Ex-Confederate soldier John Newman Edwards thought Jesse was largely a victim of his times. "We called him outlaw," Edwards wrote, "and he was; but fate made him so. When the war closed Jesse James had no home. Proscribed, hunted, shot, driven away from among his people, a price put upon his head -- what else could the man do, with such a nature, except what he did do?"
But Robert Pinkerton of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, whose unarmed detective Jesse had murdered, rejected the idea that the young outlaw was a victim. In 1879 he wrote, "I consider Jesse James the worst man, without exception, in America. He is utterly devoid of fear, and has no more compunction about cold blooded murder than he has about eating his breakfast."
Shortly after the site launched in 2005, we asked our users to answer this controversial question. Below are the results from this poll.
Total number of poll participants: 4,151
Of the participants polled, 2,306 watched at least half of the film; of those, 1,415 said the film influenced their vote.
The unusual life of David Vetter, who lived permanently inside a germ-free environment due to severe combined immunodeficiency.
The bizarre saga of the Symbionese Liberation Army and Patty Hearst's kidnapping and conversion to her captors' cause.
A historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in what was one of the nation’s most viciously racist, segregated states.
A great playwright's turbulent story, from childhood through the years of his Nobel Prize-winning career to his lonely, painful death.
A marvel of engineering, architecture, and vision, the story of the Beaux Arts structure on 42nd street that forever changed midtown Manhattan.
Quilting and the intimate clues it yields about the lives of 19th century women.
A look at JFK's assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald and the subsequent investigations that lead to a widespread loss of trust in government institutions.
A writer's childhood and the development of her photography and writing about the American South.