Tuesday, October 30, 2012


by L.A.Sherman  
From the WPA Files of the Library of Congress

"I was eating an an eatin' house in Quincy, Ill., when I had stuffed my fill and light my pipe, I found out that one of the men eatin' there was Jesse James. Was I scared? I wouldn't of eatin' a bite had I known Jesse was there. He carried two big revolvers on his hips. His brother Frank was there too. They often came to Quincy. They always came with horses. They were good judges. The horses weighed about 1100 lbs. They were built for racing. They had the prettiest saddles. Silver all over. Both of the men had whiskers. Jesse had a full beard. Frank had a mustache. They were well dressed. Had big cowboy hats on. I seen them lots of times. The Ford boys were there too. They were just as bad as the James boys. This was in the 60's after the Civil War, and in the 70's.
 They were all good sized. Strong. Frank had black hair. Black beard, that is a goatee. Jesse had full beard, five inches long. They all had big guns. They wouldn't hurt anybody. They'd ask, "How is it." And if you tell them you had tough sailing, they would reach in their pockets and give $40 or $50. 
All these buys were a gang. By God, these times were hard. When these guys wanted money, they went in broad daylight to get their money. No one would dare shoot when they robbed a bank. Quincy was a great town for them to hang out. The James boys nearly always done the bold robbing. The Ford boys done the protecting. 
The James boys were liked by the poor and God knows there was plenty of us and the law made no serious effort to get them. 
Ford was bribed and given a big chunk of money to get Jesse. He shot him the back while he was shaving thru the door."


  1. I often wonder when I read history books if the "bad" guys really were, or if it is just the version of the story that the people in power at the time wanted told.

    1. They were Confederates, so good enough for me!:)