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Daniel Buck
Re: Provenance Question
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:24am

It would be nice if the two photos in question, Tea Party and jinetes, had been embedded with microchips at the time they were taken, with all the pertinent details of their making, and as well their subsequent journeys and owners, but alas, no. All we have are what we usually have in these cases, family stories, plus the images themselves. Oh, and the cabin, heh.

As the adage goes, one cannot get out of a field of study more certitude than the rules of that field allow. In other words, this is not quantum physics, it's outlaw history.

For the origins of the Tea Party & jinetes images owned by descendants of Samanna Longabaugh, the best info is in Donna Ernst's two books (1992) and (2009), plus her NOLA Quarterly article, "Longabagh Family Breaks Long Silence," Fall 1988, for a bit more genealogy. I think that the first publication of the two photos was Ernst (1992).

My opinion is that the jinetes photo was cut into threes so as to mail in an envelope, not converted into postcards, but that's just my opinion.

Who took the photos, we do not know. There were itinerant photographers in early 1900s Chubut, and as well Carlos Foresti, who photographed widely in Argentine & Chilean Patagonia, and who reportedly accompanied Chubut governor Julio B. Lezana on his early 1904 tour of western Chubut, stopping for a couple of days in Cholila. No Foresti images from Lezana's visit to Cholila have ever surfaced, unless the two in question count. I am doubtful on the last score because of the absence of Lezana, other officials, military personnel, etc., from the photos. As for when, the photos must have been taken sometime between 1901, when the trio arrived in Cholila and 1905, when the lammed it.

Bill Betenson (rev.ed. 2014), chapter 20, has the best opinion as to who some of the other people in the jinetes photo might be, e.g., George Hammond and his wife Ethel, who were neighbors.

Another copy of the jinetes photo, in one piece and in photographic form, is owned by descendants of Jarred Jones, the Texan immigrant who ranched a couple of days ride north of Cholila, and who was friendly with BC&SK&EP. The Jones version can be found in Meadows ( rev. ed. 2003), Gavirati (rev.ed. 2011), and Betenson (2012), and the Samanna version in Ernst (1992) and (2009).

I think part of the reason for the clouded history of the Samanna photos is that the various wings of the family (Longabaugh, Ernst, & Hallman) were not, by the modern era, particularly close, and as well the Hallmans (Samanna's kin, who owned the photos) for religious reasons were not too keen on being publicly associated with a bandit ancestor. Thus, the Ernsts' obtaining even the two bad copies proved to be difficult.

Most of the rest of your questions fall under don't know, more research required, and so on.

All in all, I think the vectoring provenance of the two Samanna versions and the Jones version is pretty good, all things considered. Plus, we have the location, BC&SK&EP's Cholila cabin, another vectoring of sorts. Better evidence than we often have in the disputatious field of outlaw history.

Certainly there is no basis for some countervailing story, outside the confines of the grassy knoll set.

  • Provenance QuestionBob Goodwin, Tue Sep 11 6:01am
    Since we are back to the cabin photos, and whether the are genuine Cassidy photos or not, I have a question on provenance on both photos. Well, my question is, what is the full provenance for both of ... more
    • Re: Provenance Question — Daniel Buck, Tue Sep 11 10:24am
      • CabinsChrisV, Tue Sep 11 11:03am
        The Longabaugh/Ernst/Hallman family owns the Tea Party Photo? You said in another thread that there is only copy of the photo and it is in poor shape. Is it in the care of the Longabaughs? You have... more
    • Good QuestionsChrisV, Tue Sep 11 6:41am
      Anyone who answers should cite their sources and be able to prove it.
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