ORIGINAL 1876 JESSE JAMES-YOUNGER GANG MEMBER CHARLIE PITTS CDV PHOTO
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ORIGINAL 1876 JESSE JAMES-YOUNGER GANG MEMBER CHARLIE PITTS CDV PHOTO Picture(s) and Description:
VERY rare and historically important, original, 1876, Post Mortem CDV Photograph of Charlie Pitts - a member of the infamous James-Younger Gang killed during the legendary attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota - the botched robbery that spelled the end of the James-Younger Gang. This fantastic, period, albumen Photograph measures approx. 2 1/4” by 3 1/2” and is mounted on its original CDV Card Mount (card measures approx 2 1/2" by 4"). The CDV is blank backed but has hand printed, pencil text on the back of the card mount that reads “ Charlie Pitts - veteran of Quantrill’s Guerilla force (1863) / Rode with Jesse & Frank James & the Younger Brothers (Cole, Bob & Jim) robbing the Northfield, Minnesota First National Bank Sept 7, 1876”. The Image depicts the dead body of Charlie Pitts which was put on display by the citizens of Northfield along with the bodies of Clell Miller and Bill Chadwell who had also been members of the James-Younger Gang and were also killed during the botched Northfield Bank Robbery. On September 7 , 1876 , the James-Younger Gang (Frank and Jesse James, Cole, Bob and Jim Younger; Charley Pitts, Clell Miller, and Bill Chadwell) attempted their most daring raid to date, on the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota . The gang divided into two groups. Three men (Jesse James, Bob Younger, and Charley Pitts) entered the bank, and two (Cole Younger and Clell Miller ) guarded the door outside, and other three members of the gang (Frank James, Jim Younger and Bill Chadwell) stayed in their saddles and remained near a bridge across an adjacent square. The robbers inside the bank were thwarted when acting cashier Joseph Lee Heywood refused to open the safe, falsely claiming that it was secured by a time lock even as they held a bowie knife to his throat and cracked his skull with a pistol butt. Meanwhile, the citizens of Northfield grew suspicious of the men guarding the door and raised the alarm. The five bandits outside fired in the air to clear the streets, which merely drove the townspeople to take cover and fire back from protected positions. Two of the outlaws (Clell Miller & Bill Chadwell) were shot dead and the rest were wounded in the barrage. Inside, the flummoxed outlaws turned to flee. As they left, one shot the unarmed Heywood in the head. The identity of the shooter has been the subject of extensive speculation and debate, but remains uncertain. Charlie Pitts escaped the Town of Northfield but was killed within hours when he and the Younger Brothers were tracked down in a nearby swamp. The Youngers were captured, Pitts was killed and the James Brothers (who had split from the others) escaped across the border to Missouri. Below you will find a more detailed description of the legendary Northfield First National Bank robbery and the events which led up to this portrait of a dead outlaw that is truly an iconic Historical Americana Photograph that is a unique piece of Western Americana folklore. This exceptionally rare and highly sought after, CDV Photograph of the body of Charlie Pitts is in very good condition. The Image exhibits sharp focus and good contrast and tonality although it is slightly faded. There is some light and scattered foxing to the Image and the card mount but otherwise both are clean and well preserved. A very rare and important, 1876 Post Mortem CDV Photograph of Charlie Pitts - a member of the infamous James-Young Gang of outlaws and a fantastic addition to any collection!! Be sure to check out this seller’s other auctions for a two other original CDV Photographs related to the James-Younger Gang and the ill fated robbery of the Northfield, Minnesota First National Bank which are also being offered for sale this week on eBay!! A Bit More About the Northfield Bank Robbery and the End of the James-Younger Gang: On July 7, 1876, Frank and Jesse James, Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger, Charlie Pitts, Bill Chadwell, and Hobbs Kerry robbed the Missouri Pacific Railroad at the "Rocky Cut" near Otterville, Missouri. Kerry, a raw recruit, was arrested soon after and he readily identified his accomplices. The Rocky Cut raid set the stage for the final act in the history of the James-Younger Gang: the famous Northfield, Minnesota raid on September 7, 1876. The target was the First National Bank of Northfield, located far outside of the gang's usual territory, which previously had included only the South and the Border States. The bank itself was not unusually rich. According to public reports, required of all national banks, it was a perfectly ordinary rural bank, though rumors persisted that General Adelbert Ames, son of the owner of the Ames Mill in Northfield and recently deposed Reconstruction governor of Mississippi, had deposited $50,000 in the Northfield bank. Shortly after the robbery, Bob Younger declared that they had selected it because of its connection to two Union generals and Radical Republican politicians: Benjamin Butler and Adelbert Amesthe son-in-law of the hated Butler. General Ames had just stepped down as governor of Mississippi, where he had been strongly identified with civil rights and voring rights for freedmen, and had recently moved to Northfield, where his father owned the mill on the Cannon River and a large amount of stock in the bank. One of the outlaws "had a spite" against Ames, Bob said. Cole Younger said much the same thing years later and recalled greeting "General Ames" on the street in Northfield just before the robbery. Cole, Jim and Bob Younger, Frank and Jesse James, along with Charlie Pitts, Clell Miller, and Bill Chadwell took the train to St. Paul and Minneapolis in early September 1876. After a layover in St. Paul, they divided into two groups, one going to Mankato, the other to Red Wing, on either side of Northfield. They purchased expensive horses and scouted the terrain around the towns, agreeing to meet south of Northfield along the Cannon River near Dundas on the morning of September 7, 1876. The gang attempted to rob the bank in Northfield about 2 p.m. on September 7, 1876. Northfield residents had seen the gang members leave a local restaurant near the mill shortly after noon, and they testified in Faribault at the Younger brothers' trial that they smelled alcohol and that gang members were obviously under the influence when they greeted General Ames near the mill. Leaving the restaurant three of the outlaws crossed the bridge by the Ames Mill and entered the bank; the other five stood guard outside, two or three riding up and down Division Street shooting their guns to frighten people off the street. Local citizens soon realized a robbery was in progress and several took up arms from local hardware stores. Shooting from behind cover, they poured a deadly fire on the terrorist outlaws, killing Clell Miller and Bill Chadwell, and wounding the Younger brothers (Bob suffered a shattered elbow. Jim was shot in the jaw). Nicholas Gustafson, a recent Swedish immigrant, was killed by Cole Younger at the corner of Fifth Street and Division. Inside the bank, the assistant cashier Joseph Lee Heywood refused to open the safe and was murdered for resisting. The infamous bank robbery failed because of brave local citizens and because the gang members had been drinking. The surviving outlaws rode out of town on the Dundas Road toward Millersburg where four of them had spent the night before. After several days of dodging the pursuing Minnesotans, who had joined posses and picket lines by the hundreds, the gang had only reached the western outskirts of Mankato. They decided to split up. (Despite persistent stories to the contrary, Cole Younger told interviewers that they all agreed to the decision). The Youngers and Pitts remained on foot, moving west, until finally they were cornered in a swamp called Hanska Slough, just south of west of Madelia, Minnesota. In the gunfight that followed, Pitts was killed and the Youngers wounded further. The Youngers surrendered, and pleaded guilty to murder in order to avoid execution. Frank James and his accomplice secured horses and fled west across southern Minnesota, turning south just inside the border of the Dakota Territory. In the teeth of hundreds of pursuers and a nationwide alarm, Frank and his accomplice escaped, the infamous James-Younger Gang was no more. Overseasshippping is extra and cost will be quoted at bidders request. Massachusetts residents must add 6.25% sales tax. Please check out other early and interesting items offered by this seller on ebay. Click Here to See Our Items We Have for Sale in the eBay Gallery and Click Here to Add Us To Your Favorite Sellers List. Click Here to Discover More About this Item and Many Others on Our New Informational / Non-Commercial / Reference Blog - Walnutts.com. 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