ENDORSEMENT by J. MARK BEAMIS…Mark is the son of Joan Beamis who authored the first genealogy of the Jesse James family Background of a Bandit, first published by the Kentucky Historical Society in 1970, and replicated by others since. He and his mother are first cousins of Frank & Jesse James. Mark has just written the following, highly personal endorsement. The files Mark references are his mother’s original research files for her book. The opening chapter of Jesse James Soul Liberty addresses Joan’s first attempts to learn of her own relationship to the outlaws Frank & Jesse James, after her father let the cat out of the bag through a slip of the tongue.
“I first learned of Eric James and his literary endeavors in late 2002, early 2003. My uncle told me about him, as Eric had contacted him while doing research on his book, Jesse James Soul Liberty. He referred him to me as my mother had compiled over many years of research a voluminous amount of material concerning the ‘famous’ outlaw Jesse James and his connection to our family.
“As my mother had passed away several years earlier, I was carting around these boxes with really no clue as to what was in them. To make a long story short, I sent him over 40 lbs. of documents in the Spring of 2003. Thanks to his detailed knowledge of the subject matter, and his expert skills as a writer and researcher, I’ve learned more about my mother’s work and my family than I ever dreamed possible.
“Reading preliminary drafts of his chapters on my mother and her work has moved me to tears, and I have had no qualms about donating all of her research and source material to him for safekeeping. He’s a very interesting and talented man, and I endorse him without reservation.”
J. Mark Beamis, October 9, 2012