Clyde Barrow fingerprints expected to beat $150,000

A letter penned by notorious outlaw Clyde Barrow and signed with his fingerprints is expected to beat $150,000 at RR Auction.

The extraordinary page was written with the intent of getting a friend named Frank Hardy off a murder charge.

Clyde Barrow letter

Clyde Barrow wrote this statement absolving a friend of any part in a murder 

Hardy was accused of killing a man named Doyle Johnson in a carjacking carried out by the Barrow Gang in 1932.

However, Hardy wasn’t a member of the gang – as Barrow attests:  "To Whom It May Concern: I know Frank Hardy, having been with him on several occasions prior to 1930.

“Since I was paroled by Gov. Ross Sterling of Texas, Frank has not been associated with me in any manner.

“He is not now nor has he ever been a member of what is referred to by the news papers and public as 'The Barrow Gang.'

“I have not seen Frank Hardy since leaving the Eastham Farm of the Texas Prison System.

“That all may know that I have made this statement I am affixing here my signature and fingerprints."

A few years earlier, in 1929, Barrow was arrested alongside Hardy and another outlaw named William Turner.

Barrow claimed he had been hitchhiking when they picked him up and he was unaware that they were criminals. Turner and Hardy agreed with Barrow’s story and he was freed from custody.

This letter was Barrow’s attempt to repay that earlier favour.

The case against Hardy was eventually dropped, so the letter never needed to be sent. It remained in the possession of Barrow’s family for many years.  

The lot is accompanied by a 1996 letter of provenance from Marie Barrow, Clyde’s youngest sister.

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