An English Westerners' Society Publication

The Life and Death of Outlaw

Harry Tracy


Frank James

Foreword by Robert J. Wybrow

“In all the criminal lore of the country there is no record equal to that of Harry Tracy for cold-blooded nerve, desperation and thirst for crime. Jesse James, compared with Tracy, is a Sunday school teacher.”
Seattle Daily Times July 3, 1902


Despite the claims "this remarkable story by a remarkable man" was not written by the famous outlaw Frank James, but ghosted by journalist and author Robertus Love. Love had been tasked by his Editor to get Frank James to stand for a story of Harry Tracy. Tracy was an outlaw who had escaped from the Oregon State Penitentiary on 9th June, 1902 and was to die at his own hands on 5-6th August, 1902 after being cornered by a posse. During this brief period on the run he had killed seven people including the man he had escaped with. Tracy had been sentenced to 20 years for assault and robbery in March 1899 when he was 24 years-old but even before then he had been jailed first in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1897 and then in Aspen, Colorado as a member of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang in 1898 implicated in the killing of two people.

Frank did not want to write the story but agreed to assist Love as long as there was no sensationalism, giving the facts and ensuring that the story was a moral lesson for all young men so that they would be disgusted and horrified by the events. The serialised account of the last weeks in the life of Harry Tracy in 1902 appeared in the the St. Louis Post Dispatch between 24-31 August, 1902.

English Westerners' Society Brand Book Volume 39 No. 3

Price £4.00 ($8.00) to Subscribing Members of EWS includes postage and packaging.

Price £4.00 ($8.00) to Non Subscribing Members through EWS excludes postage and packaging.

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