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    Cole Younger Signed Typed Manuscript Regarding the Failed Bank Robbery in Northfield. Signed "Cole Younger" at the bottom of a typescript likely written by Cora McNeil. One page, 8.5" x 13", n. p., n. d. Cora, an admirer of Jim (and possible sweetheart) and Cole Younger, kept up an extensive correspondence with the brothers while they were serving time in the Minnesota State Prison after the failed Northfield bank robbery in 1876. She was the author of the book, "Mizzoura," a fictitious account of the lives and "careers" of the famous outlaws, the only book of its kind to receive the Younger's blessing.

    In her paper, Cora tries to explain the reason why the gang went to Northfield, Minnesota. It begins, in part: "The question is often asked, 'Why did the Youngers go so far from home, across the State of Iowa into Minn. To attack the quiet little city of Northfield'...The younger family had lost all they had by the Federal soldiery during the war, except some land...and their enemies would not permit them to cultivate that in peace, or to follow any peaceable ocupation [sic]. They were hounded and chased on every hand for crimes, most of which we know to a certainty were committed by others. They were without money with which to leave the country, and shut off from every means of making it honestly."

    She goes on to talk about the exploits of Benjamin Butler and Governor Adelbert Ames getting rich off the southern people during reconstruction and how they were both "heavily interested at Northfield in milling and the Bank...It was the Butler and Ames interest they were after." The typescript ends abruptly as it is only the first page of several.

    Cora, who has made several holographic corrections across the page, has apparently sent the typescript to Cole for his approval as he has written at the lower right corner: "OK/Cole Younger."

    Smoothed folds with slight staining that does not affect the text. Gentle fading to some of the text, although it is entirely legible.


    More Information:

    Cole and Jim Younger began their life of crime during the Civil War as members, along with the James Brothers, of the notorious Quantrill's Raiders. After the war, they may have been associated with the gang of Archie Clement, who led the first daylight, peacetime armed bank robbery in U. S. history on February 13, 1866. While the exact date of their association with the gang is uncertain, by 1868, they, as well as the James Brothers, were unquestionably part of the bank-robbing gang. The Jameses and Youngers were able to avoid arrest longer than many outlaws of the day, largely thanks to the sympathy and support of many of their fellow Confederate veterans. But in 1876 the Younger's luck ran out. Their attempted robbery of the bank at Northfield, Minnesota went famously awry when armed townsfolk interrupted the robbery and chased them off. In the melee two townspeople were killed, and when the Youngers were subsequently captured, they were tried and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Minnesota State Prison in Stillwater (a guilty plea saved them from the hangman's noose). Bob Younger died in prison in 1889; however, Cole and Jim continued to languish in prison, while sympathizers periodically lobbied for their release. In 1899 a bill was before the Minnesota Legislature to secure their freedom. Despite the best efforts of their supporters, the Youngers would not be paroled until July 1901. Upon release, Cole published his memoirs and, in 1903, was fully pardoned and toured throughout the south with The Cole Younger and Frank James Wild West Company. In 1913 he became a born-again Christian and died in 1916.



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    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    10th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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