Friday, April 16, 2010

Jesse James and the Knights of the Golden Circle: Jesse Outside of Missouri (Part 1)

Jesse James and the Knights of the Golden Circle: Jesse Outside of Missouri (Part 1)

PHOTO;Confederate "partisan rangers" Fletch Taylor, Frank James, and Jesse, circa 1865.

A Fundamental Premise

One of the fundamental premises central to Jesse James’s role as a key player in the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) is the fact that Jesse spent time outside of the state of Missouri. Obviously, Jesse and Frank James’ Confederate partisan ranger and bank /train robbery activities (and those of many James Gang members) in Missouri are well documented, creating a distinct timeline for those activities.

What is not as well known however, are Jesse’s movements and activities outside his home state of Missouri, particularly those that occurred after the end of the U.S. Civil War in the Spring of 1865. Since many KGC treasure caches and repositories are said to be buried in other states, any documentation that establishes a presence of Jesse, Frank, or the James Gang as a whole in those other states presents an important clue to researching and potentially tracking down the location of these troves.

Other Forces and Other Actions

In past posts I’ve already mentioned the likelihood of Jesse travelling to other states. What I want to present here though is hard, well-documented evidence that Jesse, Frank, and/or the James Gang “visited” other states and left behind a record or timeline of their presence in those states.

Ostensibly, the greater part of the James Boys’ and James Gang activities in those other states concerned robbery and, to a certain extent, mayhem and murder. But underneath the superficial aspects of these activities other forces and other actions may have been at work as well, including those relating to the Knights and KGC treasure.

Evidence of Jesse’s Presence in Other States

Alabama: In March 1881 (a year before Jesse was murdered by that “dirty little coward” Bob Ford) Jesse and Frank are recognized while robbing a bank in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The Boys make a clean getaway and are not seen in the area again.

Arkansas: Jesse and four members of the James Gang hold up a stagecoach outside Hot Springs, Arkansas in January 1874. Along with cash Jesse and the others make off with watches and personal jewelry items totaling over $3,000. (Note: When relatives went through Jesse’s personal belongings after his murder, they found a pocket watch that was taken in this robbery. J.R.)

Iowa: Along with the Younger Brothers, Jesse and Frank rob a train near Adair, Iowa in July 1873. The gang is able to achieve this difficult task by derailing the Rock Island and Pacific RR engine, causing a crash that kills the train’s engineer. The Boys make off with $2,500-$3,500 in loot.

I have much more to come on Jesse’s activities outside of Missouri in a subsequent post. Be safe until then and, as always, good hunting.
© J.R. 2010
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