Tag Archives: Jeremiah

The Latest Fake Jesse James History From Ron Pastore

 

Nancy Samuelson, book reviewer for the Wild West History Association, the James-Younger Gang Journal, & Leaves of Gas reviews the latest book to come from the imagination of treasure hunter Ron Pastore

 

 

 

Jesse James’ Secret: Codes, Cover-Ups & Hidden Treasure by Ron Pastore and John O’Melveny Woods, (Intellect Publishing. 2010).    296 pp., soft cover, $19.95.

This is another round of Jesse James did not die in 1882. Like most other books and articles of this ilk this one is loaded with misinformation and fairy tales. There are no notes, no bibliography, or any other pretense of real research. The book is also replete with photographs of very dubious identification and origin.

Jesse James was really Jeremiah (or was it Jere Miah—the authors can’t seem to keep the spelling consistent) James. Jeremiah lived on well after Jesse James was shot and killed by Bob Ford in 1882, raised a large family and died in Kansas.

Even well documented facts concerning the James and Younger families are totally twisted in this book. For instance the father of Robert James (the father of Frank and Jesse) is said to have died on a buffalo hunting trip to Indian Territory. In fact, both of Robert James’ parents, John and his wife Mary (Polly), both died in Logan County, KY in 1827 and there are extensive court records that document this.

The authors claim that the James boys and the Younger boys were cousins and this is not true.  The authors also list the following Youngers as members of the James-Younger gang: Bud, Cole, Bob, Jim and Grat. Bud was a nickname for Cole Younger and there was never a Grat Younger. Grat was a Dalton and a member of the Dalton Gang. The Daltons and the Youngers were, however, related.

I could go on for several pages just listing errors of fact in this book but that would do little but  document the complete lack of scholarship of the authors.

The entire book is more tall tales of Knights of the Golden Circle, buried treasure, switched identities, etc, etc. Unless you wish to collect all of the weird books in print about Jesse James I would advise you skip this one.

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One of 5 Historic James Homes in Pulaski County, Kentucky

This is one of five historic homes of our James family in Pulaski County, Kentucky. Located at the intersection of Route 80 and James Road, the site is about eight miles east of Somerset, Kentucky.

Unclear is whether this home was built by John M. James (1751-1823), or by his son, Reverend Daniel Field James (1795-1871). I believe it was John. Daniel built his own brick home on Highway 461, north of Dahl Road. John’s previous brick home was built at the bend in Dahl Road, circa 1795. This second home was more opulent in its construction with arched windows and doorways, and much larger in size than John’s first home.

This home definitely was occupied by two of John’s daughters and their husbands. John’s third eldest daughter, Betsy, lived here with her husband, Reverend Jeremiah Vardeman. After she eloped with Jerry, John brought the un-godlike Jerry into Baptist ministry. Jerry went on to become an eminent Baptist Divine. Jeremiah Vardeman founded the schools of Theology at Georgetown College in Kentucky, and at William Jewell College in Missouri. He also gave Frank and Jesse’s father, Reverend Robert Sallee James, $20,000 to become a William Jewell College founder, after Robert graduated Georgetown.

Record books today identify this tract as “The Vardeman Tract.” Jerry’s enslaved were buried in a cemetery on this site. Jerry also had a still in the knob behind the cemetery meadow. John’s eldest daughter, Molly, subsequently occupied this home with Senator Jack Griffin Sr.

The home then was occupied by Will James, John’s grandson and a son of Daniel Field James, with his wife Nancy R. Gilliland. Will, it is said, got shot up riding with Frank and Jesse. Will returned to this home partially crippled. The estate sits in clear view of James cemetery, on the knob diagonally across Route 80 at the end of James Road.

It was Jack Griffin’s son, Senator Jack Griffin Jr., who accidentally burned down the house. This photo shows the markings of the fire that consumed the second story bedroom level.

Today, all the bricks are gone. The leveled site is planned as an interchange for the extension of historic Route 66. A gravel pit consumed the former slave cemetery onsite. The Commonwealth of Kentucky avoiding any necessary cemetery mitigation for the enslaved. The Commonwealth also determined the home itself not to be worthy of an archeological excavation. Soon the site will become a road interchange, unless the present delay in construction, caused by the collapse of the national economy, persists anbd national transportation funds are withheld.

We pray to John, Jerry, Daniel, Will, to all their wives, and to all their enslaved, that the history of Route 66 never paves over the history of our James family.

Kit Carson, a James Family Relation

Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson 1809-1869

Previously unrecognized is the relationship of the James family to Kit Carson.

Christopher Houston Carson was born on Tate’s Creek in Madison County, Kentucky. His father Lindsay Carson Sr. was a first generation, American born, of William Carson, immigrant from Ireland.

Kit’s father, Lindsay, brought his family to Madison County from South Carolina in 1793. The family followed the Wilderness Trail, forged by Daniel Boone, Johannes Vardeman, & others, to settle on Tate’s Creek. Later, Johannes Vardeman’s son Rev. Jeremiah Vardeman and his father-in-law John M. James joined the Flat Lick Baptist Church with the Tate’s Creek Association.

Also living in Madison County at the time of Kit’s youth was Adam Hill, the grandfather of Annie Ralston, who married Frank James. Hill was a blacksmith, but later became a wagoner and guide into the Far West after he migrated with his family to the far western border of Missouri in January of 1834. Lindsay Carson departed Madison County for Missouri in 1811, when Kit was two years old.

Maria Josepha Jaramillo-Carson with Kit Carson Jr.

Kit’s father did not stay long at Cooper’s Fort in Missouri, before returning to Madison County, where his father was killed by the falling limb of a tree when Kit was nine years old. Kit returned to the West, where at age fourteen he apprenticed as a saddle maker. In 1826, Kit Carson left Missouri for Santa Fe, New Mexico, after which he married, started a family, and wrote himself into the history of the American West.

Ransom Carson, a stonemason who rebuilt Flat Lick Baptist Church after the original log church was destroyed in a fire, and who also built the stone house of the “talented, but erratic” Rev. Joseph Martin James, appears not to be a relation of the James, nor of Kit Carson.

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PEDIGREE

Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson 1809-1868 & Maria Josepha Jaramillo
. Lindsey Carson Sr. 1754-1818 & Rebecca Robinson 1778-Unk.
.. James Robinson Bef.1775-1818 & Agnes Boone
… Michael Robinson, the Younger 1751-1800 & Mary “Molly” James 1750-1808
…. Thomas James Sr. Bef.1729-1776 & Mary Bruce
… Joseph James, the Elder 1712-1782 & Mary Field
.. John M. James 1751-1823 & Clara Nall

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James Preservation Trust Gets Historic New Digs

Jonathon Nichols Office & Home, c. 1802-1816

The James Preservation Trust soon will occupy the historic, 200 year old building built by Jonathon Nichols in Danville, Kentucky. The structure sits on the Wilderness Road, the entry road from the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky, pioneered by Daniel Boone with his ax-man Johannes Vardeman. Vardeman is the father of Rev. Jeremiah Vardeman who married Betsy James, the daughter of John M. James & Clara Nall. John M. James himself rode this path repeatedly, bringing pioneers from Virginia and North Carolina to settlement in Kentucky.

The structure was built originally in 1802 for Nichols & his hemp farm. Nichols purchased the land from Phillip Yeiser. The dual doors facing Wilderness Road entered Nichols’ one room office on the left & his one room & attic residence on the right.

Jonathon Nichols Home & Office, Original Entry Facade

Sometime before 1816 Nichols added more spacious living space to his original structure. Subsequently, the main entrance to the home was shifted to the side facade.

From this home, Nichols’ hemp farm extended along the streets of today’s Lexington & Broadway Avenues to Danville’s First Street. Constructing hemp rope requires a building as long as the rope being manufactured. It is believed an additional manufacturing structure occupied the property extending up to 400 feet in length. Today, the property’s original Lexington Avenue boundary is occupied by mansion style homes dating to the pre-Civil War era.

Over time, the office-residence housed enslaved people. Joseph McAlister James, who left Pulaski County to settle in Danville, brought his enslaved with him. Prior to the Civil War, Mack set them free, establishing them in their own plantations off Clark’s Run nearby.

At the Boyle County Courthouse nearby, generations of Jonathon Nichols’ descendants have served as County Clerk & Recorder. Nichols family signatures have witnessed the deeds of Joseph McAlister James in the eighteenth century & deeds of Stray Leaves publisher Eric James in the twenty-first century. They also have witnessed the deeds of the Sallee & Samuels family descendants who also lived in Danville.

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TOUR SITES NEARBY

Constitution Square, Danville, Kentucky

Within walking distance of the JPT’s new home are many sites relevant to the James family. One can visit Constitution Square, where John M. James attended Judge Harris Innes in 1784, when Innes petitioned Virginia for the separation of the District of Kentucky to become its own Commonwealth.

James Hotel, c. 1910. When the original wood structure burned in 1876, Joseph McAlister James rebuilt the hotel in brick.

Off Fourth & Main Sts. in downtown Danville, is the site of James Hall, owned by Joseph McAlister James. James Hall was home for decades to Danville’s community & social events, politicking, Chautauqua presentations, & theatricals.

A block away, adjacent to the Court House built by Isaac Hite, is Weisiger Park, the former site of Mack James’ hotel, originally built by Jeremiah Clemens as the Black Horse Inn. Clemens was a relation of the author & humorist Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain.

Boyle County Courthouse, Built by Isaac Hite

In this same area, William Clark Quantrill, Frank James, the Pences, & the Youngers invaded Kentucky after the end of the Civil War, on their mission to “meet” Abraham Lincoln in Washington. Frank James took the opportunity to acquire some new book while in town. Further down Main St. is the First Presbyterian Church & cemetery, where Mack James was its first cemetery sextant. Adjacent is Centre College where Crittendens & Youngers were schooled.