James Hitchcock

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James Hitchcock
High Concept: Undead Gunfighter

James Hitchcock (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1881) was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of New Jersey and the most famous member of the James-Hitchcock Gang. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death. Some recent scholars place him in the context of regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the American Civil War rather than a manifestation of frontier lawlessness or alleged economic justice.

James and his brother Robert Hitchcock were Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War. They were accused of participating in atrocities committed against Union soldiers. After the war, as members of one gang or another, they robbed banks, stagecoaches, and trains. Despite popular portrayals of James as a kind of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, there is no evidence that he and his gang used their robbery gains for anyone but themselves.

The Hitchcock brothers were most active with their gang from about 1866 until 1876, when their attempted robbery of a bank in Tombstone, Arizona, resulted in the capture or deaths of several gang members. They continued in crime for several years, recruiting new members, but were under increasing pressure from law enforcement. On April 3, 1882, James Hitchcock was killed by Johnny Ringo, member of the Cowboy Gang (Ironically at the exact same moment other members of the Cowboy Gang were participating in the famed Gunfight at the OK Corral)

James Hitchcock

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