Historic Markers Across Florida

John Wesley Hardin

Marker ID:  
Location: S Tarragona St at East Government Street, Pensacola, FL
County: Escambia
Coordinates: N 30° 24.574    W 087° 12.723
  30.40956666    -87.21205
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMND38


Texas fugitive John Wesley Hardin (1833-1895) was captured here on August 23, 1877. Harding was wanted and dangerous, and his capture became national news that brought notoriety to Pensacola. Harden had reportedly killed 27 men. He bragged he killed 40 men “all in self-defense," Including one for snoring too loud. Texas Rangers Lieut. John B Armstrong and Jack R Duncan along with the Sheriff of Escambia County, William H Hutchinson and nine deputies apprehended Harden and his associates at the L&N Freight Depot as they boarded a train bound for Pollard, Alabama. When approached by Sheriff Hutchinson, Harden tried to draw a revolver but was overpowered. Deputy Martin Sullivan shot and killed one of Harden's accomplices as he tried to escape. Harden was returned to Texas and found guilty of killing Comanche County Deputy Charles Webb. He was sentenced to 25 years in the Texas State Penitentiary, but was pardoned after serving 17 years by Gov. James Stephen Hogg and thereafter practiced law in El Paso, Texas. On August 9, 1895 Harden was shot and killed while playing dice in El Paso.

A Florida Heritage site
Sponsored by Escambia County Sheriff's office,
Sheriff David Morgan, Pensacola City Historical Society
and the Florida Department of State