Tag Archives: this bloody ground

Beta Readers Wanted !

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

chapter sample

BETA READERS WANTED to preview and critique Volume II of the Jesse James Soul Liberty quintet. The book is a non-fiction, narrative, historical biography with copious end notes. Previous knowledge of Jesse James or his family is beneficial, but not required.

This Bloody Ground continues the epic saga of the Jesse James family begun in Volume I, Behind the Family Wall of Stigma & Silence.

Volume II introduces for the first time the history of John M. James, the outlaw’s grandfather. From John’s service in the American Revolution when John first associates with the great-grandfather of the Younger Gang, to John’s engagement with a band of rebel Baptist preachers who barter disobedience to the Crown and patriotic allegiance for the separation of church and state, ending in their exile from Virginia into the wilderness of Kentucky in a Traveling Church, John learns the lessons of conflict, confrontation, and nonconformity that his progeny will inherit.

On America’s first frontier, John struggles against the ever-present violence with Native people to create settlement communities and a safe home for his fraying family. He is witness to land grabbing predators, Kentucky’s separation movement, and the treachery and intrigues of “The Spanish Conspiracy.” He associates with the forebears of the Jesse James in-law families, as well as with ancestors of Quantrill Guerillas. Doggedly, he struggles to settle the land, create commerce, and to give the government and social institutions necessary for self-determination. All that, and nationhood itself, becomes threatened by the War of 1812. John’s fellow bands of rebel preachers, now graying, wobble to war for their last conflict, as John dispatches his son and extended family. Fearing his impending demise, John prays, “God, give me more time!” He is dedicated to one more revolution – against government’s victimization of its citizens through financial manipulation. This time, against banks!

My only request is that you commit to reading the entire book or chapters given you, and to offer substantive criticism, analysis, or commentary. Preference will be given to those who have read Volume I of JJSL.

The chapters will be provided to you in your choice of pdf or doc format. You will receive two parts of the book initially, with the last third part only after notification that you’ve read the first two. The length of the book is no more than 500 pages, which includes roughly 100 pages of citations and notes. The time period for your completion and commentary is 90 days.

Please email me if you are interested. ericjames@ericjames.org

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Tuesday October 19th, 2021
Stray Leaves Daily

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Tuesday October 19th, 2021
Stray Leaves Daily

☞Today in Old-West History — On today’s date 119 years ago, Sunday, October 19, 1902, notorious Old-West outlaw & fiddle player James Hardin “Uncle Jim” Younger (1848-1902) met his earthly demise at the age of 54 when he committed suicide by gunshot whilst on parole at Saint Paul, Minnesota.

☞Requiéscant In Pace, Jim Younger.

☞Jim Younger was one of the central figures of a band of the most desperate outlaws the Old West ever knew — the infamous James-Younger Gang, which was formed by Jim’s brother Cole Younger along with Frank & Jesse James.

☞Jim Younger joined the Confederate Army during the War Between the States (1861-1865) & served with Quantrill’s Raiders. In 1864, he was captured by Union troops & was imprisoned until the end of the War.

☞After the War, Younger worked on various ranches until he joined the James-Younger Gang in 1873. When his brother John was killed at Roscoe, Missouri in 1874, Jim left the gang & went out west where he worked on a ranch in San Luis Obispo, California.

☞In 1876, Jim returned to the gang, & on September 7 he participated in a bank robbery that became known as the Great Northfield Minnesota Raid. During that robbery he was shot & captured. The James brothers escaped, but Cole, Jim, & Bob Younger were shot up by a posse, arrested, & sentenced to long terms in the state penitentiary at Stillwater, Minnesota, where they were afforded celebrity status.

☞Jim Younger’s fiddle was one of the few possessions that he was allowed to have with him in prison, & he played it often. As time passed, Jim noticed that a little bird would appear most every day in the window of his jail cell. It seemed as though the bird came to listen whenever Jim played his fiddle. Jim was lonely & he befriended the bird which he named “Swipsy.” The bird would fly into the prison cell & Jim would always try to have crumbs to feed Swipsy. One day, a fellow prisoner killed the little bird just for spite. Jim then painted a picture of Swipsy on the back of his violin to remember his little feathered friend.

☞In 1898, the prison warden allowed the prisoners to throw a Christmas party at his own home, with Cole Younger portraying Santa Claus & Jim Younger playing his fiddle.

☞Paroled in 1901, Jim became engaged to his long-time lover Alix Mueller; however, because of the terms of his parole he couldn’t marry her.

☞On October 19, 1902, after a failed attempt to sell tombstones & then insurance, Jim Younger locked himself in his room, wrote a suicide note to Alix, picked up his revolver, & blew his brains out.

☞In 2013, Jim Younger’s fiddle, which was played by him at the famous 1898 Christmas party at Stillwater Prison, was sold at a Dallas, Texas auction for over $11,000.

☞The left-hand photograph depicts the image of Swipsy the Bird that Jim Younger painted on the back of his fiddle. The right-hand photograph depicts an undated studio portrait of Jim Younger.
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Tuesday October 5th, 2021
Stray Leaves Daily

For Drury Woodson James, founder of Paso Robles, CA., and all his descendants, PASO ROBLES FOUNDERS’ DAY 2021. See MoreSee Less

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