Tag Archives: Daniel Boone

The Smack & Zing of This Bloody Ground

This Bloody Ground, Volume II of the Jesse James Soul Liberty quintet
Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol. II, This Bloody Ground

Daniel Boone and John M. James are ancestors of today’s descendants of Jesse James. In the present film documentary Daniel Boone & the Opening of the American West, Boone once more cuts a path and trail for Jesse’s grandfather John M. James, again today as Boone did in the past. The film is worth viewing as a preview of the smack and zing of John’s own history, soon to come in my book This Bloody Ground.

In recent years, as I sat in Danville, Kentucky, writing the story of Frank & Jesse James’ grandfather as the second book of my Jesse James Soul Liberty quintet, Kent Masterson Brown was in Lexington, Kentucky, beginning his journey of three years to bring Boone to film.

Both my book and Brown’s film cover the same period, the same territory, many of the same people, and a lot of the same history. However, each of us delivers a different view. Much of Boone’s story, as Brown tells it, is located north of the Kentucky River. The story of John M. James in This Bloody Ground, as might be expected, resides south of the Kentucky River.

Brown credits Boone in part with opening the Northwest Territory that became everything from Ohio west to Minnesota. John M. James and his band of rebel Baptist preachers, not only opened the West from colonial Virginia to Missouri Territory, but also way beyond into the Far West, to the Rockies and California.

Daniel Boone is a star in history’s firmament, replete with legend and misleading mythology, which Brown goes to great length to extinguish in a shower of facts. John M. James, for the most part, is unknown to legend, mythology, or fact. Equally, unknown is the origination in John’s Kentucky of many of those families affiliated with John who later spawned their own history of the American West.

Kent Masterson Brown
Kent Masterson Brown

I have enjoyed the former historical work of Kent Masterson Brown. Brown resembles for me the often fabled Kentucky lawyer whose telling of a good history lesson, more than a trial, vindicates justice. His voice that speaks through grit is invaluable. Brown and I are in the same business. Maybe that explains our mutual fondness for a neat and tidy bow tie.

Scitt New as Daniel Boone
Scott New portrays Daniel Boone

As a boy, John M. James tried to join Daniel Boone, when Boone stood beside his wagon in Stevensburg, Virginia, seeking recruits to enter the dark and unknown wilderness. Though John was too young for Boone to accept, each man became a pioneer. Each did so in his own way. Each has had a lasting effect on American history.

In This Bloody Ground, I will argue, however, that John M. James was more an average person’s pioneer. John M. James, not Daniel Boone, produced a more lasting effect relative to the common person. The legacy of John M. James endures in the social, religious, and political culture of America.

The marriage of Jesse’s son Jesse Edwards James Jr. to Estella Frances “Stella” McGowan might have appeared surprising at the time. It should not. He is a great-grandson of John M. James. She is a third great granddaughter of Daniel Boone. Their marriage represents the reunion of Daniel Boone and John M. James. For today and all tomorrows, the descendants of Jesse James will be the progeny of a star pioneer and a pioneer of the common man.

To view the entire program of Daniel Boone and the Opening of the West, and to savor the smack and zing of This Bloody Ground coming this year, CLICK HERE. The program may not be available for very long.

High School Photos of Jesse James Great Grandchildren

For the James family, high school photos become really interesting when they are newly discovered photos of Jesse James’ great-grandchildren. The class photos increase in interest when they’re discovered to be provided by a previously unrecognized cousin.

class photos of Don and Diane Baumel

Twin siblings, Don & Diane Baumel, are direct descendants of America’s iconic outlaw. From the history of the Jesse James family, Jesse James Soul Liberty, we learn the following about Don and Diane, and more:

In high school in Los Angeles, Don and Diane Baumel both were considered “joiners.” If a group existed, they joined. Years later in 2007, Barbara Clemens, a classmate from their high school class, confirmed the fact. Diane and Don were elected by their classmates and by school faculty to the Ephebian Society, “on the basis of outstanding character, leadership ability, demonstrated service, and high scholastic achievement.” Don was Vice-President of the student body Diane was class President.

Barbara Wenzel Clemens
Barbara Wenzel-Clemens

These class photos are provided by Don and Diane’s classmate, Barbara Clemens, now age 81. Until Barbara provided these images, she did not know herself that she shared a common ancestor with Don and Diane in the famed explorer Daniel Boone, making all three of them cousins.

Being a great granddaughter of Daniel Boone, also makes Barbara a cousin to several of Boone’s descendants who also were among William Clarke Quantrill’s Raiders. Those are: John M. Ross, Daniel Boone Scholl and George Thomas Scholl, plus James Overton Hinde and Thomas W. Cassell.

Of continuing interest and research is the question of whether Barbara’s ancestry to a Link family also connects her to the Link family of William Link, the owner of Link farm that Jesse and Zee James rented in Waverly, Tennessee, where their children Gould & Montgomery James were born and died.

The class photos of Don & Diane no doubt intrigues other James family members who perceive all the common physical features they share with Don & Diane. Notably clear is the single arched eyebrow that continues to plague James women when they do their makeup. Don’s flat sided ear, addressed elsewhere on Leaves of Gas, is an unmistakable James birthmark, as are the clear jawbones, lips, nose, eyelids, forehead, and overall spatial formations.

If all this isn’t exciting enough, Barbara’s married name of Clemens also links her husband to the family of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known to America as Mark Twain.

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DON & DIANE’S DESCENT FROM JESSE WOODSON JAMES

Jesse Woodson James & Zerelda Amanda Mimms

. Jesse Edward James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan

.. Mervyn Baumel & Jessie Estell James

… Donald James Baumel

DON & DIANE’S’S DESCENT FROM DANIEL BOONE

Daniel Boone & Rebecca Ann Bryant

. Nathan Boone & Olive Van Biber

.. Alfred M. Hosman & Mary Boone

… Luther Alfred McGowan & Mary Frances Hosman

…. Alfred Monte McGowan & Martha Ann Wood

….. Jesse Edward James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan

…… Mervyn Baumel & Jessie Estell James

……. Donald James Baumel

BARBARA’S DESCENT FROM DANIEL BOONE

Daniel Boone & Rebecca Bryant

. Jemima Boone & Flanders Callaway

.. Susannah Callaway & Thomas Howell

… John Francis Howell & Sarah Ann McCourtney

…. John Martin Howell & Caroline Virginia Link

….. Vella Martina Ashby Howell & William Percy Carver

…… Mary Vella Carver & Robert Alfred Wenzel

……. Barbara Wenzel-Clemens

RELATED STORIES

Great Grandson of Jesse James & Daniel Boone, Donald James Baumel, is Dead

Surprise Discovery for a Contributor to Jesse James Soul Liberty

Attention James Family…Send Me Your Ears

In Defense of a Birther

Singer Pat Boone’s recent birther claim has turned on him. Against all evidence, Boone has claimed he will produce proof that President Barrack Obama was born in Kenya. Boone, it seems, now is called upon to produce evidence that he is a descendant of Daniel Boone, as he claims. The challenge for Boone is to produce bona fide proof of ancestry connecting him to Kentucky explorer Daniel Boone, or fall suspect that his own perma-dark complexion indicates that Pat Boone also may be foreign-born.

Los Angelinos recall Pat Boone in his semi-retirement during the 1970’s. Boone was a periodic guest on the daytime television show of former L.A. mayor Sam Yorty.

Sam Yorty & Ronald Reagan

The mayor, an arch Republican like Pat Boone, was proudly tickled any time Boone claimed to be descended from the famed frontier woodsman Daniel Boone, which Pat Boone did fairly regularly.

Yorty was fond of associations like that. He eagerly friended many of Hollywood’s celluloid products. Favorites were California Senator and actor George Murphy and actor and later Governor Ronald Reagan.

George Murphy, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly
Evelle J. Younger

 

Yorty also was a Republican Party associate of Evelle J. Younger, whom Yorty assisted in electing as California State Attorney General, following Younger’s service under Yorty as Los Angeles County District Attorney.

Younger never claimed his kinship with the Younger brothers of the James-Younger Gang. Had Yorty known of it, everyone else might have known it. Yorty was a master promoter.

Presently, internet challenges claim Pat Boone is NOT a descendant of Daniel Boone. Like birthers, however, the faux genealogists making such claims can only point to error laden internet databases to support their charge.  It is doubtful any of the genealogy bloggers has ever smelled a musty public records book, or have descended into any dank, dimly lit courthouse basement to conduct physical research of their own.

Here at Stray Leaves, Charles Eugene Patrick Boone’s genealogy and link to Daniel Boone is accepted, as is the word of Pat Boone, until proven any different. This acceptance has withstood publication for 15 years or more, leaving ample room for any disproof to appear in that time. Despite America’s rampant enthusiasm for genealogy, and especially celebrity genealogy, no proof has surfaced.

Who’s to say, though, if genealogists approached Pat Boone’s ancestry from a political perspective? Having been born in Florida a descendant of Daniel Boone may not be acceptable to some beliefs. A more desirable attitude would be to discredit Pat Boone, his ancestry, and his birthroot. He’s not a descendant of Daniel Boone at all. His perma-complexion indicates Pat Boone is the native of a foreign Caribbean country instead, and Pat Boone’s U.S. citizenship should be under consideration as revocable, together with his recording royalties. Stray Leaves eschews such unethical genealogy practice, as it also eschews the birtherism practiced by Pat Boone among others.

In the practice of genealogy, birtherism holds no place. One’s family claim is respected until proved otherwise by reputable research. When disproved, the genealogy stands corrected.

The only defense of birtherism among genealogists is to be factual, prove your own, and produce the proof of those you claim is false. Ante up your own factual record first, Pat Boone, before attacking others.

GREAT-GRANDSON OF JESSE JAMES & DANIEL BOONE, DONALD JAMES BAUMEL, IS DEAD

“If all I did was to walk around saying that I’m a descendant of Daniel Boone and a descendant of Jesse James, I wouldn’t have a life of my own.”
– Donald James Baumel to Eric F. James, 2002

Donald James Baumel, James Gang & Family Reunion, 2002, Paso Robles, California

The ancestry which Donald James Baumel inherited from America’s iconic outlaw Jesse James and Kentucky’s iconic explorer Daniel Boone determined how Don lived and died. Central to his life was what Don valued most – his privacy.

Don Baumel died on April 27, 2011. Family members delayed announcement of his death, considering whether to announce it at all. If Don had his way, he would have probably preferred to slip away into history totally unnoticed, with no recognition either of his life or of his death by anyone.

Don was last seen among his family at the James Gang & Family Reunion, held in Paso Robles, California in 2002. Months of coaxing by Judge James Randall Ross, Don’s first cousin, finally got Don to show up. Among 200 family and friends attending the reunion, Don went virtually unnoticed among them as he circulated freely through all the events. No one had seen Don in years. He talked with few people.

At a break in the events, Judge Ross and I went to lunch with Don. He ordered a sandwich, but picked at it sparingly. We then went shopping for a western outfit, so Don could be dressed western style like the rest of us. But in every store, Don resisted. Nothing was purchased. That night at the banquet, however, Don appeared in a western outfit that had more worn authenticity than anyone else in the dining room. He looked like he just had stepped out of the California West when Frank and Jesse last visited Paso Robles. The clothes were Don’s own.

Touring historic sites the next afternoon, Don rode with me, my niece Kathryn Craft, and Steve Leonard of the James Preservation Trust. For once, Don was not silent at all. We showered him in questions. Don not only responded generously, he gave us an exclusive insight into his life, which no one ever had heard before.

Don was born a twin. His twin sister Diane survives him. In high school in Los Angeles, Don and Diane both were considered “joiners.” If a group existed, they joined. Years later in 2007, I met Barbara Clemens from their high school class. Barbara confirmed the fact. Diane and Don were elected by their classmates, together with three others, as “Ephebians,” the top graduation honor awarded to those who demonstrated the highest grade averages, and who were the most socially and politically active. Don was Vice-President of the student body.

About this time, Don learned he was a direct descendant of the notorious outlaw Jesse James. Like most others among the James family who stumbled upon the family secret, Don was advised not to advertise the fact, but not to deny it either, if questioned. Don chose to avoid the question altogether.

When he joined the U. S. Army, Don’s life began to change. He was assigned to a security group, and stationed at a radio squadron in Mobile, Alabama. Don learned tools of the secrecy trade. Exiting the Army, Don enrolled at UCLA in California. He no longer was the socially and politically active student that he once was in high school. Don had changed.

Don knew little of his family history, unlike his cousin Jim Ross, who had grown up in the household of Jesse James Jr. For himself, Don seemed to live in a growing fear of the past. As he did, Don’s life appeared to become directionless. When his father Mervyn Baumel died in 1964, Don was left a trust fund instead of an outright inheritance. Unlike his cousins descended from Thomas Martin James, the Kansas City millionaire merchant, Don didn’t need to worry about having money or a career, and the possible exposure that came with it

Most of his life, Don lived in San Francisco. Like a couple of his less recognized cousins, Rev. William Henry James who maintained a mission for the poor and homeless of Kansas City, and Luther Tillman James who founded the Kansas City Provident Association to financially support programs for the poor and homeless, Don developed an affinity for the disenfranchised of San Francisco. Among the faceless of Market Street, Don found he could live and work as he pleased, both comfortably and anonymously. Money meant little, if nothing, to Don. Anything he had, he was happy to share or give away. Like Rev. William Henry James, like his ancestral Mimms cousins, and like his third great grand Uncle Drury Woodson James, Don lived in a hotel.

A heart attack took the life of Donald James Baumel, as it did his cousin Jim Ross in March of 2007, and also Jim’s mother Jo Frances James in March of 1964.

ERIC JAMES
Danville, Ky.
September 28, 2011

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DON’S DESCENT FROM JESSE WOODSON JAMES
Jesse Woodson James & Zerelda Amanda Mimms
. Jesse Edward James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan
.. Mervyn Baumel & Jessie Estell James
… Donald James Baumel

DON’S DESCENT FROM DANIEL BOONE
Daniel Boone & Rebecca Ann Bryant
. Nathan Boone & Olive Van Biber
.. Alfred M. Hosman & Mary Boone
… Luther Alfred McGowan & Mary Frances Hosman
…. Alfred Monte McGowan & Martha Ann Wood
….. Jesse Edward James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan
…… Mervyn Baumel & Jessie Estell James

…… Donald James Baumel

RELATED STORIES

High School Photos of Jesse James Great-Grandchildren