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Daniel Buck
Re: Matilda Davis Letter
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:02pm

Several thoughts. It's not clear from the letter when A____ came over to "get the photo" that he/she sent to Cassidy, that is, not clear if it's before or after he went to Argentina. Second, A____ is not a code but likely the initial of the first or last name of the person who came over. As codes go, it's weak beer.Davis would have known who A____ was because he/she retrieved the photo.

I can't think of many possibilities for A____, but he's writing as if it's someone in the Utah vicinity. Perhaps Annie Parker, Cassidy's mother, or Allen Davis, Matilda's husband, tho the latter would not have "come over," because he lived there.

In the interests of completism, a digression: Lula Parker Betenson, Butch Cassidy, My. Brother (1975) speculates, based on Ardythe Kennelly's 1953 novel, Good Morning, Young Lady, pp. 151-53, that Cassidy had a girlfriend, a character in the novel named Dorney Leaf, whose real name Lula was pledged not to disclose. Larry Pointer, In Search of Butch Cassidy (1977), p. 270, n. 1, corresponded with Kennelly, and she told him that Dorey leaf was based on a girl named Annie May Ferguson, who worked at a laundry in Salt lake City with Kennelly's mother.

Kennelly told Pointer that AMF met Cassidy at "Dr. Herdon's medicine show" -- a black variety show, best I could determine -- where Cassidy was playing with a cowboy band. Cassidy?, in a cowboy band?, in a black variety show? Well, it's a novel. Anyway, per the novel BC & AMF went their separate ways, but Pointer speculated that AMF might be A____. Hmm, very doubtful.

By the way, I sprinted through our correspondence with Harvey Murdock, and, alas, the possible identity of A____ I never asked him. I did learn,though, from a 2002 email from the Utah State Historical Society, that on 11 September 1965, the society sent Harv Murdock a thank you note for having donated a copy of the 1902 letter. The society could not find correspondence re the original, but thought that it was donated "within a few years of 1965." As I recall, Harv told me 1971, but that's from memory, my memory.

Which leads me to another observation. something I've been mulling over for awhile. The 1902 letter is a cuarto, that is, a single sheet of paper folded twice, thus producing eight uncut pages front and back. Cassidy filled all eight pages with text, right down the the lower right-hand corner of the last page. The Murdock family remembers that there was a second piece of paper, presumably also folded into a quarto, with his signature, but what if there was not, that he simply ended the letter on the first cuarto. Also, further speculation, even if he had continued the letter on a second sheet, would he have signed his name? Perhaps no. Was he not worried about who might read the letter? The salutation is not, say, Matilda, but "My dear friend." And A only by initial. On the other hand, he does mention Maudie, Matilda's daughter. There is that. All grist for the mill. More research required. Best, Dan

  • Matilda Davis LetterChrisV, Sun Nov 26 8:32am
    "I had seen all of the US that I thought was good and a few months after I sent A____ over to see you and get the photo of the rope jumping...." Who is A___? He would have either sent a letter or... more
    • Re: Matilda Davis Letter — Daniel Buck, Sun Nov 26 2:02pm
      • Re: Matilda Davis LetterChrisV, Sun Nov 26 4:03pm
        Good points Dan. I do not think Annie Parker at this point was involved after Butch turned to the dark side. However, a mothers love could move her to do it ,but I doubt it. It might be a "weak beer" ... more
        • Re: Matilda Davis LetterDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 4:39am
          Chris, for purposes of simplicity, I didn't consider non-Utah characters, like Al Hainer. Dan
      • Re: Matilda Davis LetterVince Garcia, Sun Nov 26 4:02pm
        Could not:"A" be "Alonzo"? He was in the US in 1902.
        • Re: Matilda Davis LetterChrisV, Sun Nov 26 6:46pm
          Im having a hard time making sense of the letter. Im not sure a date of 1902 can be used as to when A___ went to get the rope jumping photo. I also am wondering why he wrote that "it will probably... more
          • Re: Matilda Davis LetterDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 4:44am
            Chris, Good observations. The letter is a tad over dramatic. But then, so is Cassidy's letter to the Boys at Concordia. Self-absorbed, another side to the Wild Bunch outlaw. Also, as I commented... more
            • Re: Matilda Davis LetterChrisV, Mon Nov 27 6:33am
              I also don't get this phrase "I visited the best cities and countries of South A. till I got here". If he were on the steamship with Etta and SK that wouldn't be true correct? They would have left... more
              • Re: Matilda Davis LetterDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 6:51am
                Chis, All good observations -- plausible answers. First, his southbound ship might have stopped in Brazil, at Rio &/or Sao Paulo, and t most certainly stopped at Montevideo, Uruguay. Why is EP... more
                • Re: Matilda Davis LetterVince Garcia, Mon Nov 27 8:37am
                  Regarding Etta getting a cut--I think it most likely he was just speaking in generalities. CARVER got 30% of Winnemucca, but they did have other cash they apparently took, and it is not inconceivable ... more
                • Re: Matilda Davis LetterChrisV, Mon Nov 27 6:56am
                  Marks eyewitness helps a lot. Good find.
      • DanPat, Sun Nov 26 3:38pm
        As you know this is something I feel strongly about. I do not believe this letter is genuine. My reasons are this. There was no mention of this letter prior to Harvey Murdock supposedly finding it.... more
        • An eye witness account regarding the Cassidy letter.Mark Mszanski, Mon Nov 27 6:35am
          As per the the attached link there is an account which begins in the section ( Per the letter dates August 1902) regarding the Cassidy letter sent to the Davis family . - One has to scroll down to on ... more
          • An eyewitness. :) Good find. Thanks Mark.
            • ChrisPat, Mon Nov 27 9:58am
              The eyewitness was Harvey . He can't witness his own fake letter.
              • Re: ChrisDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 10:17am
                Pat, Here's the quote: "The letter was dated August 2, 1902, and directed to a ;Mrs. Davis in Ashley, Utah. Written on lined note pad, it was beautiful handwriting. As a lad growing up, I often saw... more
                • DanPat, Mon Nov 27 1:31pm
                  We will have to agree to disagree. I can't see how you can accept Harvey's word for anything. We don't know that he saw anything at 2 or 40 . It was just his story and I do not believe it .
                  • Re: DanDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 1:54pm
                    Pat, Harv Murdock and I corresponded for several years. I found him to be a straight-up fellow. But it's not just that I take his word on the letter, for the several reasons I listed in a previous... more
            • your welcome Mark Mszanski, Mon Nov 27 6:47am
        • Re: DanChrisV, Sun Nov 26 4:08pm
          Pat, I do have to say when Brett and I went to the Utah Historical Society, they seemed confused about ownership of an original and we were only given the standard XEROX copy. You would think it... more
          • ChrisPat , Sun Nov 26 7:44pm
            Bob went last week and got the same run around.
            • Re: ChrisChrisV, Mon Nov 27 6:35am
              I don't think they have an original or it would be displayed.
              • re: ChrisBob Goodwin, Mon Nov 27 3:22pm
                Chris, you have been in that little reading room. Just where would they display it?? Secondly, why would they display t?? To them it is just one of thousands of documents that they store for... more
            • Re: ChrisVince Garcia, Mon Nov 27 4:30am
              Has it occurred to you they may not want to let "just anybody" handling a priceless historical document; or that they don't want to just haul it out because someone asks to see it? I suspect if Dan... more
              • VincePat, Mon Nov 27 10:28am
                Dan would stand a chance of a snowball in hell getting into that vault or it's contents. They don't recognize his as anything but a gentile.
                • Re: VinceVince Garcia, Mon Nov 27 10:45am
                  So is this one of those "only a high-level Mormon official can gain entry" things?
                  • re: VinceBob Goodwin, Mon Nov 27 3:24pm
                    Actually, in my discussions with the librarians and curators, I think that at least half of the staff are not LDS.
              • Re: ChrisChrisV, Mon Nov 27 6:01am
                Vince, Not to be overly dramatic, but this document belongs to the people of Utah. If it exists, Bob, Brett, or myself should be able to see it. When I went, they acted dumb like the XEROX was all... more
                • re: ChrisBob Goodwin, Mon Nov 27 3:39pm
                  Chris, First, of all, there are at least three different repositories that they use to store their collections. The most commonly used items are store on site, in the back room, so to speak. In other ... more
                  • BobPat, Mon Nov 27 5:20pm
                    Yeah but if Mitt Romney went in and asked for it they would bring it on a silver platter. They play favorites all the time .And other little games.
                • Re: ChrisVince Garcia, Mon Nov 27 8:43am
                  YOU don't need it to be fake. That comment was a question to Pat who has this big theory that Butch never went to SA. SHE, if anyone, would need it to be fake because if it is not it hurts her theory
                  • VincePat, Mon Nov 27 10:22am
                    Now you're telling me what I think? Are you a mind reader? I don't know if Robert Leroy Parker went to SA or not. That's the whole point. Someone named James Ryan went . Whoever he was we don't know... more
                    • Re: VinceVince Garcia, Mon Nov 27 2:46pm
                      You've been saying this theory for years here! Sometimes, when someone finds out something, or points out something (as I did recently) that hurts it you back off slightly and equivocate, but you... more
                  • Re: ChrisChrisV, Mon Nov 27 8:49am
                    gotcha. :)
                • Re: ChrisDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 6:36am
                  Chris, Here's the protocol. Historical documents held by archives are considered established otherwise. That's not a theory, that's a protocol. The skeptic, the challenger, has to come... more
                  • The LetterBob Goodwin, Mon Nov 27 4:08pm
                    I didn't know that Joe Cocker was a Cassidy fan until I read the lyrics. Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane Ain't got time to take a fast train Lonely days are gone, I'm a-goin' home My Butch, he just-a ... more
                    • Bob Pat, Mon Nov 27 5:22pm
                      Does this mean Cocker and Cassidy were Gay? LOL
                    • BobPat, Mon Nov 27 5:14pm
                      I would never skewer you my old friend. In fact this makes more sense than anything I've read in a long while.Except the part about Harvey .
                    • Re: The LetterDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 4:32pm
                      Bob, you are a diplomat. Dan
                  • And yetPat, Mon Nov 27 10:17am
                    You ripped apart the Hot Springs museum because they had not tested or proven their holdings. Dan you are a great shape shifter. And let us not forget that the USHS also has holdings from KRB and... more
                    • Re: And yetDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 10:28am
                      Pat, So if I follow your, um, logic correctly, just because Kerry Ross Boren made stuff up, then Pat Schroeder is equally Munchausenesque? Is that how it works/ Dan
                  • DanPat, Mon Nov 27 10:09am
                    I won't even try to answer Vince as he is out to lunch and has no knowledge of the Mormon church or their holdings. However Dan let me ask you this. Why do you NOT believe Lula who said Butch came... more
                    • Re: DanDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 10:26am
                      Pat, you work under the assumption that if A is X, then B is X, or looking at it a different way, is A is not X then B is not X. Just because Lula made up the story of Cassidy's return does not mean... more
                  • established otherwiseDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 6:39am
                    for some reason, the word "until" causes the OWR software to burp. Even when I reposted it in the subject line above, it created ellipses. Dan
              • Re: ChrisDaniel Buck, Mon Nov 27 5:35am
                Vince, the most likely reason that the Soldier Prince porter did not recognize a photo of Cassidy is that it was SK&EP who bought tickets and boarded the ship. The porter never saw Cassidy. I can't... more
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