While researching my book, Texas Jack: America's First Cowboy Star, I looked many times at the few existing pictures of Jack. So I was incredibly excited when Dr. John Lehman, a collector of antique photographs, sent me this previously unpublished carte de visite of Texas Jack.
This picture was most likely taken between June 12-14th, 1873 when Texas Jack, along with his friend Buffalo Bill Cody and their stage partner Ned Buntline, played three nights of shows in Buffalo, New York. By this point in the tour, leading lady Giusepinna Morlacchi had departed to fill a prior engagement, performing "Humpty Dumpty" at the Olympic Theatre in New York.
Notable in this image are Jack's gold watch chain and diamond pendant, both purchased by the scout at Tiffany's when the tour had played at Niblo's Garden in New York City during the first two weeks of April 1873. The Earl of Dunraven, who had first met Jack in his buckskin hunting gear, wrote that when he rode to Denver to meet Jack for their next hunt, "I became aware of a great coruscation, which I took to proceed from a comet or some other meteorological eccentricity, but which on approaching nearer resolved itself into the diamond shirt-studs and breast-pin shining in the snowy ‘bosom’ of my friend Texas Jack."
Many thanks to Dr. Lehman, who discovered this CdV, identified it as Texas Jack, and generously allowed its publication here.
For image enhancement, I started in Photoshop by removing the blemishes that pop up on every image that is nearly 150 years old, like the dark spot on the right side of Jack's chin and the discoloration on his left cheek.
Next, I ran the corrected image through Remini's AI, which tries to make the face a little more clear, as if this were a modern photograph.
And finally, I used MyHeritage's Deep Nostalgia tool to animate the image. Deep Nostalgia is also trying to clarify the image, and in this case I think it goes a little too far in trying to deepen the age lines on Jack's forehead and under his eyes. Jack once complained to a newspaper reporter that he was often overlooked as a guide on the plains because of his youthful appearance, reasoning that older men must have more experience. Jack told the reporter that "a man don't always carry all he knows in his wrinkles." Jack was probably 26 years old when this image was captured.