jrbakerjr  Genealogy   
The Youngers' Fight For Freedom
By Warren C. Bronaugh
Complete Book - Transcribed
Page One of Four
Chapters 1 - 10 On This Page
















Columbia, Misssouri




THE war between the states, as all wars, left scars everywhere. These scars were deepest on the border where the conflict was sharpest and the demoralization following the battle strife most complete. From this borderland in western Missouri, went into outlawry a group of men whose exploits have become part

of the criminal history of the west. In mitigation of judgment, not in extenuation of their evil deeds, the times in which their early lives were cast must be  remembered. Chief among this group were Coleman, James, and Robert Younger. This volume relates the story of these outlaws, not to gloss their crimes or to excuse their sins but to show that the way of the transgressor is ever a hard way. The volume does more. It tells how a gallant Missourian, true to sacred ties of friendship, gave time and thought and means, long and cheerfully, to securing the release of the Youngers from prison. The volume is worth reading as a contribution by high authority to the history of times much misunderstood and much misrepresented. It is worth reading for the striking moral lesson it conveys. It is worth reading because it records what a friend may do-and should, if need be-for a friend. If the volume aids in setting history right, if by its teaching it turns from paths of evil to the highway that is safe, if it leads to truer, more unselfish friendship, it will serve its purpose well. For this purpose it carries its own commendation.


Columbia, Missouri, Friday, July 13, 1906.











































IN presenting this volume to the public I am not unmindful of the fact that it has been preceded by many cheap books and pamphlets dealing with the sensational side of the careers of the Younger brothers.

They have been prepared mostly by irresponsible persons, who have drawn heavily upon their fevered imaginations and made either heroes or demons out of these unfortunate men.

Cole Younger, in one of his letters to me, while he was yet serving sentence at Stillwater, said that at no time had he ever given anyone authority to write a book concerning the adventures of himself or his brothers.

This volume has been written and compiled along wholly different lines from the startling fiction evolved from the flighty brain of dime novel authors. While an attempt has been made to enliven its pages at proper intervals with entertaining incidents and episodes, my principal aim has been to give a history of my

twenty years' work toward the liberation of the Youngers. I believe I am justified in the assertion - though it may violate good taste and modesty - that there is no other instance in American history where a similar effort has been made. That is one excuse for my putting forth this book.

Humanly speaking, twenty years is a long time. Taken out of the ordinary life, there is but scant space left. Into this period was crowded such continuous toil, repeated disappointment, and wearying suspense as would attach to few other undertakings. At first it seemed an absolutely forlorn enterprise. Some of my best friends ridiculed the idea of any Missourian, and especially an ex-Confederate soldier, succeeding in the liberation of Coleman; James, and Robert Younger. Had they not escaped capital punishment by a mere, technicality of the law, "and had not the very lightest sentence possible been imposed upon them? Therefore, it seemed like a bold assurance that one of their own former fellow-citizens should arrogate to himself the duty of interfering with the righteous mandate of a Minnesota judge and jury.

The purpose of this volume is neither to vindicate nor condemn the Youngers. Two of them are beyond the influence of praise or censure. The strange and thrilling story of their lives has passed into history, but what I wish to emphasize is the fact that the liberation of the Youngers was due primarily to the sympathetic generosity of the people of Minnesota.

This generosity possibly has no parallel in the history of any other community, .and I desire here and now to acknowledge my profound recognition of this fact.

It would give me exceeding pleasure to print on these pages the name of every man and women who aided me in my efforts to obtain the release of the Youngers. Many of these persons displayed lofty courage in the firm and noble stand they took, simply that mercy might be shown and justice done. They had nothing material to gain, whatever the issue, but rather much to lose. They had to .face frowning friends and endure severe criticism.

Men in public life who hoped for still further honors were willing to sacrifice these simply for the sake of three guilty, but unfortunate, men at Stillwater. All were noble and true and not a few of them have passed to their ultimate reward in a better land.

I wish also to record my gratitude to those friends outside of Minnesota who so cheerfully upheld me in my mission of mercy. They responded nobly to my requests for words of recommendation to the powers in the far north, and many of them afforded financial aid for legitimate purposes.

It would he difficult for anyone not seeing it to appreciate the great mass of correspondence involved in this undertaking and covering a period of nearly twenty years. This correspondence has served me not only in the preparation of this book, but it vindicates my claim to being the originator and chief agitator of the pardon. Certain other persons have already arrogated to themselves all the credit for the movement leading to the release of the Youngers, but there is enough correspondence, shown in this book alone, to place the credit where it properly belongs.


Clinton, Missouri, July 10, 1906.



A Preliminary Sketch.

HAD there been no Civil War in this country from 1861 to 1865, there would likely have been no story, good or bad, to write of Coleman, James, and Robert Younger, or of Jesse w. James and Frank James. There would have been no raid and murder at Northfield, Minnesota; there would have been no assassination in a certain little frame building in St. Joseph, Missouri; three brothers, of a good family in this state, would not have been confined in the historic prison at Stillwater - one of them to die within the dank shadows of its walls - the other two to spend a quarter of a century there, shut closely in from fair skies and green fields until the fine flower of their fresh young manhood had withered and faded away and they had become prematurely old men - only one of them to return alive to the scenes of his youth and the homes and haunts of his kindred.

Volumes have been written by a hundred different authors on the border troubles between Kansas and Missouri, that preceded the opening of the great drama, that covered a continent and engaged the attention of the whole civilized world for four of the bloodiest years in modern history. It was a fit curtain raiser for a stupendous tragedy that made a crimson gulf between states, counties, communities, kindred and neighbors.

The struggle began in the Territory of Kansas in the middle '50's, primarily and practically over the vexed question of slavery. Should Kansas be admitted with or without this institution was debated in Congress, on the stump and in the pulpit by the oratorical and forensic giants of the land. It involved the neighboring state of Missouri, between which and the new territory flowed only a narrow and insignificant stream.

The East, and especially New England, sent thousands of colonists into this new western land of promise to establish a free state. Among these colonists were many daring spirits and notorious adventurers, who were determined to plant there the anti-slavery practices and principles that were the forerunners of the great Civil War. Pre-eminent for audacity and as abolitionists were John Brown and Jim Lane-one of whom was to die on the scaffold in Virginia, and the other to fill the dishonored grave of a suicide.

Missouri was a slave state and also had her share of reckless and domineering leaders, who saw with alarm and frowning faces the antislavery invasion of a neighboring territory. Feuds and reprisals arose between the two sections.

The little Kansas river, hardly wide enough or deep enough to float a barge, was crossed and recrossed by the opposing parties, armed to the teeth. John Brown came over into Missouri and ran off slaves from their owners, also committing other depredations.

Dare-devil Missourians went over into Kansas, meddled with the local elections, and did other wrongs. Murders were numerous. Border warfare - savage and stern and relentless - reigned night and day. Cass, St. Clair, Jackson and Bates counties, in Missouri, were sufferers at the hands of the hated old John Brown and the despised Gen. Jim Lane. The latter, in command of a force of Jayhawkers and Redlegs, in the fall of 1861, made a sudden descent on Osceola, the beautiful and quiet little county-seat of St. Clair county, looted stores, insulted citizens, and burned the town to the ground. In the summer of 1863, in retaliation for this outrage, the bloodthirsty Quantrell, with a large band of Confederate rough-riders, perpetrated the massacre at Lawrence, Kansas.

In Cass and Jackson counties the parents and other kindred of the Younger boys resided. The whole atmosphere was surcharged with anger and hatred and blood, and in this atmosphere the Youngers were growing up, their youth keenly susceptible to the prevailing influences of the time.

The Civil War came on, and found H. W. Younger, a resident of Cass county, Missouri, a pronounced southern man and slaveholder, although he opposed secession and still stood firmly for the Union. He had a United States government mail contract and was in Washington City, looking after his interests in that particular, when Kansas Redlegs made a raid on his livery-stable and stage line at Harrisonville, looting and destroying much of his property.

Not long after this Mr. Younger, while returning home, on horseback, from a business trip to Kansas City, was waylaid, murdered, and robbed. A Federal captain named Walley and his men were charged with the bloody crime. A young woman cousin of the Younger boys, while held by the Federals as a prisoner in a dilapidated building in Kansas City, was killed by the house falling in, it being alleged that the walls had been secretly undermined by the Federals for the purpose of causing the death of the inmates.

Added to the above outrages, the mother of the Younger boys was cruelly treated by the local militia, finally being driven from her home. All these things made Cole Younger, the oldest one of the afterwards noted brothers, desperate, and it was but natural that he should seek service in the army. ·He joined Quantrell's band. However, it will be plainly shown in the course of this narrative that Cole Younger always fought in open warfare, though at times he may have been compelled to ride under the black flag.

At the close of the war Coleman and James Younger - the latter of whom had been in the Confederate army but a year or so - were outlawed and denied the privilege of living at home. A price was set upon their heads and they became wanderers, desperadoes, and finally train and bank robbers, though many crimes were placed to their credit of which there is abundant proof they were never guilty.

At the session of the Missouri legislature in 1875, a bill was introduced in the house by the late Gen. Jeff Jones, of Callaway county, offering amnesty to the Younger and James Brothers, designating them by name, from all their acts during the war and pledging them an impartial trial on any charges against them arising since the close of the rebellion.

The bill- was approved by Attorney-General John A. Hockaday, was favorably reported by a majority of the committee on criminal jurisprudence, but an unhappy incident occurred while the measure was pending with fair prospects of success, and it was defeated by a single vote.

The bill in the main, read as follows: "Whereas, by the fourth section of the eleventh article of the Constitution of Missouri, all persons in the military service of the United States, or who acted under the authority thereof in this state, are relieved from all civil liability and all criminal punishment for all acts done by them since the first day of January, A D. 1861; and, "Whereas, by the twelfth section of said eleventh article of said Constitution, provision is made by which, under certain circumstances, may be seized, transported to, indicted, tried

and punished in distant counties, any Confederate under ban of despotic displeasure, thereby contravening the Constitution of the United States, and every principle of enlightened humanity; and, "Whereas, such discrimination evinces a want of manly generosity and statesmanship on the part of the party imposing, and of courage and manhood on the part of the party submitting tamely thereto; and, "Whereas, under the outlawry pronounced against Jesse W. James, Frank James, Coleman Younger, James Younger and others, who gallantly periled their lives and their all in defense of their principles, they are of necessity made desperate, driven as they are from the fields of honest industry, from their friends, their families, their homes and their country, they can know no law but the law of self-preservation, nor can have no respect for and feel no allegiance to a government which forces them to the very act it professes to deprecate, and then offers a bounty for their apprehension, and arms foreign mercenaries with power to capture and kill them; and, "Whereas, believing these men too brave to be mean, too generous to be revengeful, and too gallant and honorable to betray a friend or break a promise; and believing further that most, if not all, of the offenses with which they are charged, have been committed by others, and perhaps by those pretending to hunt them, or by their confederates; that their names are and have been used to divert suspicion from and thereby relieve the actual perpetrators; that the return of these men to their homes and friends would have the effect of greatly lessening crime in our state by turning public attention to the real criminals, and that common justice, sound policy and true statesmanship alike demand that amnesty should be extended to all alike, of both parties, for all acts done or charged to have been done during the war; therefore, be it "Resolved, by the House of Representatives, the senate concurring therein, that the Governor of the state be, and he is hereby requested to issue a proclamation notifying the said Jesse W. James, Frank James, Coleman Younger, James Younger, and others that full and complete amnesty and pardon will be granted them for all acts charged or committed by them during the late Civil War, and inviting them peacefully to return to their respective homes in this state, and there quietly to remain, submitting themselves to such proceedings as may be instituted against them by the courts for all offenses charged to have been committed since said war, promising and guaranteeing to them full protection and a fair trial therein, and that full protection shall be given them from the time of their entrance into the state and his notice thereof under said proclamation and invitation."

The fatal and final feat of the three Younger brothers - Bob in the meantime having become a member of the gang - was the memorable and murderous raid on the bank at Northfield, Minnesota, the following year.

Never was a more foolhardy or disastrous expedition undertaken by any body of men. The party for this trip was organized in 1876, and was composed of Coleman, James, and Robert Younger, Clell Miller, Bill Chadwell, Charlie Pitts, and two others known as Woods and Howard.

Reaching Minnesota, the gang spent several days in Minneapolis and St. Paul prior to their descent on Northfield, which took place on the morning of September 7, 1876, after the town and surrounding neighborhood had been thoroughly reconnoitered.

The death of Cashier Haywood, in the bank, the battle with the citizens in the streets, in which several of the invaders were either killed or wounded, the flight, pursuit, and capture are an old story that call but for a brief rehearsal here.

Gov. John S. Pillsbury offered a reward of one thousand dollars for the capture of the six men who had escaped, and this he afterwards changed to one thousand dollars for each of them, dead or alive. The Northfield bank offered seven hundred dollars and the Winona & St. Peter Railway Company offered five hundred dollars.

The whole country was aroused and the chase was immediately taken up. After two weeks had passed the fugitives were brought to bay, September 21, eight miles southwest of Madelia, Minnesota. Woods and Howard escaped, Pitts was killed, and the three Youngers, shot and mangled and utterly undone, surrendered themselves.



A Confederate Picket.

IN the beautiful and quaint little town of Buffalo, situated on the banks of the romantic Kanawha river, in what is now West Virginia, I first beheld the light of day.

My parents were native Virginians and of good old Revolutionary stock. My father, Christopher Columbus Bronaugh was a native of Stafford county, and my mother, whose maiden name was Anne E. Waters, was born near Warrenton. Both localities are among- the most historic and interesting in the South and there. during the four years of fratricidal strife, were heard the tread of hostile armies and the roar of battle. After some years spent in merchandizing at Buffalo, whither he had gone from Stafford county, my father and family removed to Henry county, Missouri, in the early '40's and settled on a farm some eight miles northeast of Clinton. The frame dwelling which he erected there was at that time the most pretentious building in all this part of the country and was known to neighbors and travelers, passing to and fro, as the "big white house." The view from it at that early day swept over many miles in all directions, but there was little else to be seen save the tall prairie grass and great stretches of timber along the water-courses. Habitations were few and far between. This old house, still in good state of preservation, sheltered many a weary pilgrim and under its roof was often dispensed to friends the old Virginia hospitality in which both my father and mother were skilled. The soil. was virgin then, the woodlands were dense and dark, and the prairie grass reached to a man's shoulders, wild game was plentiful and the silvery streams abounded in fish. Here my father was engaged in  agriculture and stock-raising, when the black cloud of the coming conflict between the states loomed ominously upon the horizon. Naturally enough, being of old Virginia birth and lineage, he and his three brothers-Thomas Jefferson, Addison, and William Y. Bronaugh, who had preceded him to Missouri - and their

sons were ardent in their southern sympathy, and the fact that there were twenty-one Bronaughs, from various states, in the Confederate army, eight of whom enlisted in Henry county, is sufficient evidence of their devotion to a cause which they loved and believed to be right.

In August, 1861, I enrolled myself as a member of Company C, which was a part of the regiment commanded by Col. Thomas Owens, of Clinton, Missouri. Our brigade commander was Gen. James S. Rains. I served with this command until after the battle of Pea Ridge, Ark., in 1862, when we were ordered east of the Mississippi river. After campaigning for some time around Corinth, we were assigned to the Trans-Mississippi department.

My first meeting with Col. Vard Cockrell, a brother of United States Senator F. M. Cockrell, took place about this time near Van Buren, Arkansas, where he organized a force of eight hundred men and on August 1, 1862, started for Missouri on what was known as the Lone Jack expedition. Thursday night, August 14, we encamped near Dayton, Cass county, Missouri, and on the following day passed through Lone Jack, in Jackson county, and encamped seven miles west of that little village. That night our command moved back

toward Lone Jack, where a large force of Federals under Major Emory S. Foster had arrived and encamped in the town.

The details of this sanguinary engagement, one of the bloodiest of the war, considering the number of combatants engaged - are too familiar to readers of history for reiteration here. The fight opened at daylight and the desperate struggle continued until nearly noon, without a moment's cessation. The hollows

and hills and hedges were strewn with the dead and wounded of either side, Federals and Confederates each losing at least half their numbers.

At nightfall Saturday, August 16, after the battle, Colonel Cockrell moved his shattered but victorious little command back to a camping-ground west of Lone Jack. Early the following morning a comrade and I, beginning to feel the pangs of hunger, determined to ride out a few miles and get breakfast. On returning, having been absent three or four hours, we found the camp deserted and learned that Colonel Cockrell had removed his forces toward Lone Jack again on a forced march, having been gone about two hours. We immediately set out in a swift gallop to overtake them. Arriving within a mile of the battlefield of the previous day, we suddenly came upon a group of Confederate pickets, at the left of the road wve were traveling. One of these pickets hailed us and we halted. He inquired if we belonged to Cockrell's command, and being answered in the affirmative, he said: "Colonel Cockrell is on the east side of the town, on the Chapel Hill road, in full retreat, and General Blunt is in Lone Jack with 1500 Jayhawkers and Redlegs from Kansas."

This information was both surprising and alarming to us. We tarried and talked there nearly an hour with this picket. He was an exceedingly handsome young fellow, stalwart, alert, and intelligent and every inch a soldier. He wore a black slouch hat, dove-colored trousers and a colored shirt. Around his waist, suspended from a glossy black belt, was a brace of fine revolvers. He had tied his horse a little way off, and was afoot while conversing with us.

This youthful Confederate picket, by his splendid military hearing, made a peculiar and powerful impression on me, and also won the gratitude of both my comrade and myself, for. undoubtedly, had he not given us timely warning, we should have ridden into Blunt's troops and been captured or killed. Little did I suspect, at that time, the identity of the young soldier whom we had unexpectedly encountered by the roadside, and much less did I dream of the events, personal to ourselves, that awaited us in future years, in a distant state, long after the clouds of war had cleared away.

But from the hour I met him, I had never forgotten his face. It was indelibly stamped on my memory and fairly haunted me for weeks and months thereafter.

This alert and entertaining young picket was no other than the now famous Cole Young-er, whose name for daring and endurance is known in every state and territory of this union. Then but a beardless boy, he had played a prominent part in the sanguinary battle of the day before and had performed prodigious valor and heroism.

The late Major Emory S. Foster, U. S. A., in recounting incidents that took place on the bloody field of Lone Jack, said that "during the progress of the fight my attention was called to a young Confederate riding up and down in front of their lines distributing ammunition to the men. He rode along under the most galling fire. He went the entire length. of their long line and when he reached the end at last our boys recognized his gallantry in ringing cheers.

"My brother and I were severely wounded in the fight and we were taken prisoners. After we were put in a cabin a Confederate guerilla came in and threatened to shoot us both. As he stood over us, pistol in hand, the young man we had seen distributing ammunition to the Confederate line rushed in, seized the guerilla and shoved him out of the room. Other men entered and addressed the newcomer as Cole Younger. My brother had $300; I had $700. This money and our revolvers Cole took from us at our request and delivered safely to my mother at Warrensburg, Missouri."

In one of his letters to me, during his imprisonment at Stillwater, Cole Younger made reference to the battle of Lone Jack as follows: "In the last Weekly Republic I saw an account of the battle by Major Foster, who commanded the Federal forces. It is very good, though there are some mistakes. He overrates the number of Confederates, but his account of the fighting is correct. However, he mentions parties on the Confederate side that were not in the fight at all.

"Without knowing it he gives me a compliment. Speaking of our side getting out of ammunition, he says that one of the Confederates rode along the whole line within thirty yards of his command, distributing ammunition to the Rebels, while the Federals were all shooting at him, and he got off unhurt.

"Major Foster says 'he (meaning me) was a good man, but I don't suppose he knew who he was calling a good man.

"The Yankees gave me a rousing cheer, but I thought they were doing it because they supposed they had killed me as I jumped my horse over a fence.

"When I got around behind a log house, I told them to halloo and be did, they hadn't killed anybody.

"I was the only person on the battlefield on horseback during the fight, except Cockrell, and he stopped under a hill and hitched his horse.

"I ran the gauntlet twice, when Col. Upton Hays told me positively that if I attempted it again he would shoot my horse himself. He then sent me to look for Coffee's command and take them around to the rear of the Federals. When they saw us flanking them they broke ranks and started on the retreat. Coffee and his men were dismounted.

"That man you saw in Howard county, with no arms, and myself were on horseback piloting Coffee and his men and when the Federals started to run we took after them."

Bidding our newly made friend farewell, my companion and I rode westward to Blue Springs and joined Col. Upton Hays' command.

I remained in active service thereafter and participated in the battles of Prairie

Grove, Helena, Pleasant Hill, Jenkins' Ferry, and many minor engagements in the TransMississippi department, finally surrendering in June, 18£5, at Shreveport, Louisiana. Returning to my home in Henry county, which I had left in 1861, I engaged in farming and stock-raising.



A Wedding Trip Northward.

EVER since the Centennial year, 1876, when the three Younger brothers, shattered by bullets .after the Northfield tragedy, had been landed in the Stillwater penitentiary under life sentences, my sympathy for them had been deep and keen. Being anxious to see them, if possible, and to give them what aid I could, I proposed to my bride that we should make a wedding trip to Minnesota, meaning to add to our matrimonial felicity a mission of mercy to these unfortunate men.

Upon our arrival at St. Paul we registered at the Merchants' Hotel and after a brief stay there I went to Stillwater, twenty-five miles distant. Before leaving the hotel, I stated to Capt. Allen, proprietor, my desire and intention to call on the Youngers, if such arrangement could be made, and requested him to give me a letter of introduction to the warden. Capt. Allen hesitated. He remarked that Missourians were regarded with much suspicion in Minnesota. Though the Youngers had already served eight years in prison, the memory of their crime had not in the least faded from the minds of the people of Minnesota and the citizens of that state not unnaturally still cherished resentment toward Missourians, especially those who dared to come so far north and openly express or manifest any feeling of friendship.

After some further persuasion, however, Capt. Allen wrote out and handed me a courteous note of introduction.

Reaching Stillwater, I immediately went to Warden A. J. Reed's office. This gentleman was sitting at his desk when I entered and presented the little document which would likely lead the way to my seeing the boys behind the bars. Mr. Reed, with whom I was rather favorably impressed at first glance, took the note, opened it and read and reread it, showing considerable surprise and unusual interest.

When he had finished his perusal, so intently and scrupulously made, he looked up at me and remarked:

"My friend, Capt. Allen, states in this note to me that you are from Missouri."

The peculiar tone of his voice and the penetrating glance of his eyes were not at all reassuring and I instantly felt a blush of additional embarrassment mount to my cheeks. I was not ashamed of grand old Missouri. Far from it. Neither did I apprehend personal insult or bodily harm of any kind. But there I stood, a bashful bridegroom, fresh from the matrimonial altar, very far away from home and friends.

However, I put on a brave, though not arrogant front, and replied: "Yes, I am from Missouri and am proud of it."

"Well," said the warden, rather stiffly and with sharp emphasis, "we look on all Missourians here with a good deal of suspicion."

To deny that this remark somewhat nettled me would not exactly be confining myself to the truth. It included not only myself, but also a certain little woman who was awaiting my return to St. Paul.

But I kept my composure and concealed my feelings as best I could. I well knew it would be indiscreet to show any signs of irritability or resentment, as that might block right at the threshold my cherished object. I was painfully aware that I was in the enemy's country and must use all the cool judgment and nice diplomacy at my command.

After making a polite but firm defense of Missourians in general, and setting forth their feelings in reference to the wrong the Youngers had inflicted on the good people of Minnesota, to which Mr. Reed gave respectful attention, he reluctantly called in Deputy-Warden Hall, saying:

"This gentleman," pointing to me, "wants to see the Youngers and says he is from Missouri. You have him bare his arm to the elbow and you closely listen to all he says when in the presence of the prisoners."

With these instructions we entered the corridor of the grim prison. The heavy keys, huge locks, massive bars and the forbidding stone walls and iron ceilings looked as though they were built to withstand the crack of doom itself. It would be hard to describe my feelings as I passed along the corridor, my shirt sleeve rolled up up my elbow."

Across the door of each dark cell was painted the name of the occupant. We first came to the cell occupied by Jim Younger. He stood peering out from the cold bars, through which he thrust his hand to give me greeting.

From the loss of his upper jaw, caused by a heavy musket ball crashing through it in the final fight where he and his two brothers were captured, his speech was greatly impaired and it was not only with difficulty that he spoke, but it was often hard to understand what he said.

Leaving this cell and passing a few others, we came to Cole Younger, his name prominently painted, as the others were, on the door.

Mr. Hall spoke to Cole and he stepped to the door. The deputy warden said to him: "Here's a man from Missouri who wishes to see you."

With my right arm still bared, I introduced myself to the noted prisoner and we shook hands through the bars. At my very first glance at him I recognized him as the same person who, under such strange circumstances had hailed me on a public road near Lone Jack, Missouri, on that hot Sunday morning in 1862, and kindly kept me from riding into the rank5 of the Kansas Redlegs. The Confederate picket, then but a youth, and the man who now stood behind the bars, with his face furrowed with care and his body full of wounds, were one and the same-the redoubtable Cole Younger. I do not know what feelings he experienced at that singular moment. Cole Younger was always impassive and given to little outward demonstration, but for myself memory, retrospection and emotion instantly asserted themselves.

I thought of a thousand events that had been crowded into the career of this man between that bloody summer of '62, when we had first met, wearing the same uniform and fighting under the same flag, but unknown to each other; and the present hour, twenty-two years later, I enjoyed the priceless freedom of an American citizen, while he, wearing the garb of a convict, was shut in, nevermore. as far as then could humanly be seen, to enjoy a moment's liberty. The sympathy I had hitherto had for these boys was then and there quickened and deepened. I determined on the spot henceforth to devote my service and efforts to secure their pardon and release.

In the course of our conversation Cole Younger asked if I would be his friend and assist him and his brothers in obtaining a pardon. Having already made up my mind to do this, I there personally made the promise to Cole. I accompanied this pledge with a bit of advice: First, that the boys should live; and second, that they should obey to the very letter the prison rules at all times and under all circumstances. Said I: "If these walls some day should tumble about your heads and the officials and guards therein should perish, you must remain in the ruins and wait for orders."

Just then the prison whistle blew for the noon hour and turning, I saw a man approach the door of Jim Younger's cell and hand to him a little galvanized iron bucket containing liquid food. From the day Jim was shot in the jaw at the time he was captured, no solid food had ever passed his lips.

Upon inquiry I learned that Bob Younger was employed in the workshop of the penitentiary and thither Deputy Warden Hall accompanied me. I was instantly struck with the fine bearing of the beardless boy. He had a noble face and his whole demeanor and appearance denoted the tenderness of youth. His memory and intelligence would have impressed any person, though meeting him but for a few moments. Bob's letters to me written at rather long intervals up to the time of his death in 1889, unmistakably indicated that he was studious and was constantly improving intellectually.

Returning to St. Paul, where my wife had remained during my brief absence, I began a kind of canvass of citizens there, my object being to ascertain the drift of sentiment in regard to the Youngers. On the streets, in the hotel lobbies, and in their homes and places of business I conversed freely and frankly on this subject with scores of men in various avocations of life. Without a single exception I met with discouragement. There was not one gleam of hope. Not a favorable word was uttered by these people, many of whom were prominent in society, church, politics and finance. They simply ridiculed the idea I advanced and not a few of them said to me again and again:

"My dear sir, your mission to Minnesota is a very unpopular one." Others went so far as to tell me that it was not only an unpopular one, but also very unsafe for me, and advised me to take the first train for home.

I must admit that this attitude assumed toward me by these people was anything but pleasant. And yet, in looking back upon it impartially from this distance, it can not  be doubted but that the citizens of Minnesota had sufficient reason to harbor this resentment.

They were clearly conscientious in the matter and perhaps were less revengeful toward the Youngers in particular and Missourians in general than most communities would have been under similar circumstances.

Their beloved state had been invaded and some of their people had been shot down by men who still claimed Missouri as their home.

Young Heywood, the slain cashier, had always been highly esteemed by a large circle of acquaintances, and the fact that he was wantonly murdered while at his post of duty, intensified the feeling of unforgiving hatred.

Then, too, the raid was made only eleven years after the close of the Civil War. Sectional hatred and political passions had abated but little. The bloody chasm still yawned between the North and South. There were no rosy links of love then binding together Missouri and Minnesota. Is it not a marvel of magnanimity, therefore, that the lives of the Youngers were spared at all? Had circumstances been reversed, would we Missourians have been as merciful? Would we have been less resentful? Would any other people have shown more forbearance and generosity than those of Minnesota.




In Jackson County.

ATER a sojourn of several weeks in Minnesota, on this my first and rather memorable trip to that state, my wife and I returned to our home III Henry county, Missouri. I had been baffled and bluffed, but not defeated or even wholly discouraged in this initial effort in the far north to obtain a pardon for the Youngers, and I at once set about in my own state, sounding public opinion on the subject.

I visited different portions of the state and made this pardon the burden of my conversation. No missionary in a foreign land ever labored harder than I. I also had correspondence with prominent and influential men in other states, and thus kept up an agitation that, in the then distant future, was to have weight in the momentous result.

In the spring of 1885 I became engaged in a correspondence with Mrs. L. W. Twyman, wife of Dr. Twyman and aunt of the Youngers, who resided near Blue Mills, ten miles east of Independence, Jackson county, Missouri.

Mrs. Twyman, whose acquaintance led to such important results, because it introduced me, through correspondence, to Governor Marshall, of Minnesota, was born in Jackson county, Missouri, April 20" 1829. Her maiden name was Frances F. Fristoe. Her father, Richard Marshall Fristoe, came to Missouri in 1817, and was one of the first judges in the county court in that county, in which capacity he served many years. He also served three years as. a member of the Missouri legislature and made an honorable record.

Miss Fristoe was married to Dr. L. W. Twyman, a practicing physician In Cass county, Missouri, in 1848. As early as 1845 she had become a member of the Baptist Church at Independence, Missouri. She was one of the charter members, and now, in her 77th year, she still retains her connection with that particular congregation.

Cole Younger was most devotedly attached to his aunt, Mrs. Twyman, and through all the dark days of his stormy career, the Fristoes and Twymans remained his faithful friends.

In her first letter to me Mrs. Twyman requested that I pay her a visit. Accordingly, I made a trip to Independence and there met John H. Taylor, a brother of Fletcher Taylor, who became noted during the war as a member of Quantrell's command. John Taylor and I hired a conveyance and drove to the home of Mrs. Twyman, reaching there about noon.

In anticipation of our coming she had prepared one of the finest dinners it has ever been my good fortune to enjoy. The table, with its immaculate linen and handsome ware, was literally loaded with a feast fit for the gods, and the charming hospitality of both the hostess and her husband was one of the bright features in my prolonged fight for the freedom of the lady's nephews. This was almost at the beginning of the struggle, and many a dark and dreary year, full of labor, suspense and despair, was ahead of us before the bright day of liberty should dawn.

After we had retired from the dinner table to the sitting room, 1\1rs. Twyman went to her desk and took therefrom quite a number of letters she had received from Minnesota in reference to her noted nephews. Among these were letters from Gov. William R. Marshall, which she turned over to me for future use.

She and the Governor had been in correspondence for nearly a year, for, while Marshall had already became enlisted in the cause of the Youngers' release and had worked to that end in his state, Mrs. Twyman was actively at work in Missouri.



A Meeting at Jefferson City.

MATTERS went on in this way until . June, 1886, when I received a letter from Gov. Marshall, requesting me to meet him at Jefferson City, Missouri, at a given date. I promptly complied, and the ex-chief executive of Minnesota and myself met for the first time at the Madison House. There we took breakfast together,

and there was begun a friendship which was destined to endure through years of sore trial until the death of the great and good man far away on the Pacific slope.

In the afternoon Gov. Marshall and I paid a visit to Gov. Marmaduke and the other state officials. The chief object of Marshall's visit on this occasion was to acquaint himself with these officials and to gain some insight into the character of the men whom he had been informed favored the pardon of the Youngers.

He, himself, made a most happy impression upon the gentlemen, who were charmed with his fine .manners, and they, in turn, won the admiration of the distinguished visitor from the north. Here, at least, was a glimpse of sunshine and a gleam of hope-a rift in the clouds that yet in the future, were at intervals to grow deeper and darker and heavier. Before this meeting drew to a 'close Gov. Marmaduke and his associates in the administration informed Gov: Marshall that they were ready and willing to recommend a pardon to the Youngers at whatever time he should think advisable. The undertaking was a most delicate one and demanded cautious and judicious treatment. To secure desired results it must be approached in just the proper way, without which no progress could be hoped for.

The next morning Gov. Marshall and myself proceeded to Kansas City for the purpose of holding a conference with ex-Governor T. T. Crittenden, Col. L. H. Waters, and other prominent gentlemen, for which I had arranged.

The topic was discussed from every point of view, fully, frankly, fairly and intelligently. Crittenden, a Democrat; and Waters. a Republican, who, like Crittenden, had been a distinguished officer in the Federal army during the Civil War, were favorable to a pardon.

On Governor Marshall's return home from Missouri, and when his mission to this state had become public, he was most outrageously assailed from nearly every quarter of his commonwealth.

Partisans fought him without mercy; politicans traduced him; and the press, metropolitan and provincial, joined in criticising him. Even the pulpit did not spare him.

It was declared to him that no man who espoused the cause of the Youngers could ever be elected governor of Minnesota.



Governor Marshall's Defiance.

GOVERNOR Marshall was game from spur to plume. Having a clear conscience as to the rectitude of his course and firmly believing in it he stood at bay and hurled back assaults made upon him. One of his most notable defenses of himself was the following communication, which he sent to the St. Paul Pioneer Press and which was printed in that paper July 26, 1886:

"St. Paul, July 25.-To the Editor: There is perhaps occasion for me to say something of my connection with a proposed application, some time in the future, for the pardon of the Younger brothers. Ordinarily, in a matter of this kind-a question of personal duty-it is sufficient for a man to answer to his own conscience.

But lest those who seem disposed to concern themselves with my action should be distressed with the fear that I lack reason and honorable considerations for whatever I may have done, or purpose to do, I make this statement.

"First of .all these men are not as black as much falsehood, much prejudice, much misinformation and dime biographers have painted them. Let me give a sample of the abundant misinformation that gives men who ought to weigh evidence gross misconceptions of their characters. Your interviewer reports General Sanborn to have said that while in command in Southwest Missouri he fought the guerilla the atrocities of that warfare. Now I have in my possession the evidence that would satisfy Gen. Sanborn that the elder Younger was not in Missouri at all during the year 1864, the year of Gen. Sanborn's command in Southwest Missouri. The occasion of my getting this evidence is itself a striking illustration of the injustice of popular belief in regard to these men.

"More than a year ago I was talking with a gentlemen of high character in a distant part of the state concerning the Youngers. He said as to Cole Younger he thought no punishment too severe for him. He remembered a horrible case of butchery of Federal prisoners at Centralia, Missouri, in which Cole was engaged, in the fall of 1864. I answered that if Cole Younger had any part in that affair I could have no sympathy for him; but I would venture to say, from the knowledge of the man and my estimate of his native character, that he had nothing to do with it, I made diligent inquiry and I have now in my possession a lot of letters from reputable men, covering the period from the fall or early winter of 1863 to the close of the war in 1865, showing conclusively just where Cole Younger was, and that he was not in Missouri at all during this period. He was then a captain in the regular Confederate army in Southern Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas. I have the evidence of officers and men with whom he served. Early in 1864, at Bonham, Texas, he was ordered by Gen. H. E. McCulloch to go under command of Col. Jackman, in all 72 officers and men, into New Mexico to recruit a regiment for the Confederate service. This expedition left Texas on the 1st of May, 1864. It failed to accomplish the object of raising recruits for the Confederate army, and part of the command, Cole Younger being of the number, went into Arizona and finally into Sonora, Mexico, whence they sailed from the port of Guyamas for San Francisco late in the fall of 1864. Cole Younger remained in California-where he had an uncle-until the surrender of Lee's army. I forwarded these letters to my friend,

who had connected Cole Younger with the Centralia affair, which was in September 1864, and he admitted that he was mistaken.

"It is just such misrepresentations as these samples of Gen. Sanborn and my friend, which have created the belief that these men are monsters of iniquity. I am assured by those who knew Cole Younger in the regular Confederate army, in Gen. Shelby's brigade of Price's army-part of the time in the division of Gen. Marmaduke, the present governor of Missouri-that he never was guilty of a cruel or unsoldierly act; but that he was an officer of unusual reliability. He was a captain when nineteen years of age. It is not true that either of the Youngers was personally concerned in the killing of Cashier Heywood.

That was the act of another of the band, inspired, as a large portion of murderers are, by the bottle. These men have committed crimes enough, without falsely multiplying or exaggerating the offenses. No one claims that they are innocent of undeserving- punishment. They themselves do not. It is a question of how deeply guilty they are; of whether there is anything in their youthful years and of crimes against them in their father's family that led them into a life of crime that palliates them in their wrong career. Whether there are in these men native elements of good and manly qualities, however latent in the past, which, now awakened by the judgment to which they have been brought, could be relied on in the future to protect them from evil forces. Is it not remarkable that all the men, without exception, with whom they have been brought in contact-Sheriff Barton, and other officers in Rice county, Warden Reed, Deputy Warden Hall, Chaplain Harrington, and others of the state prison and citizens who have become acquainted with them-all believe they are men whose word and whose honoryes, honor-can be depended on? I have never yet heard a man speak to them, who had any means of knowing them, who would not be willing to trust them. Men are not wholly bad who so impress others who have fair knowledge of character and human nature.

"One little instance which I believe illustrates the true character of these men was related to me by a respected citizen of Rice county, who said it was well authenticated. When the Youngers were wandering in the woods west of Northfield, trying to escape their pursuers, one of them badly wounded, they came at night to a lonely cabin at which they dared to apply for something to eat. It was that of a poor Irish woman, a widow, who with the kindness of her race, got such scanty meal as she could. Upon leaving to go out into the darkness to pursue their hopeless flight, she showed them where to ford a stream. Upon parting Cole gave her a gold piece, saying it was the last he had; he wished it was more. A man cannot be hopelessly bad, who in such an extremity of fortune, does such a deed. Two of the brothers could no doubt have made their escape had they been willing to leave their wounded one to his fate. With that devoted affection which characterized them and all their family, the two well men shared the fate in capture and what seemed almost certain death sooner than desert the helpless one.

"If I had any doubt of the good conduct of these men, if pardoned, certainly I should not favor their pardon. I believe I know them. I know their friends in Missouri, who would help them; men of the highest character, who would no more seek their liberation than those who so fiercely denounce pardon, if these friends had a doubt of the future right lives of the Youngers. It is a mistake to suppose that the friends of the Youngers in Missouri are men who think lightly 6f crime, or who would risk endangering society. They are rightminded Christian men and women in the highest walks of life, embracing state officials, exgovernors, members of Congress, of the State Legislature, ministers of the church, lawyers and doctors and business men, of large interest and property responsibility. It argues that there is something extraordinary in the qualities of these Youngers that they command the interest and friendship of such men. It is true that men of unquestioned responsibility have given assurance that bonds in the penalty of one million dollars can be given that the Youngers, if pardoned, will return to Missouri and live open, orderly, useful lives. If I did not from my own knowledge and judgment of these men believe there was good in them I should be strongly persuaded that it was so by the number and character of their devoted friends. Like Byron's Greece-" 'It were long to tell and sad to trace Their fall from splendor to disgrace-'" (From honesty to crime).

"They were of a good family; their father a prosperous and respectable man, their grandfather a judge of the courts. The breaking out of the rebellion was the signal for the renewal of those border troubles between Kansas and Missouri that disgraced the age. Their father was murdered and robbed, their property

plundered and their home burned over their heads. These men were then boys-Cole 17, Jim 13, and Bob 7. Four years of war ensued.

War in that region was little better on both sides than murder and rapine.

"There was little to choose, as is well know to those acquainted with the facts, between the deeds of the Union men-the Kansas Jayhawkers under Jennison, and the like and the Southern men under Quantrell. Well might many a Southern man have exclaimed with the victims of the French Revolution: "'Oh, Liberty (and the Union), what crimes are committed in thy name.'

"Is it any wonder that men-boys-of strong passion, amid such scenes and subject to such outrages, should have the moral sense obscured and should have graduated into crime? Add to these considerations that after the war the elder sought peaceful pursuits, but was not permitted. Or is it any wonder that the younger ones, yet boys-for Cole was but twenty-one, Jim seventeen, and Bob eleven at the close of the war-should have shared the fortune of their elder brother? These are the facts that in some degree palliate their career; there can be no excuse or justification.

I think great allowance is to be made for youth. The moral sense does not seem to develop with the body; its maturity comes later.

My friend, Governor Davis, professes to doubt whether a boy of fifteen is really endowed with a soul. My sense of this want of innate moral guidance of the young led me when Governor to urgently recommend the establishing of a reform school, which has been so beneficent an institution.

"But all these considerations would hardly have led me to favor pardon for the Youngers, if I had not well-established convictions of the practical wisdom of a policy in respect to criminals of charity and mercy. It is my settled belief that severity of punishment of criminals does not promote the best interests of society.

When hanging in England a century ago was the punishment for theft and petty crimes it did not deter men from stealing or diminish crime. The tendency of higher civilization is to ameliorate the condition of criminals and to diminish punishment. The law of kindness, discreetly applied, I believe more potent for the reformation of wrong-doers and the protection of society than retaliatory punishment.

Indeed, no enlightened man now advocates the latter. Our system of administering justice is, at best, crude and mechanical. The sentence for crime of one year, or ten, or life can only be approximately just. The true end of such punishment is the protection of society and the reformation of the offender.

The lawmaker and the judge can only guess at what, on a sort of average, will suffice for these ends. It is impossible for a judge or a jury to know the whole character and quality of the criminal that led to the crime.

"I think the pardoning power wisely exists to supplement the machinery of courts and justice. It has existed in all ages and under all governments. My conviction is that, whenever it is possible to know with reasonable certainty that a convict has come to such an awakened moral sense that he can be depended upon to lead an honest life, and that if liberated he would take his place as a law-abiding citizen, then there is no good to anyone in continuing his imprisonment. In prison he is a burden to society. I grant the difficulty of judging when a prisoner may safely be set free. It is only difficult, not impossible. Justice to the individual and good of society demands at all times that effort be made to know who, under this rule, should be liberated. "The indeterminate sentence and ticket-of leave plans, which were so ably discussed .and highly commended in the late conference in this city, are in this direction, and would more perfectly attain the end of liberating prisoners when prepared for it, but in the absence in our state of constitutional power or laws to put in practice these methods, there is no way but by pardon to release men that can safely be trusted to assume the duties and obligations of citizenship.

"In the case of the Youngers, believing as I do fully that they could be depended on to make law-abiding men in the future, instead of being a burden to the state as inmates of the prison; could be useful members of society and of this I am so fully persuaded that if it were admissible I would engage to take their place and serve out their life sentence myself, if they, upon being pardoned, should return to an evil life-I have given assurance to their friends in 1Iissouri that whenever they should after ten years service of the Youngers in prison apply for their pardon, I would, so far as my humble influence could go, recommend it. The statistics of prisoners show, I believe, that a fraction over nine years is the average term served by life prisoners. In our state, allowance is made for good conduct, equal to six days in each month. The Youngers have by their unvarying good conduct earned this full allowance. If their life sentence were commuted to twelve years they would go out--with this deduction-at the end of about ten years. I do not expect that what I may say in this matter will in any appreciable degree influence the adverse public opinion of the state.

I am not willing by silence to have it thought that any severity of criticism or storm of obloquy can intimidate me from showing my convictions of duty or my purpose to befriend those unfortunate men.

"I should trespass unpardonably on your columns if I noticed many of the extraordinary criticisms and suggestions of some of your contributors. One I will notice. It is the proposition that any candidate for Governor should be pledged in advance of nomination or election never to pardon the Younger brothers.

No man worthy to be governor of Minnesota would give such a pledge, any more than a judge in advance of a complaint and the testimony would give a pledge as to how he would decide a case in court. Any man wise and just enough to be a governor may well be left to decide any application for pardon when the application is made, and the reasons in support of it are submitted.

"The Great Master taught that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth was not the highest morality or wisdom. I yet know no better doctrine than His that if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive you. I remember that when He pictured the final separation of the good and the bad, to the redeemed He would say, 'I was in prison and ye visited Me,' and when they answered, When saw we Thee in prison and visited Thee?' he said, 'Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these, ye did it unto Me.' I remember that to the woman taken in the act of adultery He said, 'Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.' "I remember that He was crucified between two malefactors, and that to one He said, 'This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.'

I know no higher wisdom in the conduct of men than the application of these precepts and this example."

At my own expense I had twenty-five thousand copies of the above letter printed by T. J. Lingle, then editor of the Clinton, Missouri, Democrat. These were distributed throughout Missouri, Arkansas, and Kentucky, and doubtless favorably influenced to no small extent the public mind in regard to the Youngers.



A Second Defense..

IN the St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 13, 1886, there appeared a second letter from Governor Marshall, which reads as follows:

"St. Paul, Aug. 9, 188B.-To the Editor: I have great aversion to troubling you further in the matter of the Youngers, but a feeling that prejudice and injustice are done men who are helpless to defend themselves impels me to speak again in their behalf. The right of a prison convict to have only the truth spoken of him is as sacred as that of the highest man in the land. You published Sunday a review of the purported history of the Youngers from which you reproduce that intrinsically improbable story of the elder one shooting prisoners in a line to see through how many one ball would penetrate. No time or place is named for this Munchausen event; nothing would enable one to verify or disprove this story.

"In our courts a man on trial is secured the right to testify, if he will, in his own behalf, the credibility and weight of the testimony to be judged of by the jury. This is the only recourse in the case at hand. I ask, therefore, that you allow Coleman Younger to testify both as to matters charged and as to the authenticity of these so-called histories. I enclose you a letter of his, written some days ago, in answer to one calling his attention to earlier mention of some one in your columns of these biographies, etc. Now as to the credibility of this witness: For ten years the officers of the state prison, men of discernment and intelligence and of large experience with men, and of human nature in its darkest phases, have known the writer of this letter, and have formed a deliberate judgment as to his character for truth or otherwise. Without exception they have believed that his word could be depended on. I would name Warden Reed, the lamented Deputy-Warden, Abe

Hall, and Chaplain Harrington among others. 1 met in St. Paul today a 'man of high character, well known throughout the state, who for years had been an inspector-one of the governing board of the prison. He extended his hand saying": 'I want to congratulate you.  You are right in regard to the Youngers. They are men who can be trusted,' etc. If it were not enough that odium shall attach to only one for speaking in behalf of these men, I could name men wiser and better than I, who share the same belief in the trustworthiness of their word. Let me take occasion to say to your correspondent, Mr. Rankin, who does not believe Col. Van Horn, the Republican ex-member of Congress from Missouri, favors pardon of the Youngers, that he will find in the Governor's office a letter filed a year or two ago recommending their pardon."

On August 1, 1886, Cole Younger sent the following letter to Gov. Marshall, on receipt of the Governor's letter of July 26:

"Stillwater, Minn., Aug. 1, 18,86-Hon. William R. Marshall, St. Paul : Your kind favor of July 29 was received with many thanks. I do not take the Pioneer Press and have not seen the interview with Col. Fladd. I understand there are several so-called histories of the James and Younger brothers, but I had nothing to do with them. They are merely a rehash of sensational newspaper stories. I never knew or ever had any interview with anyone engaged in getting up these histories. I have steadily refused all applications for any information in getting them up. As for the war, I have said that I was engaged in the bloody warfare on the border of Missouri and Kansas. As you truthfully said in your letter to the Pioneer Press, it was little better on both sides than murder. That is the original cause of my being in prison to-day. In all that time of service in Missouri, I was either • a private or subordinate officer, acting under orders.. In 1862-63, I was a lieutenant in Captain Jarrette's company, Shelby's brigade of Price's army. All soldiers, whether they wore the blue or the gray, know that they take an oath to obey officers appointed over them, and all good soldiers obey the orders of their superior officers. As for the kind of soldier I made. I leave that to the honorable Federal and Confederate soldiers that I fought against and with, who now live in Missouri. I know that no one will say that he ever knew me to he guilty of any individual act of cruelty to the wounded or prisoners of our foe. I do not believe there is a brave Federal soldier in Minnesota to-day who, if he knew every act of mine during the war, but what would give me the right hand of a soldier's recognition. I was engaged in many bloody battles where it was death or victory. I tried to do my part, any true soldier would. All articles, such as referred to, are false when they charge me with shooting unresisting men or wounded prisoners. No man who has respect for the truth will say that I ever ordered the execution of a citizen at any place during the war-at Lawrence or any where else. Not one of my brothers ever soldiered with me a day. As to a story going the rounds that during the war I captured fifteen men, tied them together and tried to shoot through them all, it is false from beginning to end. I never heard of anything like it having been committed during the war, in Missouri, Kansas or anywhere else. I know of no foundation for the falsehood. The whole thing was so absurd that I never supposed any sensible man would believe it. I have always supposed the story was gotten up by some reporter "as a burlesque on sensational newspapers."



A Visit and a Petition.

IN THE early autumn of 1886, Gov. Marshall and his son, George, visited Hot Springs, Arkansas, and on their return in October became guests of myself and family at our country home eight miles northeast of Clinton. The elder Marshall remained ten days and the son stayed seven weeks. Gov. l\1arshall was still anxious to see more of Missourians and was given opportunity to meet many of them at my house, at Clinton, .and elsewhere in this section of the state.

He was a most charming man to entertain, and naturally felt kinship with people of this state, for he was born in Boone county, Missouri, his birthplace being between Columbia and Ashland on the turnpike. He removed to Minnesota before its admission into the Union and followed civil engineering. He early attained

prominence and at the outbreak of the Civil War enlisted in the Federal army and rose to the rank of colonel, commanding a Minnesota regiment.

Soon after the restoration of peace, Col. Marshall received the Republican nomination for Governor of his state and was twice elected, serving four years in all and giving the people an administration that is still remembered as one of the best they have ever had.

George Langford Marshall, the only child of Gov. Marshall, was a handsome and engaging young man, twenty-three years of age at the time he visited at my house. He had been reared in luxury and had been blessed with all the fine opportunities of education and select society.

Soon after his return to St. Paul he made a trip to Europe and remained a year or more in Paris. Returning home, his health began to fail and he and his mother went to Hot Springs, North Carolina. There George met his future wife, the daughter of Colonel Rumbaugh, of North Carolina, who had served with distinction in the southern army. The romantic part of the engagement and marriage lay in the fact that the son of a Federal colonel in the distant north wooed and wedded the daughter of a Confederate colonel in the far south. The young couple returned to St. Paul to make their home, and there I had the pleasure of meeting the accomplished and charming young southern bride.

Soon after this Mr. Marshall made a business trip to Asheville, North Carolina. His health again failed him and he went to Hot Springs, Arkansas. En route home from there he died suddenly on the train.

I continued the pardon agitation throughout the years 18\86 and 1887, going from place to place in Missouri and elsewhere, and keeping up correspondence with people whose aid I knew would be valuable. When I met Cole Younger in prison in 1884 he remarked to me that, unless assistance was given and co-operation

secured outside of Minnesota the fate of himself and his brothers would surely be sealed and they would never be able to get out. I recognized and appreciated. this fact as fully as he did and determined to leave no stone unturned to accomplish the object which had now become almost a passion with me.

In the spring or summer· of 1888, during Gov. McGill's administration, I received a telegram from the late Maj. John N. Edwards to come to Kansas City at once, as he had important business for me, which demanded immediate attention. I lost no time in answering the summons in person. In Kansas City, Maj. Edwards, already enlisted in my enterprise, introduced me to a gentleman named Liberty Hall-a patriotic, if not a peculiar, name for an individual to bear about. It was his real name, however-nothing fictitious about it.

Mr. Hall was then residing in Kansas City, was a newspaper man by profession, and being a native of Minnesota ,and thoroughly acquainted with public men and general conditions there, had volunteered to assist in the liberation scheme, asking only enough money to use for legitimate purposes. Maj. Edwards recommended him as entirely trustworthy. In fact, he at once impressed me favorably and I had little difficulty, together with my friend Edwards, in making satisfactory terms and arrangements for the undertaking. Liberty Hall soon thereafter took his departure for the .north and did honest, earnest, and effective work.

It was at this time that Maj. Edwards, who was a master of the English language and whose brilliant and fascinating literary style is still the admiration of many readers, drew up the famous petition to the Hon. William R. Merriam, then governor of Minnesota. This petition, phrased in Edwards' most convincing

and captivating rhetoric, set forth ten separate and distinct reasons why the Youngers should be pardoned, and was intended, before being sent to Gov. Merriam to be signed by as many members of the General Assembly of Missouri as could be induced to do so.



The John N. Edwards Petition. "WE, THE undersigned members of the General Assembly of Missouri, most respectfully ask at your hand the pardon of Cole, James, and Bob Younger, now confined in the Stillwater Prison, and for the following reasons: "Because they have been in prison for more than thirteen years.

"Because during this entire period their behavior has been so excellent as to win not alone the respect, but perfect confidence of the prison authorities.

"Every intention of the law has been fulfilled, in this, that the punishment for the violation of it has been ample and complete.

"If restored again to freedom, almost the entire population of this state would stand security as a mass to their becoming law-abiding, peaceful, upright and worthy citizens, "Because their downfall and departure from the path of rectitude was unquestionably the direct result of the unfavorable conditions surrounding them during and following the late Civil War.

"Whatever may have been said to the contrary, the men were brave and honorable soldiers in battle, and merciful in victory.

"Because these men have served twice the length of time allotted the life prisoners committed to prison on life sentences - less than ten years being the average time.

"Because we are informed that every warden under whom they have served has learned from close contact with them to trust them and to place them in positions of responsibility, and have advised that, if liberated, they would become good, honorable and useful citlzens.

"Because they are now old men, and we believe the spirit of Christian charity and mercy suggests that they should be permitted to spend their few remaining days among their friends and relatives, many of whom are ready and willing to furnish them constant employment, by reason of which they may and will be

self-supporting and independent.

"Because it is a recognized principle of penology that the object of all  punishment is to reform the punished, and when this reformation has been accomplished, to longer continue the punishment is of no benefit, but is

turning the arm of the law into an instrument of torture to satiate revenge.

"Your petitioners are of all political faiths, and are of either military service. We simply come to you as one united whole, asking this pardon in the name of mercy and humanity, ever praying your help, happiness, and long continued prosperity."



The First Effort.

ONE day, in the year 1889, I received word from Captain Stephen C. Reagan, at Kansas City, that Hon. ·Waller Young, of St. Joseph, representative from the county of Buchanan, who had been circulating the above petition and who had secured six or seven names of legislators to it, had been taken ill and was

unable to continue the work. I was urged to hasten to Jefferson City and take charge of the petition. I left on the first train and began the task immediately upon my arrival there.

"Task" is hardly a strong enough word to designate the enterprise I had in hand. If any person thinks he can go to Jefferson City during a session of the legislature, and succeed with a petition in a few days and with ease, he is grievously mistaken. An ordinary undertaking of this kind involves much trouble, time and toil. Overwhelmingly was this the truth in the present instance. The favor I asked was of an extraordinary character.

Nothing of its kind or importance had ever been presented to the State's lawmakers. They represented various shades of political affiliation and opinion. Often it was with difficulty that I could have even a word with a member. He was busy at something else. He had to look after some particular and pressing interest of his importunate constituents to the exclusion of everything else. Other members had to be coaxed and flattered and argued with.

And so it went on until five weeks had passed away and I was thoroughly worn and wearied. But I had gained a victory. I succeeded in getting the signature of nearly every member of the House and I also got twenty-eight out of the thirty-four Senators. Moreover, I was given letters from every state official, with the

exception of Gov. D. R. Francis, who declined to grant me that favor.

In this campaign of 1889 I had not only the Edwards petition, and letters from Missouri officials, but exceedingly strong letters also from many of the leading men of Minnesota.

These men, in nearly every instance, enjoyed state reputations, and not a few of them were known throughout the United States as holding or having held positions of importance or as having accomplished something out of the ordinary in journalism, in the law, in literature or in legislative affairs.

Among the most prominent of them may be named the late Honorable Ignatius Donnelly, who had been a member of Congress from Minnesota, who had been a great political factor, not only in his own state, but in the nation, and who had gained widespread fame as a Shakespearean controversialist and as the author

of a number of novels, mostly of a political character. His books entitled, "Bricks Without Straw," and "A Fool's Errand," had a tremendous sale some twenty years ago, and his claim that the works attributed to Shakespeare were really written by Lord Bacon, caused a sensation not only in the United States, but in England and Europe.  Mr. Donnelly furnished the following letter:

"St. Paul, Minn., July 18, 1889.

"I remember an incident which occurred when the Northfield robbers were seeking to escape from this state. In the woods, not far from Mankato, they were encountered by a citizen-a German, I think-who was looking for his cattle. The fugitives perceived that he recognized them. The two associates of the Youngers, who afterwards escaped from the state, proposed that, for their own safety, they should kill the man. To this the Youngers strenuously objected. It was then suggested that he be gagged and tied to a tree in the depths of the forest and left .there. The Youngers replied that this would be more cruel than to kill him outright, as he might starve to death before he was discovered by those who might save him. Upon this question the Youngers quarreled with their two associates in crime and separated. The Youngers gave the man his life, but swore him not to reveal the fact that he had met them. He did not keep his oath. I always thought there was something heroic in this action of these fugitives from justice, at a time when the woods swarmed with their pursuers. They were ready to risk their own lives rather than take the life of that stranger. It manifested a noble humanity when every circumstance of their desperate situation incited them to cruelty and bloodshed.. Now, I am told the youngest of these brothers, then a mere boy in years, lies at the point of death. It seems to me that you can now justly remember that act of humanity performed years ago in the woods of Blue Earth county, and permit this poor criminal to die outside the shadow of the penitentiary, and in the midst of those who love him. I believe that such an exercise of your executive clemency will be justified by every humane heart in the state."

Another gentleman of national eminence, who assisted me, was the late General Henry H. Sibley, of St. Paul. He had played a conspicuous part in the early days of Minnesota history. He had been a Territorial Governor, in which capacity he had had much to do with the various tribes of Indians in that section; had assisted in the formation of the State of Minnesota, and had been honored by being elected its first governor. He had also served with much distinction in the. United States Senate from that state.

The incident attending the occasion when I secured his letter, recommending clemency for the Youngers, was rather interesting. Gov. Marshall had kindly given me a note of introduction to him, and I hastened to call on the venerable soldier and statesman at his elegant home in St. Paul. Gen. Sibley was then an invalid and confined to his bed. He received me most cordially. He presented a striking figure as he lay on his bed-a tall, spare man, grizzled and gray from over a half-century of ser. vice for his state and country.

Propped up on the pillow he called to his maidservant to bring him writing material, and on a pad of paper he penned the following letter, which had great weight in the final result:

"St. Paul, Minn., July 8, 1889.

"I feel it to be my duty to join in the appeal for pardon to the three convicts known as the Younger brothers, who have been incarcerated in the state prison at Stillwater for the past thirteen years. In so doing, I depart from the rule which has governed me, not to interfere with the course of justice, except under very

exceptional circumstances.

"Believing the ends of justice to have been fully answered by the long and severe punishment inflicted upon the convicts mentioned, and taking into consideration the excellent record made, by them during their confinement, I am persuaded that their release from further punishment would be favorably regarded by a majority of the people of the state, as an exercise of that comity toward a sister state which has appealed to your Excellency, through many of her high officials and other representative citizens, to pardon these young men and restore them to their friends, guaranteeing that in such event, they will prove to be law-abiding citizens.

"Minnesota has shown her power to punish malefactors, let her now manifest her magnanimity, by opening the prison doors to the men who have so long suffered for a violation of her laws, and bid them 'go and sin no more."

Before I left Gen. Sibley's residence a delegation of Sioux Indians called on him to pay their respects and have a conference with him. The General had always been held in great esteem and veneration by the Red men of the Northwest.

In discussing the Youngers' pardon one day, Gov. Marshall overheard John C. Wise, a distinguished editor and citizen of Mankato, Minnesota, express himself as favorable to executive clemency toward the boys, and at my request the Governor gave me a line of introduction to the gentleman. I went to Mankato, which is situated in Blue Earth county, and which is historic as the place where Little Crow and thirty-five other Indians were legally executed for participation in the great Indian uprising and massacre of white settlers in Minnesota in 1863. Mankato is a point, also, through which the Youngers passed in their flight from Northfield in 1876, and near which they captured a German. A consultation was held among the bandits as to whether he should be killed to prevent him from giving information as to the route the fugitives were taking. This led to a quarrel and separation between. the Youngers and their two associates, the former protesting against such cruelty. The German was released, broke his oath to keep silence, and hastened to Mankato with valuable news for the pursuing party. Mr. Wise cheerfully gave me the following letter:

"Mankato, Minn., July 12, 1889.

"Believing that the ends of justice have been well satisfied and vindicated by the long imprisonment of the Younger brothers, I desire to join in the petition for their pardon. I was a resident of this city at the time of the Northfield raid, and the pursuit and capture of the Younger boys, and I am well satisfied were they the blood-thirsty men represented there were many opportunities during their pursuit when they could have killed or wounded their pursuers, but it was not done. One instance I remember when they captured a German farm laborer in this vicinity and sought to get information about the road. The man could not give it, and they were somewhat perplexed as to what to do with him, fearing that if he was released he might give their pursuers information that would lead to their capture.

Some one of the party proposed that they should kill him, but Coleman Younger interposed a strenuous objection, insisted that the man should not be harmed, and largely through his efforts he was released unharmed and returned to his family. If, however, in your judgment, you are not fully convinced of pardoning the three at this time, in view of the severe and fatal illness of Bob Younger, every dictate of humanity pleads that clemency may be extended to him, and that he may be permitted to return to his relatives and friends for the care and attention that they alone can bestow."

David Day was postmaster at St. Paul, having served a term under President Cleveland's first administration, but was just in the act of vacating the office and turning it over to his Republican successor, William Lee, when I first met both of them in the Federal building and obtained the following letter and endorsement:

"St. Paul, Minn., July 2, 1889.

"At the time of the incarceration of the Younger brothers in the state prison at Stillwater, I was an officer of that institution, and necessarily became acquainted with them, and have since that time inquired diligently into their history, and the circumstances connected with the crime committed by them and their confederates at Northfield.

"The result of these inquiries is to convince me at this time, the ends of justice have been accomplished upon them, in the wounds they have received in their capture, and their imprisonment, and that to detain them longer in confinement is simply wreaking vengeance upon men who have been peculiarly unfortunate

in their lives from circumstances over which they have never had control.

"I am absolutely certain that if they are restored to liberty they will hereafter make good citizens, and live a life of quiet usefulness.


Sheriff Who Captured the Youngers.

Their case is one of the last remaining reminders of the late war between the states and it seems to me that it is a great privilege to . you, as the Governor of Minnesota to make this contribution to the settlement of one of the most lamentable phases that that struggle left to the American people, by granting them the pardon the law invested you with. "Should you desire, I should be pleased to give you in detail the reasons why I think that in their case the ends of justice have been accomplished and that they are now entitled to that mercy which the law invests in the executive of our state. Doubtless they have grievously sinned, but they have grievously suffered for it, and are entitled to that mercy that we all hope to receive for our transgressions.

"I am now glad to be counted, as one who publicly advocates, and desires to be known as an advocate of the pardon of the Younger brothers."

Mr. Lee added the following: "I fully endorse the views expressed by Dr. Day· in the above letter."

The Honorable D. M. Sabin, former United States Senator from Minnesota, wrote as follows:

"My observation of the conduct of the Younger brothers during their confinement the last thirteen years leads me to the conclusion that the ends of justice in their case have been fully met, and their further confinement can in no way benefit the public generally, either in this state or elsewhere.

"I have no hesitancy in placing myself on record in recommending unqualifiedly their pardon, and sincerely trust your Excellency may see your way clear to grant their prayer."

Honorable Horace W. Pratt, of Minneapolis, ex-president of the State Agricultural Society, was an ardent friend and admirer of Senator George G. Vest, of Missouri, and had made trips with him to the Yellowstone Park.

Mr. Pratt wrote as follows:

"I desire to add my testimony to what I believe to be a growing sentiment of the people of this state. That in the case of the Younger brothers the law has been vindicated and that mercy should now actuate you in considering their application for the exercise of the pardoning power on your part. I think that such

pardon would be received by the people as a just and merciful act, and I most earnestly ask that you pardon them. Thirteen years of most exemplary prison conduct should bear its reward.

I sincerely hope that you will see your way to do this act of mercy."

B. G. Yates, one of the captors of the Younger brothers, and who is given ·credit for having shot Jim Younger through the jaw in the final fight, was one of my most enthusiastic and influential supporters for pardon, and wrote as follows to the Governor:

"Perhaps I ought to beg pardon in advance for a second time addressing you on this subject, but my deep interest in the matter and a feeling after a visit to the prison, that I have not done all that I might do to secure the release of Bob Younger, at least, is my excuse. "It is usual, I believe, to grant some days of grace for good behavior to the worst criminals and set them free before their sentence is fully expired. This, it would seem, is all that can be done now for this man, Robert. I am well aware of the unreasoning prejudice in some quarters against clemency for these men, but is it not a fact that they are now in prison because of crimes that, rumor has it, they committed in other states and in other times of which they are probably innocent? At least these things have never been proved against  them, and I envy not the man whose heart is so calloused to all the better instincts of humanity, who would begrudge Bob Younger the few days of his life probably left to him. And believe, Mr. Governor, while I went out with horse, guns, and clerks-closing my place of business-after these men, none of us having the slightest intention of bringing them in alive, I would now rather take a pardon from Your Excellency to them, especially to Bob, than to have a present of one thousand dollars." Capt. W. W. Murphy, of Watonwan county, Minnesota, took a prominent part in the capture of the Youngers, and ever afterwards their firm friend. He wrote:

"I venture to address you with regard to a pardon for the Younger brothers, now confined at Stillwater. I was one of those who took part in their arrest at this place (Madelia) and probably did as much towards accomplishing that result as any other one. I now feel and believe that the demands of justice have been satisfied, in their case, and that if now made free men they would lead commendable lives in the future. I do ask and sincerely hope that you will extend executive clemency to them, and allow them to return to their homes, friends, and kindred."

George A. Bradford, of Madelia, Minnesota, a captor of the Youngers, made the following appeal to the Governor:

"I have the honor to address you in regard to the Younger brothers, now serving life sentence in the Stillwater prison.

"Having participated in the capture of these men, I take the liberty to ask you, in consideration of their extremely good behavior and seeming desire to reform and live better lives, to give them a full pardon."


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