95

1893 Indian Territory Album with Images of Tacky Grayson

Oklahoma photograph album with 29 images, many featuring Tacky Grayson, each 3.5 x 4.5 in. Oblong binder gilt, 6 x 8 in., maroon leather, watered silk endpapers. String-tied binding. 16 cardboard pages with cloth hinges. Most pages have photos front and back, a few with manuscript captions including: "Crossing the Verdigre [sic] River, I.T. / Dec. 1893"; "Choska, I.T. / 1893 the whole town" with buildings and lots of cattle visible; "Arkansas bottoms" is an image mostly of thickets; "Old Tacky Grayson (left) / Dave Mc Curtain (right)" and following image has "Tacky / Cook / Dave McCurtain"; several images have vast expanses of Plains, another of a "Cotton Field."; "Old Tacky Grayson" is pictured by himself near the end of the album; and more.

Thomas "Tacky" Grayson was a Black freedman who was the captain of the Lighthorse police in the Coweta District in the Creek Nation in Indian Territory. He was involved with several high-profile captures during his career, including that of the Rufus Buck Gang. The McCurtains were an influential family in southwestern Indian Territory, and the most southwestern county is now named in their honor. 

An article in the February 5, 1891, Muskogee Phoenix includes a report that involves Tacky Grayson and a Sam McCurtain, possibly a brother, cousin, or another relative of the Dave McCurtain included in the album. The article reports that one of the Creek lighthorseman, Governor McIntosh, was killed by an Indian Policeman Bob Marshal while acting as a guard for the paymaster of the Creek per capita fund. "While Marshall was at the hack, Sam McCurtain, Tacky Grayson and Gov. McIntosh came up and the parties...were scuffling. (exhilarated doubtless with a little red-eye,) During the scuffle Marshal slightly tapped Tacky Grayson over the head with his shot gun. At this, McIntosh, who evidently had a grudge at Marshal, took the matter up. Marshal told McIntosh that it was none of his business, whereupon McIntosh said: 'G-d- you I'm going to kill you.'" With both guns drawn and them facing off, the reporter continues: "At this point Tacky Grayson stepped from the side of McIntosh and Marshal fired, the full contents of the shot gun entering McIntosh's neck, killing him instantly."

 

Condition:

We put a new string in the binding to replace a rotted shoelace. Cardboard pages slightly warped.

Starting Price: $2,000
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
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