Jesse and Frank James were household names long before images of America's most wanted were televised. For several decades after the Civil War, they were hunted by hundreds who supposed them to be involved in every bank and train robbery in the Midwest. Trained as guerrilla fighters in the border conflict between Kansas and Missouri, they joined with the Younger brothers in February 1866 to rob a bank in Liberty, Missouri. That was the beginning of a criminal confederation that seemed beyond the reach of the law until the Northfield, Minnesota, raid killed three of them and sent the James brothers into hiding. But they were the objects of posted rewards that proved too tempting in Jesse's case: in 1882 he was shot in the back by Robert Ford of his own gang. The Rise and Fall of Jesse James, by Robertus Love, a newspaperman who knew Frank James, is a pioneering work that plumbs the personalities of the outlaws, looks at their domestic lives, cites many stories about them, and attempts to separate fact from legend in tracking their violent operations. Michael Fellman assesses Love's 1926 book in his introduction to this Bison Books edition.
the rise and fall of jesse james
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"Jesse James," said Carl Sandburg, "is the only American bandit who is classical, who is to this country what Robin Hood or Dick Turpin is to England, whose exploits are so close to the mythical and apocryphal." For this definitive study no significant source of information concerning Jesse James and his brother Frank has been neglected, and from it emerges resolution of the debated point: "Were the Jameses common criminals or gallant Robin Hoods?"
The Civil War in Missouri was a time of great confusion, violence, and destruction. Although several major battles were fought in the state between Confederate and Union forces, much of the fighting in Missouri was an ugly form of terrorism carried out by loose bands of Missouri guerrillas, by Kansas "Jayhawkers," or by marauding patrols of Union soldiers. This irregular warfare provided a training ground for people like Jesse and Frank James who, after the war, used their newly learned skills to form an outlaw band that ultimately became known all over the world. Jesse James and the Civil War in Missouri discusses the underlying causes of the Civil War as they relate to Missouri and reveals how the war helped create both the legend and the reality of Jesse James and his gang. Written in an accessible style, this valuable little book will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the Civil War, the legend of Jesse James, or Missouri history.
So small it had only one bank, so quiet no citizens carried guns. Hard-working, peaceful Northfield, Minnesota, was an orderly yet busy mill-town in the heart of prosperous farm country. On a serene autumn Tuesday in 1876, local shopkeepers, farmers, and citizenry went about their normal routines, little realizing that the infamous and deadly James-Younger gang had designs on tiny Northfield. The experienced robbers planned to target the single bank, which held the hard-earned money of the townsfolk. Jesse and Frank James and the Younger brothers had never experienced defeat. During a wild gun battle that raged between the outlaws and the bankmen up and down the town’s main street, two unarmed townsfolk were murdered. Northfield’s angered populace fought back. The townspeople killed two members of the James-Younger gang and wounded several more. The remaining bandits fled but were pursued across southwestern Minnesota by a posse that gradually grew to more than a thousand men. In Last Hurrah of the James-Younger Gang, Robert Barr Smith debunks the James-Younger "Robin Hood" image and shows that the real heroes of the Northfield raid were the ordinary people--the bankers who protected their depositors at their own risk, the townspeople who pitched in to chase the gang from town, and the posse members who pursued and triumphed over the retreating remnants of the gang.
"All of history is mystery," Dale L. Walker says, and he proves his point in this lively, humorous--and rational--approach to the West's greatest puzzles. Did Davy Crockett, for example, go down swinging Ol' Betsy, defending the ramparts of the Alamo--or was he captured? Who is buried in Jesse James's grave? Was the man Pat Garrett shot that night really Billy the Kid? How did Black Bart, "the gentleman bandit," disappear? Did Sacajawea, the famous "Bird Woman" who scouted for Lewis and Clark, die twice? The possibilities unfold as Walker brings together little-known facts and the elusive connections that shed light on the biggest enigmas of the American West. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This is the first research monograph to study the interstices between native Irish folklore and the emerging myth of the American West during the last frontier period (1860 ż 1890). It begins with by tracing the role of Irish pioneers and their contributions to the westward migration and then examines the many parallel developments between the myths of Ireland and those that would come to define the American West. Dr Quintelli-Neary ,for instance, discusses the adoption of traditional Irish music for Custerżs 7th Cavalry (żthe Garry Owenż) as well as the Texas Rangers ; this reaffirms not only the presence of the Irish but validates an incorporation of their culture in a blending western population.
Few lives experience a meteoric rise and fall like that of James Jesse Strang’s. An unsuccessful lawyer from upstate New York, he converted to Mormonism in 1844 and quickly entered the inner circle of the controversial new faith’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr. Upon Smith’s assassination, Strang sought to be named his successor as leader of the Mormons. Instead, Strang was excommunicated in 1850, though not before gathering a group of followers, who settled with him on remote Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan and ordained Strang king of the small enclave. King Strang elicited both ire and stubborn admiration from an ever-growing list of opponents, his actions closely monitored by President Millard Fillmore himself. In 1866, Strang was assassinated, seemingly with the assistance of federal authorities. This captivating new biography by Don Faber recounts the fascinating story of Strang’s path from impoverished New York farm boy to one of the most colorful and contentious personalities in Michigan history. Avoiding the nonsense, misinformation, and twisted facts so prevalent about the man, readers meet the historical Strang stripped of myth, demonization, and popular fancy—a true celebrity of the mid-nineteenth century who both shaped and was shaped by the colorful times in which he lived. This book will appeal to readers interested in the history of Michigan, the nineteenth century, and the Second Great Awakening.
Virgin Spring is the story of Nic Nichols, a rebellious teenager from the Midwest who has long had dreams of becoming a rodeo cowboy. A year before he is eligible for military service in World War II, he gets a lucky break: his parents send him to Arizona in a last-ditch effort to encourage him to finish high school. There, his passion is broncos rather than books, and his penchant for trouble continues to plague him as he tangles with rustlers, wrangling, and rodeos. But it is his friendship with an old vaquero and his romance with a young Apache woman that transform Nic into a man. Through the legend of Virgin Spring, he discovers the timelessness of love. This poignant tale evokes both the history and magic of the Southwest. "In G. N. Buffington's engaging and strongly written Virgin Spring, Nic turns into a cowboy before our eyes " -Richard Bradford, Author of the Classic, Red Sky at Morning "An engaging novel that captures the spirit of a time and place over which World War II casts its long shadow. Highly recommended." -Marc Simmons, Southwest Historian and Author of Ranchers, Ramblers, and Renegades and Others
The life story of Jesse James, famous outlaw of the Old West, from his activities in the Civil War and his career as a bank robber to his demise at the Ford brothers' house.