(Alan Pinkerton, head of the Pinkerton Detective Agency and the nemesis of the James Boys.)
Here’s my 6th installment of this series of posts:
November 1873: The heroic “legend” of Jesse James gets a boost when his biggest media fan, John Edwards (now with the St. Louis Dispatch) writes a 20-page editorial claiming that Jesse is nothing less than a Confederate Civil War hero who is being unjustly persecuted by “ tyrannical Northern interests.”
January 31, 1874: Jesse, Frank, and the boys rob another train, this time near Gads Hill, Missouri. Some of this loot may have been stashed in caches near Gads Hill and elsewhere in Missouri.
March 1874: Certain railroad “interests” are in no mood to have their trains robbed. The Pinkerton Detective Agency is once again hired to put a stop to the James Boys and their criminal activities. Joseph Whicher, a Pinkerton detective, is sent to Clay County, Missouri to hunt Frank and Jesse down. Whicher, not realizing he is taking on more than he can chew or digest, heads out to the James family homestead to take care of business.
Somewhere along the line Whicher is shot dead, his bullet riddled body found not on the James property, but at another location. This raises the ire of other Pinkerton detectives who eventually end up in a gun battle with the Younger brothers (Frank and Jesse are not involved..). In this shootout John Younger is killed as well as another Pinkerton and a “local” who had an axe to grind with the James and Younger boys.
The big boss of the detective agency, Alan Pinkerton, vows to hunt down the James Boys and their associates like the “miserable curs they are.” Meanwhile, the activities of Jesse, Frank, and the Younger boys is causing heated political debate between Democrats and Republicans in the Missouri Statehouse.
April 24, 1874: Jesse “ties the knot” with his first cousin, Zerelda or “Zee” Mimms, who was named after Jesse and Frank’s beloved mother.
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December 1874: The James gang carries away well over $30,000 when they rob a train near Muncie, Kansas. This is a huge haul for the times and at today’s equivalent would make this score well over half a million dollars or more.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: “Jesse James Research Timeline (Part 5)”
© Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2011
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