Charles M. Russell
(1864–1926)Friend Con Letter
watercolor and ink on paper
8 × 9.75 inches
signed lower right
Label, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TexasFriend Con Letter
is recorded in the C. M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné
as reference number CR.ILU.282.
According to Brian W. Dippie, “Part ownership of the Lazy K Y Ranch was a last hold on the past for Russell. But 1910, with its terrible forest fires, was a drought year on the range as well. No rain fell between April and October, the grass was in miserable condition, and the waterholes had all been filed on by homesteaders. Though the Lazy K Y’s holdings had grown to nearly three hundred head of cattle and sixty horses, 1910 was the year to call it quits. Charlie and Nancy, who between them had filed on 360 acres, arranged on July 6 to rent their land to Pete Wagner for a year at fifty cents an acre. The Prices were considering an apple orchard in Washington, while Charlie was looking into a hay ranch nearer Great Falls.
“After making the decision to sell out, Charlie visited the Lazy K Y in September with Phil Goodwin, his guest over the summer. Henry P. Webster, whose father that year acquired a ranch just across the border in Canada, was also on hand for the farewell visit, and a number of photographs were taken to commemorate the event. Goodwin even got to relive the Wild West when he mounted a spirited bay named Dave, Russell’s favorite saddle horse on the ranch. It bolted, and Goodwin had a scary gallop before it was brought under control. Nevertheless, a few days later he and Charlie departed on Dave and Sandy, a pretty yellow horse intended for Nancy, to make the five-day ride to Great Falls.”
Pete and Janet Taggares, Washington
Brian W. Dippie, Charles M. Russell, Word Painter: Letters 1887-1926
, Amon Carter Museum, 1993, p. 139, illustrated
Nancy C. Russell, Good Medicine: the Illustrated Letters of Charles M. Russell
, Doubleday, 1930, p. 104, illustratedView more information
As viewed through glass. Creases in corresponding sections where letter was folded to fit into envelope, but paper is in good condition overall.