James B Hume’s rifle valued at up to $150,000

Old west lawman James B Hume’s 1864 Henry lever action rifle will star in a sale at Dan Morphy Auctions.

Hume (1827-1904) is best remembered as the man who captured stage coach robber Black Bart, who terrorised northern California between 1875 and 1883.

Hume rifle Bart

Hume acquired this Henry lever action rifle in 1864

In spite of his vocation, Bart was by all accounts a gentleman and never harmed anyone during his robberies.

In the end it was a handkerchief left at the scene of the crime in 1883 that tipped Hume off as to Bart’s real identity. It featured a mark from a San Francisco laundry.

Miraculously, Hume was able to track down the laundry – who remembered the owner of the handkerchief, an Englishman named Charles E Boles. 

Morphy comments: “This rifle is steeped in California history and American folklore. The events in which it saw service are worthy of a novel.”

It’s valued at $100,000-150,000 ahead of the June 10 sale.

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