Zeralda Samuel James Farm True West Magazine
Zeralda Samuel.

During the early morning hours on January 26th, 1875, the Samuel family was again punished for the actions of Zeralda Samuel’s two sons, Frank and Jesse James. Authorities decided to hire the Pinkerton Detective Agency to track down the outlaws. This private agency didn’t have to honor the finer points of the law, as did regular peace officers. In fact their tactics were often times outside the law.

Believing Frank and Jesse were visiting their parent’s farm, the Pinks approached the Samuel house that night and hurled an explosive device, killing Frank and Jesse’s eight-year-old, half-brother, Archie and causing their mother’s arm to be amputated. Dr. Samuel was also seriously injured. This cowardly act turned out to be a public relations nightmare for the Pinkerton Agency. An outraged public demanded the James boys be granted amnesty. Murder charges were brought against some of the men who raided the Samuel farm but nothing ever came of it.


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