Who was Charles Ford?
Charles Ford was an American outlaw and a member of the notorious James-Younger Gang, led by Jesse James. He was born on July 9, 1857, in Fauquier County, Virginia, to James Thomas and Mary Bruin Ford. He was the younger brother of Robert Ford, who would later become famous for killing Jesse James.
Charles Ford joined the James-Younger Gang in the early 1880s, after being introduced to Jesse and Frank James by their cousin Wood Hite. He participated in several robberies and crimes with the gang, such as the Blue Cut train robbery in 1881. He also became friends with Jesse James, who trusted him and his brother.
How did Charles Ford die?
According to sitename, Charles Ford died on May 6, 1884, in Richmond, Missouri, at the age of 26. He died by suicide, shooting himself in the chest with a revolver. He was suffering from a deep depression, a terminal illness, and a morphine addiction.
His depression was caused by the guilt and regret he felt for his role in the assassination of Jesse James. On April 3, 1882, Charles and Robert Ford had betrayed Jesse James and shot him in the back of the head, while he was hanging a picture in his home in St. Joseph, Missouri. They did this to collect the $10,000 bounty offered by Governor Thomas T. Crittenden for the capture of Jesse James.
The Ford brothers were arrested and convicted of murder, but they were quickly pardoned by the governor. They also received only a fraction of the reward money, and were despised by the public as cowards and traitors. They tried to capitalize on their fame by staging re-enactments of the killing, but they were met with hostility and ridicule.
Charles Ford also contracted tuberculosis, a deadly disease that affected his lungs and caused him to cough up blood. He became addicted to morphine, a powerful painkiller that also had severe side effects. He lost his appetite, his weight, and his will to live.
He decided to end his life on May 6, 1884, in his sister’s house in Richmond, Missouri. He left a note that read: “I am tired of life. I killed the best friend I ever had. I am sorry.” He was buried in the Richmond Cemetery, next to his brother Robert, who had died two years earlier by the same cause.
What was his impact on history?
Charles Ford was a minor figure in the history of the American West, but he was part of one of the most infamous events of that era: the killing of Jesse James. He was one of the last members of the James-Younger Gang, a group of outlaws that terrorized the Midwest for over a decade. He was also one of the first examples of a celebrity criminal, who gained notoriety and fame for his deeds.
Charles Ford’s death was a sad and tragic end for a young man who had followed the wrong path. He was a victim of his own actions, as well as the circumstances of his time. He was a reminder of the violence, the corruption, and the lawlessness that marked the Wild West. He was also a symbol of the remorse, the guilt, and the despair that haunted many of the outlaws who lived and died in that era.