March the Thirteenth, Two Thousand Ought Eight


Quotations of Note

The world may believe as it pleases.
     --------------  Coleman Younger

As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.
     --------------  William James

It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature.
     --------------  Henry James

The success or failure of a life, as far as posterity goes, seems to lie in the more or less luck of seizing the right moment of escape.
      ------------  Alice James


Wanted: Information leading to the capture of a bag of cookies that mysteriously disappeared from the top of my fridge in the middle of the night. Wanted in connection with a two inch increase in my waistline. No reward. Box 11.
For sale: rarely used sense of propriety, also well-worn hair-trigger temper and small quantity of blood lust. All three for $18. Box 33.



How's about droppin' us a line?

A  Really,  Really  True,  Honest-to-God  Western  Tale

   Frank       Jesse       Henry       William       Alice   

The Only Ride of the ENTIRE James Gang

Worried, as always, about the startling level of ignorance exhibited by our readers, PERSIFLAGE has decided to run yet another edifying article meant to make you, dear reader, smarter and better informed. Here it is. Get smarter.

The year was 1869. William James, just out of medical school, as a sort of graduation celebration, had traveled with his brother Henry and sister Alice to visit their cousins in Clay County, Missoouri.

Bill was eager to see the West. Having spent most of his time in the last few years alone with his books, he was anxious to get out in the world and have some real life experiences. He looked to his younger, wilder Missouri cousins to provide him with some. He was not to be disappointed.

On the afternoon of July 12th, a mild afternoon for the summer in Missouri, the James' cousin Frank suggested that the cousins go for a horseback ride in the country. As it was such a lovely day the Eastern seabord James's readily agreed.

Sometime after 2 p.m. they entered the town of Plattsburg. Frank's brother Jesse suggested that they drop into the Plattsburg Savings and Loan as he had "a spot of banking to do". Henry was left outside to watch the horses as the others went inside.

It is unclear exactly what transpired inside the Savings and Loan but it was widely reported that Alice was the first to fire. It is known that she carried a small derringer for her protection but there is no mention in any of her writings of a propensity for violence.

It is clear that the James's left the Plattsburg Savings and Loan with thirty-eight dollars and fifty cents more than they went in with, that a bank clerk named Tolford suffered a small cut above the right eye, that the bank manager, Lewis Clomper, had a hole shot through his hat and that Henry James had his pants professionally cleaned in the Town of Kearney that same day at a cost of forty-five cents.

Almost immediately afterwards the eastcoast James's left for home. Henry sailed for Europe shortly upon their return and both William and Alice were treated by physicians for "nerve disorders".

That is the totally true story of the only known raid of the ENTIRE James Gang.