Jesse James And His Gang Rob A Bank
The survivors of Clement's gang continued to conduct bank robberies over the next two years, though their numbers dwindled through arrests, gunfights, and lynchings.
While they later tried to justify robbing the banks, these were small, local banks with local capital, not part of the national system which was a target of popular discontent in the 1860s and 1870s. On May 23, 1867, for example, they robbed a bank in Richmond, Missouri, in which they killed the mayor and two others. It remains uncertain whether either of the James brothers took part, although an eyewitness who knew the brothers told a newspaper seven years later "positively and emphatically that he recognized Jesse and Frank James ... among the robbers." In 1868, Frank and Jesse James allegedly joined Cole Younger in robbing a bank at Russellville, Kentucky.
Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank and train robber from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death. Some recent scholarship places him in the context of regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the American Civil War rather than a manifestation of frontier lawlessness or economic justice.
Jesse and his older brother Frank James were Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War. They were accused of participating in atrocities committed against Union soldiers. After the war, as members of one gang or another, they robbed banks and murdered bank employees or bystanders. They also waylaid stagecoaches and trains. Despite popular portrayals of James as a kind of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, there is no evidence that he and his gang used their robbery gains for anyone but themselves.
On April 3, 1882, Jesse James was killed by Robert Ford, who was a member of the gang living in the James house and who was hoping to collect a reward.