Remington, Frederic


Interesting ALS giving advice to, and asking for a print of a lecture from, an Army officer friend soon off to Cuba – where he would die of yellow fever!



Autograph ID: 6866
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1861-1909) American painter, illustrator and sculptor, specialized in depictions of the Old West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th-century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians, and the US Cavalry. He is best known for scenes and bronzes, inc. The Sergeant, Bronco Buster, etc. He left his art studies at Yale in 1879 and had his first full page cover under his own name in Harper’s Weekly on Jan. 9, 1886, at 25. In 1886, he was sent to Arizona by Harper’s as an artist-correspondent to cover the war against Geronimo. In 1887, Remington received a commission to do 83 illustrations for a book by Theodore Roosevelt, “Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail”, to be serialized in The Century Magazine before publication. His status as the new trendsetter in Western art was solidified in 1889 when he won a second-class medal at the Paris Exposition, selected by the US committee to represent American painting, over Albert Bierstadt. His fame made him a favorite of the Western Army officers fighting the last Indian battles. Remington sailed for Cuba on January 16, 1897 as a Hearst war correspondent. After arriving and a quiet period ensued, Remington cabled Hearst “There is no war. Request to be recalled”. Hearst sent a cable in reply: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.” After war was declared, Remington returned to Cuba with the the “Rough Riders” and the colorful Theodore Roosevelt. He died after an emergency appendectomy led to peritonitis on December 26, 1909.

9 x 7 ALS to Captain Frank Heartt Edmunds, 2pp (back-to-back, one sheet), no place, no date (ca. 1899). Showing touches of humor, friendship, and a touch of prejudice, Remington asks for a print of Edmunds’ lecture on “How to Run a Company”. Remington wants to know how a colonel leads a regiment, cavalry, infantry or artillery, doesn’t “care a d— where a Q. M. [quartermaster] ends but where does a Col. begin.” There is no doubt, according to the artist, that Edmunds will be in Cuba before Easter “and if you don’t know enough I want to tell you ‘don’t ever surrender yourself in a command to dagoes’ [underscored] – its better to die at once.” He adds that “Mrs. R. is well”, they have wanted to “call a[t?] Davids [Davids’ Island] but couldn’t make it up to date.” In a postscript, he adds: “Summerhays [sic] man too $300 – skipped – came back said water was too wet and cold, so didn’t jump in water as had intended. He drank up his pay – that was his trouble. R.”

FRANK HEARTT EDMUNDS (1849-1900) Michigan-born US Army officer, USMA 1871, served as 1st lieutenant, 1st Infantry in the Northern Plains Indian Wars. In 1879, while 2nd lieutenant, 1st Infantry, and an instructor at the US Infantry and Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he wrote “Principles of the Art and Science of War and Their Application in Modern warfare, with Remarks on the Handling of Troops on the Field of Battle, as at Present Practiced” (reprinted in 1900). He was a major when he succumbed to yellow fever in Havana on June 18, 1900, while serving on General Fitzhugh Lee’s staff and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

JOHN W. SUMMERHAYES (1837-1918) New York soldier in Civil War with 20th Mass. Vol. Inf. Regt., breveted Major of Volunteers 9 April 1865, mustered out of volunteer service 6 June 1865, apptd. 2nd lieut., 33rd US Inf. 1867. In May of 1898, Summerhayes was ordered to Governor’s Island as Chief Quartermaster, Dept. of the East. During the Spanish-American War he inspected and outfitted ships purchased by the Government for transport, supply and hospital ships. Before this he had been in command at David’s Island, Long Island Sound. During the war he was commissioned Major of Volunteers assigned to New York State and as Chief Quartermaster of Volunteers retired in 1900, exiting the Army as a lieutenant-colonel. His wife Martha wrote “Vanished Arizona: Recollections of the Army Life by a New England Woman” about the hardships and privations of Army life on the frontier.

DAVIDS’ ISLAND is a 78-acre island off the coast of New Rochelle, NY on Long Island Sound, renamed Fort Slocum in 1896. Davids’ Island was a regular stop for summertime steamboat excursions to New Rochelle which gave NYC & Brooklyn dwellers a chance to escape urban crowds and grime for a few hours. At Davids’ Island, the Summerhayes’ made the acquaintance of the Remington’s and Remington wrote Mrs. Summerhayes a congratulatory letter when her book was published, later made into a play and performed on Broadway.”
Type: Letter

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