DescriptionHANGING OF JOHN AND CHARLES RUGGLES - STAGECOACH ROBBERS - REDDING, CALIFORNIA - BOUDOIR CARD - ca.1892. A fine gold-rimmed boudoir card with good tone and contrast, showing the hanging of the Ruggles brothers at Redding, California. This is a known image, and was copyrighted at the time by J.C. Franklin of Redding. Franklin is listed as operating in Palo Alto, Ca. in 1900 as well. This great card measures 5.25"x 8.5" and is in fine condition. There are four old staple marks on the corners and minor pen writing on the bottom right.
On May 14, 1892 John and Charles Ruggles robbed the Redding and Weaverville Stage Line of $5,000 in gold coins. During the robbery Charles was wounded by a shotgun blast to the face, and his older brother John killed the stage guard Amos "Buck" Montgomery. Charles was quickly captured, but John had a gunfight with a Deputy Sheriff named Thacker Wykoff and was shot in the neck before he was returned to the jail at Redding about six weeks later. As John and Charles waited for a reprieve, the local citizens became restless and on July 24th a lynch mob of between 40-75 men stormed the jail. The jailer, a man named George Albro was subdued and the mob had to use sledgehammers to open the safe that contained the jail keys. The Ruggles brothers were then taken outside and promptly hung, but not before John pleaded for his younger brother's life, promising to reveal the location of the stolen gold somewhere in Middle Creek in Shasta Co. California. The mob refused, and left the pair hanging for the crowds and the photographer the next day as a gruesome reminder of frontier justice.
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