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.
During World War II, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military as WASPS.
A great playwright's turbulent story, from childhood through the years of his Nobel Prize-winning career to his lonely, painful death.
The life story of Aimee Semple McPherson, religious evangelist instrumental in bringing conservative Protestantism into mainstream culture.
The unbounded optimism of the Jazz Age and the shocking consequences when reality finally hit on October 29th, 1929.
Bascom Lamar Lunsford and his campaign to preserve mountain music and dance.
The six-part story of a frontiersman farmer and a wealthy Confederate slave-owner's daughter.
The staggering death tolls of the Civil War permanently altered the character of the republic and the psyche of the American people.
Richard Sears and Alva Curtis Roebuck brought consumer goods to the hands of every American with their Sears and Roebuck catalogue.