The Jailhouse Letters of Wild West Outlaws Jim and Cole Younger

The finest and rarest collection of western outlaw material offered in decades

Purchase $360,000

There are 31 letters from Cole Younger, 46 letters from Jim Younger, over a dozen poems and drawings by Jim, 44 letters of others, and innumerable other items.

Provenance: the descendants of the recipient and never before offered for sale

Letters of these men are not common,...

Read More

The Jailhouse Letters of Wild West Outlaws Jim and Cole Younger

The finest and rarest collection of western outlaw material offered in decades

There are 31 letters from Cole Younger, 46 letters from Jim Younger, over a dozen poems and drawings by Jim, 44 letters of others, and innumerable other items.

Provenance: the descendants of the recipient and never before offered for sale

Letters of these men are not common, particularly those of Jim, of which only 3 appear in public sale records

Cole and Jim Younger, Cora: A History

The Younger-James Gang

Thomas Coleman “Cole” Younger and his brothers Jim and Bob have entered legend as outlaws who joined forces with the notorious Jesse and Frank James to rob banks and trains in the period following the Civil War. The James–Younger Gang became the most storied of the 19th-century gangs of the West. They were accused or were implicated in about 20 robberies and murders during its spree from 1866-1876.

The Youngers were born into a large and affluent family, Cole in 1844 and Jim in 1848, near Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Though his father was a respected landowner and merchant, the elder brother, Cole Younger, became an outlaw in the early years of the Civil War. He had trouble with a militiaman, went into hiding, and armed himself with a weapon, a violation of an order by General John C. Frémont who was commander of Union forces in Missouri. As savage guerrilla warfare wracked Missouri, Younger’s father, though a Union supporter, was shot dead by a Union soldier. The Younger’s sister was assaulted, and their mother’s house burned down. So Cole Younger joined other Confederate guerrillas to fight the Union forces. Younger chose to fight as part of the gang of the most famous of the rebel guerrillas, William Clarke Quantrill, and he participated in the deadly raid on Lawrence, Kansas, in 1863. This drove him and other guerrillas into hiding as Union troops sought to punish the perpetrators of atrocities including the murder of women and children. He took part in many fierce raids until the end of the Civil War. Afterwards, Younger and his brothers, Jim and Bob, joined fellow bushwhackers Jesse and Frank James who were robbing banks, stagecoaches, and trains. They were, to some extent, seeking revenge for the poor treatment Southern sympathizers suffered at the hands of Unionists during and after the war. Many former Confederates supported the James-Younger gang during these wild post-war years.

It is uncertain when Cole Younger and his brothers joined the ruthless Archie Clement’s gang. The first mention of his involvement came in 1868, when authorities identified him as a member of a gang who robbed Nimrod Long & Co., a bank in Kentucky. Former guerrillas John Jarrett (Younger’s brother-in-law), Arthur McCoy, and George and Oliver Shepard were also implicated. Oliver Shepard was killed resisting arrest and George was imprisoned. Once the more senior members of the gang had been killed, captured, or quit, its core thereafter consisted of the Younger brothers and Frank and Jesse James. Witnesses repeatedly gave identifications that matched Cole Younger in robberies carried out over the next few years, as the outlaws robbed banks and stagecoaches in Missouri and Kentucky. On July 21, 1873, they turned to train robbery, derailing a locomotive and looting the express car on the Rock Island Railroad in Iowa. Younger and his brothers were also suspects in robberies in Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, and West Virginia. Following the robbery of the Iron Mountain Railroad in Missouri in 1874, the Pinkerton Detective Ageny began to pursue the James–Younger Gang. Two agents (Louis J. Lull and John Boyle) engaged John and Jim Younger in a gunfight on a Missouri road on March 17, 1874; Boyle and Jim Younger fled the scene, and both Lull and John Younger were killed. Simultaneously, another Pinkerton agent, W.J. Whicher, who pursued the James brothers was abducted and later found dead alongside a rural road in Jackson County, Missouri. The James and Younger brothers survived capture longer than most Western outlaws because of their strong support among former Confederates. Jesse James became the public face of the James–Younger Gang, appealing to the public in letters to the press.

On September 7, 1876, the James–Younger Gang attempted to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota. Cole Younger and his brother Bob both later said that they selected the bank because of its connection to two former Union generals and Radical Republican politicians, Benjamin Butler and his son-in-law Adelbert Ames, both former Union generals. Three of the outlaws entered the bank, as the remaining five, led by Cole Younger, remained on the street to provide cover. The crime soon went awry, however, when the townspeople sent up the alarm and ran for their guns. Younger and his brothers began to fire in the air to clear the streets, but the townspeople (shooting from behind cover, through windows and around the corners of buildings) opened a deadly fusillade, killing gang members Clell Miller and William Chadwell and badly wounding Bob Younger through the elbow.

The outlaws killed two townspeople, including the acting cashier of the bank, and fled empty-handed. During the two weeks after the botched bank robbery in Northfield, the surviving robbers, believed to be six in number, were pursued through the sloughs and bogs of south-central Minnesota by a series of posses numbering, at times, more than 1,000 men—manhunters every one. A chain of storms washed out the outlaws’ tracks, making it difficult to trail the brigands. The intense pursuit still forced the outlaws to abandon their mounts near German Lake. A young farm boy named Oscar Sorbel recognized two of the robbers when they passed his father’s farm. After alerting neighbors around Linden Lake, Sorbel made a wild, Paul Revere-style, eight-and-a-half-mile ride to rouse the townspeople of Madelia. Within an hour, two separate posses from Madelia took up the trail and converged on the Watonwan River, south of Lake Hanska. The outlaws separated. The James brothers would flee and make it back to Missouri, but the three Youngers (Cole, Bob, and Jim) did not. They and another gang member, Charlie Pitts, waged a gun battle with a local posse in a wooded ravine near Madelia on September 21, 1876. Pitts was killed, and Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger were badly wounded and captured. Cole, asked about the robbery, responded, “We tried a desperate game and lost. But we are rough men used to rough ways, and we will abide by the consequences.”

A reporter first stopped in to see Cole and Jim, who the doctor would not allow to talk much. Cole managed to say only that he thanked the citizens of Madelia for treating them with kindness. Cole, the eldest of the Younger brothers, would be portrayed by a newspaperman who knew Frank James, Robertus Love, as a man whose bravado proved bulletproof: “Thomas Coleman Younger, who looked like a bishop and fought like a Bengal tiger, lay upon the ground soaked with rainfall and with his own blood.” Cole could see only out of his left eye. He had been struck by a rifle ball under his right eye, which destroyed the optic nerve. The “devotion of the brothers” was cited as the reason why the Youngers had not escaped. Early on Jim Younger’s mouth was badly shattered and the hemorrhage was so profuse that it left a trail of blood that was easily followed. At last he became so weak that it was necessary for Cole and Bob to ride beside him to support him. By this they were delayed several days and in the meantime the country was swarming with their pursuers. Meanwhile, as this played out, Jesse James objected and remarked to Cole that their trail could be followed by a blind man, and as they of course did not want Jim to fall in the hands of their pursuers, they had better dispose of him and end his sufferings as his death was certain anyhow. Bob and Cole looked at Jesse James replied, calling him a cold-hearted villain, a monster with whom he could never associate again, and adding that he would stay by his brother until he died and would then carry his body as far as he had strength to make it possible. This was the reason for the separation of the party…the Jameses left and escaped,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Bob saying in an earlier interview.

Cole Younger’s wounds when captured: a ball entered just behind the angle of the right side of Cole’s jaw, passing over the palate arch and lodging in the left side of the upper jaw. He also had four bullet wounds in the back. Buckshot penetrated his left shoulder blade, another two inches below, both lodging in fleshy parts and two inches deep. Another entered the middle third of his arm, passing upwards two inches; still another passed behind the armpit. His feet were painful to the touch, and his toenails came off when his boots were removed. Jim Younger’s wounds: A ball entered the center of Jim’s upper jaw, destroying nearly half of the upper jawbone. Witnesses later saw pieces of his jawbone removed showing two or three double teeth. His upper lip was swollen and the inside of his mouth was sore, making it difficult for him to speak. Jim was also hit by buckshot in the fleshy part of his middle thigh. A doctor gave him and the other Youngers opiates to help them sleep. Bob Younger’s wounds: Bob was hit by a ball that entered just below the right side of his shoulder blade, passed around the body and exited near the nipple. His broken arm, which he sustained in Northfield, was nearly healed by the time the doctor examined him. A large man, light complexioned, no beard and, at his capture, his face recently shaved, Bob was intelligent, shrewd and not as communicative as either of his two brothers.

Cole, Jim and Bob pleaded guilty to their crimes to avoid being hanged. They were sentenced to life in prison at the Minnesota Territorial Prison at Stillwater on November 18, 1876. Frank and Jesse James fled to Tennessee where they lived peacefully for the next three years. In 1879, Jesse returned to a life of crime, which ended with his murder on April 3, 1882. Frank James surrendered to Missouri Governor Thomas Crittenden on October 4, 1882. Eventually Frank James was acquitted, and lived quietly and peacefully thereafter.

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. Because of the best efforts of their supporters, the Youngers would be paroled in July 1901. Jim committed suicide the following year. Upon release, Cole published his memoirs and, in 1903, was fully pardoned and toured throughout the south with The Cole Younger and Frank James Wild West Company. In 1913 he became a born-again Christian.

The Wild West show ended up being a disaster, and, in November, Cole had to pull his pistol on one of the show owners to get the two of them released from the tour. Frank returned to the family homestead where he grew up, and Cole took on a few gigs before he began the life he always had said he was meant to live: preacher. Cole had revealed as much while he was in prison, in 1880, when author J.W. Buel asked him about his prison duties. “I occupy much of my time in theological studies for which I have a natural inclination,” Cole said. “It was the earliest desire of my parents to prepare me for the ministry, but the horrors of war, the murder of my father, and the outrages perpetrated upon my poor old mother, my sisters and brothers, destroyed our hopes so effectually that none of us could be prepared for any duty in life except revenge.” Cole’s affiliation now was the church of life, and he embarked in 1909 on a lecture tour to share “What My Life has Taught Me.” He said in his lectures, “There is the outlaw with a heart of velvet and a hand of steel; there is the outlaw who never molested the sacred sanctity of any man’s home; there is the outlaw who never dethroned a woman’s honor or assailed her heritage; and there is the outlaw who has never robbed the honest poor.” Touching on his notorious robberies and capture, he said, “I am not exactly a lead man, but it may surprise you to know that I have been shot between 20 and 30 times and am now carrying over a dozen bullets which have never been extracted. How proud I should have been had I been scarred battling for the honor and glory of my country. Those wounds I received while wearing the gray, I’ve ever been proud of, and my regret is that I did not receive the rest of them during the war with Spain, for the freedom of Cuba and the honor and glory of this great and glorious republic…. Yes, I was in prison then, and let me tell you dear friends, I do not hesitate to say that God permits few men to suffer as I did, when I awoke to the full realization that I was wearing the stripes instead of a uniform of my country.” He spoke on how prison could redeem a man: “For a man who has lived close to the heart of nature, in the forest, in the saddle, to imprison him is like caging a wild bird. And yet imprisonment has brought out the excellences of many men. I have learned many things in the lonely hours there. I have learned that hope is a divinity; I have learned that a surplus of determination conquers every weakness; I have learned that you cannot mate a white dove to a blackbird; I have learned that vengeance is for God and not for man…I have learned that the honor of the republic is put upon the plains and battled for.” He also said, “It may be presumptuous of me to proffer so many suggestions to you who have been living in a world from which I have been exiled for 25 years….I hope to be of some assistance to mankind and will dedicate my future life to unmask every wrong in my power and aid civilization to rise against further persecution. I want to be the drum-major of a peace brigade, who would rather have the good will of his fellow creatures than shoulder straps from any corporate power.” Most important, he wanted to make sure others did not follow his path: “There is no heroism in outlawry, and the fate of each outlaw in his turn should be an everlasting lesson to the young of the land.”

Cole Younger died on March 21, 1916, in his hometown of Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Cora McNeill:

When the Youngers were in St. Clair, Missouri, in 1870, they met Dr. D.C. McNeill, a physician who had served as such in the Confederate Army. He had an 13 year old daughter named Cora, and she and Jim took a liking to each other. They took long walks together, and Jim was often a dinner guest at the McNeills. Jim fell in love and asked Cora to marry him, but she felt she was too young. Jim promised to wait for her.

She always admired the Youngers, and once they were in prison for a long stretch, did everything she could to get them out. She corresponded with both Jim and Cole, and in 1897 published a novel “Mizzoura”, a thinly veiled account of the Youngers showing them to be the outstanding personalities she thought they were. Though she remained friends with Jim, she married a Minnesota legislator C.P. Deming, and after he died, married Minneapolis judge George M. Bennett, who was instrumental in the movement to secure pardons for the Younger brothers. Also spearheading the pardon movement was W. C. Bronaugh, author of The Youngers Fight for Freedom, who spent 25 years trying to gain their release.

The Archive:

In the 1890s, the Youngers amidst a swirl of activity, carried on an extensive correspondence with Cora. She heard not only from them but others working to free them. Plus Cora kept a scrapbook including mementos of the crusade. All this was saved, and has come down to Cora’s descendants today.

In this archive there are 31 letters from Cole Younger, 46 letters from Jim Younger, over a dozen poems and drawings by Jim, 44 letters of others, and innumerable other items including a statement Jim dictated in prison denying guilt for any crime but Northfield.

Letters of the Youngers are very uncommon, and this is clearly the largest and most significant archive of theirs in existence anywhere.

Highlights of a few typical letters from Cole:

7/18/1897. On repentance and the judgment of God. “Had fortune favored us, I would have called to see you and if there had been anything I could have done for you, I would have gladly have done it for it would have given me much more pleasure if I could have added anything to your happiness than it would you to receive it. But let us be brave and meet our fate and try to be thankful that it is no worse. Life is short at best, it will soon be over with those that consider blest with a long life. When we pass from this life to the one beyond the grave it will be a step higher and nearer the God who made us. I believe in evolution that each change brings us one step nearer perfection and perpetual happiness and in some day, in some place in another world and life we will all be happy. We will not be judged and doomed to suffer then by the standard of right and wrong made by man, but by the God who made us and rest assured his will not be a harsh one… I have long since came to the conclusion that there is but one cause to pursue. Be true to our friends, true to humanity, love those that love us, do all in our power to add to their happiness, enjoy life at all times when possible, not to indulge in anyway to injure our health, be true to our word, and if a friend or anyone puts their honor in our keeping, be true to the trust. Never repeat scandal where a woman is connected whether it be true or false, and trust to God for the rest. I must admit I have in the past enjoyed the confidence of men and women to secrets unknown to all the world save them and myself and I have never betrayed the trust of a man or woman and never will.”

11/30/1899. “I left it to Jim to write…as it was his choice and the facts are he don’t write anyone else but you and Mr. Bennett. I thought best to be guided by his wishes for the time being. For with him at one end of the line and Mr. B. at the other to give counsel it would seem presumptuous in me to put in – at least they might think so. I know that Jim is very sensitive…that is why I have taken a back seat…I received a long good letter some time back from Walters of Butler, MO. He had met Bronaugh the writer before & B. had told him he was coming to Minn. to make another move in our behalf and would need some money to pay expenses…I told him you were at work for us and I had tried to get others to help you but from jealousy or other selfish reasons they had failed to do so…Warden Wolper will make his home on St. Paul and told me the other day I could rest assured he would do all he could for us. So would Whittier. Bob Dunn seen Senator Davis the other day and he said he would do all he could with the Board…”

5/11/1895. Cora had requested his permission to publish his story in the newspaper. He gives her three reasons why he must deny her request: “First: I made a pledge to some of my friends who have my best interest at heart, that I would not say anything whatever for publication; Second: All incoming and outgoing letters are read by the prison officials, so that it would be impossible to preserve the privacy of our correspondence; Third: I dread by and all things to have my name appear in print, for it creates the impression that I seek after newspapers notoriety, when the reverse is true.”

6/3/1900. “I hope the day will yet come when I can prove my friendship by good deeds…Now my noble friend and faithful and true soldier in the cause of humanity, I will close, hoping God will help you and yours.”

6/9/1900. He mentions her visit to Cole and Jim in prison, and her book “Mizzoura”. Wistfully discusses a girl named Mary Carrie that died in 1868, “a beautiful, lovely girl. Had she lived, my life might have been different…I went down the Mississippi River from St. Louis expecting to see the girls, but when I got there Mary had been dead two weeks.” Speaking of the girl’s sister, he says, “She thinks me worthy of anyone on earth. She knows I was in love with her sister, and what might of happened had she lived. I will now close…” The letter also mentions that both Jim and Mr. Bennett both were in love with Cora.

12/5/1901. He states, “I am making the fight of my life for full freedom and hope all will soon be well. True I have but little money to use in a social way, but still I get things the best I can.” He also writes that Judge Bennett’s daughter told him that Cora and Judge Bennett had married and sends congratulations to them both. Writes Judge Bennett could draw up that form of Circulation. Also includes Cora’s handwritten note: “In this letter Cole asks my help in his last desperate fight for full pardon.”

Highlights of a few typical letters from Jim, of which most are love letters of some sort:

n.d. Writes of his conversation with Warden Reeves at the Prison, who he found perfectly plain in speech and manners. He states that he spoke with the Warden of Cora, calling her the “truest, the noblest, the bravest, and most rebellious little Rebel, but the Sweetest Girl of them all”. “This same little Rebel – Girl was regarded by me as the best friend I ever had on Earth, and I would like to know if she could visit on Sunday, as her time is occupied during the week.” He said “yes without the least hesitation, and he told me to write you to come, and to call for him also.” He then mentions Cole, writing “for old Cole, never thanks until he has got his foot in it, and then wonders why you did not, but he will go right on and repeat time after time, for experience seems to avail him nothing.” Cole had trouble enough to get the five dollars, the Clerk promised to send it, then backed out, he then went to the warden, as he should have done at the start. Mentions “The Warden would not let any of our people go to a Hotel, but they stayed at his house. And [his sister] Retta stayed there one month, and Emma and Minnie Hall three weeks…and they could also come to the Library every day. or we especially I could go to the Warden’s house as often and stay as long as his work would allow. I have eaten dinner at the warden’s, by invitation of Warden Randall – with himself, his wife, daughter, son, and grandchildren, Emma, Minnie, Retta, and others. He was the best man I ever knew, and was my friend.”

5/8/1900. “But to single us out when men are being pardoned and paroled every month on their good conduct to say the least proves him revengeful, with no more respect for the State’s promise of reward for good conduct than the dirtiest old workhouse bum exhibits. For there has never been to my knowledge three with the perfect record of Cole, Bob, and myself. Either in or out of prison. For remember up to date, we have combined served, and without a single discredit recorded against us, 60 years, 10 Months, 16 days. In other words, that makes an old man having lived out his long life with the whole world, as it were, watching and hoping to find something in his conduct to condemn, but failing to do so. They propose to punish him for doing right as he would do with out promise of reward, and at the same time, like all human beings hope for something better, and trusted to the States declaration of reform and forgiveness, in his or our case.”

n.d. On her book. “As a book of fiction, it is first class, and deals with me in particular in a manner far better than I deserve…” “I would not admit to the world or man what I have to you. For I am just as proud and independent as if I owned the Earth.”

1898. He writes of his conversation with Warden Reeves at the Prison, who he found perfectly plain in speech and manners. He states that he spoke with the Warden of Cora, calling her the “truest, the noblest, the bravest, and most rebellious little Rebel, but the Sweetest Girl of them all”. “This same little Rebel – Girl was regarded by me as the best friend I ever had on Earth, and I would like to know if she could visit on Sunday, as her time is occupied during the week.” He said “yes without the least hesitation, and he told me to write you to come, and to call for him also.” He then mentions Cole, writing “for old Cole, never thanks until he has got his foot in it, and then wonders why you did not, but he will go right on and repeat time after time, for experience seems to avail him nothing.” Cole had trouble enough to get the five dollars, the Clerk promised to send it, then backed out, he then went to the warden, as he should have done at the start. Mentions “The Warden would not let any of our people go to a Hotel, but they stayed at his house. And [his sister] Retta stayed there one month, and Emma and Minnie Hall three weeks…and they could also come to the Library every day. or we especially I could go to the Warden’s house as often and stay as long as his work would allow. I have eaten dinner at the warden’s, by invitation of Warden Randall – with himself, his wife, daughter, son, and grandchildren, Emma, Minnie, Retta, and others. He was the best man I ever knew, and was my friend.” He also talks about famous duels.

n.d. He writes that most of he and Cole’s friends seemed to be “Cipher’s” who “amounted to little or nothing more that to find fault with those who were at work in earnest for our release…Their friendship is not measured by the amount of work or means they furnish, but the disposition shown, to help the “rebel-and-Yankee”, in carrying out the plans already formed for our release, instead of blocking their way by fault-finding or hunting for something new, but we cannot change ones nature. Poor old Cole is doubly blessed wtih an unwavering confidence in all who profess friendship and comparatively speaking nothing short of a good sized kick will change his mind, for he judges others by himself and death in its most cruel form would never cause the old man to flinch from an expressed friendship for anyone. I know the man, even better than he knows himself.” Jim writes “I like to know a man, or woman, at sight. So the Rebel-and-Yankee, ought to feel proud of having passed with credit marks – 100”. “Love and kisses to Clair – Golden hair – and – Corona.”

n.d. Jim states “There has never lived but two persons on this Earth that I claimed to love and did love in truth, and they were my mother and Corona…as the matter now stands, you dear Corona, are the only woman that I have at any time in my whole life declared I loved, for that is a declaration that I at least hold as sacred…And I shall continue to love you for your own dear self and I should do so even without the least hope of anything in return.”

n.d. “I fight with all the strength of mind I possess. Every adverse or contrary principal presenting itself for solution, but the fighting so far as I can judge has been continuous….and looks as if shall have to continue to the end of time. But I shall keep drilling and discipline myself to meet all that comes my way. Even death I do not fear, and we’ll meet it with a smile. And never the less I shall not die until I have to, and then only in name, for we never die.”

n.d. “But you should not let our cause give you trouble for it will make little difference how the matter goes. For unless one make up their mind to raise completely above their sorrows and say I will be happy, contented. And show to God and man that I am not dead. And will never be until soul and body have parted company. And this from a mental view or standpoint we have got to do, or give up hope of anything better. Wealth, and station, both of them good in their way, Will not and cannot make you happy. The mind, mental power, properly exercised, will prove all things. Of what benefit could millions of dollars been too Cole, Bob and myself… but even stranger than this a fact that I am still able to send you cheerful letters…. And sometimes good and wholesome advice…I have an truth done more from my limited means for prisoners than any other 10 men in the state.. But I am yet unable to see that I have made a single man friend… in fact, the times seem to say, get all you can. As it matters little with some the manner of getting… and still, True friendship is the most sacred of all Earthly ties. Yes, I will remember you… sometimes the sweetest smile covers and aching heart, a disappointment, a loss, a part of our very soul. And still we not only smile, but we are expected to smile and be cheerful… There is one and only one way to be: happy. And that means fight. A very little disappointment when called up and pondered over and thereby cultivated becomes in time unsurmountable… I will throw off all troubles. For what can sorrow and trouble profit me. Nothing. Then get behind me, Satan, is the proper command to give. Sorrow will always intrude itself on you if you permit it. But pleasure or contentment you will have to win and forever be on your guard to keep them… There are two sides. Choose, always, the bright.”

Jim’s typed statement from prison. “I hardly know how to most forcibly and convincingly express myself, but I can truthfully say that the accusation regarding the Iowa train robbery was a lie… If there is a man or woman on the face of the earth, whose word is good in the community where they are known, and that man, or woman will solemnly say that we are guilty of any offense except of that committed at Northfield, then I will admit the truth of everything charged. There has never been issued even one writ in connection with any other alleged crime. But, after the Iowa train robbery we were constantly harassed by Pinkerton men. One day John and I were eating dinner at old man Snuffer’s, when a party of three men rode by. We mounted our horses and started for our Aunts, and a short distance away, met the men coming back; we said “Good day,” and the man whom I now know was Lull. pulled a revolver which he had kept concealed under a cape he was wearing, and shot my brother John: John returned the fire, but died within a few minutes, Lull died some six weeks later…After the murder of Father none of us were given a moment of peace; never a moment to relax, to have a feeling of security… At Dallas Texas, I moved in the best social circle, took the census, was under Sherriff Jere Brown. All the leading man knew me well and no man can truthfully say aught against me…”

Poems and Drawings of Jim’s to Cora

A Poem and drawing. “…if a vision should prove true, it lays all science in the shade and all things else begun anew.”

A Poem. “When fortune smiles, and life is prosperous and fair…The true friend, though all your earthly prospects are cut off, he will not desert you but if possible administer to your relief.” Monthly Repository by the old Fool, Jim Younger”.

A Poem and drawings. “While sitting in my little cell I hear and see friends passing bye….I’m liberated and not a slave, a fact which thousands now believe.”

A Poem and drawings, written in prison. “I read and write and sometimes mark, and quickly pass the time away…No matter if we are in chains bound, If you don’t believe you look at me.”

A Poem and drawings. “If I should throw off all disguise, and tell one half I know…It matters not what I may do or when it is time to go…”

A Poem. “There is a land of pure delight I sang in days gone by…I will see you bye and bye, and stake me off a good homestead or I’ll know the reason why.”

Drawing by Jim, likely of the family farm.

Letters to Cora from others:

12/20/1898, William Pinkerton, who did not like the Youngers. “In view of the numerous infamous crimes that these men have committed, certainly no one connected with my family could ever ask for their pardon.” He calls her book “a romance”, her object apparently being “to cover up the misdeeds of a gang of out-laws, every one of whom, if they had their just deserts, would have been hanged years ago. Concerning the people who shot Deputy Sheriff Daniels, a worthy, upright officer, and afterwards Capt. Lull…the one who shot Daniels was John Younger and the one who fired the fatal shot into Capt. Lull was Jim Younger…There is no false sympathy in either myself or my brother for the men who are now in prison…So far as the book is concerned the true facts of the case are so far distorted that anybody who has any knowledge of them would not recognize what it was about.”

Purchase Now $360,000

Frame, Display, Preserve

Each frame is custom constructed, using only proper museum archival materials. This includes:The finest frames, tailored to match the document you have chosen. These can period style, antiqued, gilded, wood, etc. Fabric mats, including silk and satin, as well as museum mat board with hand painted bevels. Attachment of the document to the matting to ensure its protection. This "hinging" is done according to archival standards. Protective "glass," or Tru Vue Optium Acrylic glazing, which is shatter resistant, 99% UV protective, and anti-reflective. You benefit from our decades of experience in designing and creating beautiful, compelling, and protective framed historical documents.

Learn more about our Framing Services