Category Archives: Videos

Ron Hansen Revealed

Ron Hansen’s novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was published in 1983. In 2009, actor Brad Pitt turned the novel into a stunning film that sadly flopped at the box office.

Both Hansen’s book and Pitt’s movie are fictional depictions. Yet both survive as the most representative of their genres regarding the accuracy of their subject icon and his factual history.

When writing Jesse James’ Soul Liberty, author Eric James twice attempted to contact Ron Hansen, seeking an interview. Soul Liberty is a history of the James family. Knowing the connections of the James family to the Catholic order of the Jesuits and that Hansen taught at a Jesuit school, the author wanted to compare notes with Hansen about the spiritual life of the James family. No response came from Hansen.

The following video is about the closest Ron Hansen comes to revealing the spirituality that guides his life and connects him to his subject matter.

Watch Catholic Writer Ron Hansen on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Northfield, MN, Rakes in the Cash off Jesse James

Every year the Minnesota town of Northfield places its civic pride on display in a three day festival called the Defeat of Jesse James Days. The town celebrates its historic dismantling of the James-Younger Gang following their robbery of the First National Bank of Northfield on September 7, 1876, two days after Jesse James’ 29th birthday. The Younger brothers were captured, convicted, and imprisoned. Five years later, Jesse James was assassinated.

Since then, Northfield ironically has been the only place to truly capitalize on the James-Younger Gang’s exploits with phenomenal success. For any cash that was lost on the day of the robbery, Northfield has recouped its losses in spades.

One of the town’s most favorite events is the re-enactment of the Northfield robbery. The actors authentically recreate the event with historical accuracy gleaned from first hand accounts. The only thing missing is dirt in the street.

Words by Charlie Chaplin & Daniel Lewis James Jr., a cousin of Jesse James

Daniel Lewis James Jr. co-wrote The Great Dictatorr with Charlie Chaplin. Dan James was a cousin of Jesse James. Like most warriors of democracy, Dan James found himself persecuted for his speech. Dan’s story is told in the forthcoming history of the James family, Jesse James’ Soul Liberty, Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence.

Words by Charlie Chaplin & Daniel Lewis James Jr., a cousin of Jesse James

Daniel Lewis James Jr. co-wrote The Great Dictatorr with Charlie Chaplin. Dan James was a cousin of Jesse James. Like most warriors of democracy, Dan James found himself persecuted for his speech. Dan’s story is told in the forthcoming history of the James family, Jesse James’ Soul Liberty, Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence.

Words by Charlie Chaplin & Daniel Lewis James Jr., a cousin of Jesse James

Daniel Lewis James Jr. co-wrote The Great Dictatorr with Charlie Chaplin. Dan James was a cousin of Jesse James. Like most warriors of democracy, Dan James found himself persecuted for his speech. Dan’s story is told in the forthcoming history of the James family, Jesse James’ Soul Liberty, Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence.

New Ad Promotes Jesse James Farm & Museum

Clay County has issued a new promo for Jesse James Farm in Kearney, and the Bank Museum in Liberty, Missouri. It’s always enjoyable to see something new about the farm, but this just seems to fall flat. Kind of like reading classified ads. But I’m sure those less acquainted with James Farm will enjoy it.

 

 

How to Fake a Jesse James Photo

Despite the proliferation & debunking of countless fake Jesse James photos, we still receive images from people asking if their Jesse James photo is authentic. This video shows just how easy it is to fake a Jesse James photo.

Recently Bill Koch, one of the infamous Koch brothers who pump $millions into political promotions, paid $2.3 million for an authentic tintype of Billy the Kid. The scuzzy old tintype is pretty time worn, but using these techniques, which won’t cost him nearly the millions he spent to buy the tintype, Bill Koch should be able to have himself a first rate image of the young outlaw.

The Physical Art of Rebecca Busselle… plus a side order of bread

The latest video from Rebecca Busselle will make you hungry for bread. Click here and now to view and listen to Becky’s story “For the Love of Bread.” Then read on to learn more about Becky. She’s one of our James family’s most accomplished authors.

When I first met Becky, she gave me this description of her girlhood years in St. Louis.

“I grew up in the Central West End. Summers we cooled down with fans blown over bowls of ice, or went to Pevely Dairy where the colored lights took your mind off the heat. Learned to ice skate at the Winter Garden.  Took the street car to Glazers Drugs in Clayton.”

Then came this surprising gem… “Lived spitting distance from the DeBallivier strip, where I managed to sneak in to see Evelyn West, the biggest and the best, with her $50,000 treasure chest, insured by Lloyds of London. Sorry to hear she’s gone but amazed she made it so long. RIP.”

You’d think a young girl who could appreciate a famous, voluptuous stripper might not accomplish much of significance in her future. But Becky is a James family descendant. We expect her to confound expectations.

When Becky’s book An Exposure of the Heart was published in 1989, the New York Times review stated, “Five minutes after I began reading this book, I wanted to slam it shut and hide it away in the deepest recesses of my desk. ‘An Exposure of the Heart’ is a beautifully written, profoundly disturbing account of Rebecca Busselle’s year as a photographer and observer at a New York State institution for the retarded – society’s most invisible people.” The reviewer concludes, “Rebecca Busselle forces us to ask why society takes so little interest in the lives of those it preserves from physical death.”

 

Physicality is at the core of another of Becky’s books. Her novel Bathing Ugly centers on thirteen year old Betsy Sherman. Attending Camp Sunny Days, operated by a faded beauty queen who can impel casual cruelty upon girls lacking in physical beauty, overweight Betsy spends ten desperate weeks trying to avoid winning the Bathing Ugly contest, the camp’s counterpart to a Bathing Beauty contest. Betsy’s summer ends with flair and vengeance, but not in the way you might think.

 

 

Self-destruction dogs Becky’s next heroine Neela in A Frog’s- Eye View. Haunted by her parent’s alcoholism, Neela is convinced her boyfriend Nick is about to break up with her. She stalks him with the flair and obsession of Fatal Attraction. She is caught in an adolescent love that is half nightmare, half farce.

 

 

 

In Becky’s latest book, Paul Strand, Southwest, Becky introduces many new photographs of the famed protégé of Alfred Stieglitz during his Taos period, when Strand’s relationship with his mentor was disintegrating as fast as his relationship with his wife, Rebecca Salsbury.  Strand’s images of landscapes are dramatic, the ghost towns decayed, the architecture noble, and the images of his wife Rebecca austere. Later, Rebecca Salsbury married William H. James, who is not known to be related to Becky’s James family.

Rebecca is married to Sam Busselle. They both served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Sierra Leone from 1972 to 1975. They now make their home outside New York City.

PEDIGREE

Rebecca Starkloff-Busselle

. Elizabeth Egan & Gene B. Starkloff

.. Fannie James & Louis Henry Egan

… John Crawford James & Fannie Shouse

…. Thomas Martin James & Susan Ann Woodward

….. John M. James & Mary “Polly” Poor

…. Robert Sallee James & Zerleda Elizabeth Cole

… Frank & Jesse James

James Drury of TV’s The Virginian Plays Jesse James Jr. – Bitter Heritage, Playhouse 90

Relax and enjoy a one hour vintage TV movie from 1958. Among the all-star cast, James Drury plays Jesse James Jr., Franchot Tone plays Frank James, and Eva LaGallienne plays the indomintable Zerelda, mother of Frank & Jesse James. Elizabeth Montgomery also appears in this movie. Montgomery subsequently played Belle Starr in the 1980 movie Belle Starr.

ASA CASTLE, Tattoo Artist in the James Family

The most amazing thing about Asa Castle is not the fact that Asa is a tattoo artist. It’s the fact that Asa is a single dad, who is raising his son Kannon Van Castle while making a living as an artist. Being both artist and single dad has its challenges.

 

 

 

Asa’s not the only artist in his family. Descended from four generations of bankers and tobacco farmers in Lexington, Kentucky, Asa’s mother, Hart Gay James was sufficiently independent to move past the family businesses. Asa’s mother established a successful landscape business, while she also was drawn to art herself. The family talent also found its way to Asa’s sister Charlotte Hart Castle, who also is an artist.

 

Art and creativity comes naturally to the James and their descendants. We can’t wait to see where Kannon Van Castle will take his creative talent.
 

 
PEDIGREE

Asa Christopher Castle

. Hart Gay James & Douglas Jay Castle

.. Robert Coleman James II & Hart L. Dunkman

… Robert Lee James Sr. & Mary Watrous

…. David Hunt James Sr. & Anne Tavner Gay

….. John Graves James & Anna Skinner

…… Rev. Daniel James Sr. & Nancy Ann Graves

…… Joseph James, the Elder & Mary Field

….. John M. James & Clara Nalle

RELATED STORIES

James Family in Banking

Visit to Walnut Farm See MENU-NEWS > Visit to Walnut Farm, June, 2007

 

Archives.com Awards Grant to The James Preservation Trust

Eric James Displays Award Certificate from Archives.com

The genealogy research web site Archives.com has awarded a research grant to The James Preservation Trust. In the video below, Archives interviews recipient Eric James about his genealogy research of the Jesse James family. Eric tells what’s been learned to date, and what new research is coming.