Re: What Solomon Bedford "Red" Strickland ( 1839 - 1947 ) said about Himself
Dear Judith Woehrle:
There are 4 main possibilities here:
1) Solomon Strickland himself didn't actually write the affidavit ( someone else did ), and in order to avoid forging Strickland's signature, the affidavit was signed with an "X" by the person who actually wrote it.
2) Solomon Strickland wrote the affidavit, but wanted to convey the impression ( for some reason ) to readers of the affidavit that he didn't know how to write. Presumably, readers of the affidavit wouldn't know that he had handwritten an autobiography a few years previously.
3) Strickland knew he could sign with an "X," legally, and simply wasn't in the "mood" at that particular time to bother writing out his name.
4) Comparing what Strickland said in his affidavit with similar info contributed by Frank Dalton in "The Crittenden Memoirs" ( 1936 ), it appears that some of the statements in Strickland's affidavit were false ( or, vice versa ). If these statements in Strickland's affidavit actually were false and Strickland knew they were false, he may have been hesitant to sign his name to the affidavit. He may have been under the impression that signing the affidavit with an "X" would insulate him from all legal liability ( as for perjury ), when actually it wouldn't. As far as I am aware, signing with an "X" is equally as legally binding as signing with one's name. But if Strickland thought signing with an "X" would afford him certain legal protections or exemptions, it could explain why he did this.
I don't know of any way to decide, conclusively, among these 4 alternatives. I agree that Strickland's signing this affidavit with an "X" is "suggestive" of fraud of some kind, but since this form of signature is legally acceptable ( presumably ), nothing can really be proven from this.
The only question which might arise on this issue is, if someone knows how to write their name, is it still legally acceptable for them to write "X" instead of their name? Then there is the separate question, whatever the law on this topic may be, was Strickland aware of that law? Even though it may not have been legally acceptable for Strickland merely to write "X" ( since he knew how to write his name ), he may not have been aware of that and wrote "X" anyway, thinking he had the "option," legally, of either writing his name or merely writing "X."
I don't know the answers to these questions, and even if I did, knowing the answers still wouldn't actually prove anything conclusively.
Looking at these issues from a "conspiracy" point of view, Strickland's signing his affidavit with an "X" is circumstantial evidence of fraud ( of some kind ) on his part. In previous posts I have already pointed out that some of the information in Strickland's affidavit conflicts with what Frank Dalton said about himself in "The Crittenden Memoirs" ( 1936 ). Therefore, either Strickland was mistaken about Dalton's Civil War service, or Dalton was lying in "The Crittenden Memoirs." Dalton ( in 1947 ) seemed to prefer what Strickland had said in his affidavit, since nothing from "The Crittenden Memoirs" ever made its way into Dalton's pension file. That nothing from "The Crittenden Memoirs" ever made its way into Dalton's pension file, thus "might" be a "clue" as to how truthful Dalton's info in "The Crittenden Memoirs" actually was.
Sincerely, and Lots of Love - -
P. K. K.