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    " authorize you to arrest the aforesaid Jesse James anywhere within the limits of the State..."

    Jesse James: Original 1875-Dated Missouri Arrest Warrant Document Issued by the Governor of Missouri in Response to the Kansas Governor's Extradition Request. Another extremely rare and desirable one page document, 16.5" x 13.5" in size (sight), issued February 24, 1875, and bearing the Great Seal of the State of Missouri. It is signed by Charles H. Hardin as governor and by Michael K McGrath as secretary of state. As seen in the transcript below, this warrant was issued in response to the extradition request from the Kansas governor dated two days previous (see previous lot). Jesse James had been charged with first degree robbery in connection with a train robbery near Kansas City, Kansas, on December 8, 1874. The governor of Missouri addressed this arrest document to the Marshal of Jackson County (Kansas City) and the sheriffs or coroners of the other Missouri counties, authorizing the arrest of James and his deliverance to the appointed individual in Kansas. An impressive and handsome document in a vintage frame, overall size 17.5" x 14.5". Fine condition with only some light stains as shown.

    As we know, Jesse James was never arrested under the authorization of this warrant, nor was he ever extradited to Kansas. The James brothers had been revered as celebrities in Missouri, a state with strong pro-Confederacy sentiments even after the war. An event had occurred just a month before this warrant was issued that further cemented public sympathy toward Jesse and his brother Frank. Six Pinkerton agents surrounded the James Farm in January 1875 thinking that the brothers were present. They threw a smoke bomb into the house to lure them out to be captured. Instead, the bomb exploded, killing their young half-brother Archie Samuel and taking off the lower part of their mother's arm. A month after this warrant, the Missouri state legislature nearly passed an amnesty bill for members of the James and Younger gangs. No elected official in Missouri wanted to be the one who arrested Jesse James, having to face the public outcry and the pro-James newspapers. In the seven years between the issuance of this arrest warrant and Jesse's assassination by a member of his own gang, the James and Younger gangs went about their stock and trade, robbing banks and trains across the country, always returning to their home state of Missouri. After his brother's death in 1882, Frank turned himself in to Governor Crittenden. He stood trial for several charges but was convicted on none. In early 1885, the last charge against him was dropped and he lived out his life a free man.

    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 Missouri

    "To the Sheriff or Coroner of Marshal of Jackson County, or
    To the Sheriffs or Coroners of other Counties of the State of Missouri--Greeting:
    Whereas, Thomas A. Osborn Governor of the State of Kansas has demanded of the Governor of this State Jesse James, charged with the crime of Robbery in the first Degree as fugitive from justice from the State of Kansas and has completed with the requisites of the act of Congress in that case made and provided.

    "Now, Therefore, I Charles H. Hardin, Governor of the State of Missouri, by this my warrant do authorize you to arrest the aforesaid Jesse James anywhere within the limits of the State, and convey him to Kansas City in this State and there deliver him to E. S. W. Drought who is duly authorized by the Governor of the said State of Kansas to receive the said fugitive; and I do hereby command all Sheriffs, Coroners, Constables and other officers of this State, to whom this warrant may be shown, to aid and assist in the execution thereof; and furthermore, that you certify to me your proceedings under the same. No part of the expense incurred in the execution of this writ will be paid by the State.

    "In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri. Done at the City of Jefferson, this 24th day of February in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy-five of the Independence of the United States the Ninety-ninth and of the State of Missouri the fifty-fifth.

    "By the Governor: C. H. Hardin
    Mich K McGrath Secretary of State."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    24th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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