HISTORY’S BIGGEST ‘DEAD OR ALIVE’ BOUNTIES IN THE WILD WEST

 

Back in the Wild West, where cowboys reigned supreme and grudges were ended by the pull of a trigger, law enforcement caught fugitives by putting a bounty on their heads. This method led to the capture of some of the age’s most notorious fugitives.

Today, we’re sharing some of history’s biggest ‘Dead or Alive’ bounties in the Wild West.

 

1. John Wilkes Booth

 

John Wilkes Booth was an American actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.on April 14, 1865. The confederate sympathiser and his associates vehemently opposed Lincoln and his ideas. After the assassination, Booth fled on horseback to southern Maryland and, 12 days later, was tracked down at a farm in rural northern Virginia. The bounty on his head was $100,000 (worth £12,342,222 in 2018) – an incredible amount for the time.

 

2. WM. M. Tweed

 

William Magear Tweed was an American politician and one of New York City’s biggest landowners. Tweed was convicted for stealing between $25 million and $45 million from New York City taxpayers through political corruption, although later estimates ranged as high as $200 million. Unable to make bail, he escaped from jail once, but was returned to custody after law enforcement put a $10,000 reward on his head. He eventually died in jail.

 

3. Jesse James

 

Even for a murder, a $5,000 reward was large by 1881’s standards. Other wanted posters of the time document sums of $50 to $500 for outlaws accused of the crime, but Jesse James was a constant irritation to law enforcement who were desperate to get rid of him. At the time of the poster’s issuance, James was charged with two train robberies, one bank robbery and a murder in the last two years alone!

 

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