A teenager when he rode off to join Confederate guerrillas in 1864, Jesse James never really stopped fighting the Civil War. Unable to accept the defeat of the secessionist cause, Jesse trained his fury on banks, trains and stagecoaches.
He fancied himself a modern Robin Hood, robbing from Radical Republicans and giving to the poor. But the myth hid the darker reality of a repeat murderer whose need for attention kept him committing crimes long after the cause he championed was gone.
Below are some rare photos of Jesse James, also known as Jesse Woodson James, from a kid to his dead.
Jesse, around age seven, with his five year old sister, Susan, 1854
Jesse Woodson James is on the far left next to his parents Orpha Elizabeth and William M James.
Jesse James, Platte City, Missouri, July 10, 1864
Jesse James and his closest friend during the Civil War, Little Archie Clements, ca. 1864-65
Jesse James, Nashville, Tennessee, 1866
Jesse James, the second from the right
Jesse James, San Francisco, California, 1867
Jesse (right), Frank James (middle), and Fletch Taylor, Nashville, Tenessee, June of 1867
Jesse James, the third from the left, and the lady to his left is Zee Mimms, his cousin and future wife, Octorber 1868
Jesse James, Greenville, Illinois, 1869
Outlaw Jesse James
Frank and Jesse James
Jesse James, the second from the left
Jesse James, his wife Zerelda Mimms, and his daughter
Jesse James and Cadwell Chiles
Jesse James, Long Branch, New Jersey, 1871
Jesse and Frank James, Carolina, Illinois, 1872
Jesse James, Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1874
Outlaw Jesse James, Nebraska City, 1875
Jesse James, 1876
Jesse (left) and Frank, ca. 1875-76
Jesse James with Frank James and other members of the James Gang, Nashville, Tennessee in 1880
Jesse James in his coffin, 1882