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„Black Bart“

from the gallery of Robert Lacy

Black Bart was a notorious stagecoach robber from the mid 1870's through to 1883. Black Bart's real name was Charles E. Boles, a Civil War veteran, who declared war on Wells Fargo by robbing their stage coaches, robbing them no less than 28 times. Several thing things made him somewhat unique as a stage robber: he always acted alone, he never used violence or fired his gun during his many robberies although its threat was impicit in the form of a twelve-gauge shotgun he carried, behaved in a gentlemanly manner towards, passengers and drivers alike, and he twice left behind verse at the scene of his crimes - the most famous being the one I have incuded in this painting. It read: I've labored long and hard for bread, For honor and for riches But on my toes too long you've tread, You fine haired sons of bitches. He signed it Black Bart, The Po8. Black Bart's luck finally ran out and Wells Fargo detectives finally tracked him down in San Francisco where he lived as a well-to-do middle-aged gentleman. He seved four and a half years of a six year sentence in San Quentin and then quietly disappeared after his release. A death notice appeared in a New York paper for Charles E. Boles in 1917, which may or may not have been the infamous Black Bart.

Picture ID: d36742a
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