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    Description

    Jim Younger Autograph Poem Signed "Jim Younger." One page, 8.5" x 11", [Minnesota State Prison], July 4, 1899, to Cora "Corona" McNeil. Titled "Fourth," the poem reads in full:

    "If it were left to me, should be boundless, as that of Love. Which is God Eternal - all in all. That loving soul - and true friend Golden hair, is your Little Mother Koe. And then comes baby Golda. Twas in my happy childhood days. I had so many secrets learned. Of lonely woman and their ways. Their confidence I also earned. And not one soul have I deceived. Or, a single trust betrayed. Love being boundless, is what makes me feel so large. For I do feel as if I had goten [sic] on the outside of the whole business. Amen. God bless and protect you, is the earnest wish of your grateful friend. Jim Younger."

    Smoothed folds. Adhesive staining near the top, but not affecting the text. Ghosting from heavy adhesive on the verso visible on the recto.



    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: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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