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This dispute among cattle and dry goods rivals in 1878 Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory, became legendary since it involved such figures as Billy the Kid, Sheriff William Brady, Pat Garrett, John Chisum and other famed Old West characters; one faction formed a group known as the "Regulators" to defend itself in gunfights, sieges, revenge killings and other unpleasantness. In one battle a group of New Mexicans from Picacho headed by Billy the Kid's friend Martin Chavez came to their aid. ANS, 1p, buff heavy stock 5½ X 3¼" penny postcard, n.p. [Santa Fe, NM postal cancellation], 15 February 1934. Addressed to Arnold F. Gates (1914-93, noted Lincoln and Civil War scholar). Very good. The very last of the few surviving Regulators died off in the early 1930s, along with the few surviving Picacho defenders -- among them Martin Chavez (1849-1931). Apparently Gates wrote to Chavez a couple of years later with an unknown request, unaware of his death, for his son Benjamin here replies: "Martin Chavez died on November 8th 1931, at the age of 79 years. He died a natural death at Santa Few, N.M. and is buried in Rosario cemetery. I, his son, will help you in any way I can." Boldly signed. Interesting and unusual. Was Benjamin old enough to have known his father's friend Billy the Kid before the Kid's death in 1881? (Rosario Cemetery does contain a Benjamin Chavez, born 1894 and died 1942, but whether this was the same Benjamin Chavez is unknown.) An intriguing document, in any case, from the son of one of Billy the Kid's friends. Bookseller Inventory # 41008

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Title: Autograph Note Signed.

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

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Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts has been buying and selling quality books, autographs and ephemera since 1991. We specialize in general antiquarian, first editions, signed books and autographs and documents. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC) and The Manuscript Society.

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