Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Westerns- Outlaw & Poet Black Bart

Charles E. Bolton better known as Black Bart began robbing stagecoaches in Northern California and Southern Oregon when he was in his late 50's.  He was called the gentleman robber and was noted for his style and sophistication. His mother would have been proud of his manners when divesting Wells Fargo coaches of their the money. He was quoted as telling the drivers to, "Please throw down the box."

Boles left two poems after robbing two different stages. The first was August 1877.
I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor, and for riches,
But on my corns too long you've tread,
You fine-haired sons of b****es.

The second was left after a robbery of a stage between Quincy and Oroville in 1878.
Here I lay me down to sleep
To wait 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.

 He was captured in 1878 and sentenced to prison. He escaped, carried out more robberies and was eventually captured in 1883 and released in poor health in 1888. Once he was released he disappeared. Wells Fargo detectives tracked him to the Palace Hotel in Visalia but though they could account that he checked in no one saw him after that. 


Ilona Fridl said...


I grew up in So. California and I remember about him when we had California History. Interesting story.

Paty Jager said...

Ilona, reading about Black Bart was fun. Since I live in Oregon and he liked to jump up and rob in our state I found him very interesting. Thanks for stopping in!