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W.I. SWAIN'S WESTERN SPECTACULAR PRODUCTION JESSE JAMES. "HANDS UP SHERIFF?" "THE PRISON IS NOT BUILT THAT WILL HOLD JESSE JAMES."
Newport, Ky.: The Donaldson Litho. Co., [ca. 1920]. - Chromolithographic poster, 27 1/2 x 41 3/4 inches. Several tears at edges, two which reach into the image significantly. Some chipping and loss along top left edge and lower right edge, also a bit in top right corner. Still, a striking image. Good plus. An attractive poster advertising one of W.I. Swain's popular touring Western shows, this one featuring Jesse James - who in this portrayal has an African-American as a member of his gang. The illustration shows three men on the right edge with their hands held high, while a fourth man next to them weakly drops his gun. On the left side, a cocky man in a white shirt - presumably James - points a six shooter at the men across the room, while a blonde woman in a red dress stands with one foot on a chair and the other on a desk, also pointing guns at the men. Anomalously, in the center of the image, through a window, a black man in a red shirt also points two guns at the men on the right, while inside the room, a black woman kneels and pleads with the man in the window. Colonel W.I. Swain was one of the most successful tent showmen in the South. He often toured a minstrel show, putting on a different performance every night for a week. The shows were continued by Swain's son, Kennedy, well into the 1940s.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2015-02-22           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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