Missouri Digital Heritage :: Divided Loyalties Opening Exhibit :: Divided Loyalties Audio Tour :: Panel 31 - Vigilante Violence - (Frank and Jesse James, Robbery... and Murder)


Divided Loyalties Audio Tour
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[ Audio Transcript ]

Panel 31 - Vigilante Violence

- Frank and Jesse James, Robbery... and Murder -

Notorious outlaws Frank and Jesse James began their careers as Confederate guerillas in Missouri. The documents on this panel detail some of their criminal history.

  • One of the first court cases against the brothers was a civil case filed in Daviess County in 1870. Daniel Smoote alleged that the brothers stole a horse, bridle, and saddle as they fled the robbery of the Davies County Savings Association on December 7, 1869. Frank and Jesse failed to appear in court, so Smoote won the case. There is no evidence that Smoote ever received compensation from the brothers.
  • The pages represented on this panel are from the February 1882 indictment of Frank James for the murder of conductor William Westfall during a train robbery at Winston. Frank was acquitted.



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