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FRANK JAMES - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 04/07/1883 - HFSID 348935

FRANK JAMES Rare handwritten letter to his friend Charles Fletcher, smuggled out of the jail by his wife, signed by him in 1883 while he awaited trial for robbery and murder Rare ALS: "Frank" with"Direct to Mrs. Frank James" to left of signature, 1 page, 7¾x10½.

Sale Price $8,925.00

Reg. $10,500.00

Condition: lightly soiled
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FRANK JAMES
Rare handwritten letter to his friend Charles Fletcher, smuggled out of the jail by his wife, signed by him in 1883 while he awaited trial for robbery and murder
Rare ALS: "Frank" with"Direct to Mrs. Frank James" to left of signature, 1 page, 7¾x10½. In Jail at Gallatin, Missouri, 1883 April 7. To his friend, Charles Fletcher. In part: "I should of written you before this but all my mail had to be inspected by the Sheriff. But as my wife is now with me and can smuggle this through the linens and she can receive letters…hence this letter. I am getting on as well as one could suppose in Jail…You have so proved yourself, I hope you will be so situated as to be able to attend my trial in June. I am expecting to be acquitted if justice prevails I will be undoubtedly. My wife sends kindest regards to you and family. Hoping to hear from you soon…." Frank and Jesse James had been Confederate guerrillas under the leadership of William Quantrill during the Civil War. They joined Cole Younger and others in 1866 and formed a gang of which Jesse was usually regarded as the leader. At first, they specialized in bank robberies, but in 1873 they held up a train. In 1876, they attempted a bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota. Three gang members were killed and three Younger brothers were shot and captured; only Frank and Jesse escaped. With a new gang, they robbed trains from 1879-1881. Jesse was killed on April 3, 1882, and Frank surrendered to Missouri Gov. Thomas Crittenden on October 5, 1882. He was jailed in Independence for six months and was treated more like a celebrity guest than an outlaw. He was then transferred to the jail in Gallatin, Missouri just days before he wrote this letter. To accommodate the huge crowds curious about his trial, Frank was tried in the Gallatin Opera House from August 20 to September 6, 1883. He faced charges of robbery and murder for a train robbery that occurred on July 5, 1881 in Winston, Mo. Civil War sympathies played a major factor during the trial and the jury acquitted him. His later life was in all respects honorable. He died on February 18, 1915 at the age of 72 at his farm in Clay County, Missouri. Creased. Lightly soiled. Folds do not touch signature.

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