Known as “The Poet Scout,” JOHN WALLACE (CAPTAIN JACK) CRAWFORD
(1847-1917) was an American educator, author and adventurer. He was a notable
story teller about the Wild West and is thought of as one of the most popular
performers in 19th century American history. He became a national celebrity after riding
350 miles in six days to carry dispatches for the New York Herald to provide
news of the great victory by Gen. George Crook against the village of Chief
American Horse at the Battle of Slim Buttes.
Captain Jack canvassed gold (rush) camps in 1875 as a correspondent for the Omaha Daily Bee. Residents of the mining settlement of Custer elected him to the town’s first city council in 1876. Custer City miners organized a 125-man militia known as the “Black Hill Rangers” and appointed Jack as chief of scouts. This was a troubleshooting unit of about 12 experienced fighting men charged with looking out for Indian scouts through dangerous canyons where Indians waited to ambush.
During the Great Sioux War of 1876, Crawford was a civilian scout with the 5th Cavalry Regiment and war correspondent for the Bee.
2 ½” x 5 ¾” full length photograph with a striking pose of Crawford on a 3 ¾” x 7 ¾” card, inscribed “To Earl N. Hale with best wishes of Capt. Jack Crawford 5/27/05” Hale, who was from Dayton, Ohio, had corresponded with Crawford from time to time.
Soiling on borders and verso. Strong image and a very good autograph of Crawford. This would frame nicely and is a splendid example of Wild West Americana.
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