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Paul Sawyier Library Gathers Kentucky Authors & Some Jesse James Family History

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

I’ve accepted the invitation of the PAUL SAWYIER LIBRARY in Frankfort, Ky., to join its GATHERING OF AUTHORS.

Original Frankfort Kentucky Courthouse
Original Frankfort Courthouse on Wapping Street, Frankfort, Kentucky

The Sawyier Public Library building, located on Wapping St., was the first courthouse built in the Kentucky capitol of Frankfort. In this building, Andrew Jackson James began his career as a country lawyer who became citified. His early success there soon led to his becoming the esteemed A. J. James, Kentucky’s attorney general, then secretary of state, and almost its governor of the Commonwealth.

Paul Sawyier and finace Mayme Bull
Paul Sawyier & Mayme Bull

Paul Sawyier, the library’s namesake, was a local artist, whose art remains highly collectible today. Sawyier was a friend of A.J.’s son, Dr. Samuel Evans James. Dr. Sam kept a yacht, berthed in back of the courthouse on the Kentucky River. He often took Frankfort society aboard The Wanderer on river excursions. Once, he took Paul Sawyier aboard as his guest. They traveled upstream to the Drennon Springs resort. There, Paul met Mayme Bull. The Bull family worshiped at the First Presbyterian Church of Frankfort, where Dr. Sam was a deacon for 17 years.

Samuel E. James
Dr. Samuel Evans James
First Presbyterian Church in Frankfort, KY
First Presbyterian Church of Frankfort, Kentucky

Paul was instantly attracted to Mayme. Together they set up housekeeping on a barge moored in the river, from which Paul proceeded to paint his sentimental landscapes. The women of Frankfort were outraged that Mayme would be forced to live on a river barge.

Painting of Mayme Bull by Paul Sawyier
Mayme Bull by Paul Sawyier

But society found much more about the couple to be enraged about. The couple said they were married, but without any witnesses the attractive young couple became the scandal of Frankfort Society.

There will be a lot more of this scandalous history surrounding the James family to appear on Volume II of Jesse James Soul Liberty, This Bloody Ground, to be published later this year.

Wapping Street, Frankfort, KY
Wapping Street, Frankfort, Kentucky. The First Presbyterian Church on the left.

For now, come meet with me at the PAUL SAWYIER PUBLIC LIBRARY. Join us at its GATHERING OF AUTHORS on Saturday, August 24, 2013 from 10 am to 3 pm, and learn more of the James family’s history in Kentucky. I’ll be signing books, too.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet someone with whom you can create some scandal of your own.

Paul Sawyier Public Library

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1 month ago
Stray Leaves Daily

HAUTE COUTURE WITH ‘TUDE . . .Rebecca Shamblin, an in-law relative of our James family, displays her pop creation. The sentiment is very characteristic of our family as a whole. See MoreSee Less

HAUTE COUTURE WITH TUDE . . .Rebecca Shamblin, an in-law relative of our James family, displays her pop creation. The sentiment is very characteristic of our family as a whole.