But Judge, I Wasn’t Even There! John Chapman led a train robbery, long-distance.

Nevada State Prison.

November 5, 1870.  A group of outlaws held up a train just outside Verdi, Nevada, in the first train stickup on the Pacific Coast.  They made off with more than $40,000—but not for long.  Almost all of them were caught within four days.

Based on one badman’s confession, officers arrested John Chapman in San Francisco.  He’d been in that city on the day of the holdup, but there was evidence that he’d helped mastermind the crime.  He was sentenced to 23 years in the Nevada penitentiary.

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