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.
Meet the Wizard of Odd. Robert Ripley was a new media star and the most popular man in America.
Richard Nixon faced impeachment but also ended the Vietnam War. Part of the award-winning Presidents Collection.
The staggering death tolls of the Civil War permanently altered the character of the republic and the psyche of the American people.
Accounting for America's most famous inventor and his role in America's future.
Originally settled as a mail stop, Las Vegas changed from an Old West vacation town, to a mafia haven, to the "Atomic City" and "Sin City."
The influential musical pioneers from Appalachia whose recordings lifted spirits during the Great Depression.
Of all the alphabet agencies of the New Deal, none captured the public's imagination like J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
The shocking story of Richard Leopold and Nathan Loeb, two wealthy college students who murdered a 14-year-old boy in 1924.