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ROBERT STROUD 'THE BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ' (1890-1963) Autograph Letter Signed
Name: ROBERT STROUD 'THE BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ' (1890-1963) Autograph Letter Signed
Stock Status: In Stock

  ROBERT STROUD 'THE BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ' (1890-1963) Autograph Letter Signed
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  ROBERT STROUD 'THE BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ' (1890-1963) Autograph Letter Signed
click to see larger image
  ROBERT STROUD 'THE BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ' (1890-1963) Autograph Letter Signed
click to see larger image



Together with 2 letters from his biographer and supporter, Thomas E. Gaddis, and a copy of the book 'The Birdman of Alcatraz', signed and inscribed by Gaddis.

American murderer and possibly the federal prisoner most associated with the notorious penitentiary, Alcatraz Island.

ALS. 2pp.  Alcatraz, California. December 7th 1949. To Fred E. Drew.

"Your letter of the 15th came yesterday, and I am glad to hear and to have all the news.  Going back to sex-linkage.  You still do not seem to understand it.  Fred it does not matter one partical which side you start with.  If the bird, either male or female has pink-eye, you can in several generations breed self cinnamons from that bird.  If a female, there will be no cinnamons in first generation.  If a male, all cinnamons in first generation will be females, but in either case, if you breed the bird to its own offspring, you will get both male and females of the sex-linked character, and when they are bred together they will breed true.  As I read your record of Kolthof's case there is nothing in it that refutes any statement I have made or in any way substantiates the old Welchman.  You have a cinnamon foul male mated to a pure cinnamon hen.  The young bird could not be anything but cinnamon.  The albino part of it does not mean anything, for every bird with pink eyes is a pure cinnamon, whether self, foul or clear.  As I understand the nomenclature, the cinnamon Red-Factor Dilute would be spoken of as concurrent sex linkage involving two genes.  A double sex linkage, as I understand it would imply a linkage between the two genes for cinnamon and dilute, and you would not be able to separate these factors by cross breeding and selection.  Such linkages do occur.  Your Dimorphic is such a case involving in the finch a linkage between color and buff feather and buff feathers and sex.  A linkage that originally existed in the canary but which has been broken by line breeding.  This is just a method of expressing the fact that in inheritance of color in the male and female involves two genes rather than one and is proven by the existence of copper hens.  That idea of going back to the finch with the F F females is fine, if it will work.  That is, if females can be found that are fertile with the finch.  Then the correct procedure would be to mate the males of that mating to the best red factor females available.  No, I did not hear from Bires directly but through Marc [?]. I have not heard from Marc since.  That is in over a month.  He said that Bires wanted to know what he could do to help me.  Well, I indicated to Marc what to tell him, but as I have not heard from Marc, I know that he did not get my letter.  I have not written again and shall not do so.  In due time he will wake up and do something about it.  I have not heard anything from the people down South, so presume that they intend to let that contact lapse.  Well, I may be able to snap them out of it later, and if I do, it will cost them something.  I am glad that your friend likes the digest.  You can tell your friend that I hope that he some time has an opportunity to read some of my writing on the subject.  I think that the book I am working on now will be equally interesting but it deals with jailbirds rather than the feathered variety.  In 41 years I have known some unique specimens.  I have about 170 pages completed, and persons who have read some of it say that it is good.  I have carried the history from 1821 to 1918 and launched upon the growth of all of our penalogical theories.  That idea of using three females with one siskin is o.k. so long as the females do not fight and destroy each others nests.  What this man should do is keep a complete record of his results over a number of generations, breed from each type of female he employs and then publish them, so as to furnish exact proof of the lines of breeding that gives the best results.  As to mating suggestions for your birds, I am hardly able to offer any beyond breeding as close to color as possible.  If you have third generation females, I would suggest breeding those that show good color or white breast feathers to your best third generation copper and orange males.  I would always select toward the selfs rather than the clears, and attempt to establish a line of black skinned birds, for I believe the real red canary will be a black-skinned rather than a clear bird.  I am sorry about Mrs Brown, the only bright spot in such conditions is the knowledge that the best research minds in the world are devoting most of their time to that problem and give them the tools to work with and they are sure to whip it.  It is just a matter of time.  I think the greatest hope lies in steroid chemistry, which has made enormous strides in the lst ten years.  It is now known that at least five kinds of neoplastic disease are due to upsets in the steroid chemistry of the body, and two forms, breast cancer and prostate cancer are now routinely cured in dogs.  The same treatments do not seem to work so well on human beings, but I think they will eventually find that environmental factors are responsible for that.  Must stop now.  The seasons greetings to you and all our friends.  Bob.  Robert Stroud #594."

4to. Approx 10.25 x 8 inches (26 x 20 cms). On lined prison stationary. Robert Stroud has completed the head with his prison number "P.M.B. 594" and the letter bears the rubber stamp "R.R.B."  Two slight nicks at top edge and with slight rust stain from a paper clip.  All else in fine condition.

Together with two typed letters (TLsS) from the biographer of Robert Stroud - Thomas E. Gaddis. These are to a supporter in Britain of the campaign for the release of Robert Stroud, enclosing the original letter and giving news of the campaign, etc. Some folding and creasing but in fine condition.

Together also with Gaddis's book, 'The Birdman of Alcatraz', signed and inscribed by Gaddis. "To Ronald S. Robinson, True friend from afar of Robert Stroud".  First edition. Random House, New York, 1955. 1st edition. Original cloth. No d/w but in VG condition.

Robert Stroud was convicted of the murder of a barman in 1909 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.  He quickly became known as one of the most violent prisoners held in the the State Penitentiary system and he attacked several prisoners and stabbed and killed a prison guard, for which he was again sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment but, at the insistance of President Woodrow Wilson, it was stipulated that, because of his notorious character and the danger he posed to others, this was to be in solitary confinement). Robert Stroud spent almost the whole of the remainder of his life in solitary confinement.  He developed an interest in birds and embarked on years of study that was to make him a respected expert on ornithology.  His book on the subject was smuggled out of prison and published to much acclaim.  He also taught himself languages and law and wrote a book on the American Penal System. In 1942 a psychiatrist at Alcatraz diagnosed him as a psychopath but found that he had an IQ of 134.  Because of the length of time he had spent in prison, a campaign for his release gathered pace from the 1940s onwards. He numbered among his supporters John F. Kennedy and other prominent people.  In 1955 Thomas E. Gaddes wrote the biography of Robert Stroud, 'The Birdman of Alcatraz'.  It was later filmed by John Frankenheimer with Burt Lancaster in the role of Robert Stroud.  From then on the place in history of Robert Stroud was assured and he became one of the most notorious prisoners of all time and an influential and enigmatic figure in the literature of crime.

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