An uncommon image of Johnson at his training camp preparing for his rematch with Fireman Jim Flynn (Johnson had defeated him in 1908; Flynn would later score a knockout against Jack Dempsey). The rematch took place on July 4, 1912 in East Las Vegas (the only fight in Johnson’s career to take place in Vegas). The match saw an unprepared Flynn overmatched by Johnson—authorities stopped the fight in the ninth round, according to Finis Farr’s Black Champion, for fear of injury (p. 144). Johnson would end his storied career in 1931 with a 56-11-8 record (35 KO’s).
The photo, with the printed caption in white “At Jack Johnson’s Camp” at the bottom (with another notation beside it that we cannot decipher), has Johnson in a hat in the center of photograph (a bit of glare in middle of image) standing with a dog at his feet and nine men flanking him to his left and right (3 of the men are black). Someone has written “Johnson” vertically on the image of the champion. The verso contains a message to the recipient, Mrs. Esther Oakes of New Mexico, and reads, “Dear Friend, How would you like to see all of these. I am a going up to see Flynn tomorrow. Wish you were here to go a long. Come over for the 4. [Laemmile?].” Canceled stamp. Postmark partially visible from Las Vegas June 1912.
Together with Finis Farr, Black Champion: The Life and Times of Jack Johnson. New York: Scribner’s, 1964. First Edition. Near Fine in an about VG+ price-clipped dustjacket.
An excellent real photo postcard (RPP) with revealing content showing the writer had access to both fighter’s camps in the weeks before the rematch. Item #651