Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A Family Memory of KGC Gold? (Part 2)
Here is more of what Miss G. had to say about the possibility of a James Boys/Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) link to her family history.
Please note once again that I promised to maintain this writer's anonymity and location. These are her words (and mine) with only slight editing and formatting changes for readability.
"My great grandmother received this land from her father, John D., who was a Native American (Saponi Tribe we believe) who received the land as part of his taking U.S. citizenship (the standard land grant of the time was about 600 acres). The D. family lived on this land, in a sort of compound-like structure or little town until Dolly's second husband gambled all of the family money away and Dolly had to leave the land.
As far as dates, the D's. were there roughly from the early 1800s until probably the late 1800s or early 1900s (I am getting exact dates from my Mom now)."
"So, the D's. were Native American descendants, (John was full blooded), they were Southern loyalists, and they sat on one of the highest points in (XXXX) County....probably (XXXX) miles east of the Ouachita Mountains/Hot Springs area. Even now if you bring up Jesse or Frank James' names amongst my Arkansas kin, the brothers are most definitely recalled as heroes, Robin Hoods....anything but 'outlaws' or 'murderers.'"
"KGC Guardians or Sentinels?"
"Maybe the D's. willingly and knowingly allowed the KGC (i.e., the James brothers) to leave a clue or cache on their property? Perhaps a farther stretch....the D's. and their extended family were KGC Guardians or even Sentinels of the cache?"
"The black walnut tree where the cache was buried under is gone, supposedly, and one relative has looked for the 'Prince Albert' can already and found nothing. But, perhaps looking for the literal is just a ruse..."
A "Prince Albert" Can
"I plan to pursue the literal interpretations of the family letter (i.e., black walnut tree stump), but also the symbolic meanings. I am also looking through my mother's MANY family photos from her research to see if a black walnut tree actually appears in any of the photos from that location and time period."
"On another note, 'Prince Albert' tobacco was introduced in 1907...a little late for Jesse, right? So, I'm thinking this family memory is a tad fuzzy...like you said, perhaps it was another type of container. But it couldn't have been a 'Prince Albert' can; they didn't exist at that time. Unless, of course, you go with the theory that Jesse staged his death..."
"If nothing else, all this is exciting fun, eh?"
"As you rightly point out Miss G., even at this juncture of time and history in certain states, the James Boys are still revered and their memories held close to the heart. Some of this regard comes from the fact that Frank and Jesse were considered 'Robin Hoods' of sorts, robbing the wealthy Yankee carpetbaggers and 'loyalists' and giving to the poor and oppressed."
"An Eye for an Eye..."
"However, I believe the strongest and deepest positive feelings about the James Boys in Missouri and Arkansas are a result of their participation as Confederate 'partisan rangers' (i.e., guerrilla fighters) during the Civil War. Don't get me wrong here...Jesse and Frank were no angels. Neither were the Younger brothers, William Quantrill, or 'Bloody Bill' Anderson."
"But the James and Younger Boys themselves and those who eventually rode with 'Bloody Bill' and Quantrill did not join up simply to commit random acts of violence, robbery, torture, mayhem, and murder. They rode to protect their families, their neighbors, their communities, and their hearths and homes from the rape, robbery, arson, and violence and murder thrust upon the innocent in Missouri and the other border states by redleg Kansas 'Jayhawkers' such as Jim Lane and the Union army occupiers of the region. Like the Good Book says: 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth...' The James Boys took that to heart and so did all the partisan rangers they rode with. They were violent men in a time of terrible violence."
The "Prince Albert" Tobacco Can
"Your realization that the 'Prince Albert' tobacco can was not introduced until 1907 was a good catch but you were pre-empted a tiny bit by Dave S. from Wisconsin. He e-mailed me right away about this anomaly. At any rate, kudos to both of you."
"By the way, for you novice treasure hunters out there this bit of seemingly innocuous info can have big repercussions when it comes down to verifying if a cache or trove actually exists. It's all in the details (and stresses the need for thorough research always when it comes to treasure hunting)."
"Jesse Deserved a Better End"
"Finally Miss G., as I've already stated to you, I am not one of the 'true believers' who thinks that Jesse James faked his death and then went on to live a long life under an assumed name or names. I know there are lots of folks out there who do believe this, but I am not one of them. My view? That 'dirty little coward' Bob Ford gunned Jesse down and that was 'all she wrote' for poor Jesse."
"Truth be told? Jesse deserved a better end than that. But you're correct...it's all great fun to try and unravel these sorts of mysteries."
That's it for now. Good hunting out there.
(c) J.R. 2011
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org