This photocopy of Robert Crain’s original letter to the public describes his statement of the events that occurred during a gunfight on September 19, 1827. Crain’s statement was written in response to a newspaper article that he claimed contained false information, and this statement was his way of telling his side of the story. The statement was published in the "Natchez-Ariel Extra" on October 19, 1827. The location of the original letter is unknown.
Permission to publish from the Robert A. Crain statement must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Biographical / Historical
Robert Crain authored this letter to the public in order to describe what happened during a gunfight on September 19, 1827. Crain’s statement was written in response to a newspaper article that he claimed contained false information, and this statement was his way of telling his side of the story.
According to Crain, he was asked to attend a duel between his friend Dr. Maddox and his opponent, S.L. Wells, at a location near Natchez, Mississippi. After the duel ended (with no deaths or wounds), a gunfight broke out among the supporters of each dueler, who had been watching the fight. James “Jim” Bowie attended the duel in support of his friend S.L. Wells, and ended up fighting in the brawl that ensued with his soon-to-be famous Bowie knife. The brawl ended with the deaths of General Cuny and Major Norris Wright, and several other men, including Robert Crain, were wounded.
0.1 Linear Feet (1 folder (photocopy of 12 pg. handwritten statement))
This is a statement by Robert Crain of his part in a gunfight between Doctor Thomas Maddox and Mr. S.L. Wells that occurred near Natchez, Mississippi. This fight involved Jim Bowie, among others, and resulted in the death and wounding of several people.
This photocopy of Robert Crain’s statement was given to Fondren by Ben Prather, 1965. Location of the original is unknown.
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
Robert A. Crain statement regarding Maddox-Wells duel, 1826, MS 216, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University. https://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/175 Accessed December 07, 2023.