Category Archives: James in the Arts

What would Jesse James’ cousin, Dan James, do about Arizona ?

American’s iconic outlaw Jesse James had a modern day cousin who wrote movies and books using pseudonyms. One of the names he wrote under was Danny Santiago.

As Danny Santiago, Daniel Lewis James Jr. wrote an award winning novel, titled Famous All Over Town. Today the book is a classic, that is studied in countless college Hispanic studies programs. Dan’s protagonist is a 24 year old Chicano, named Chato Medina. Literally translated, his name means a cat from the old part of town.

Like Jesse James and Dan James, Chato had political problems. When the Southern Pacific Railroad began demolishing Chato’s neighborhood, Chato took up arms. His firearm of choice was a piece of chalk. Chato took his chalk to the streets. Everywhere he went Chato chalked his name in protest. Like Jesse and Dan who fought injustice, Chato suffered retribution. He became an outlaw and was jailed for his crimes. Like Jesse and Dan, Chato also became famous all over town.

Dan James wrote his novel after spending a significant part of his life working with his wife Lillith in the barrios of Los Angeles with the disadvantaged from the Hispanic community. Dan and Lillith introduced Hispanics kids to Hollywood celebrities, got their parents trade jobs in the film industry, lent them money when necessary, sent them to college, drank with them in their cantinas, and became godparents to a multitude of Hispanic children.

Dan’s grandfather was Jesse’s uncle Thomas Martin James. Taking some fancy European chinaware that was useless to fur traders heading into the Far West, T. M. James transformed his trading business in Kansas City into the famed T.M. James Fine China Co., later purchased by the Havilland Fine China Company. On the side of Dan’s mother Lillie Snyder, Dan’s great grandfather was Andrew Jackson Snyder. A.J. served as Brigadier General for Gov. Green Clay Smith in Montana Territory during the gold rush there. Later, as a stockman, A.J. offered to buy the Cherokee Strip to annex to his Texas ranch that sold 30,000 head of cattle per year.

Dan’s father and namesake, Daniel Lewis James Sr., wrote plays with characters that resembled Jesse James, too. Dan Sr. could never figure out, though, if his cousin Jesse was a sinner, or was sinned against. None of his plays was produced.

Daniel Lewis James, aka Danny Santiago

Dan Jr. was more like his cousin Jesse. Dan was a social activist. He worked for the longshoreman union organizer Harry Bridges. When Dan was arrested in the Bloody Thursday riots of 1934 in San Francisco, about the same time his cousin Barbara James was jailed for demonstrating for birth control, Dan Sr. suggested Dan confine his politics instead to the use of his pen.

Wielding a pen as his weapon also got Dan into trouble. Dan wrote the movie The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin, confronting the Fascist government of Mussolini. Like his cousin Jesse, his own government came down hard on Dan. He was brought before the House on Un-American Activities. Dan was accused of being a Communist, and he was blacklisted from making a living as a screenwriter.

Chaplin fled to his native England. Daniel Lewis James Jr. fled to the barrios of Los Angeles to continue to fight with the Hispanic community against bigotry and social inequality. Today, Daniel Lewis James would probably be in Arizona.

LINKS:

New York Times Obituary for Daniel Lewis James

Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration

What’s the Matter with Arizona?

Hey Arizona… We don’t need no stinkin’ “papers”!

Eric James says “No, Thanks” to Jesse James publisher, North Star Press

If you thought you knew Jesse James, wait until you meet his family. So says Eric James, author of the new, long awaited, four volume history of the family of Frank and Jesse James.

According to historian Nancy Samuelson who has previewed portions of the upcoming book, the author of The History of the Dalton Gang says James’ book is likely to send historians back to find what history they missed.

“I was honored that North Star Press of Minnesota wanted to publish my book,” says Eric James. North Star Press already publishes five books about Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang by author John Koblas. “My books would have been a natural complement,” says James. Koblas, who also has previewed a large portion of James’ book, insists James’ book “must be published!”

After two months of negotiations, however, James now is seeking a publisher elsewhere. After twelve years of research and writing, Eric James is not at all disappointed that publication of Volume I of his epic quartet now appears headed for a nine month delay. Publication formerly was expected this Fall. Release now is re-scheduled for Summer of 2011.

Given the economic difficulties in the publishing industry today, James doesn’t begrudge North Star Press for not wanting to produce a hardcover edition. James just wants to meet his readers’ expectations. They tell James a hardcover edition is a must, though some of his readers prefer a case slipped, collector’s edition.

James credits North Star with opening his eyes to his book’s possibilities. “North Star was particularly helpful in establishing the multi-volume format of the work,” says James. “This, in turn, focused my attention on the work’s trans media possibilities.” James is intrigued by the new Vook format, soon to be used by vampire author Anne Rice. A Vook is a book published in tandem with video applications of a book’s content.

Since 1997, Eric James has written and published the official web site for the family of Frank & Jesse James. Stray Leaves, a James Family in America since 1650 (www.ericjames.org). On any given day, over 10,000 visitors are attracted to the web site, particularly to research its gargantuan genealogy database, related to the James family. James also is president of The James Preservation Trust, which addresses the historical interests of the James family.

Eric James already is at work planning a special 4-day schedule of events in Kansas City, where he will premiere the book. Russell Hatter, curator of the Capital City Museum in Frankfort, Kentucky and publisher at The Frankfort Press, is looking forward to James’ quartet of new books. “Eric James’ gift for pulling new history out of genealogy is absolutely brilliant!”

John M. James Speaks of Jeremiah Vardeman

Eric James portrays John M. James, as John speaks of his family, their early life on the Kentucky frontier, and also of his son-in-law, Rev. Jeremiah Vardeman, who gave the father of Frank & Jesse James, Rev. Robert Sallee James, $20,000 to become a founder of William Jewell College in Missouri. Vardeman himself founded the Schools of Theology at both Georgetown College in Kentucky and William Jewell College in Missouri.

This video was made at the Vardeman family reunion over 4th of July, 2003. The video begins with the dedication of Vardeman Cemetery near Crab Orchard in Lincoln County, Kentucky.

RELATED LINKS:

James Family Connection, Rev. Jeremiah Vardeman

Vardeman Cemetery Excavations

Preserving Vardeman Cemetery

William Jewell College

Trouble downloading this video, try this LINK

VIDEO: John M. James Appears Before the Kentucky Heritage Council in Restless for Revolution.

Newman University Promotes Bogus Jesse James Historian Ron Pastore

Ron Pastore is a con man who attended Newman University in Wichita, Kansas. Now, Newman University wants Ron Pastore to teach the bogus history he connives about Jesse James to Newman University students.

Responding to a public announcement that appeared on Newman University’s website, The James Preservation Trust, representing the historical interests of the Jesse James family, filed an objection with Newman president Noreen M. Carrocci over Newman’s announced lecture by Pastore.

Noreen M. Carrocci, President of Newman University

The Trust challenged Pastore’s credentials as a claimed “historian” stating, “At best, the views of Mr. Pastore represent fanciful fiction that has no foundation in substantive, factual, or recorded history, whatsoever. For those who write history, read history, or are students of history, Ron Pastore advocates faux history that is untruthful, untrustworthy, distorted, and misleading.”

The Trust further requested of Newman’s president that a public disclaimer be made prior to Pastore’s lecture, stating that the James family disclaims all claims made by Ron Pastore.

Newman University rejected the request, stating “we view such presentations as the opportunity for students and those attending to individually assess the value of the information presented. It has been made clear in our promotion of this event that the presentation is based upon Mr. Pastore’s interpretation of his own research.”

Ron Pastore has a long record of manufacturing fake history. He first opened a small museum, filled with photos and artifacts which he represented as being of and belonging to the family of the iconic America outlaw Jesse James.

When his museum failed and was closed, he then claimed Jeremiah James was the true Jesse James, since Jesse James was not assassinated in Pastore’s view as history records. Pastore’s connivance further resulted in the exhumation of Jeremiah James, and a DNA test which proved nothing whatsoever.

Recently, Pastore has re-surfaced publicly, as his hometown newspaper claims “for another fifteen minutes of fame.” Pastore produced a television program Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure. While the program was widely ignored by Jesse James enthusiasts, who are acquainted well with Pastore’s con game. But Pastore and his program was widely debunked and savaged by treasure hunting enthusiasts, who found his claims on that subject matter fundamentally flawed, fraudulent, and manufactured.

Clearly, Ron Pastore’s appearance before Newman University’s students has more to do with Pastore being an alumnus of Newman University, more than for anything he has said or may have accomplished in his efforts at self-aggrandizement.

The James Preservation Trust fully expects Pastore to propagate his bogus history to Newman’s students under the sponsorship and with the full approval of Newman University. It will be left to the students of Newman University to decide for themselves if Newman University’s ignorance that begot Ron Pastore’s ignorance, and now promotes it, will now produce another generation of ignorance, given the fact that no balanced perspective is provided by Newman University to its students.

CONTACT PRESIDENT NOREEN CARROCCI: carroccin@newmanu.edu

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The Latest Fake Jesse James History from Ron Pastore

James-Younger Gang Journal Pans Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Bogus History & Fantasy from The History Channel

Jesse James Hidden Treasure: Laughable “science”

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Deconstructing Chapter One

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Deconstructing Chapter Two

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Deconstructing Chapter Three

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Chapter 4 deconstructed

Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure – Chapter 5 Deconstructed

Newman University Promotes Bogus Jesse James Historian Ron Pastore

Jesse James Family Challenges Newman University’s Presentation of Bogus History

Wichita Man Tries to Change History of Jesse James

Wichita’s Jesse James Museum Challenges Jesse James History as We Know It

Area Historian Takes a Fresh Look at Jesse James

Techniques of Jesse James Con Artists