In the minds of many Americans, the name of Jesse James and the Wild West are practically synonymous.
The bank robberies, with bullets flying from one side to the other of a dusty little town of the American frontier; the daring train robberies, with locomotives being chased by horses and forced to make a halt only to be boarded by gentlemanly bandits; the spectacular escapes of horse riders camouflaged by long coats, firing two revolvers, one in each hand.
All of these are episodes that correspond to the life of Jesse James, that notable son of Missouri. In this sense, he is a vital and representative part of American history and life.
Jesse James was a robber, a murderer, and a notorious outlaw, who carried as many weapons as he could. He could shoot with both hands while he held the reins of his horse in his teeth.
He was an extremely popular man in his day, a phenomenon that he readily accepted because he was a person who craved attention. He supposedly gave part of his booty to the poor, although no evidence of this can be found except in folklore.
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