|Catalog Number||1986.06.12 a-b|
|Title||HERE I AM BILL|
|Artist||Russell, Charles M. (1864-1926)|
In April 1912, the Cowboy Artist and his wife were visiting Charlie's father and stepmother in Stuart, Florida. On the same day he wrote this missive to Rance, offering Russell's unique brand of humor, devoted to different aspects of life in Florida, appropriately illustrated. The illustration depicts Russell, wearing a black suit and gray hat, sitting in a tree in a swamp. There is an alligator, a turtle, a snake, and three birds in the picture with him.
The message, in sepia ink, reads: "Stuart Florida April 7 1912 / Here I am Bill and all these things Im seeing are on the square[.] / Iv seen the time these sights would have worried me some but now[.] / Our Old Friend Bill Bullard saw all these an more to an I dont think he was ever further south than Bannack[.] this proves that you dont have to travel to see the wonders of the world[.] / But this is shure the home of all crawling swimming an flying things[.] it is wonderful but I wouldint advise aney buse fighter to come as it might bother him to know when he was right. / With regards to yourself and the bunch / your friend / CM Russell."