The Letters of Rufus E. Brummagem

Rufus E. Brummagem

born: July 4, 1848 in Jefferson County, Missouri
A notorious rogue, prevaricator, outlaw, cutthroat, highwayman,
pirate, murderer and a spurious, pinchbeck, fake!
His crimes were legendary and his associates were as well.
He was reported to have married: 6 women in his short 32 years of life,
but no record of these marriages exist and no church records were kept as he never set foot in such buildings.
Besides his "wives" seemed to all be sporting women from various towns and various establishments
with no real records of any of them surviving.
Below is a few of his letters to his dying mother, which he wrote during his two month trial ordeal and prior to his hanging,
which tell of his "wives" in some form or another.
With some letters from his "wives" or family.

Rufus' Chronology:


This is the oldest known letter and it was penned in red ink! It comes from his association with a prostitute mentioned above from Indiana. Little is known of that particular incident.. (From the collection of Miss Shauni Ankles)
His first known letter to his ailing mother. dated May 1880
(All letters here may be partial and the language and spelling are his.)

A letter from his sister. dated April 1, 1880




He was taken up the thirteen steps of the public hanging platform and when someone asked him if he had any last words he spat at the preacher and yelled a profanity to the gathering crowd that caused the women present to swoon and the men to turn bright red. It was reported that a few females in the crowd laughed at his remarks and their laughter grew louder due to the subsequent reaction to his words. This only added to his discomfort as the hangman botched the job and placed the rope in the wrong position causing him to strangle for 20 minutes due to his slight build. It took a Captain Lugner Unecht Falschung , from the crowd of on lookers to gather the courage to walk up to Rufus and place a round hole in his temple, after three tries, with a small pocket pistol.
Thus ended the life of Missouri's lesser known outlaw, July 4, 1880.

Write to: Black Bart the Legend at

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Other Brummagems
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