May 22, 2023
It's been said that Frank James resembled his father and that Jesse favored his mother. A newspaper reporter, John Newman Edwards, rode out to the James family farm north of Kearney, Missouri, and interviewed the brothers and captured the differences between them, in a St. Louis Dispatch article, published on November 22, 1873:
“The dad-binged play glorifies these outlaws and makes heroes of them…. I am told the Gilliss Theatre was packed to the doors last night, and that most of those there were boys and men. What will be the effect on these young men to see the acts of a train robber and outlaw glorified?”
—Frank James, in 1902, seeking a court order to prevent the play, The James Boys in Missouri, from being staged in Kansas City
Sorry Frank, it has been all downhill from there:
By my count there have been at least 35 movies, so far, on the life of Jesse James. And what does this say about us?
"A distinctly American bandit has been remembered in a distinctly American fashion, through tourism, mass media, and show business."
—Erin H. Turner, editor of "Badasses of the Old West" 2010