Wells, Fargo & Company Report of losses from Stagecoach and Train Robbers, 1870 to 1884: 125th Anniversary Edition

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9780966592580: Wells, Fargo & Company Report of losses from Stagecoach and Train Robbers, 1870 to 1884: 125th Anniversary Edition
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On January 1, 1885 Wells, Fargo & Company’s chief detective James B. Hume and special agent John N. Thacker published a report of the company’s losses over the previous 14 years. The report gave a listing of crimes and a detailed description of 188 road agents [18 had died and were not described]. But the report had another purpose, to provide lawmen throughout the west with a textual “mug book” of potentially recidivist road agents who might again victimize the company. This report had inconsistencies in formatting and errors of fact, some critical, but lacked details of the thrilling robberies; the pursuits, arrests, and trials; the convictions and prison terms. The 125th Anniversary edition corrects these shortcomings. It gives the details of over 400 stagecoach and train robberies and a few burglaries where Wells, Fargo treasure boxes held the plunder. These events take place in a half dozen wild west states and territories, focusing mainly on California where the company had its main office and conducted the greater part of its business.

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About the Author:

R. Michael Wilson has been researching and writing about the old west for nearly two decades. He currently has over a dozen books to his credit. His latest work fleshes out the list of events provided by W, F&Co. detectives James B. Hume and John N. Thacker.

From the Inside Flap:

As 1884 came to a close, Wells, Fargo & Company’s chief detective James B. Hume and special agent John N. Thacker compiled a report summarizing the losses to the company over 14 years - from 1870 to 1884. Close examination of the report reveals another purpose, however, which was to document, in a mug book style, the 100s of crimes and detailed descriptions of road agents expected to continue victimizing the company. The report lists the exploits of 206 road agents, but 18 of the entries contain no physical description because the men had died: 1 was lynched; 2 were killed and 9 reportedly died in prison, probably of consumption; 2 of the men were killed while resisting arrest and 4 died out of prison, probably from disease. The report was circulated to lawmen through-out the west and, while there is no record of this document ever being used to identify a road agent, we are indebted to Hume and Thacker for one of the definitive works on early western burglaries, stagecoach and train robberies.

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