Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [James-Younger Gang]. Detective Flourney Yancey Telegram to the Governor of Missouri While in Pursuit of Jesse James. Two pages, 5.25" x 8.25", Richmond [Missouri], September 21, 1874. On September 3, 1874, Flourney Yancey, a detective with the St. Louis Police Department and a scout during the late war, was hired as an agent with the Missouri secret service by acting governor of Missouri, Charles P. Johnson. His mission was to track down leading members of the James-Younger Gang following the Lexington Stage Robbery (August 30, 1874). Having found it difficult to find sympathetic sheriffs (with the exception of Sheriff Brown of Ray County) to help, Yancey initially had trouble finding the gang. But on September 21, he found accident.

    In this telegram to Governor Johnson, Yancey gives his account of the happenings earlier that day, in full: "This morning about eight and one half oclock I accidintally [sic] flushed Jesse James and James Younger near the line of Ray & Clay Counties and was forced to fight them they fired seven shots at me I returned fire James is wounded I think badly I escaped with a shot through my coat my horse run away with me through the woods tearing the clothes off of me I lost my pocket book and watch I start immediately in pursuit with a posse and I think they cannot escape James is wounded too badly to escape and his companion will not leave him. Send me by Telegraph through some Bank in Jefferson City two hundred & fifty Dollars on Hughes & Wasson Bankers here or some other Bank. For Gods sake stick to me in this matter & I will succeed. Reply immediately."

    Yancey trailed the outlaws with the posse, but they managed elude capture. What is not clear is whether Yancey had indeed wounded Jesse James, but it is likely as all reports indicate that upon Yancey's second shot, James tumbled off of his horse. Slight toning and ink smudging, but not affecting the text. Folds and light wrinkling at the upper edge. Small staple holes at upper left corner.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,306

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Jun 23, 2013 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 October 20 Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search