All posts by Eric F. James

Meet Eric F. James - a Broadway & TV has-been, living in the Kentucky Bluegrass. A former law journalist turned politico, blogger, author, historian, archivist, genealogist, publisher & lecturer, Eric continues to build upon the success he earned during his 16 years in show business & 35 years as a pioneer in international real estate brokerage. Presently, Eric is writing Volume II of Jesse James Soul Liberty, his five-volume history of the family of Frank & Jesse James. Eric also publishes & writes Stray Leaves, the official web site for the family of Frank & Jesse James.

Dead Betty Duke Arises in Occult Rehash

Home » Archives for Eric F. James

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Book Review – The Mysterious Life & Faked Death of Jesse James

The authors are the children of the late Betty Dorsett Duke who published three books that claimed her great-grandfather James L. Courtney was really Jesse James. It appears this family is going to endlessly produce books stating this claim over and over again.

A rehash for occult readers

BOOK REVIEW: Duke, Daniel J., and Duke, Teresa F., The Mysterious Life and Faked Death of Jesse James (Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, 2020) 200 pp., a number of illustrations b/w, endnotes, index. Softcover, $16.99.

By Nancy B. Samuelson

The authors are the children of the late Betty Dorsett Duke who published three books that claimed her great-grandfather James L. Courtney was really Jesse James. It appears this family is going to endlessly produce books stating this claim over and over again.

Author Daniel J. Duke
Occult author Teresa F. Duke
Author Teresa F. Duke
Time shifting authors
SPOILER ALERT !!! – The sibling authors Duke claim to be the second great-grandchildren of Jesse James. Jesse Woodson James was born in 1847. To partially validate their claim, the Duke siblings would need to be over 85 years of age at the present time, which they are not. They are short by a generation.

Former Claims Repeated

The first six chapters of the book repeat a lot of the claims made by Betty Duke in earlier books. Several photos are used again here that appeared in Betty Duke’s book, Jesse James the Smoking Gun. These photos are all very questionable photos.  Photos claimed to be pictures from Frank and Annie James’s wedding are, in fact, photos taken when Mrs. Quantrill visited Missouri. Copies of some of these pictures were reproduced and sold as postcards. Just about all of the material in the first six chapters merely repeat what Betty Duke has published earlier.

Tawdry Sideshow – Restated

Chapter seven is titled ‘Tawdry Sideshow”. This is a critique of James E. Starrs’s exhumation of Jesse James’s body and DNA testing in 1995. This is reasonably accurate but it is not new information. Your reviewer published an article “Who is Buried in Jesse James Grave” which covered this same territory. I was given the Perry Award by the James-Younger Gang in 2007 for this article. 

James L. Courtney Notebook – Argued

The third part of the book is an appendix, titled, “In His Own Words”. This is a copy of a diary or notebook that was supposedly kept by James L. Courtney. Some notes are added as commentary to explain some of the entries. This section makes up pages 84-187. This appears to be mostly a record kept by Mr. Courtney to show where and what work he did, what he spent money on, visits with neighbors and friends, etc. It makes for pretty dull reading. The authors added comments which further adds to the confusion. A couple of examples follow:

#1 In August 1871 a man named Singleton is mentioned. The commentary says, “Bud Singleton was a known James Gang member, as is verified by sources such as James W. Buel in his 1881 book titled The Border Bandits. [Buel’s book is very inaccurate and I have never found any reference to a man named Singleton in the James Gang anywhere else.]

#2 in February 1874, “Friday at Thads & Pa is still low & all the children is there & we all remained there all day Bud Poca William Serena & in fact all the Youngers & in the evening Bud & Poca they went down home & at nite [Dave] Mixen & Bill Holcom they came & set up until three & then went home.” The Commentary: “Notice in the diary above that he writes that “Bud, Poca, William, Serena and in fact all the Youngers…” Now some may say that just means younger children, but if that was the case he wouldn’t have written “children” in the line above that. We believe that when he writes “Youngers” he means members of his gang, as in Cole Younger and his brothers and possibly other members of the Younger family. This entry shows another uncharacteristic slip of the writer in revealing his identity. For us, it equates to further evidence that the diary legitimately belonged to Jesse James.” [Of course, none of these names except possibly Bud, which was a nickname for Cole younger, are Younger names.]

Conclusion – A Rehash

This book is largely a rehash of many of the claims by Betty Dorsett Duke that James L. Courtney was the real Jesse James. Just like Betty’s books and the previous book by Daniel J. Duke, there is still no good evidence here to prove this case.

About Destiny Books

EDITOR’S COMMENT from Stray Leaves: The publisher of the Duke family’s book is Destiny Books. As the publisher advertises below, the books it publishes fall into the genres of dreaming, the occult, magic, and time-shifting. Or, as Destiny Books more succinctly states, it publishes “books on popular occult topics…”

Destiny Books publishes occult and magic books.

Wikipedia defines occult so: “The occult, in the broadest sense, is a category of supernatural beliefs and practices which generally fall outside the scope of religion and science, encompassing such phenomena involving otherworldly agency as mysticism, spirituality, and magic.”

The Mysterious Life and Faked Death of Jesse James evidently is not intended for readers of factually true and authentic biography, history, or even family history. The professed genre by Destiny Books to publish books of the occult should alone be fair warning for readers of what they might expect to find in the family Duke’s rehash.


Murder & Betty Dorsett Duke

Betty demands blood from a great-grandson of Jesse James

Betty’s true biological family refutes her claims

Betty claims Stray Leaves’ publisher Eric F. James & others are out to kill her

Stalkers of Famous & Infamous Families (posted July 28, 2010)

Betty Dorsett Duke Book All Smoke No Gun

Old Jesse James Con Artists Never Die. They Just Propagate the Next Generation

Jesse James and the Lost Templar Treasure


Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Tuesday July 27th, 2021
Stray Leaves

WHY DID STRAY LEAVES REMOVE THIS COMMENT FROM STRAY LEAVES’ YOUTUBE CHANNEL?

"how comes then,that a slave from the james family,back to jesse james,funeral.who was devoted to jesse.was also by the side of j.frank dalton,who claimed to be jesse james?And also senator clark,really the founder of LA! and jesse and frank,photo evidence of high degree freemasons.Jesse was not killed by bob ford.after the alleged killing of jesse,years later,frank was known to have visited bob ford, who had a saloon near a gold rush route. The jesse body that was photographed,and later buried,that was not jesse.It was charlie bigelow,who had infiltrated the james gang,and was a pinkerton informer,because two older bigelows,sit in graves side by side,and both graves show exact same death date. no-body really knows, but the ages on the grave stones of the 2 bigelows could have been charlies uncle and his father. And maybe killed by the james gang. the DNA evidence in the 80s was doubtful.others were buried buried in the same area,they did not find jesse james body,or grave. all they found was a tooth! I suspect jesse james junior,is the son of charlie bigelow. I dont know who this man is but jesse held a position of power in the US,years after he is dead.And had a hand in the assasination of lincoln, and maybe later US presidents,jesse was not a banker, but paid cash for big railroads,and copper mines,as william c.clark.US senator,and was one of the richest and most powerful men, in the US.J frank dalton told a few months before he died, everything, Dont believe? J for jesse, frank for his brother. Dalton for his mothers maiden name. but jesse james mother was not named Dalton. it was j.frank daltons cryptic clue.his mothers maiden name was cole,but she was adopted by another family,dalton. and its really the same as when jesse was so they say killed.jesse laid his gun down on the table,and bob ford shot him in the head from behind,All his friends knew jesse was not dead.Because jesse always put his guns on when he woke up,all who knew him would know jesse is not dead. so it was someone with the name hines,who went to pay his taxes,and was investigated,and found to actualy be jesse evans, a member of the james gang. who finally told jesse and billy the kid were still alive. jesse i think 12 years older than billy. you can see a picture on line of j frank dalton( as an old man) with brushy bill roberts,who admitted to be billy the kid,had his own story as one of the rough riders,and he is listed in theodore roosevelts rough riders. there is a photo a year or two before dalton died,and you can see his friend billy, and his child hood friend a black slave from his family there too.older than jesse.could it just be a co-incidence,that jesse james mother was attacked and had her arm or hand blown off,in attempts to find jesse,and later in the 1940s,investigations were made into the william c.clarke family,and one of the family screamed because old grandmother clarke,by then dead.Also had the same arm missing? jesse faked his own death twice,as jesse and as william c.clarke. his daughter when he was william c.clarke,became a recluse.she had married a man,but when her father died(jesse), it his rumoured after his death as william c.clarke,he came back after some time and told his daughter the truth,he was jesse james. clarke a rich man who lived in high society,was jesse james.she could not accept it,divorced her husband,and became a recluse. the assasination of lincoln by john wilkes booth was a conspiracy of those who still were true to the south. jesse and frank involved. Lincoln was was shot,but seriously injured,too weak to move him so far,so he was taken to the closest boarding house. And to an empty but rented room. to die. the room was though already rented. the name on the room, was william clark. wilkes booth killed after escaping but not. a soldier was set up to be killed in his place. john wilkes booth was also a freemason. wilkes booth died in 1901,as he had become a drunk and a liability,who could expose the truth,As to who controlled america at that time. jesse arranged a meeting and shot john wilkes booth.to protect the brotherhood. "
See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

That's impossible to read for a whole bunch of reasons.

Grammar

Saturday July 24th, 2021
Stray Leaves

MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THEIR COUSINS, let alone stay in touch with them. Frank & Jesse James have more than 70,000 actual cousins documented in Stray Leaves’ "Genealogy Search" database. Most living people who appear in the database as their cousins don’t even know they are related to Frank & Jesse. But here’s an important cousin clue. If someone strenuously or vociferously claims to be related to Frank & Jesse James, the likelihood is, they are not. Happy National Cousin’s Day, cousins! See MoreSee Less

MOST PEOPLE DONT KNOW THEIR COUSINS, let alone stay in touch with them. Frank & Jesse James have more than 70,000 actual cousins documented in Stray Leaves Genealogy Search database. Most living people who appear in the database as their cousins dont even know they are related to Frank & Jesse. But heres an important cousin clue. If someone strenuously or vociferously claims to be related to Frank & Jesse James, the likelihood is, they are not. Happy National Cousin’s Day, cousins!
Sunday July 18th, 2021
Stray Leaves

DO YOU KNOW THIS LOCATION? Cole Younger was an occasional visitor here. But Cole’s host was not named Warden.Every day is a great day to come to the Warden’s House, but today we have balloons! 🎈⭐️ Tours every Thursday-Sunday at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Come see us! See MoreSee Less

DO YOU KNOW THIS LOCATION? Cole Younger was an occasional visitor here. But Coles host was not named Warden.
Thursday July 15th, 2021
Stray Leaves

UNDERSTANDING THE TRAIL OF TEARS AS CHICKASAW & CHOCTAW HISTORY . . .NOT AS U.S. HISTORY. First, we stray leaves must grasp the fact that the ancestral Anglo blood that flows in our veins from the time of our arrival in America in the early 1600s through the American Revolution is the same blood that directed the course of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations among the descendants of Benjamin James Sr. the lawyer and Indian trader and his children Benjamin James Jr. "of the Choctaw Nation" and his sister Susannah James who married James Holmes Colbert, a Chief of the Chickasaw Nation. This, too, is our story.

In this, our story, we see our enthusiastic defense for a growing nation in the War of 1812 betrayed and deceived by expulsion to the Trail of Tears. We see the separation of our Choctaw and Chickasaw families in the West and the surrounding turmoil that engulfed them. We learn how our distrust of the U.S. Government folded us into the Confederacy. Lastly, we perceive ourselves as men of fortitude and women of power. We possess an enduring ancestral skill to put intelligence in the service of leadership, education, and conflict resolution. Our story is a legacy for peace and progress.

Chickasaw.tv | Winter Fire | Episode 2: Arrival In Indian Territory
Amidst Chickasaw removal to Indian Territory, the crucial Fort Washita was constructed and leaders such as Cyrus Harris emerged.
See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Load MORE