Historic Jesse James Document Orders Hanging

Jesse James court document, Ford brothers sentencing (Thumb)


Buchanan County Courts have a rich and famous history.

Justice was swift in the 1800s.

The Ford brothers were sentenced to “hang by the neck until dead” just 14 days after shooting Jesse James. It’s said, Bob Ford laughed because he knew the governor would pardon them the next day. One assistant prosecutor wanted to charge the governor with murder.

I recently rediscovered this reproduction in an old file. Harold Slater, local historian and newspaper editor, wrote the accompanying historical background.

During my three terms as Buchanan County prosecutor, I always helped the American Legion conduct student government day. We gave copies of this to the students so they could know the important history of their local courts.

Click Here to Download and Print a Copy of the Court’s Order