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Jessamine County (KY) Public Library Author Fair – Book Signing
May 15, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pmFREE
Twenty leading Kentucky authors will appear at the upcoming Jessamine County Public Library Author Fair. Among them is Jesse James family historian and genealogist Eric F. James.
Mr. James will be presenting and signing his biography of the Jesse James family, Jesse James Soul Liberty, Vol. I, Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence. This first of five volumes won the distinguished Milton F. Perry Award for innovative historical research and reporting.
Jessamine County is home to several kinfolk of the James family. Most of them have gone ignored by traditional historians who never take into account how family relatives and their social community influence key historical figures, like Frank and Jesse James.
Chaumiere De Prairie in Jessamine County became the Kentucky home of the Honorable Samuel Hughes Woodson Sr. 1777-1827, a lawyer and third cousin of the infamous James brothers. The home was built by Woodson’s father-in-law Col. David Meade, who had been a Virginia Burgess. Woodson studied law under George Nicholas. The James brothers’ grandfather, John M. James, was a witness to the Danville Conventions in which Nicholas was one of the presiding judges. Nicholas then drafted the Kentucky Constitution leading to statehood and later became a judge in Jessamine County.
Jessamine County also was an ancestral home to the family of the wife of Frank James, Annie Ralston. Her ancestors in the Moberly and Hill families conducted both a waggoner and blacksmithing businesses in Jessamine County before they headed west into Missouri.
In Kansas on the Missouri border, it was Samuel Hughes Woodson Jr. 1815-1888 who visited political havoc on the frontier with Annie Ralston’s father, Sam Ralston. Both became infamous for rigging elections. Woodson orchestrated the “Bogus Legislature” that fixed polling registers and ran off election judges.
Historical conjecture sometimes points to these Woodson cousins of the James family as the namesake for Jesse Woodson James.