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Manuscript Diary 1887 of Edith M. Knighton, of Towanda and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, wife of Van Camp Peters, relating her experience of being robbed on a train near Grande Junction, Colorado, by Butch Cassidy, also includes large Collection of Incoming Correspondence and Ephemera, all dated 1872-1913
No Binding. Very Good. Archive consisting of 444 letters, 1506 manuscript pages, (240 retained mailing envelopes), dating from May 7, 1872 - August 15, 1913, the bulk being from the 1880s to 1890s, with a 25 page manuscript travel diary recording a journey to the West (Sept-Nov 1887), plus 65 pieces paper and manuscript ephemera. Many of the letters were written to Edith by her husband, mother, or other family members and friends. Diary: 13 pages of diary entries and 12 pages of accounts and expenses, plus blanks, measuring 3 ½"" x 5 ½"", bound in limp calf, good condition, written in pencil, in a legible hand. Records the events and occurrences of a railroad journey to Colorado and Utah, including an eyewitness account of a train robbery, which is believed by many historians to have been the first of many by Butch Cassidy. According to Outlaw historian, Charles Kelly (1889-1971), the first train robbery of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad was carried out on November 3, 1887 by Butch Cassidy, Bill McCarty, and Matt Warner. Modern historians (such as William M. Patterson) question Kelly's findings, however many appear to agree with Kelly. This train robbery is recounted in Edith's diary: ""After passing Grand Junction, Colo. about five miles from this of the wildest spots on this Grand River at 1:15 A.M the train was ""held up"" by [ties], boulders, and a red lantern on the track. Six masked men attacked the train and presenting revolvers at the head of the fireman and engineer entered the express car. Sealing engineer, fireman, express messenger and mail clerk up as he [barked] ""Hands Up,"" demanded to try the safe. Being locked up with combination it could not be opened, then took 25 registered packages & letters. After 55 minutes concluded to leave without disturbing passengers. [The] brakeman had been sent back to Grand Junction of which they were informed. The train conductor and brakeman went forward but were fired at and retreated. The robbers removed obstructions from the track before leaving. Colored porters hid in upper berth, money secreted in various places & feeling a visit. Water cooler held our [pear pins], purse [with] several watches, etc. After a night of adventure were up before six o'clock...."" The correspondence in this archive for the latter part of 1887 includes letters from Van C. Peters to Edith, while Edith was traveling out west by train. The letters are addressed to her at Denver and Salt Lake City. These letters confirm facts and details of Edith's journey, and since the diary does not have Edith's signature, the correspondence proves that the diary belonged to Edith. One letter, written by William Newbold Wilson to his sister Sarah ""Sadie"" R. Knighton (Edith's mother) makes a reference to the train robbery that Edith witnessed: |~|""December 23, 1887 ...O Sadie, it is very hard for us to live & yet God has been exceeding kind in giving me such loving & true friends. I will enclose Bro - E's letter - How sorry I am he has had a return of neuralgia. What a joy it must have been to you to have your children return, safe, sound, & well, after such a long & as it proved ""perilous journey."""" Between October 5 and October 19, 1887, Edith receives 2 letters addressed to her at Denver, Colorado, and 7 letters addressed to her while at Salt Lake City, Utah. It was on her return trip that the train robbery occurred. Description of the Correspondence: The correspondence in the collection centers on the Knighton family of Towanda and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The majority of the letters are written to Edith M. Knighton, but a sizeable number are written to her mother Sarah ""Sadie"" R. Wilson Knighton, and Edith's husband Van C. Peters. The correspondents tend to be family or friends. Edith's future husband Van Camp Peters writes a number of letters to Edith as he courts her and after their marriage in 1888. Edith also writes a number of letters to Peters, particularly in 1888. Edith's
      [Bookseller: Michael Brown Rare Books, LLC]
Last Found On: 2016-06-06           Check availability:      Biblio    


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