BURT, STRUTHERS. (1882-1954). American writer, poet and dude ranch pioneer. Archive of seven autograph letters signed. (“Struthers Burt”). 7pp. 4to. Southern Pines, South Carolina and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. November 2, 1939 to December 7, 1951. On his Hibernia and Three Rivers Ranch stationery. To notable Civil War scholar, author and collector, ARNOLD F. GATES (1914-1993).
Archive of Seven Autograph Letters Signed by the American Writer, Poet and Dude Ranch Pioneer
Signed by Struthers Burt
“I’m glad you like what I’ve written. That always means something to aim at in the future.” November 2, 1939
“Tim Boyd is my next door neighbor and a most intimate friend. I saw him downtown today. I have known him ever since Princeton days when he followed me as Managing Editor of The Tiger. As a matter of fact, I settled here during the winters because of him… I need all the encouragement I can get at present, for I’m half way through a novel, and novel writing is a dogged, damnable job…” May 3, 1940
“I’m half way through a novel, and novel writing is a dogged, damnable job…”
“Thank you for sending me ‘Amberglow.’ I found it beautiful, and it had an especial appeal for me as Lincoln is my great hero, as he is to so many Americans. I should look forward to seeing ‘Johnny Appleseed’ who is also an especial hero of mine, but in a different way.” June 25, 1940
“The story of Johnny Appleseed has always seemed to me one of the most touching and one of the finest in American Annals, and I think you’ve described him and what he did, beautifully; so beautifully, that I wish you’d write a book about him.” September 3, 1940
“My damned book is nearing its end, and what a struggle it’s been. Dogged did it, and I only hope dogged did it fairly well…” November 1, 1940 (Possibly regarding Along These Streets, published in 1942)
“I wish you could see this country today; not a cloud in the sky and the mountains pure white.” October 8, 1941
“Glad we agree on MacArthur. Why so many people are taken in by him, I can’t make out… My son spent three years in the Pacific and feels very much as you do…” December 7, 1951
Although born in Philadelphia and educated at Princeton, Burt is best known for his association with the American West. He co-founded Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s first dude ranch, the JY Ranch, which became famous after it was purchased by John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s Snake River Land Company in 1932 as a family retreat. In 1912, he established the nearby Bar B C Dude Ranch. Both ranches would later be incorporated into the Grand Teton National Park, which he helped establish.
Burt’s oeuvre includes poetry, such novels as The Delectable Mountains and Along These Streets, short stories, non-fiction volumes including The Diary of a Dude Wrangler and Patriotism Versus Prejudice: Hitler Forces at Work in America, and a number of magazine articles such as “Democracy for Everyone” and “Adventure” which he wrote for The Saturday Evening Post. Burt’s papers are at Princeton.
Gates, a well-respected amateur historian of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, devoted 50 years to researching those subjects, reviewing books for the Lincoln Herald and contributing to the anthology Lincoln for the Ages. He was an avid letter writer and “friend and unofficial agent of many a noted author,” (“Autographica Curiosa: How Not to Impress Emily Post,” Autograph Magazine, Butts). His own books include Amberglow of Abraham Lincoln and Ann Rutledge, Amberglow of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed, Song of the Leaves: Quest of Johnny Appleseed and The Weaver. In excellent condition.