Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Blue Cut, Missouri Train Robbery

Sept. 7, 1881---It was exactly five years to the day since the Northfield, Minnesota fiasco. The James Gang was planning to rob a train near Glendale, Missouri, more specifically in the area known as Blue Cut. Blue Cut was a thirty-mile curve down the train tracks that forced trains to slow down to twenty-five miles per hour or so. It would be the perfect place for a train robbery. It's likely that Jesse and/or Frank James planned the date on this robbery as some way to honor their former gang members who never made it back from Northfield. That night, the six gang members, Jesse, Frank, Dick Liddil, the Hite brothers (Wood and Clarence), and newcomer Charlie Ford arrived at the cut. Jesse and Clarence took positions on the north side of the cut and Frank and Dick were on the south side. It was the job of Wood and Charlie to take car of the engine and express car. A short time later, a Chicago & Alton Railroad owned train came down through the cut. One robber, probably Clarence, stood on the tracks waving a lantern, signaling to the train to stop. When the engineer, Chappy Foote, saw the man in the tracks was wearing a mask, he knew the train was about to be robbed and put the brakes on. When the train stopped, the robbers jumped on board. Jesse and Wood went over to Foote and, oddly, introduced themselves as Jesse James and Dick Liddil. They then ordered Foote to get them a hammer and a coal pick (probably to use to open the safe if the need arose). Foote tried to work slow, in order to give the express messenger a chance to get away so the safe could not be opened. When Jesse picked up on what Foote was doing, he threatened to kill him if he didn't hurry up. He reportedly also told Foote that the gun he was aiming at Foote was the same gun used to kill conductor William Westfall in the Winston train robbery. Shortly thereafter, Foote was taken to the express car and forced to open it. By the time the bandits reached the express car, the express messenger, H. A. Fox, had fled down the train. Foote was ordered to call him back or be killed, and this Foote did. Fox returned to the car and opened the safe. He did so and upon seeing the little amount of money inside it, one of the robbers, said to be Charlie Ford, hit Fox over the head with his pistol. Jesse then ordered the gang to rob the passengers. Over the next few minutes, many passengers were relieved of their money, watches, and jewelry. Many passengers were overlooked for some reason. Jesse, the only bandit without a mask, reportedly boasted to the passengers that he was the infamous Jesse James. After robbing the passengers, Jesse shook Foote's hand, gave him two dollars, and said that his gang was going to ruin the Chicago & Alton Railroad. The six outlaws then jumped off the train and vanished. This would end up being the last robbery committed by the James brothers.


Amount of Money Stolen

Citizens Killed/Wounded