First of all, Jesse James began his life on September 5, 1847. Jesse’s parents were Robert S. James and Zerelda Cole James. Robert S. James was a Baptist minister. The James family was well to do. They owned six slaves and well over 200 acres. Robert helped found the William Jewell College in Missouri. Robert traveled to California during the Gold Rush to be a minister. California was where he died from cholera when Jesse was only two years old. Shortly afterwards, Jesse’s mother married Benjamin Simms. After Benjamin’s death, Zerelda married Dr. Reuben Samuel in 1855. As a result, for the first eight years of Jesse’s life he had three different fathers.
During the Civil War, Jesse joined his brother in a confederate squad commanded by Fletch Taylor. Taylor was severely wounded so the James brothers joined a group led by Bloody Bill Anderson (Wikipedia contributors). Jesse was only 16 and badly wounded in the chest. Anderson was killed in an ambush in October. Jesse recovered and went to Texas under Archie Clement, one of Anderson’s lieutenants. In April 1865, Jesse suffered his second life-threatening wound to the chest.
For the most part, after the war, Clement kept his bushwhacker gang together. They focused on banks, trains, and p...
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...eries. Not to mention, Jesse was smart enough not to work as a farmer, but lived the lifestyle he had learned from his brother and the gang.
Furthermore, the name Jesse James simply stands out when one refers to the Wild West. Numerous books and movies have been made about this outlaw. Even though, his way of life was glamorous during the 1800’s; in today’s society, it would not get a person very far. An individual would have to elude the law like Jesse. Instead, more values are instilled in most of the population. Americans today could not stand another Jesse James or maybe they could?
Oydegaard, Floyd D. P. "Chronology of Jesse James." Shadows of the Past, Inc., Looks at Jesse James. Web. 19 May 2010.
Wikipedia contributors. "Jesse James." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 20 May 2010. Web. 20 May 2010.
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