JESSE JAMES Biography - Crimes, Laws and people


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Name:Jesse James                                                                           
Born: September 5, 1847 Clay County, Missouri, USA                                         
Died April 3, 1882 St. Joseph, Missouri, USA                                               
Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw           
and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. After his death, he became           
a legendary figure of the Wild West.                                                       
Jesse Woodson James was born in Clay County, Missouri, near the site of present           
day Kearney. His father, Robert James, was a commercial hemp farmer and Baptist           
minister from Kentucky who helped found William Jewell College in Liberty,                 
Missouri. (Hemp was the raw material for rope, and a major crop in the Missouri           
River valley.) Robert James traveled to California during the Gold Rush and               
died there when Jesse was three years old. After Robert's death, Jesse's mother           
Zerelda remarried, first to Benjamin Simms, and then to a doctor named Reuben             
Samuel. After their marriage in 1855, Samuel moved into the James home. Jesse             
had two full siblings: his older brother, Alexander Franklin "Frank" James, and           
a younger sister, Susan Lavenia James. In addition, Reuben and Zerelda                     
eventually had four children: Sarah Louisa Samuel (sometimes Sarah Ellen), John           
Thomas Samuel, Fannie Quantrell Samuel, and Archie Peyton Samuel.                         
The Civil War devastated Missouri, and shaped the life of Jesse James. After a             
series of campaigns and battles between conventional armies in 1861, guerrilla             
warfare gripped the state, waged between secessionist "bushwhackers" and Union             
forces, which largely consisted of local militia organizations. A bitter                   
conflict ensued, bringing an escalating cycle of atrocities by both sides.                 
Guerrillas murdered civilian Unionists, executed prisoners, and scalped the dead.         
Union forces enforced martial law with raids on homes, arrests of civilians,               
summary executions, and banishment of Confederate sympathizers.