February 28, 1876

Northampton Bank Receives Ransom Note


On this day in 1876, a ransom note was sent to the Northampton National Bank. Just a month earlier, a notorious gang of New York thieves had managed to break through the bank's new security system. Within a matter of hours, they made off with the largest heist of cash and bonds in U.S. history. The $1,600,000 stolen would be worth over $26,000,000 today. The crime was carefully planned and brilliantly executed, but the thieves were less successful in getting the bank to ransom the bonds. They negotiated for nearly a year before Pinkerton detectives finally tracked them down. The ringleaders were arrested, tried, and convicted. The cash was never recovered.

Related Moments

Mass Moments is a project of Mass Humanities, whose mission is to support programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life throughout the Commonwealth.

Please consider helping us towards our goals with a donation today.

Interested in sponsoring Mass Moments?

What is the sum of 6 and 9?