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Bill Miner, the Gentleman Bandit, a Legendary Outlaw From American History

Legendary American Outlaw

Ezra Allen Miner, most often known as "Bill" Miner, was a legendary American outlaw who should not be forgotten. Often called "the gentleman bandit," for his politeness with the people he robbed, Bill Miner made a huge impact on America, and indeed, the world, with his legendary line, "Hands up!" Should you to try to recall every single time you'd seen some movie where an outlaw, robber, or even police officer pulled a pistol, and ordered folks to " hold em' up, " "hands up," so forth and so on, then you'd be completely unable to recall them, the sheer numbers alone astound - every time you see this happen, or hear reference to a "stick up man, " etc; then you've just recalled or heard a reference to the legendary Bill Miner.


"Hands Up, Boys, Hold Em' Steady!"

Born in 1847, and upon his death in 1913, Bill Miner turned American Law enforcement, and American jails and prisons on their ears, as he easily evaded police and whenever captured escaped jail or prison time and again; nobody but nobody matches Bill Miner. They say that crime doesn't pay, and this is often true, as the wealthy class created the laws to begin with to protect their own interests, but wealth has never been synonymous with intelligence, and certainly not with politeness.

Bill, it's reported, left home at the wise old age of thirteen years, and crossed America alone for California.  Finding his way to beautiful San Diego, Bill landed a few cowhand jobs at various ranches, but always one for adventure and daring, Bill took upon himself a very dangerous job that nobody in the United States Army felt quite up to, and besides the $100.00 offered for anyone who could complete it, Bill managed to pull some side jobs in for himself along the way.

The Gray Fox

In 1863, at sixteen years of age, Bill Miner took a very dangerous job as a message courier for the United States Army; can you see it? A sixteen year old boy taking the job of not a grown man, but a fool, delivering a message in the night, with waring Apache Indians, trained scouts, Natives to the land, and terrible foes against him, Bill Miner was King David, against, indirectly, many Goliaths. The message was to be delivered to a Colonel Corner at a fort on the Gile River. Besides the one hundred dollars paid to him for his amazing feat against tremendous odds, Bill also delivered many a message to the fort from the citizens of San Diego, charging between $5.00 to $25.00 per message. Perhaps it is this great adventurous feat where Bill obtained the additional moniker and nickname, "The Gray Fox."

Stagecoach Robber, and San Quentin Prison

Bill's daring spirit often comes with other, parallel traits typical of such a personality; and following life's own script, not his own, Bill's high life loving ways led him to poverty, and at the same time, the birth of his criminal career ensued. Typical of a world where people are so often misunderstood, and talents never utilized by a law obsessed culture that benefits only the wealthy creators of such laws; the intelligent, needy, non-sheep of this world find another avenue for their life, and talent. Criminal enterprise is the path of least resistance when talent must inevitably flow, like water; and it's all Karma, is it not?

In 1869, following the theft of his property by creditors come a callin', Bill, with a very inept horse robbed his first stagecoach in the Sonora desert, and got away for a while with a few hundred dollars.  A posse came after Bill, and he was caught as his horse tired and dropped in the pursuit.  Bill was sentenced to fifteen years in San Quentin penitentiary, but was released for good behavior five years early in 1879.  As is so typical of any American jail or penitentiary both then and now, no rehabilitation was achieved at all, and surely, Bill came into contact with many who encouraged his chosen vocation.  Nobody has ever went to a prison in North American and left anything but a wiser criminal with even fewer chances to succeed in this world.  Bill Miner, every bit a human, only went back to what he could do, and do well.

Bill Miner, Bill LeRoy, the hanging, England, Turkey, South Africa, and Brazil

Two heads are always better than one, and three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead - but a man like gentleman Bill Miner surely wished that things had turned out differently for him, and his chosen mentor, Bill LeRoy.

The same year that Bill Miner was released from San Quentin, he left California for Colorado, and met up with legendary Colorado highwayman, Bill LeRoy. Like Gasoline thrown upon a fire, the two of them, men of daring, brains, and perhaps more testosterone than usual, Miner and LeRoy robbed stagecoaches by the dozens, lived a high life, and had a fine time; but a vigilante posse caught up to them, and Bill LeRoy was captured an hung by vigilantes; but Bill Miner, surely disgusted with the death of his friend, got away; and headed to greener pastures far, far away. From San Francisco, Bill left aboard a ship for London, England. Though Bill never admitted to any train robberies, or other mischief in England, one can never be sure. Soon though, Bill would leave the more civilized world for Turkey. In Turkey, Bill Miner found a home for a short while running with desert slave traders, but Bill wanted more, and found the lure of the South African diamond fields much more appeasing to his imagination, and he moved there, but for whatever reason, Bill decided that robbing a diamond train wasn't a practical idea, and so he moved to South America. Living in Rio, Bill pulled a few jobs, but tis said that that nothing there appealed to him nearly so much as the adventurous American West, and all of the growth there. It was, after all, home, and soon Bill returned to the Sonora desert.

There's Gold in Them There Hills!

In 1881 Bill Miner was back at home in the Sonora desert, doing what he did best, robbing stagecoaches, and Bill robbed an untold and incalculable amount of wealth in Gold that was in transit via stagecoach.  As we criminals often do, Bill had developed his third eye, that inner voice, the gentle nudge that whispers "get out of here while you still can" from within. Bill took his earnings, and fled local law enforcement for Chicago, and then to Michigan, and pretended to be an Old Money elite. 

Back To California, and Back to San Quentin Prison

I've been to California myself on several occasions, and despite God's own description to Abraham concerning Palestine, in which the almighty described it as a land "flowing in milk and honey," I wonder if God hadn't smoked a joint that day when he spoke to the founder of so many nations; and the man who's children outnumber the sands on the world's beaches. God, after all, placed marijuana pretty much everywhere, it's idiocy to believe in a creator, and then think that he created plants that grow everywhere because Bronfsman owns Seagrams, and that you'd be better off drunk than smoking Mother Nature. I think God meant to tell Abraham that California was, in fact, a land flowing with milk and honey, but that he'd only lead a bunch of media moguls who claimed to be Jewish there instead.

Bill Miner heard God, and thought that he was Abraham, and again headed back to Sunny California, a land truly flowing with milk, honey, and beautiful women, and stagecoaches ready to be robbed. Bill, now with a gang of followers, robbed a few of those stagecoaches, and he and his entire gang was caught. This time Bill received a TWENTY FIVE year sentence, but once again, received no sort of rehabilitation, and once again, was let out early for good behavior. This time, Bill got out of prison in the year of our lord, nineteen hundred one, and to quote Norman Blake,

The twentieth Century was young, he bought himself a gun.

Canada, and The Great Train Robbery

The Canadian CPR is and was a tremendous public work, and a huge engineering feat which connected that huge nation's East and West coast via railway. Not the least bit surprising is the fact that besides a terrific song about Bill Miner, Norman Blake also composed a song about the legendary CPR. Neither subject is something that today's successfully dumbed down American typically has ever heard of. While Rockefeller has the American idiots thinking about bling, whether or not they are really gay and don't know it, and how they'd do were they staring on "reality" television, smart people are studying the world around them. Bill Miner, in the pre-Rockefeller dumbed down American parasitic media with the globalist goal days, studied the world around him, and considered how he might take advantage of such, in order to elevate himself to the level of those who imposed their wills upon him, in order to maintain their wealth. Bill Miner's basic thesis, given to the "elites," consisted of the same two words that I'd like to impart, words of wisdom those, to today's members of the same socio economic class; and those words are, "FUCK YOU."

In nineteen hundred three, near Corbett Oregon, Bill Miner single handedly robbed a train.  Perhaps the situation in his previous imprisonment was that his help had got him busted?  I do not know, but I do know that two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead, this, of course, is a generalization, and I can certainly keep your secret if I love you. Later, Bill Miner, with one accomplice robbed his first Canadian CPR train, and a bounty of $15,500 was placed upon HIS head, dead or alive.  For three years Bill Miner remained in hiding, but when he saw the film, "The Great Train Robbery," he was inspired to live again in the style with which he'd become accustomed.

A truth that perhaps you'd never believe, yet truth it is, is that when that film was released, many theaters were closed because of the damages that occurred when movie goers would pull their pistols, and fire into the roof, filled with glee..This sort of inspired lunacy has not been lost on today's mass media moguls, who now employee many another method to seduce you and yours into doing their own will for your lives.

The Great Train Robber, All Ten Minutes Of It!

Another Train Robbery, Another Life Sentence, and Another Escape

The second of only two armed robberies of the CPR's entire history occurred when Bill Miner and two other men successfully robbed another Canadian train at Duck's Landing, but on June 11 1906, the Canadian North West Mounted police caught Bill Miner, and again he was sentenced to yet another life sentence. It is reported that Bill Miner, as politely as he could, told the Canadian judge that it did not matter at all, that, in fact, there was not a jail that could hold him; true to his words, two months into a life sentence, Bill Miner escaped.


Back To the United States!

Having escaped again, Bill Miner, the incorrigible gentleman bandit, headed back home to the United States; and he then robbed any number of trains from Oregon state, all the way back to his state of birth, Georgia. In February 1911, a detective from the Pinkerton Detective Agency, used the modern mode of police communication, the telegraph, to catch up to Bill, and he was apprehended near White Sulpher, Georgia.  Bill Miner then spent the remaining years of his life in the Georgia State Penitentiary, where he, indeed, escaped three more times; and was recaptured.

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"I'm Getting Too Old For This"

Following Bill's last escape and recapture, he remarked to his capturer, "I think that I'm getting too old for this." Indeed he was, but Bill Miner enjoyed a brilliant life. I've looked, and I can not find an instance where Bill Miner ever killed anyone; he'd only robbed the wealthy, who in fact, rob every last one of US. It is for this reason that Bill Miner is a personal hero of mine, one that I'd love nothing more than to see many, and in fact, an unlimited number, emulate successfully. This is the entire reason that I've shared this story here. I'd like to conclude this article with a quote from the great American patriot, writer, and social philosopher, Woody Guthrie; from his wonderful outlaw anthem "Pretty Boy Floyd."

Yes, as through this life you travel,

You'll meet some funny men.

Some will rob you with their six gun,

Some with a fountain pen.

Bill Miner had achieved something of a Robin Hood like Status in the United States and Canada for his robbery of the hated Canadian Pacific Railroad; and when he died at sixty six years of age in the Georgia State Pen, the families in the surrounding area did something that they'd never done before for a Georgia State Pen inmate, they paid for his funeral.

So On that Day in 1913

Bill Drew his Final Breath,

But his escapes were not finished

He escaped prison once again

Arm In Arm with the Angel of Death!

Ol' Bill Miner (The Gentleman Bandit)

© 2010 Wesman Todd Shaw


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 06, 2012:

Sherry Hewins -VERY POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on May 06, 2012:

Maybe you were stoned?

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 06, 2012:

Sherry Hewins - THANKS! Yes, this is an old one - and due for some review! I don't even remember why I'd put that in.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on May 06, 2012:

I just stumbled across this hub, apparently an older one that I had missed before. I very much enjoyed it, although I was a little confused about the reference to marijuana in California. Was Bill Miner a pot smoker? In any case, great hub, I liked it very much.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 10, 2011:

I know, right? People accidentally shoot others and themselves all the time - but a guy made a living out of armed robbery. . .never shooting anyone, so far as I know of.

What are the odds?

J Sunhawk from South Carolina on May 09, 2011:

Great telling of the "Gentleman Bandit." Looks like an alternative occupation to consider if all goes to hades. Except they don't make stagecoaches no more. Darn!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on February 19, 2011:

Hey morrell, I much prefer the story you just told to the one I've got written!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

morrell on February 19, 2011:

I believe the story is on his last escape from prison.He was never one to this day knows where he ended up perhaps nova scotia?

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on December 11, 2010:

That is undoubtedly true.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 11, 2010:

Well, the slave trader thing certainly bothered me, Christopheranton; what I admire is his million and one escapes, that really takes some guts, and skill.

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on December 11, 2010:

That was certainly an engaging and very interesting hub about a very capable character, although hardly a laudable one. I was brought up to believe that robbing was wrong. Did this Bill Miner ever give away any of his ill gotten gains?

Also I dont feel that someone who worked for an arab slave trader is a person to be admired.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 10, 2010:

There's nothing to figure out! If you need help joining adsense I'll get you the link that explains it. You just do what you do, and people will flock to you as usual, you're an awesome writer. Hubpages doesn't like all of those outgoing links, but they will give you about as many links as you could ever ask for within this site, and I swear that those will be links that you will very much approve of. Just do plain text, join adsense, and then the rest will come to you, and of course you can do all the pictures you want, videos as well. There's a ton of folks making $1,500.00 a month or more here; and I'll be there sooner or later, and I know it; and you can too.

Temy Beal from LaGrange, GA, USA on December 10, 2010:

Well, I'll give it shot and see what happens if I can figure out the adsense thing. Don't have much sense in that direction.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 10, 2010:

TEMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Been worried about you, man, if you'd only start hubbing. You are about the best blogger there is, and if you did it here, joined adsense, you'd eventually make passive income a plenty!

Bill wasn't in the insane asylum. . . .but just the state pen. But that was a long time ago, so maybe the pen he was in isn't there anymore?

Temy Beal from LaGrange, GA, USA on December 10, 2010:

Damn, Wesman, looks like you have found your purpose in life. "Millidgeville"? We have one of those in GA, it's the insane asylum. Tha ain't where Bill went was it?

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 10, 2010:

Well, one hundred is actually the milestone, and we'll work on Pretty Boy Floyd today :-;

Evelyn Anne on December 10, 2010:

Good writing and GREAT story telling! and 99 hubs? WOW! Congratulations on that milestone but I know there are many stories yet to come. Keep writing!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 09, 2010:

Thanks Uncle! I think I'll now try to write more about outlaws, as I find that they are often more sane, and decent people than those who are not dubbed such a moniker.

uncle jailbird on December 09, 2010:

one of your best.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 09, 2010:

Christopher, he'd talk you and me both into robbing any and everything; and you know it!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 09, 2010:

Thank you very, very much Bianca! Eventually I'm going to do a very long hub about my very favorite outlaw, William Scott Scurlock, "The Hollywood Bank Robber." I might have to re-read the wonderful Ann Rule book about him, "The End Of The Dream."

christopher on December 09, 2010:

Nice! Sounds like a bloke Id love to hang out with.

Luminous Musings on December 09, 2010:

You really know how to tell a story, Todd!! Well written and researched. Engaging and witty!! I liked it--alot!!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 09, 2010:

THANK YOU AGAIN! Really, I got interested last night, as I've got the "Chattanooga Sugar Babe" album, by Norman Blake; that has the song, "Bill Miner, the Gentleman Bandit" on it. I've had that for years, but last night I thought to myself, "this is really an amazing story that doesn't get told too often.!"

Lori J Latimer from Central Oregon on December 09, 2010:

Very Welcome! I would be dizzy with joy to have this caliber of content in my 99th, it will be a goal to set. Thanks again.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 09, 2010:

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lori J Latimer from Central Oregon on December 09, 2010:

Excellent Hub, well researched and put together. Thanks for sharing and the hard work. Congrats on 99 Hubs!

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