Cornelius Donahue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Cornelius Donahue alias "Lame Johnny" (born in Philadelphia c.1850; died 1878), was an American cattle rustler, horse thief and general Wild West outlaw from the Black Hills of South Dakota. His gang's most notorious robbery was probably $3,500 in currency, $500 in diamonds, hundreds of dollars' worth of jewelry and 700 pounds of gold dust, nuggets and bullion from a special treasure coach called the "Monitor" belonging to the Homestake Mine in October 1878.

Doug Engebretson in his book "Empty saddles, forgotten names: Outlaws of the Black Hills and Wyoming" has the following to say on the demise of Johnny.

"In July 1879 the coach going from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Deadwood, South Dakota carried captured stage robber Lame Johnny who was being returned to Deadwood for trial. Near Buffalo Gap, Dakota Territory, Lame Johnny became "restless and nervous." He revealed his fear of Daniel Boone May, who was seen riding parallel to the coach. May and messenger Jesse Brown left the stage at Buffalo Gap and "Whispering" Smith, retained responsibility for Lame Johnny. Shortly thereafter, the coach was stopped, and eight vigilantes hanged Lame Johnny."

His headstone, which is now missing, once read as follows:

Pilgrim Pause!
You’re standing on
The molding clay of Limping John.
Tread lightly, stranger, on this sod.
For if he moves, you’re robbed, by God[1]