Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Black Bart On Wednesday...!

Sometimes the back story on certain criminals can be fairly interesting. Such is the case of Black Bart.

This man had a name that is still known today. Much has been written about him over the years, but this piece deals more with his actual beginning as a bad guy.

Charles Earl Boles (Black Bart)


Shortly after the Civil War, Charles Boles, a former First Sergeant in the Union Army, was happily scraping away a living as a gold miner when he was forced off his land by Wells Fargo. According to one account, Wells Fargo offered to buy Boles’s property, and when he refused, they cut off the water supply to his land—effectively shutting down his mine.

Boles was infuriated and cryptically wrote a letter to his wife saying he was going to take revenge against the bank. While he never explained the specifics of his vengeance, we can assume this is when his alter ego, Black Bart, was born.

From then, Black Bart had it out for the bank and subsequently robbed their stagecoaches 28 times. Still, he kept things civil, never physically harmed anyone, and stole strictly from Wells Fargo and never from passengers. The bank even described him as being non-vicious and “polite to all passengers, especially to ladies.”

Amazingly, he traveled on foot to and from robberies and carried a shotgun so old that it couldn’t shoot (he didn’t even bother loading it). Although he always worked alone, he would often prop up sticks on nearby boulders to make it look like he had a posse of men standing by.
Occasionally, he was thoughtful enough to leave poems behind—Wells Fargo was not amused. His last poem read:
Here I lay me down to sleep
To await the coming morrow
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat
And everlasting sorrow
Let come what will, I’ll try it on
My condition can’t be worse
And if there’s money in that box
‘Tis munny in my purse. 

Black Bart’s unique style and sophistication made him a hero in California (except to Wells Fargo), and it took over a decade before he was finally tracked down by Pinkerton Detectives. He went to San Quentin Prison for four years and was released early, in 1888, for good behavior. He disappeared shortly after and was never seen again.

Ya know, it sounds to me that ol' Black Bart knew when to call it quits. Probably a good thing, if you ask me!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?


Chickenmom said...

Times haven't changed - banks are still trying to rob people! I'll bring a big box of jelly donuts to share.

Mamahen said...

Well I applaud Black Bart for his stand. He may not have taken the the best route but ya know, the guy had spirit...Some how I just like that :))

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Some people are best left alone as you just don't know how personal they may take things. Wells Fargo is still taking people's land and houses. They found it profitable and legal I guess.

linda m said...

In some respects I don't blame Black Bart for robbing Wells Fargo. There might have been a better way for revenge but back in those days this was probably the only way. Banks still rob people of their property and really don't care that they do. Coffee on the patio sounds good this morning.

texasann said...

Bubba -
Just don't mess with an honest man who wants to live his life and be left alone.....
Bih hugs ~

JO said...

Good Ole' Black Bart. Hope he enjoyed all that money he took in his later years.

Sorry I missed you yesterday, shamefully went to another patio for coffee and the humidity drove all of us into the house. That'll teach me! But it sure is a beautiful morning right now.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I think Wells Fargo was the villain in this instance. They started it because he wouldn't sell his land to them.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Jelly donuts are always good!

I reckon that banks haven't changed very much over the years!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Mamahen...
At the very least, he had gumption!

Gotta like the guy, though.

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Sunnybrook...
Companies like banks are big enough to pretty much get away with anything!

Thanks for the visit this morning!

Hey Linda M...
Seems like he had a particular target in mind.

Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Sis...
Some folks just want to be left alone. I know!

Hey, thanks for coming over today!

Hey Jo...
I understand about you not dropping by yesterday. We missed you!

Thanks for coming over today, sweetie!

Hey Dizzy...
Seems like they were the only one he went after! Seems appropriate somehow!

Thanks for coming over!

Sixbears said...

Back then it was easier to disappear. Move, go by a different name, and start all over.