1980s Clayton Moore Handwritten Speech for Jay Silverheels Testimonial
Poignant memorial handwritten speech, written on the backs of two 8x10" posters, from Clayton Moore (who played The Lone Ranger in the TV series of the same name) in memory Jay Silverheels (who played Tonto). Silverheels died on March 5, 1980. The posters, which have a photo of Clayton Moore and a simulated signature, state that "Builders Emporium Welcomes Clayton Moore who portrayed The Lone Ranger in TV and Movies." The handwritten speech is primarily one page, with a heading and apparently a shorter earlier attempt on a second page. Jay Silverheels was born Harold Preston Smith on the Six Nations Reserve, near Ontario, Canada. He was a fine athlete, especially playing lacrosse, and he was discovered in California while on a box lacrosse tour by Joe E. Brown, who helped get him a screen test. Jay Silverheels is a stage name that was taken from Smith's nickname as a lacrosse player. In this boldly scripted speech, written in black felt tipped pen, Clayton Moore states that, "Jay was extremely proud of the Indian People and the Indian race was extremely proud of him." Moore goes on to praise Silverheels as "a fine athlete, champion Golden Gloves boxer, great La Cross (sic) player and a great hand with a horse." Near the conclusion of the speech, Moore calls Silverheels, "One of the finest men I have ever known." Then Moore thanks Jay Silverheel's family, by name. The other page contains a heading, "This special award is given in memory of Jay Silverheels." Posters and speech on verso are in good condition.