"...he has fled from the justice of this State and taken refuge in the State of Missouri"Jesse James: Original 1875-Dated Extradition Request Document Issued by the Governor of Kansas to the Governor of Missouri, the Charge Being "Robbery in the First Degree." An extremely rare and desirable one page document, 11" x 9.75" in size (sight), issued February 22, 1875, and bearing the Great Seal of the State of Kansas. It is signed by Thomas A. Osborn as governor and by Thomas H. Cavanaugh as secretary of state. As seen in the transcript below, Jesse James was declared a fugitive from justice, reportedly taking refuge in Missouri, by Governor Osborn who requested that the Missouri governor apprehend James and surrender him to the appointed representative Edward Drought. The charge was first degree robbery. It is not noted in the document, but this charge was based on a train robbery that took place the previous December 8th in Muncie, a small town in Wyandotte County Kansas, just a few miles west of Kansas City. It was attributed to six members of the James-Younger Gang and netted them at least $30,000 from the Kansas Pacific Railroad train. Of course, this extradition request was never fulfilled. Seven years later, Jesse James would be killed in his home at St. Joseph, Missouri, by Robert Ford, a trusted new recruit to his gang. Document in a vintage frame, overall size 12" x 10.75". Very fine condition. Please view this lot on our website for additional information.
Provenance: Reportedly in the possession of Captain Frederick "Fred" J. Dodge, undercover agent for Pinkerton and later Wells Fargo in the spring of 1875. Passed on at his death in 1938 to his son, Fred Dodge, Jr. Sold before 1951 to Wheeler W. Creel of Wimberley, Texas. Sold by Creel to Herb Glass in 1952. Sold, circa 1960, by Glass to William O. Sweet. Purchased back from Sweet by Glass in 1972. Sold by Herb Glass to the present owner, transaction completed in March, 1976. An extensive file of documents regarding this chain of provenance is included with the lot.
Published: Carl W. Breihan's Saga of Jesse James (Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1991, page 70).
Transcript of Document:
The State of Kansas.
"The governor of the State of Kansas, to all to whom the Presents shall come- Greeting:
Whereas, Jesse James stands charged, in the County of Wyandotte in this State, with the crime of Robbery in the first degree and it has been represented to me that he has fled from the justice of this State and taken refuge in the State of Missouri And, Whereas, Agreeably to the Constitution of the United States, and an Act of Congress passed February 12, 1793, I have made application to His Excellency, the Governor of said State of Missouri for the surrender of said Jesse James fugitive from justice, and have also, in pursuance of the power vested in me by law, appointed (and by these presents do appoint) E. S. W. Drought agent on the part of the State of Kansas, for the purpose of receiving the said Jesse James from the constituted authorities of the said State of Missouri whenever he shall be surrendered in accordance with such application, and bring him into this State, to be dealt with as directed by the law in such cases made and provided.
"These are, Therefore, To request and require all persons to permit the said E. S. W. Drought agent as aforesaid, to receive and secure the said Jesse James and bring him unmolested into this State, having jurisdiction of said crime, and to render all lawful and necessary assistance in the premises, he, the said agent peaceably and lawfully behaving, No expenses will be paid by this State.
"In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State. Done at the City of Topeka, this twenty second day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy five the fifteenth year of the State, and of the Independence of the United States the Ninety Ninth.
"By the Governor Tho. A. Osborn
Tom H. Cavanaugh Secretary of State."
Note: We found details of the robbery in a contemporary publication, The State Journal of Jefferson City, Missouri. Excerpts:
December 1874 Newspaper Account of Train Robbery: "YE GENTLE MISSOURIANS/ They Pass Over the Border and Pay Their Compliments to Wells, Fargo & Co. Yesterday afternoon at four o'clock one of the most daring and reckless train robberies occurred at Muncie, in Wyandotte county, Kansas, on the Kansas Pacific road, that has been heard of since the capture of the train at Gad's Hill. between three and four o'clock, five men, riding jaded horses, put in an appearance. The men hitched their horses in a grove south of the track, and proceeded to carry out their work. They procured two iron rails and placed them on the track about two hundred yards east of the station, and awaited the coming of the eastward bound passenger train. four [o'clock] found the looked-for train steaming A flag was displayed which caused the brakes to be applied, and Bob Murphy, the engineer, closed the throttle. No sooner had the machinery ceased, than Murphy saw crawling through the cab window the barrel of a heavy rifle, and glancing down its length found a masked man standing at the other end. The engineer and fireman of the passenger train had been corralled, two men having taken possession of the engine and forced them to vacate their places, by placing revolvers at their heads. [T]wo of the robbers had been paying their attentions to Mr. Frank Webster, the express messenger, and the mail agent as well, both of whom were searched for arms, with a revolver at their heads. Mr. Webster unlocked his safe. and the contents to the amount of $5,000 in gold-dust, some remittances for the Kansas Pacific road, and the remainder in money for various points, making, in all, between $25,000 and $35,000, was thrown into a sack, and carried away by the extra man, to the horses in the grove, south of the track. The mail agent and the express man had been deprived of their watched, but before taking their departure, the robbers returned, stating they were not after personal property. "GOOD BYE BOYS, no hard feelings; we have taken nothing from you." After they had departed, the train straightened out, having been delayed but about fifteen minutes. THE JAMES' AND YOUNGERS. We do not credit these notorious personages with the robbery, but we have been assured by a gentleman who well knows the James', that Jesse James was in [Kansas] City, accompanied by one of the Youngers, on Wednesday last, in the vicinity of the Hannibal and St. Joe. freight depot. He states that he not only knew Jesse, but that he recognized a mare called Bess, noted for her speed, which Jesse usually rides. This we get from GOOD AUTHORITY, and give it as we receive it."
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