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Reply #25

In the discussion thread: Jesse James and Debt Collectors [View all]

Response to aquart (Reply #11)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:02 PM

25. Umm, I live in Missouri, I know far too well the evil that was the James brothers

 

Not only have I read about it, but have heard first hand accounts of how bushwhackers and ridgerunners would rape and pillage. Quatrill's raiders, of which Frank James was a member, wreaked havoc throughout this state, and were nothing more than terrorists. The gang led by Bloody Bill Anderson, which both brothers joined, also terrorized this state. These weren't soldiers, they were terrorists that killed, raped, burned and pillaged, not out of a sense of serving the South, but rather for personal gain and to satisfy their own vicious appetites.

I know full well what Missouri was like in those days, my family history in this state goes way back(there are two towns named after family members). I know that this state was a battleground, pitting neighbor against neighbor, but even for the standards of the time, Quatrill and Anderson gangs stand out for being particularly loathsome. There is a reason the James brothers couldn't go home, they had committed terrible crimes against neighbors, even family.

Yes, Jesse was young when he entered the conflict, but there were lots of young men who joined up. They didn't rob, rape, murder and steal. Yes, there was racism in Missouri, and the country at large. But not everybody in the state was a racist, nor did everybody own slaves.

Jesse James and his brother had choices, and they made bad ones. They chose the life of being a terrorist, thief and murderer. That isn't due to their background, their circumstances. They could have chosen a life much different, after the Civil War there were many opportunities, especially out West. But instead, they chose to continue to loot, kill and murder people. There is nothing good about that, there is nothing romantic about that, and frankly those who defend the James brothers are indulging in historical myopia out of some sort of romance.

The cold facts are that you are putting a rapist, thief and murderer up on a pedestal. Never a good idea.

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LineLineLineReply Umm, I live in Missouri, I know far too well the evil that was the James brothers
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