Five letters, and parts of letters, all on the letterhead of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Fred C. Switzer, Warden, 20 pages, a total of approx. 3200 words. The letters to his family, most to his young daughter Golda, with one or two to stepdaughter Maudie Porter and her husband, and one to his wife [a fragment only], are all in pencil, in a legible hand, with aberrations in spelling throughout. One additional letter, a single page, approx. 125 words, is from a fellow inmate, John Ledbetter, to Blakely's daughter Golda. The letters are dated between Dec. 30, 1920 and Feb. 24, 1921. Old fold lines, some small holes at folds, some minor soiling, but overall a very good group. The prisoner's convict numbers are penciled in in the left corner underneath the penitentiary's printed "rules for writing and receiving letters and other mail."
Blakely writes to his daughters encouraging them to be good, to go to Sunday school and church, and to school, and to "learn to love the lord & serve him and try and meet Dady [sic] in heaven because Dady is going to do his best to go there...." He copies out prayers for Golda to memorize and tells her not to play with other children who are mean or get mad: "and when you go to get mad just think of where Dady is and say that the reason he is there was getting mad...." Blakely, a Brushy Mountain farmer with four daughters and two stepdaughters, was tried and convicted of the murder of his teenaged stepdaughter Effie, whom he had criminally abused and with whom he had had a child. He had tried to kill her once before, but his wife had managed to stop him. On September 13, 1920, Blakely shot Effie mulitple times in the yard of the family house, and she died shortly thereafter. According to the court records, Blakely confessed to the killing and was convicted in November 1920, and sentenced to die in the electric chair on February 25, 1921. His 12 year old daughter witnessed the killing. [see: an abstract of the case in the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, "In re Blakely, 1921 OK CR 21, 195 p. 146, 18 Okl. Cr. 360, 2/3/1921]. Item #64055
Blakely's letters make for uncomfortable reading as he busily lectures his daughters from afar on the importance of God and salvation, never really asking for forgiveness from the very people he harmed. He does occasionally hint that he had a temper and wishes he could put things back the way they were but "crying weeping and moorning [sic]" won't make that happen. He shares one of Golda's letters with the man in the cell next to him, John Ledbetter, who is also scheduled to be executed for murder. Ledbetter's letter to Golda asks her to write to him too, and she apparently includes a note for him in her next letter to her father. Blakely tells her she is not to write to him as he "ain't no fitten man to write to...."
He also writes to his stepdaughter Maudie, whom he calls by the nickname "Scraps", and tells her that he has given up tobacco and coffee and that when his wife had come up to visit him she told him he must be becoming "Postolick." In the piece of a letter to his wife (unaddressed and undated) he tells her "listen I don't think you are doing me rite and I think you ought to show me a little respect for the length of time I have promised to me by the court...." Another partial letter describes the really nice black suit, new shirt and shoes that have been provided for him by the state which, along with the tie from his wife and the socks from Minnie (?), will have him "dressed sweet enough just as well as I like because these cloths can’t nor won’t carry me to heaven but I know you would be glad to no how I was dressed so I am dressed well enough so be good and meet me in heaven….”
Blakely's last letter, to Maudie Porter, dated the day before his scheduled execution, says he has made his peace with God, "so by by for the last time here on earth but hope we can say howdy in heaven...."