Writer still believes Jesse James' death a hoax
EDITORIAL PAGE THE BJ^W^KFFSjESCOPE 102nd YEAR NO. 21 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1972 'What's a Matter, You No See Fishing Boat Before?' Public Mind (Short timely letters on current topics are invited. Letters signed by nom de plume must be accompanied by the name of the author for the editor's information, items in this column do not necessarily reflect the editor's opinion.) Writer Still Believes James Death a Hoax Editor The Belleville Telescope Belleville, Kansas Febr. 10,1972 Dear Sir: Recently my long-standing J)elief that Jesse James was not shot and killed by Bob Ford on April 3, 1882 drew mention in your fine newspaper. In your most current publication you featured a rebuttal offered up by J. H. James of Long Beach, California. It was quite a lengthy piece! I feel that my stand should be afforded as much newspaper space as was given Mr. James in his rebuttal. Your readers are deserving of "accurate" and complete details. So here goes. My extensive research into the matter of Jesse James' death of April 3, 1882 is sufficient enough to label it as a HUGE HOAX! It was a great and glorious hoax perpetrated by Jesse and Frank James AND the then Governor of Missouri — T. T. Crittenden. Bob and Charles Ford NEVER received the ten thousand dollar reward offered for Jesse James (dead or alive). All they received-was $250 apiece along with the warning "to keep your damn mouths shut!" The rest of the so-called reward money went into the pocket of Governor Crittenden. Records confirming the amount actually paid the Fords were uncovered in Jefferson City, Missouri. The hoax of 1882 was not the first. As early as 1879 one of Jesse's men publicly stated the HE had shot and killed his famed leader. I have in my files complete accounts and the original newspaper reports of this 1879 fabrication. This hoax fell through when too many people saw Jesse after he was supposed to have been killed. But for a long time people did believe—Jesse—James dead in 1879. Following the 1882 hoax Jesse fled to South America and was there for a number of years. By leaving the country he eliminated all chances of having mis "death" disproved by someone who might recognize him. That had been his downfall three years prior. You see, that member of the James' gang who had said he had killed Jesse in 1879 later confessed publicly that he had not only lied about the killing but had done so on the orders of none other than Jesse James himself. He was supposed supposed to give the reward money over to Jesse. I have "period" newspaper items detailing this confession. In 1881 Mrs. Zerelda Samuel (Jesse's mother) told the press that BOTH her sons were dead, meaning Jesse and Frank. Of course they weren't dead. But many times did Mrs. Samuel try to convince people that her boys were dead so that they would stop being hunted. She was dedicated to protecting Jesse and Frank by lying and saying they were dead. She wanted people to think Jesse dead and yet, in April of 1882, when she was led to the coffin bearing the body of "her son, Jesse" she looked down and in disbelieving relief uttered "My God! You've got the wrong man! This is not my son!" Taken into an adjoining room for a few minutes of consultation (and, perhaps, instruction), she came back to the corpse, took another look, and changed her mind. There is a written record of this happening. Also in my research I ran across a Doctor O. R. Ellmaker who met and knew Mrs. Samuel quite well in 1901. She told him at that time that her son (Jesse) was not dead but still alive! I have in my possession statements by Jesse James III (Jesse's grandson), Charles E. Mason (a great grandson), and Mrs. S. James Snow (daughter of Frank James). All three statements strengthen my belief that Jesse James was not killed in 1882 by Bob Ford. My guess is that J. H. James' "Uncle George" was a part of the 1882 hoax. Why not? Everyone else who comprised the "Inner Circle" was! In his rebuttal Mr. James stated that Mrs. Samuel lost an arm when a Pin- ckerton bomb was thrown into her house while they (the Pinkertons) were trying to farrot out "Charley Quantrill and his gang". The bomb ripped off her arm in 1875. Quantrill had been dead for ten years. Someone should have told the Pinkertons! Someone should tell Mr. James that Quantrill's first name was William and not Charley. His middle name was Clark. There were other errors as well but I guess the errors, misconceptions, and falsehoods surrounding Jesse James always will be with us. I would appreciate hearing from anyone regarding Jesse James. Thank you. Cordially, Rick L. Mach Community Services Director KSAL Radio Meditation "This is my commandment that ye love one another, even as I have loved you." John 15:12. Have you ever wondered what each of us really is seeking from life? The answer, when you have really boiled everything "down, is~mat~ea^^f^lOeekThgrto~b¥~ loved and to be understood by everyone else. You may ask, "What can I do about this?" You can do a great deal. You can give what is being sought by everyone. You can give love and understanding. And, you do have them to give, you know. Everyone of us has this to give. God has endowed each of His children with ability to give love and understanding. When you know that you have love and understanding to give, you feel capable and helpful in the face of another person's needs. You know that what you have to give will reach to the darkest, loneliest place in another person's heart and give him light and warmth.