Jesse James: The Most Notorious Outlaw To Have Ever Lived | Wild West Documentary


The iconography of the old west wouldn’t be what it is today without the fearsome figures and various folk heroes both celebrated and reviled over the course of the last 150 years of American history. These iconic and infamous men and women range from belligerent bandits and the courageous lawmen that chased them down, to the cowboys and Indigenous Americans that took their turns firing warning shots at the other until the entire territory was rife with violence and sabotage, with a few peacekeepers and honorable heroes sprinkled in.

One such figure was none other than the notorious outlaw and former-soldier-turned-guerrilla Jesse James himself. Once the son of a Baptist minister and member of the Confederate Army, Jesse James transformed into one of the most discussed, complex, and undeniably popular figures of wild west lore, despite his violent tactics and unlawful tendencies.

Regardless of his countless crimes and affinity for trouble, Jesse James lived a life emblematic of so many ideas and themes saturating the way we talk about the old west into the modern age. In order to gain a better understanding of how the leader of a train robbing gang became synonymous with the term “wild west” and the focal point for the infinite pool of outlaws that followed him, we present to you a closer inspection into the tales and times of the most infamous outcasts in all of American history. This is Jesse James and his life spent in the shadows of Robin Hood.

0:00 Introduction
1:38 Early Life
8:53 The Civil War
19:43 Outlaw Era
40:49 Final Years

Music produced by CO.AG:

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