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Book Review of Second Edition of The Outlaw Youngers, A Confederate Brotherhood

Outlaw Youngers book cover

Book Review: Brant, Marley. The Outlaw Youngers: A Confederate Brotherhood (Second Edition) Two Dot , Guilford, Connecticut 2021. 261 pp., about 20 pp. b/w illustrations notes, bibliography, index, softcover, $19.95

By Nancy B. Samuelson

One would assume that when an author does a second edition of a book twenty-nine years after the original that there will be new information in the new edition. Alas, this is not the case with this book.

What’s New & What’s the Same

Marley Brant, author of Outlaw Youngers
Author Marley Brant

A new introduction is added that talks about how the author became interested in the Younger outlaws, and a page and a half addendum is added touting a new book about Jim Younger by the author.

The body of the book is nearly word for word a copy of the first edition.

The index has been greatly reduced in the new edition making it harder to look up things in the new book.

Little Mention of Recent Research

First edition cover of the Outlaw Youngers book
First Edition of The Outlaw Youngers, A Confederate Brotherhood

The book was a good one twenty-nine years ago, but a lot of new books and articles have been written about the James-Younger gang since then. The author has not seen fit to mention any of the newer material. She does make one exception. In the introduction, she does mention that John Jarrette and his wife did not die in a house fire and that he died in Canada many years later. Nothing else is updated in the book.

Some Errors in Fact

There are a number of errors in the book. There is a strange tale about Charlie Pitts. The author claims he was born near Commerce, Oklahoma, in 1844. She gives no source for this story. Oklahoma did not exist in 1844 and Commerce, Oklahoma post office was not established until 1914. Charlie Pitts was really Sam Wells, from Missouri. 

Back cover of Outlaw Youngers book
Rear Book Jacket of The Outlaw Youngers, a Confederate Brotherhood

In the list of prestigious personalities who supposedly supported the Youngers’ fight for parole/pardon, there is incorrect information. Champ Clark is said to be a Congressman from Minnesota. He was a Congressman from Missouri for many years and was a candidate for President in 1912. Hon. John J. Crittenden is also on this list. He was both a Governor of and a Senator from Kentucky and served twice as the U. S. Attorney General. He died in July 1863 so he could not have supported the Youngers’ request for freedom. He had both a son and a grandson by the same name but they were both dead by this time as well.

A Solid Book for a James Gang Library Despite Its Lack of New Information

This was a good book twenty-nine years ago and is worth reading if you have not done so. However, do not buy this book looking for the latest research and new material about the Youngers. There is nothing new here.

Book Review: In the Shadow by Marley Brant

Fraudulent Images of Jesse, Frank, Anna, and the Younger Brothers

Retta Younger and A.B. Rawlins – Destiny by Marriage

The Younger Gang in Prison After Northfield

John Jarette Finally Gets a Grave Marker

Frank Younger – Dead at 80 in a Home Accident


Cover for Stray Leaves Daily
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Stray Leaves Daily

Stray Leaves Daily

Daily updates from the family of Frank & Jesse James with stories, photos, & two searchable genealog

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1 week ago
Stray Leaves Daily

FIND-A-GRAVE BLUNDERS LEAVE JAMES FAMILY HOWLING . . . Can you spot the errata in this Find a Grave post for the grandfather of Frank & Jesse James? The most glaring deception is the photograph!

History tells us the photograph was invented about the time John M. James was dying. Neither history, nor the administrator of this posting, Charlotte Raley McConaha, can tell us is how photographic technology made its way from France to the distant American frontier to take a photo of John M. James, months before his demise.

Another imprecise miscalculation in this post is the attribution of the middle name “Martin” to John M. James. The name never has been proved by evidence. To guess the name is unreliable and wrong.
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FIND-A-GRAVE BLUNDERS LEAVE JAMES FAMILY HOWLING . . . Can you spot the errata in this Find a Grave post for the grandfather of Frank & Jesse James? The most glaring deception is the photograph!

History tells us the photograph was invented about the time John M. James was dying. Neither history, nor the administrator of this posting, Charlotte Raley McConaha, can tell us is how photographic technology made its way from France to the distant American frontier to take a photo of John M. James, months before his demise.

Another imprecise miscalculation in this post is the attribution of the middle name “Martin” to John M. James. The name never has been proved by evidence. To guess the name is unreliable and wrong.
2 weeks ago
Stray Leaves Daily

JAMES-YOUNGER GANG TO CLOSE . . . Sad news as Danny Urban, former President of the J-Y Gang, posted to Facebook that the organization is about to disband. Here’s the statement: "It is a sad year for us in the Gang. Since I originally posted this, we have lost members due to death. We are down to around 30, but the Board has decided to shut the Gang down at the end of the year. Donate all of our monies to Non-Profits around the country that are history related in the areas that the real Gang had robbed, etc. Two of our members will be taking over the website and they plan on keeping it going." The photo below is of yours truly in 2002 at the family reunion with some great-grandchildren of Jesse James. The 2017 logo is from the last meeting of the Gang that I helped to organize. See MoreSee Less

JAMES-YOUNGER GANG TO CLOSE . . . Sad news as Danny Urban, former President of the J-Y Gang, posted to Facebook that the organization is about to disband. Heres the statement: It is a sad year for us in the Gang.  Since I originally posted this, we have lost members due to death.  We are down to around 30, but the Board has decided to shut the Gang down at the end of the year.  Donate all of our monies to Non-Profits around the country that are history related in the areas that the real Gang had robbed, etc.  Two of our members will be taking over the website and they plan on keeping it going. The photo below is of yours truly in 2002 at the family reunion with some great-grandchildren of Jesse James. The 2017 logo is from the last meeting of the Gang that I helped to organize.
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