford served as a civilian scout and soon was carrying war dispatches for Eastern Newspapers. He joined General Crook’s command just prior to marching in Crook's epic “Horsemeat March” where Crawford's "yarns and rhymes" would help to relieve the monotony and peril of camp life. After the Battle of Slim Buttes, the first Army victory after the Battle of Little Bighorn, Jack Crawford rode a distance of 350 miles in six days with dispatches for the New York Herald, growing his fame throughout the East, and becoming a national celebrity.
In 1879, Jack relocated his family from Pennsylvania to the New Mexico territory and began scouting for the army again, this time during skirmishes with Apache Indians. He continued working for the government in various capacities as he was building his reputation as the “Poet Scout”, taking on a larger-than-life persona of a mythical western hero. His charm and gift for poetry made him accessible to young and old as he’d step on stage in his trademark buckskin and sombrero over his shoulder-length hair.
Captain Jack Crawford would go on to publish 7 books of poetry, 5 plays and over 100 short stories. University of New Mexico Press would publish Darlis A. Miller’s biography, “Captain Jack Crawford Buckskin Poet, Scout and Showman” in 1993.
This Captain Jack Crawford archive contains 23 items acquired from the estate of collector Robert Palazzo who lived in southern California. Many of these items are manuscripts ranging from single-page poems to book length stories. Several are un-published and likely these are the only known copies. We have noted the unrecorded material below. Jack Crawford signed books are fairly common. His ephemera is not uncommon, but manuscript material of any length rarely make the market. The collection includes:
--(6) Signed typed part books for Captain Jacks’s play “Fonda” with holograph changes and corrections by Crawford. Also signed by actor Fanny Temple.
--Typed carbon manuscript for “Ruth in Fonda” with holographic notes.
--(6) Manuscript music scores for “Fonda”
--Typed manuscript play “Tat (Edna) the Veteran’s Daughter” by Crawford with numerous holograph corrections, 73 pages. This play was later re-titled “Mighty Truth”.
--Union Pacific Railroad receipt for payment for Indian horses killed by trains. Signed by Crawford as Indian Agent, Pendleton, Oregon, 1892
--Typed manuscript monologue play “The Dregs” by Crawford with holograph corrections. 10pp. dated 1907. Only copy found is Library of congress Photoduplication Service,/ 1962./ 1 microfilm reel : negative ; 35 mm.
--Typed manuscript play “Colonel Bob” by Crawford and Marie Madison. Holograph corrections and signature by Crawford. 1908, 92pp. Only known manuscript is in the United States Copyright Office. On the first page Jack has written, “I am playing part of this today & the Klondyke business is no joke”. Crawford’s biographer found no information that this play was ever fully produced. Published in an anthology in 1996.
--Typed manuscript “Colonel Bob A Western Pastoral” [A novel from the play] 1908, 195pp. with holograph changes and corrections. Only copy found is at the Library of Congress Photoduplication Service, / 1962./ 1 microfilm reel.
--Typed manuscript play in one act “Sunset” by Marie Madison with holograph corrections by Crawford. 9pp. Set in Ft. Craig, Colorado. Not found in OCLC.
--Typed Manuscript “Private Brown” with holograph corrections and additions. 62pp. Short story likely not published. Not in OCLC.
--Typed manuscript poem “The Hon. William Mathewson Buffalo Bill” by Crawford with holograph annotations.
--Typed carbon manuscript poem “To Thomas A. Edison” by Crawford dated March 4, 1912.
--Autograph note signed July 16, 1913 by Captain Jack Crawford.
--8 line autograph manuscript poem in pencil by Crawford. No title. Poem begins “Show me a real good man of means”. With annotation.
--Autograph manuscript poem “What She Wants”, 2 pages
--Autograph manuscript poem “Loves Reciprocity A Mascot for the Boys”, 3 pages.
--Typed manuscript story “Big John Santa Claus” by Captain Jack Crawford. 7pp. no date. Written in manuscript “Printed 15 years ago by the Kellogg Newspaper & Co. Illustrated. Jack”.
--Typed manuscript story “After Many Years—A Story of Bunkies in War and Peace”. No date. 6pp. With corrections and Captain Jack’s stamped Brooklyn address. Signed. Apparently unpublished.
--Typed manuscript “A Shot For Temperance” by James Barton Adams. 7pp. A short story about Jack Crawford with corrections in Crawford’s hand. With rejections slip from New York Herald with pencil notations in Crawford’s hand, “Why not run it, tells a great story.” We find no record this was ever published.
--Typed manuscript poem, “Only Two Parties” with corrections and signed by Crawford. No date.
--1916 letter to Crawford from inmate of the Massachusetts Reformatory.
--Postcard of Captain Jack poem “Bronte”. No date.
--Disbound volume of “Report of Proceedings, Society of the Army of the Potomac, May 13th, 1915. Contains sections on Captain Jack Crawford. Item #343