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Northfield-Painting-Thom Ross-Sorrel Sky Gallery
Northfield-Painting-Thom Ross-Sorrel Sky Gallery
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Northfield

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Original Acrylic - 24x30 
Bob Younger, Jesse James, and Charlie Pitts running from the 1st National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. 

The longest raid the James-Younger gang ever attempted ended in dismal failure when, on Sept. 7, 1876, eight members of the gang were unable to open the safe at the 1st National Bank of Northfield. The ensuing confusion led to the deaths of two townsmen and three gang members (Bill Chadwell, Clell Miller, and Charlie Pitts), and the capture of three other members (Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger). Only Frank and Jesse James escaped. This disaster marked the end of the reign of the outlaw king, Jesse James; six years later he was assassinated by a member of his "new" gang, Bob Ford.

The Youngers were sentenced to life in prison. Bob died in prison; Jim and Cole were released after serving 25 years. While in prison, Jim started a newspaper published by the prisoners. That newspaper is still being published by the Stillwater State Prison. Frank James and Cole Younger lived into the 20th century; they appear as old men in the Charles Portis novel, "True Grit," and although they are not seen in the 1969 John Wayne version, they do appear (as old men) in the more recent Coen Brother's version.


“On the raid, the gang members all wore long, white linen dusters because that was the unofficial dress of horse traders and they thought it would be a good disguise; also the long coats would hide their guns. So in my painting, the trio is decked out in their linen dusters. This gives them both a ghost-like look as well as a kind of "caped crusader" comic book hero look.” - Thom Ross