Who was Jesse James? History Question?
I know that everyone, or a lot of people in history hated him and never forgave him and that he went against authority. But really, who was he and what happened?
- staisilLv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
Jesse James was an American outlaw in the Nineteenth Century.
At seventeen, James left his native Missouri to fight as a Confederate guerrilla in the American Civil War as part of Quantrill's Raiders, participating in raids in Kansas. He once killed eight men in a single day. After the war, he returned to his home state and led one of history's most notorious outlaw gangs. He was wounded while surrendering at the end of the war, and later claimed to have been forced into outlawry because his family had been persecuted in the war.
With his brother Frank James and several other ex-Confederates, including Cole Younger and his brothers, the James gang robbed their way across the Western frontier targeting banks, trains, stagecoaches, and stores from Iowa to Texas. Eluding even the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, the gang escaped with thousands of dollars. James is believed to have carried out the first daylight bank robbery in peacetime, stealing $60,000 from a bank in Liberty, Missouri.
Then on July 21, 1873 the James-Younger gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American West by taking US$3,000 from the Rock Island Express in Adair, Iowa.
Despite their criminal and often violent acts, James and his partners were much adored. Journalists, eager to entertain Easterners with tales of a wild West, exaggerated and romanticized the gang's heists, often casting James as a contemporary Robin Hood. While James did harass railroad executives who unjustly seized private land for the railways, modern biographers note that he did so for personal gain -- his humanitarian acts were more fiction than fact.
On September 7, 1876, the James gang attempted to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota. The townspeople returned fire, and all of the members of the gang except for Frank and Jesse James were killed, wounded or captured in a wooded ravine along the Watonwan river just south of La Salle, Minnesota.
Jesse James had married his own first cousin, named Zerelda after his mother, after a nine-year courtship. They had two children, Jesse Edwards and Mary. She and Frank James' wife tried to get the brothers to take on a more normal life, and with a $10,000 reward on his head, Jesse and his wife moved to Saint Joseph, Missouri to hide out, where he lived under the assumed name of Tom Howard and rented a house for $14 a month.
In April 1882, Jesse James recruited Robert and Charles Ford to help him rob the Platte City bank. While James stood on a chair in his home in St. Joseph to straighten and dust a picture, the Ford brothers drew their guns. Robert Ford's shot hit James in the back of the head, ending his outlaw days for good. Ford hoped to claim the $10,000 offered for James' capture but received only a fraction of the reward and was charged with murder.
The Ford brothers were sentenced to hang but were pardoned by the governor of Missouri. Charles Ford committed suicide two years later, and Robert Ford was killed in a bar room brawl in Creede, Colorado, in 1892.
- ?Lv 77 years ago
Jesse James was a Guerrilla Fighter in The Civil War, he later robbed people, so he was a killer, a thief and all around pretty bad man.