Jesse James - Summary

Brad Pitt is Jesse James in this award-nominated film while Casey Affleck is Robert Ford, the outlaw’s young protégé. Sam Shepard (Frank James) and Mary Louise Parker (Zee James) are among the supporting cast.

 In the spring of 1882, Jesse and Zee James - calling themselves Tom and Mary Howard - were living in St. Joseph, Missouri with their two children. Jesse had been an outlaw for some time. What was his background? Why had he, and his brother, joined forces with Cole Younger to form the James-Younger Gang?

In this story behind the movie, visit nineteenth-century Missouri - the scene of many Civil War battles. Learn about the Missouri Compromise and why it permitted Missouri to be a “slave state” within the Union. Examine evidence of atrocities in both Missouri and nearby Kansas. Meet Confederate guerillas (like “Bloody” Bill Anderson and William Quantrill) who greatly influenced Jesse James.

With links to contemporary sources, and illustrations from newspapers like Harper’s Weekly and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News, see what nineteenth-century Americans were reading as the North and South battled over issues like slavery and states’ rights. Take a look at some of the children’s books which popularized the exploits of Jesse James - thereby raising his stature and enhancing his legend.

Then ... take a virtual trip to Creede, Colorado to see the place, and the setting, where Bob Ford himself was assassinated, a decade after he killed Jesse James.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: Aug 21, 2017

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"Jesse James" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2007. May 26, 2020.
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