The Signature of Jesse James’ Assassin, Robert Ford

The signature of the rotten coward who shot Mr. Howard is becoming better recognized. New samples of Robert Newton Ford’s handwriting and autographs now are on display at James Farm & Museum in Kearney, Missouri.

Swann Galleries Queries Stray Leaves

Early in October of 2018, the auction house of Swann Galleries in New York City petitioned Stray Leaves for signature samples of Bob Ford, the assassin of Jesse James.

Stray Leaves responded, citing a copy of a letter, dated shortly after the assassination, written by Bob Ford to the president of the Wabash, St. Louis, & Pacific Railroad. Ford and his brother Charlie were seeking a rail pass for themselves and their family.

Eric F. James displays for Swann Galleries the signature of Bob Ford as it appears in Sybil Montana’s book Bob Ford was his Name, Jesse James was his Game.

Swann Galleries was delighted with the response from Stray Leaves.


Bob Ford’s Letter Appears

Nothing more was known about the letter cited by author Sybil Montana. Subsequently, the letter appeared in its entirety as a stock photo image on the website alamy.com.

From alamy.com. The website identifies the image as ” Letter from Bob Ford, slayer of Jesse James, to the President of Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railroad, October 14, 1882 .” The letter is the original that appears in Sybil Montana’s book, published in 2001.

James Farm & Museum Acquires Ford Autographs

In the Fall 2019 edition of the James Farm Journal, published by the Friends of James Farm, an announcement heralds the display of two new samples of Bob Ford’s signature. One also includes the addition of the signature of Charles Wilson Ford, Bob’s brother and co-conspirator.

As the Friends of James Farm state, the inscription signatures appear in an autograph album originally owned by Ms. Annie Hancock of Pennsylvania. The signatures are dated November 16, 1882, following the assassination on April 3, 1882, at which time the Ford brothers appeared at Harris’ Mammoth Museum in Pittsburgh. The museum was an entertainment emporium for the public display of curiosities and oddities.

The earlier signature sample of Bob Ford was created on July 12, 1880, two years prior to Ford’s assassination of Jesse James. This signature was entered in the Guest Register of the Harry House Hotel in Hamilton, Missouri. The register lists Ford’s residence as St. Joseph, Missouri.

Announcement page by the Friends of James Farm, that appeared in the James Farm Journal, Fall 2019.

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Claimed Photograph of Robert Newton Ford

Official website for the family of Frank & Jesse James – Living lives, telling our stories. Knowing self.

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