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Sturdivant Gang

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Title: Sturdivant Gang  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, Rosiclare, Illinois, New Athens, Illinois, Counterfeit money, James Ford (pirate), Sturdivant
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sturdivant Gang

The Sturdivant Gang was a multi-generational group of counterfeiters whose criminal activities took place over a 50-year period from Colonial Connecticut to the Illinois frontier. Although they did not follow the same frontier settlement pattern as most of the "Ancient Colony of Horse-Thieves, Counterfeiters and Robbers".

By the 1810s third-generation counterfeiter Roswell S. Sturdivant led the gang that was based partially at Manville Ferry in St. Clair County, Illinois (modern-day New Athens) as well as at Sturdivant Fort in what was then in Pope County, Illinois (and is now in Rosiclare, Hardin County, Illinois).

Although they didn't base their operations at Cave-in-Rock, they are considered part of the second wave of outlaws associated with the cave. Their fort downriver sat on a bluff that is visible from Cave-in-Rock Bluff. They were contemporaries with James Ford and the Ford's Ferry Gang.

The gang was often confused with John Duff's counterfeiting operations by 19th and early 20th Century historians.


  • Otto A. Rothert, The Outlaws of Cave-In-Rock, Otto A. Rothert, Cleveland 1924; rpt. 1996 ISBN 0-8093-2034-7
  • Sturdivant Gang and Ford's Ferry Gang Rogue's Gallery
  • The Raid on Sturdivant Fort
  • Sturdivant the Counterfeiter
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