Very interesting archive from Clyde Barrow’s mother, Cumie Barrow (Walker). Centerpiece of the archive is a forty page unpublished manuscript, typed by Mrs. Barrow, detailing Clyde’s boyhood, and focusing on the period from 1929 to his death in 1934. Chapters in the manuscript include titles such as “Buck’s Escape from the Penitentiary,” “Deeper Into the Mire,” “The Hillsboro Killing,” “The Atoka Killing,” “Killing of Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis,” “Clyde’s Attempt to Join Pretty Boy Floyd,” and “The End of the Trail.” Manuscript reads, in small part: “Mr. Barrow was the last one of the family to see Clyde alive. It was the evening of May 7th, just exactly two weeks and two days before he was ambushed and shot down by the officers near —- La. Clyde would come by the filling station and toot his horn a certain way, and we got to know it was him. He did this instead of stopping in front of the garage so much and possibly attracting attention. Then he would stop and chat a few moments unless something looked suspicious, in which case he would drive on down the road and come back later, or maybe make several such trips by. Sometimes he would motion us to walk away from in front of the filling station….That night Mr. Barrow stayed with Clyde until nearly one o’clock in the morning, and finally Clyde told him to go on back to the filling station, as the officers would be watching his movements any way. The next time any of us saw him he was a corpse.
Most of the readers are perhaps better versed than I am in the trap that was sprung to bring my boy’s infamous career to an end in a sudden blast of lead. There have been, of course, conflicting stories concerning the ambush and that was to mean the end, and while it has been denied by the officers themselves, it is my firm belief, in which, of course, I may be wrong, that Henry Methvin and his father were both involved…Methvin parked his truck on the highway—a truck that Clyde had bought for him—and pretended to be working on one of the tires. The officers were a short ways up the road, beside an embankment…I believe Sheriff Bob Alcorn claims to have been the first one that hit him…However, the others continued to pour lead into the car, and Alcorn had to get back out of the way to keep from getting his…And so they brought him down. The officers who performed this grim task did their duty as they saw it, and I hold no grudge, only the regret that my boy had to got that way. We of course had long known it would be something like that, but it was harder than anyone who has never experienced such a thing could realize. Our own children meeting death on a lonely country road, with every hand against them, and no one to turn to for advice or comfort, shot after shot being poured into them until they were only human wreckage…Out of all this I try as best as I can to gain some consolation knowing that the end came swiftly and mercifully.”
Also included are Cumie Barrow’s eyeglasses and case; a railroad identification card filled out and signed in pencil by Clyde’s father, H. B. Barrow; an original vintage glossy 3.5 x 5.5 photo of H. B. and Cumie Barrow; and an original vintage glossy 3 x 4.75 snapshot of H. B. Barrow posing outdoors.
In very good condition, with toning, tears, and edge chips to manuscript, one page missing upper portion, and scattered creases and silvering to snapshots.