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    Description

    Jim Younger Autograph Manuscript Signed Six Times with Sketches. Two pages, 12.5" x 7.75", Stillwater [Minnesota State Prison], November 22, 1899. Written to Cora "Corona" McNeill, it includes the following poem, in full:
    "Twenty three years in a Prison Cell
    And on the twenty fourth Embark
    With Record no one can Excell [sic]
    I havet [sic] yet a Single Mark
    Four thousand Eight hundred and nineteen men
    Have come and gone Since the day I came
    And Sixty odd Lifers were Pardoned by then
    A - Younger or older were no their name."

    Following the poem is a calculation of time spent in prison: "23 years - 276 months - 1104 weeks - 8,395 days." A hand drawn sketch of Jim appears at right, in profile with "this is me/Jim" written on the collar and shoulder.

    On the verso is written, in full: "The Cliping [sic] you intended for me in Coles letter was missing. And I guess Ko _ forgot it. Love and Kiss For all. Jim/I sent you 2. Free Society and Enclose an other in this. do you get them? Jim Younger." Light toning and smoothed folds, else fine.



    More Information:

    Cora McNeill was born in St. Clair, Missouri, in 1862. She was an admirer of Cole and Jim Younger, and it is believed that she was a sweetheart of Jim's before he went to prison. She continued her correspondence to both Jim and Cole while they were incarcerated in Minnesota following the botched Northfield bank robbery. She was married to Minneapolis judge George M. Bennett who attempted to secure a pardon for the Younger brothers.

    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. Jim became engaged to Alix Mueller upon release, but was unable to marry under the terms of his parole. He committed suicide on October 19, 1902.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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