1847 Jesse James Born

September 5, 2021

1847 Jesse James Born

Jesse James was a bank and train robber in the American Old West, best remembered as the gang of outlaws known as the James-Younger.

Before embarking on criminal careers in the Old West, Jesse James and his brother Frank served in the Confederate Army. As leaders of the James-Younger gang, the James brothers created a name for themselves as bank and railway robbers. Gang member Robert Ford assassinated Jesse James in 1882, and as a result, he became a legend in the Old West.

Jesse Woodson James, an American bandit, robber, and mythical figure, was born on September 5, 1847, in Kearney, Missouri.

Jesse and his brother Frank James were well-educated and came from a wealthy farming family. Reverend Robert James, their father, was a Baptist clergyman who married Zerelda Cole James and migrated to Missouri from Kentucky in 1842. Union forces ruthlessly attacked the James farm in the summer of 1863.

Jesse and Frank joined the Confederate guerilla army when they were 16 years old, traveling alongside William Quantrill and “Bloody Bill” Anderson.

Some historians accuse Jesse and Frank of being abusive to Union soldiers, while others say that the brothers’ severe treatment drove them to a life of crime. In any case, they defied draconian postwar civil legislation by enacting their legislation. They started stealing trains, stagecoaches and banks that belonged to or were operated by Northern institutions.

Jesse turned to adjust a picture on his home’s wall after breakfast on April 3, 1882, when Bob shot him in the back of the head. Jesse died suddenly at the age of 34. Missouri residents were incensed by the way used to apprehend him, calling it a cowardly killing.

Frank surrendered to Crittenden after three months. Frank continued his quiet life after the juries refused to convict him based on the scant evidence.

6 Comments

  1. Robin kopecky

    Very interesting i haven’t read anything like this since high school. Keep it up I like reading little articles like this now and then.

    Reply
  2. Barbara Keene

    My local weekly newspaper – The Blade –
    wrote about the James Brothers last week.
    Frank James came to our small town of Fairbury, IL that had an outstanding fair every year and still does. He was the starter for the horse races. Frank’s presence drew even a greater crowd.

    Reply
  3. Cindy B

    “They started stealing trains, stagecoaches and banks that belonged to or were operated by Northern institutions” because those received subsidies from the Federal Government. They probably would not have turned to bank robbing, as theirs was a political protest, if the subsidies had been handed out evenly or if there were no subsidies to begin with. Government regulations and subsidies therefore, may lead to bank and train robberies.

    Reply
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