Tag Archives: Kansas

Frank James Was Framed – Remove from Frame

Two new articles about Frank James drew our attention last week. The Wild West History Association just published an informative article in their WWHA Journal, March 2017, about Frank James in Oklahoma. The article is written by Roy B. Young. The article shows Frank James was framed.

 

Frank and Jesse James-OK
Frank & Jesse James in Oklahoma by Roy B. Young

The face of the article, which is more about Frank James than Jesse James, presents an old-timey vibe, reminiscent of western pulp magazines of more than fifty years ago when sensationalism was the rage. Regretfully, the article then begins with the fake-news subject of treasure hunting for Jesse James hidden gold in Oklahoma. You have to leap past that hurdle and another hurdle at the end to get to the meat of Young’s story that is bonafide and new.

Roy B Young-framed
Author Roy B. Young

Roy B. Young employs the current rage of culling old newspapers, many now online, to tell a story either overlooked, forgotten, or not present in today’s history consciousness. Having culled most of these papers myself in their original depositories for a couple of decades, I noted a lot of familiar information in Young’s story. My forthcoming Volume IV of Jesse James Soul Liberty quintet is a biography of Frank James in his retirement years.

Informed as I think I am, Roy B. Young found lost history I did not know about. I’ve expressed my thanks to him for writing it. Nothing tickles a historian more, than learning something new he didn’t know.

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Excerpt – The Jameses decided to bid on farm land in the Indian Pasture Reserve two and a half miles northwest of Fletcher, Oklahoma just inside the southern border of Caddo County. On November 9, 1960, a Lawton newspaper announced that Frank was seen in that city with a “companion” driving a two-horse buggy “bidding a few friends goodbye on the fly and drove out of town under whip.” The article continued, “Just as the buggy rounded the curve of Fifth Street, east of the courthouse, James doft his big white sombrero so that his long gray locks fluttered in the breeze and he gave a yell as in days of old.”

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Regrettably, Young ends his well-done story of Frank James, writing about the Jesse James imposter J. Frank Dalton. Why Oklahoma feels it necessary to include fake news as a necessary component to its true history is beyond me. Sensationalism calls into question any factual or true history associated with it.

This article would have truly been a superior one had it not been for the bookends of treasure hunting and J. Frank Dalton, framing it.

Forget for now Frank James being framed in this manner. Grab the fresh history Roy B. Young now offers anyway. Then wait for Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol. IV, Frank James in Retirement to address Young’s speculation and provide you even more unknown history about Frank James in his retirement years.

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The second article about Frank James comes from the Osage County News. Wendi Bevitt writes about the visit of Frank James to Burlingame, Kansas and the 1899 Osage County Fair.
1899 Burlingame
Burlingame Fair – 1899

Prior to writing her story, Wendi queried us about Burton Allen James, Indian Agent from the James family for the Sac and Fox Reservation. She also queried about Perry Fuller, the onetime business partner of Frank and Jesse’s uncle Thomas Martin James, whom I also wrote about in Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol. I.

Since Volume IV of JJSL will address Frank James in his retirement, I was pleasantly surprised to read the outcome of Wendi’s article. Much of her story is focused upon Frank James in his career as a public speaker and as a race starter when he appeared in 1899 at the Osage County Fair.

Frank James-Osage County Fair
Frank James as race starter at the Osage County Fair, 1899

Like Roy Young’s reporting on Frank James, Wendi Bevitt’s article brings fresh history into view. The freshness is in the details, such as how Frank James started a race.

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Excerpt – He would stretch an immense rubber rope across the track and when the racers were at their mark, he would let the rope fly free.

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Interesting, too, is the behind the scenes arrangements of a Frank James speaking engagement. History like this has not been published before and is a welcome addition to the historical record.

WENDI BEVITT is the owner-operator of Buried Past Consulting LLC, a firm specializing archaeological surveys, historical research and report preparations for both public and private sector clients.

Jesse James Cave, located on the Sac-Fox Reservation in Osage County, Kansas, is visited by Wendi Bevitt’s children.

Book Review – The Trial of Jesse James Jr. by Laurie Ann Little

BOOK REVIEW: The Trial of Jesse James, Jr.: The Son of An Outlaw Stands Accused, adapted by L. A. Little, (Vintage Antique Classics Publishing Co. 2012), 201 pp., soft cover, $14.99.

By Nancy B. Samuelson

The Trial of Jesse James, Jr. book

This book opens with a short section, “Beginnings” which gives a bit of the history of Jesse James Jr. (Jesse Edward James). This tells how Jesse Jr. applied for a job as office boy to Thomas T. Crittenden Jr., the son of the Governor who was responsible for the death of the outlaw Jesse James. Young James and young Crittenden became lifelong friends. Young Jesse met many influential friends in the Kansas City area. He was a well liked and had a reputation as a hard-working, honest young man.

The bulk of the book is a series of newspaper articles from The Kansas City Journal. These begin in September 1898 after the robbery of a Missouri Pacific passenger train near Leeds, Missouri. Jesse James Jr. was soon accused of taking part in this robbery. The newspaper articles continue through early March 1899 when Jesse was acquitted of all charges.

These articles tell about the accusations of W. W. Lowe, a suspect himself, and a switchman at the Santa Fe Railroad switch yards. There were other suspects as well including Andy Ryan, the brother of Bill Ryan of the old Jesse James gang, and Jack “Quail Hunter” Kennedy, who was suspected of a number of crimes.

Jesse Jr. maintained his innocence and had a wide circle of friends who stood by him during the trial for this robbery. He had four defense attorneys and they were able to get a new Judge to try the case. Affidavits were submitted to show that Judge Wofford was prejudiced against Jesse Jr. Wofford was replaced by Judge W. D. Shackelford of Boonville, Missouri. The Prosecuting Attorney was James A. Reed, later a U. S. Senator and a presidential aspirant. Reed had six other attorneys assisting in the prosecution.

The articles give a good look at some of the police procedures at the time. Suspects were detained but not arrested for some time. There is discussion of “Sweating” prisoners as well. Jury selection is discussed and a lot of testimony from witnesses is included in a number of the articles.

The trial ends in acquittal of Jesse Jr. on all charges. The jury was out for about one hour and only one ballot was needed to make the decision. The Prosecuting Attorney then dismissed the charges against the other suspects.

Frank James attended the trial and he is mentioned several times. Mrs. Samuel, grandmother of Jesse Jr., and other family members were present and testified in Jesse’s behalf.

One additional newspaper article appears near the end of the book. This is in February 20, 1910. W.W. Lowe, who was the primary accuser of Jesse Jr. admitted he lied about James’ involvement in the robbery and said his story was a frame up.

The book has a one-page epilogue about the later life of Jesse Jr. The last section of the book is a reprint of the first four chapters of Jesse James, My Father, written in 1899 by Jesse Jr.

The book is nicely produced and easy to read. The front cover has a nice photo of Jesse Jr. There are a few illustrations from the newspapers throughout the book. There are no notes nor is there an index.

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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Techniques of Jesse James Con Artists

 

COUSIN OF JESSE JAMES GRANDCHILDREN BELONGED TO 20 LINEAGE & CHIVALRIC SOCIETIES

On November 20, 2011, Kansas City native Col. Stewart Boone McCarty Jr. died. Like the grandchildren of Jesse James, Col. McCarty was a direct descendant of Kentucky explorer Daniel Boone, making him a cousin to the grandchildren of Jesse James, who also are directly descended from Daniel Boone. (See Pedigree below.) Unlike the outlaw’s grandchildren who suffered under the stigma of their heritage, Col. Boone suffered no such stigma. He actively pursued his family history to the joy of reveling in it.

Col. Stewart Boone McCarty
Col. Stewart Boone McCarty Jr., USMC (Rtd.) – Left

Little joy came, though, to Joan Malley Beamis, who was the first of the Jesse James family to pursue the James family heritage. Joan was a great granddaughter of the infamous outlaw’s uncle, Drury Woodson James. Joan sought her own membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Joan Bemia
Joan Malley Beamis

 

 

Her family strictly warned Joan to avoid any contact with her cousins in Missouri. Writing to the New York City Library, instead, Joan was dismayed to learn that the great repository of east coast history knew nothing about her family and nothing whatsoever about the family of Frank & Jesse James.

Col. McCarty had no such difficulty. For many years he served the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) as President General. Out of its membership of 28,000, Col. McCarty was one of six to receive the Society’s Minuteman Award.  He had graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with an AB in Economics. At George Washington University, he completed an MA in Management and Personnel Administration; and then he completed graduate studies in Archaeology at Worcester College of Oxford University and the Catholic University of America.

Despite receiving an excellent education herself, Joan struggled for years simply to make contact with her family of cousins who didn’t even know of her or her kinship with them. Joan wrote a number of times to Lawrence Barr, the outlaw’s grandson.  He ignored her letters. Finally, his wife, Thelma Duncan Barr responded to Joan, but only after Thelma had been urged to do so by a cousin in the Mimms family, who already was a member of the DAR.

Joan Beamis learned her cousins in the Jesse James line of her family knew little, if nothing at all, about their family history and lineage. Joan was left to perform the difficult research that took years to restructure the skeleton of her James family genealogy. What little she learned, Joan published as a book titled, Background of a Bandit, through the Kentucky Historical Society.

Stewart Boone McCarty
Col. Stewart Boone McCarty Jr.

Col. Stewart Boone McCarty Jr. pursued a lifelong career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He commanded units from platoon to battalion, in combat and in garrison, interspersed with staff assignments and attendance at military schools.  He was awarded the Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medals with combat “V” in Korea and Vietnam; the Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal; and other United States and foreign military awards.

He retired from military service in 1974. Knowledge of his family history merited him membership in multiple lineage societies in which he avidly participated.

  • General Society of Colonial Wars (past Deputy Governor General and past Governor of the Washington D.C. Society)
  • National Gavel Society (past President)
  • National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (past President General; Minuteman Award Recipient; Patriot Medal Recipient)
  • One Hundred Living Descendants of Blood Royal
  • National Society Americans of Royal Descent
  • Order of the Crown of Charlemagne in the United States of America
  • Order of the Merovingian Dynasty
  • Hereditary Order of Descendants of Loyalists and Patriots (past Governor General)
  • General Society Sons of the Revolution (past President of the Washington D.C. Society)
  • Huguenot Society of Washington D.C. (past President)
  • St. Andrew’s Society of Washington D.C. (past President)
  • Society of the War of 1812 (past President of the Washington D.C. Society)
  • Society of Descendants of Knights of the Garter (Treasurer of the American Friends)
  • Ancient Heraldic and Chivalric Order of Albion
  • Baronial Order of the Magna Charta
  • Jamestowne Society
  • Society of Boonesborough

 

Chivalric Orders

  • The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Officer Companion)
  • Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (Grand Cross, former Grand Prior, Priory of St. King Charles the Martyr, Washington, D.C.)
  • Knight of Grace of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem

 

Joan Beamis finally achieved her membership in the DAR. Her lineage link to the American Revolution came through her ancestry descended from the Patriot Robert Poor. Joan also learned she was eligible, if invited, for membership in more lineage societies. Among them are:

  • The Sons & Daughter of the American Revolution
  • The Daughters of the American Colonists
  • The Daughters of the Colonial Wars
  • The Jamestowne Society

 

In all her research, Joan never did identify the Patriots among her James lineage. They existed, as the new history of the James family will show in Jesse James’ Soul Liberty; but they eluded her.

Eric James, Danville, Ky. January 6, 2012

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Pedigree of Col. Stewart Boone McCarty Jr.

. Stewart Boone McCarty Sr. & Vivian Myers Simmons

.. Ernest P. McCarty & Elizabeth Josephine Stewart

… Samuel L. Stewart & Delila L. Boone

…. Daniel Boone Jr. & Mary Constance Philabert

….. Daniel Morgan Boone & Sarah Griffin Lewis

…… Daniel Boone & Rebecca Ann Bryant

 

Pedigree of James Randall Ross

James Randall Ross

. Ronald Munro Ross & Josephine Frances James

.. Jesse Edwards James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan

… Jesse Woodson James & Zerelda Amanda Mimms

.. Alfred Monte McGowan & Martha Ann Wood

… Luther Alfed McGowan & Mary Frances Hosman

…. Alfred M. Hosman & Mary Boone

….. Nathan Boone & Olive Van Biber

…… Daniel Boone & Rebecca Ann Bryant

 

Edmond Thompson James Serves the Confederacy

Edmond Thompson James
Edmond Thompson James, 1835-1920

The Civil War had begun to surround the old Virginia home that James Carter James once occupied at Plainview in Fauquier County before he died in 1842. His progeny occupied the place since.

Avoiding the war for the James family was impossible. On April 15, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln ordered 75,000 troops, authorizing the Union to launch an aggressive attack upon the Confederacy.

A series of assaults throughout January and February of 1862 culminated on February 25th in the capture of Nashville, the first Confederate capital to fall to the Union. Eight days later, Carter James youngest son, George Carter James, enlisted at age twenty in the army of the Confederate States of America. He joined Company A of the 9th Virginia Cavalry. His regiment was called Stafford’s Rangers.

George Carter James 1842-1890, brother of Sgt. Edmond Thompson James
George Carter James 1842-1890, brother of Sgt. Edmond Thompson James

In July of the previous year, the U. S. House of Representatives passed the Crittenden Resolution, declaring that the war’s objective was not to interfere with slavery. The resolution required the Union take no action against the South’s “peculiar institution.” The bill’s sponsor, John Jordan Crittenden of Frankfort, Kentucky wrote, the war’s objective was to “defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union.”

Two weeks later, Congress passed the First Confiscation Act which emancipated slaves who served the Union during the war. In August, Gen. John C. Fremont ordered the emancipation of slaves in Missouri though Lincoln requested Fremont alter his decree. The following month, black troops were recruited in Kansas. By December, the Secretary of War issued a report authorizing the use of former slaves by the Army. At the same time, bills were introduced to abolish slavery.

The day after George Carter James enlisted, Abraham Lincoln requested Congress to pass a joint resolution urging for compensated emancipation. On March 10, 1862, President Lincoln met with Border State congressmen about the matter.

George Carter James compared with his cousin Jesse Woodson James
George Carter James compared with his cousin Jesse Woodson James

That very day on March 10th, two older brothers of George Carter James enlisted in Stafford’s Rangers, together with their brother-in-law. Edmond Thompson James joined with his brother John W. James. With them enlisted Richard Mortimer Crittenden, the husband of their sister Lucy Ann. Another sister, Sarah, married William T. Crittenden Jr.

Edmond Thompson and John W. James served Quarter Master duty. By December, Edmond was made a Sargent. After serving little more than a year, John W. James died on March 23, 1863, of an “inflammation of the bowels.” Edmond was severely ill the same month, but survived. Shortly afterward, Crittenden was assigned to detached service as a wagon master, a role he fulfilled through the end of the war, when he was paroled on April 15, 1865.

Through their service, Edmond was absent in March and again April of 1864. In July, as Confederate General Jubal Early got within five miles of Washington D. C. but was repelled, and again in August as Sherman began his march on Atlanta, Edmond was absent again. In this time, his brother George had gone AWOL. Edmond may have been sent to return George to duty. Both returned in August. On February 5, 1865, George was paroled, as Sherman scorched Georgia and South Carolina, and Jefferson Davis sued for peace. As Richmond fell, Edmond was paroled on April 18th together with George Mortimer Crittenden.

They all returned to Plainview to rebuild their lives in Fauquier County. George Carter James lived to 1890. Roger Mortimer Crittenden died in 1894. Edmond Thompson James lived well into the 20th century, dying in 1920 in his 85th year. John W. James gave his life to the war and to the Confederacy while on duty with Stafford’s Rangers.

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STAFFORD’S RANGERS

The Ninth Virginia Cavalry – Company A
Stafford Rangers – Stafford County

JAMES, EDMOND THOMPSON: Enl. 3/10/62 in Co. A. Promoted to Sgt., 12/1/62. Absent sick, Dec. 1862. Absent on QM duty, March-April and July-Aug. 1864. Present at 10/6/64 final roll. Paroled at Blacks and Whites, 4/18/65.

JAMES, GEORGE C.: Enl. 3/5/62 in Co. A. AWOL, Nov.-Dec. 1863 and July-Aug. 1864. Present at 10/6/64 final roll. Reported to the Bureau of Conscription on 2/5/65 as being AWOL in Fauquier Co.

JAMES, JOHN W.: Enl. 3/10/62 in Co. A. On extra QM duty, Sept. 1862 thru Feb. 1863. Died of “Inflamation of the bowels,” 3/21/63.

CRITTENDEN, RICHARD MORTIMER: b. 9/30/1825. Enl. 3/10/62 in Co. A. On detached service as wagon master, March 1863 thru Aug. 1864. Present at 10/6/64 final roll. Paroled in Va., 4/15/65. d. 4/2/1894 in Stafford Co. bur. Grove Church, Fauquier Co.
(ed. Brother-in-law, spouse of Lucy James.

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PEDIGREE

John W. James 1824-1863                                                                              Edmond Thompson James 1835-1920                                                                 George Carter James 1842-1890
. James Carter James & Martha Lee Tiller
.. Capt. Joseph James & Clarissa Brown
… George James Sr. & Mary Wheeler
…. Thomas James & Sarah E. Mason
….. John James, the Immigrant & Unknown