Tag Archives: Soul Liberty

Burley Auction Gallery Partners in Jesse James Hoax

Burley Auction Gallery adSavvy collectors of historical photos and artifacts took no time at all to alert the Jesse James family about the next stage in the ongoing Bob Ford-Jesse James photo hoax. The latest hoax partner is the Burley Auction Gallery, aka Burley Auction Group Inc. located in New Braunfels, Texas. The only suspense left to this promotion of fraudulent Jesse James imagery is, who will be the next sucker to fall for this auction’s photo fraud?

The auction announcement clearly identifies who is the present sucker. The Burley Auction Gallery advertisement identifies the estate of Tommy & Sara Jane Howell as the present dupe to have fallen for the scam.

SON OF A CON JOB

Fake photo claimed to be Bob Ford and Jesse James
Fake Bob Ford-Jesse James Photo

The flimflam originated with Sandy Mills, Lois Gibson, and others. The Jesse James family has published and documented a blistering indictment of Mills and Gibson, describing in compelling detail why the claimed image is a hoax. The James also have identified the cabal who have partnered, enabled, and supported Mills and Gibson’s hoax.

The Howells appears to have owned or acquired the artifact less than a year ago. Next in line, they now have consigned their fraudulent tintype to Burley Auction Gallery to dispose of it.

When and how the Howells came into possession of the fake photo is not clear. The photo was last available and being promoted for sale in January of 2016. Sandy Mills and her boyfriend were publicly intent upon selling the fake image for, as Mills’ boyfriend greedily stated in one televised interview on KREM2 in Spokane, Washington where Mills lives, “we’ve heard numbers in the millions.”

At that time, Bobby Livingston, executive vice-president of RR Auction in Amherst, New Hampshire, judiciously sidestepped the opportunity of auctioning the photo. Or did he?

Livingston certainly did not shy away from promoting the sham. In a newspaper interview, Livingston stated that if the image was authentic the photo might fetch up to $2 million. A surprising statement from an auction house, since due diligence by any auction house would reveal that no authentic image of Jesse James has sold for more than $1,500. Bobby Livingston is under indictment in a lawsuit for fraud, misrepresentation, and presenting fake historical images as authentic. Livingston and RR Auction go to trial on January 17, 2017.

Questions remain. How did the Howells come into possession of the subject artifact? How much did they pay? Why now are they so quick to rid themselves of a tintype claimed to be so valuable?

Burley Auction Gallery grandiosely expects the Howell image to fetch $50,000 to $1 million. The value estimate apparently has plummeted precipitously since Mills’ original claim “in the millions.” The James family predicts Burley will find a new sucker willing to pay far less than the predicted amount – if anything at all.

Burley Auction Gallery - Big Expectation
Burley Auction Gallery says, “Hey, big spender!”

FAILURE IN DUE DILIGENCE

Clearly, Burley Auction Gallery failed to conduct any due diligence in arriving at its estimate of value. Nor did Burley assess the tintype’s authenticity or legitimacy. Burley astutely refers to the image as “Photograph Attributed to Jesse James & Bob Ford.” Burley does not state the image is Jesse James and Bob Ford.

Burley Auction Group
Burley Auction Gallery, New Braunfels, Texas

Burley also cites the auction image was “Inherited from a cousin of Frank James wife.”  According to the Jesse James family, Sandy Mills’ claim that she is kin to the Jesse James family is as bogus as her tintype.

Mills never has published her genealogy publicly or made it subject to any peer review.  The Jesse James family does not know Mills family personally, or even informationally. Neither Mills nor her family appears in the official Jesse James genealogy on the James family’s web site Stray Leaves that has been published for 20 years, despite the fact that there are some Mills who in fact are related to the James. Burley Auction Gallery stepped away from conducting any due diligence regarding this claim of kinship whatsoever.

Robb Burley
Robert Wilson Burley, aka Robb Burley

How much malpractice Robb Burley, the auction gallery’s owner, may be on the hook for is yet to be determined. If Burley conducted any due diligence at all, Burley never contacted the James family for its opinion. Nor did Burley contact the family about the image of Bob Ford handed down through their family. The James family’s image of Bob Ford first was published in 2012 in Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol. I., an authorized history of the Jesse James family.  Nor has Burley contacted any collector of Jesse James artifacts and images known to the family. Those collectors are a tightly knit group. Most all enjoy a personal relationship with the James.

TX Dept of Regulation
Texas Department of Regulation

A CONFLICT OF INTEREST ?

One of the ironies of the Burley auction is the fact that the fake Bob Ford-Jesse James photo will be auctioned together with “Part II of the Texas Ranger Collection.”

Texas Rangers, 1892
Los Gibson’s original hoax promotion shown here compared the hoax Jesse James to Texas Rangers in 1892. The actual Rangers image is in the collection of renown western artifact collector Robert G. McCubbin, who is well known to the James family. The Rangers appearing in the 1892 image are (Standing, from left) Robert “Bob” Speaks and Jim Putman. (Seated, from left) Alonzo Van “Lon” Oden and John R. Hughes.

Burley’s promotion makes no mention of Lois Gibson’s original “authentication.” Then, Gibson cited an actual image of Texas Rangers taken in 1892, a decade after Jesse James was dead. Gibson asserted one of the Texas Rangers to be Jesse James. She favorably compared Sandy Mills’ claimed Jesse James tintype to the Texas Rangers’ image. The individual Gibson asserted was Jesse James, in fact, is known to factual history to be Texas Ranger Robert “Bob” Speaks, not Jesse James.

Why has such an invaluable authentication comparison been ignored and not cited in Burley’s promotion? The answer may reside at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum.

The rotating banner on the museum’s website displays the  Texas Ranger image from 1892 that Gibson claimed includes Jesse James. The banner image is titled “The History of Early Texas Rangers.” No one in America believes that Jesse James was a Texas Ranger after he was killed in 1882.

Web site of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum, highlighting the 1892 image of Texas Rangers that Lois Gibson claimed included Jesse James.

In a slide show, Burley does rely upon Gibson’s comparisons of Bob Ford’s actual image to Mills’ claimed image. A degree in forensic science that would employ mathematical analysis to assess similarities and dissimilarities of physical features in historical imagery is not needed here. Plainly visible in Gibson’s comparison is the dissimilarities between the actual photo and fake photo regarding hairline, forehead, eye, ear, and nose structure, lips and jawline. The two plainly are not identical.

True and fake images of Bob Ford
Left appears an actual photo of Bob Ford. Right appears the fake photo of Bob Ford.

Furthermore, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum takes great pains to caution the public against fake Texas Ranger badges. Fake Ranger badges are as rampant apparently as fake Jesse James photos. In this auction, the Howells have consigned to Burley Auction Gallery a number of Texas Ranger badges to be auctioned with the Bob Ford-Jesse James photo hoax. Assuming the Howell’s Ranger badges are bonafide, is it any wonder why Burley Auction Gallery would make no mention of Gibson’s egregiously and flagrantly flawed Texas Ranger image comparison?

THIS BOB FORD-JESSE JAMES PHOTO IS A HOAX

The Jesse James family formerly debunked the Mills-Gibson-Howell fake and stands by its allegations. The family further has documented the cabal of sycophants that has supported and promoted this bogus photo. The Jesse James family restates its willingness to support anyone who may have a claim they are defrauded by the known principals and supporters of this Bob Ford-Jesse James photo hoax.

Burley Auction Gallery is on the hunt for the next sucker in this proven swindle. The James family now adds Burley Auction Gallery to its listed cabal of those – and their successors – who enable, promote, and disseminate fraudulent and fake Jesse James imagery in their exercise of Jesse James family identity theft.

Southern Kentucky Pastfinders – Lecture & Book Signing

Southern  Kentucky Pastfinders will host author and historian Eric F. James at 6 pm CDT on Saturday, April 16th, 2016 at the Old Logan County Courthouse in Russellville, Kentucky.

Old Logan County Courthouse-Russellville KY
Old Logan County Courthouse, Russellvile, Kentucky

For the first time in history, the family of Frank & Jesse James will appear in court in Russellville, Kentucky to answer for the infamous robbery of the Russellville Bank on March 20, 1868. In the robbery, the cashier Nimrod Long was shot and almost killed.

Eric F. JamesAppearing in the courtroom of the Old Logan County Courthouse will be Eric F. James, the James family’s historian and genealogist who represents the Jesse James family. Standing before a grand jury, comprising of residents of Russellville and Logan County, Mr. James will plead the family’s case for why the robbery occurred and why it may have been necessary.

Justice never has tried anyone for the crime. It is widely affirmed that the James Gang were the perpetrators, although historians argue if Frank or Jesse James actually were present.

Book-Jesse James Soul LibertyMr. James is the publisher of the James family’s official website and blog, Stray Leaves and Leaves of Gas. The first volume of his epic, five-volume history of the Jesse James family, Jesse James Soul Liberty, won the distinguished Milton F. Perry Award for groundbreaking historical research and reporting. In recent years, Mr. James executed the exhumation of Jesse James’ twin children in Waverly, Tennessee. They were reinterred with their parents in Kearney, Missouri, per the wishes of their mother Zee Mimms-James. Mr. James will be available to personally sign copies of his book.

The author recently appeared at the Logan County Tobacco Festival in October of 2015. David Guion, president of the Southern Kentucky Pastfinders, seized the opportunity to have the  Jesse James family historian return to Russellville to talk about the James family in depth.

Russellville Bank
Russellville Bank

Russellville is home to the Russellville Bank which the James Gang held up on March 20, 1868. In the robbery, bank cashier Nimrod Long was shot. In his talk, Mr. James will reveal the long-standing acquaintanceship of the James and Long families, dating back to the time of the American Revolution. The author also will offer the James family’s assessment of why Nimrod Long was almost murdered.

Book Review – Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol.I

BOOK REVIEW:  Jesse James, Soul Liberty. Volume I. By Eric F. James. Published by Cashel Cadence House, Danville KY. 2012. 411 pages, $36.95, reviewed by Bobbi King of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, June 23, 2013. Reprinted here by permission.

________________________________________________

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter-Dick Eastman

             “Mr. James has conquered the Everest                             of writing a family history genealogy book                                         that is interesting enough                                 for the rest of us to want to read.”

___________________________________________________

Eric F. James was asked to take on the task of researching and writing the story of the James family, specifically the many members of the family who merited fair consideration distinct from the myth and legend of the notorious outlaw brothers Frank and Jesse.

Mr. James succeeds in acquainting us with a family of characters who do deserve to be featured apart from the tarnished brothers. The book’s subtitle, “Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence” offers a not-so-subtle hint on the family’s take on their historical connection. Apparently, the more well-informed members of the family vigorously sought to put the kibosh on any kinship to Frank and Jesse James when naïve queries arose.

Mr. James introduces the family:

“In the emerging democracy of colonial Virginia, the early Kentucky frontier, and throughout the American heartland, the James were renowned as community builders, public office holders, ministers of faith, financiers, educators, writers, and poets. From these roots shot Frank and Jesse James.

“Following the Civil War, Frank and Jesse James eclipsed the family’s destiny. War may have splintered the family ideologically, but Frank and Jesse James disjoined the family’s compass and direction, casting a longer and darker shadow on the James family, like no other.

“Like their royal ancestors of old when beset by crisis, the James family turned suspicious and distrustful of its own. The larger James family kept apart from one another, holding in muted reverence what relic of itself that it could. The line of Frank and Jesse James was left isolated, unsupported and abandoned.”

Goaded by family in-laws, the Jesse James family withdrew into a citadel of its own. Their ostracism was enforced by every other family line of the James.

Bobbi king
Bobbi King

Mr. James’ book locates the various families’ residences, describes their personal occupations, details relationships and kinship to one another (a six-generation descendant chart is included), chronicles their military service, catalogs their movements about the regions, and quotes a good deal of material from their letters and journals, which always evokes a personality, a spirit, a temperament.

Mr. James’ research appears to be extensive across a wide variety of sources, with references at the end of the book that contain explanatory tidbits adding even more to the story. The photographs and illustrations, even those blurred by age and decomposition, are vivid and well produced, summoning up their subjects and places.

Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol. I
Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol. I, Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence, by Eric F. James

Mr. James, along with Judge James R. Ross, a great-grandson of Jesse James, is a co-founder of the James Preservation Trust. He writes and publishes on the official website of the James family, and is without a doubt the family cheerleader.

His writing is strong, perhaps a bit hyperbolic for my taste, but this is a good book for fans of Western history who want to know the real story. His research supports a claim to authenticity, and his writing keeps us reading.

Mr. James has conquered the Everest of writing a family history genealogy book that is interesting enough for the rest of us to want to read.

Bullitt County Public Library Author Faire Welcomes Eric F. James

Think you know Jesse James? Wait…until you meet his family.

I’ll be signing my book Jesse James Soul Liberty at the Bullitt County Public Library Author Faire in Shepherdsville, Kentucky tomorrow, Saturday, November 8, 2014, 10am to 4 pm. I’ll also be doing a reading at 3 pm. Stop by.

Let’s see…just 5 male authors among all of these female authors. It’s going to be a very good day.

Libraries Line Up for the Jesse James Family

Libraries are lining up to stock Jesse James Soul Liberty on their book shelves. Today we add the following:

Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkely, Special Collections
University of Wisconsin, Special Collections
University of Arizona Library
They follow behind the University of Kentucky Library and the Frankfort (KY) Public Library, the first libraries to perceive the book’s importance for history.

Finding a publisher who could get JJSL into America’s libraries was a primary goal, that initially delayed the book’s publication for almost two years. Though the book is an entertaining non-fiction history of the Jesse James family, the book has abundant new historical information about the Jesse James family never published before. It was important that the book not only appear in today’s marketplace, but also that the book remain accessible for future generations.

North Star Press, who published almost all of the Jesse James catalogue written by John Koblas, would have been a natural fit to publish the book. It was with regret, though, that I elected to pass on North Star’s publication offer. North Star Press could not guarantee JJSL would find its way on to library book shelves.

I’m also informed today to expect more libraries that will be placing more orders. Meanwhile, book readers can offer a copy to their own favorite library, historical or genealogical society, by taking advantage of the publisher’s discount offer for books donated to learning institutions.

Jesse James – Your Guide to Child Care & Parenting

Who knew Jesse James would be a guide for child care and parenting? Somebody thinks so. But who that somebody is remains to be discovered.

An alert from Amanda Palmer, a performance artist I like and follow, said she had just sent off her finished book manuscript for publication. She invited me to her book’s pre-order page at Powell’s Books. While there, I checked out how my book appeared on Powell’s website.

Powell's Books erroneous genre attribution

What a surprise! There was Jesse James Soul Liberty listed under the category of “Child Care & Parenting.”  Who knew?

Child care and parenting also appears to cost more. The book is listed at a two dollar premium above the suggested retail price.

In writing and proofing the book, I read the book so many times; but never did I come away from the book with that perspective. This clearly informs me that Jesse James means much more in American culture than anyone ever knew. The boy continues to confound expectation.

UPDATE: August 1, 2014

The following email has been received:

Eric F. James,

Thank you for contacting us. Our records indicate on ipage the following:

BISAC Categories:
– Biography & Autobiography | Historical | General
– Biography & Autobiography | Criminals & Outlaws
– History | United States | 19th Century INGRAM Categories:
– Chronological Period | 19th Century
– Geographic Orientation | Kentucky
– Geographic Orientation | Missouri
– Cultural Region | Western U.S.

We are unable to locate anywhere that it is listed as Child Care & Parenting”. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Regards,

Susan
Ingram Content Group
Customer Care