A rare photograph of wild west outlaw Jesse James could make $8,000-12,000 on August 26.
It’s set to cross the block at Addison & Sarova Auctioneers.
The lot dates to around 1868. It’s from the collection of Patrick Meguiar, James’ cousin several times removed.
Jesse James gave this photograph to a cousin
James is aged around 21 in the photograph.
He was just starting out on his criminal career, following the recent disbandment of Quantrill's Raiders.
Formed by William Quantrill in rural Kansas in the early days of the American Civil War, the group were among the most infamous pro-Confederate “bushwhackers” operating in the contested regions along the Kansas-Missouri border.
It was during this time that Jesse and Frank James, along with associate Cole Younger, learned the skills they would apply in their career as outlaws.
The auction house explains how it came to be in Meguiar’s possession:
“Following James' robbery of the Nimrod Long Banking Company in Russellville, KY [on March 20, 1868], Jesse James went to the house of his cousin Sarah Maria Martin Meguiar.
“Sarah did not realize until some time later that Jesse was fleeing from the law.
“During that visit, Jesse gave her the present ambrotype as a gift.”
In the years since, the portrait has passed down in the Meguiar family as a prized heirloom.
The Russellville robbery was the James brothers’ first confirmed job, but they didn’t hit the headlines until the following year – when Jesse shot a bank clerk in Gallatin, Missouri.
We have an incredible letter from Frank James to his wife for sale.
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