30 No Ma'am…I do not Rob the Passengers

Winning Bid Undisclosed
This item SOLD at 2016 Apr 02 @ 10:00UTC-7 : PDT/MST
Category Art
Auction Currency USD
Start Price 2,000.00 USD
Estimated at 4,000.00 - 6,000.00 USD
No Ma'am…I do not Rob the Passengers
Artist: Means, JamieDate of Birth: b. 1972
Medium: Graphite
Dimensions: 26 x 40 inches
Signed: Signed lower right and dated 15

Charley was known as the ‘Gentleman Robber’ as he was always polite, never took from the passengers, and ended up never firing a shot although he was credited for 28 stagecoach robberies in California and southern Oregon. On one occasion he actually picked up the purse a frantic lady had thrown out of the coach and upon returning it to her said “Madam, I do not wish your money. In that respect I honor only the good office of Wells Fargo.” Like the majority of stagecoach robberies in the day, Charley would lay in wait in a place where he knew the coach would have to slow down to navigate. Many robbers would have horses waiting in hiding for their get away but Charley was apparently afraid of horses and was always on foot. He was typically wore a flour sack over his head with eye holes cut out, a duster and was seldom seen without his derby hat.
Charley’s grudge seemed to be strictly with Wells Fargo. In 1871 while mining his claim in Montana, men from the company tried to buy him out of his land. When Charley refused they cut off his water supply and forced him to abandon it. As can be expected, he was not happy with this and in a letter sent to his wife stated “I am going to take steps” though he never said what kind of steps. Charley was eventually tracked down through a laundry mark on a handkerchief left at the Copperopolis, California robbery. In 1883, he pleaded guilty to one count and was sentenced to six years in San Quentin. He only served four and a half after being described as a model prisoner. Shortly after his release he wrote his wife in Missouri to say he was tired of being shadowed by Wells Fargo. In February 1888, Charley checked out of the Palace Hotel in Visalia, California and was never seen or heard from again.