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Signature and Rank

by CRAWFORD, R. Clay (1825-1907)

Condition: See description

To label this impossible-to-categorize figure a ne'er-do-well would be an understatement: He actually was a Union officer with the 1st Tennessee Artillery (supposedly commended for bravery and later serving with the 64th Illinois Volunteers), though pre-war he was a convicted felon who forged his own pardon and during the war he was charged with counterfeiting Bank of Tennessee notes; his long and checkered career as a con man included passing himself off as a physician ("Dr. Clifton") and a millionaire and telling correspondents the Egyptian government employed him under the name Osman Bey and the Turkish government under the name Osman Pasha.... the stories and list of hoaxes goes on and on. Boldly penned "R. Clay Crawford / Late Col 1st Tenn Art." in brown ink on a 4½" X 1" slip, n.p., n.y. Very good. Quite scarce and unusual.


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