Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Presidents: John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was born on July 11th, 1767 and passed away February 23rd, 1848. He was the sixth President of the United States (1825–1829). He served as American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former President John Adams and Abigail Adams. As a diplomat, Adams played an important role in negotiating many international treaties, most notably the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. As Secretary of State, he negotiated with the United Kingdom over America's northern border with Canada, negotiated with Spain the annexation of Florida, and authored the Monroe Doctrine. Historians agree he was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history. As president, he sought to modernize the American economy and promoted education. Adams enacted a part of his agenda and paid off much of the national debt. He was stymied by a Congress controlled by his enemies, and his lack of patronage networks helped politicians eager to undercut him. He lost his 1828 bid for re-election to Andrew Jackson. In doing so, he became the first president since his father to serve a single term.

Adams is best known as a diplomat who shaped America's foreign policy in line with his ardently nationalist commitment to America's republican values. More recently Howe (2007) portrayed Adams as the exemplar and moral leader in an era of modernization. During Adams' lifetime, technological innovations and new means of communication spread messages of religious revival, social reform, and party politics. Goods, money, and people traveled more rapidly and efficiently than ever before. Adams was elected a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts after leaving office, serving for the last 17 years of his life with far greater acclamation than he had achieved as president. He is, so far, the only president later elected to the United States House of Representatives (though John Tyler was elected to the House of Representatives of the Confederate States just before his death in 1862). Animated by his growing revulsion against slavery, Adams became a leading opponent of the Slave Power. He predicted that if a civil war were to break out, the president could abolish slavery by using his war powers. Adams also predicted the Union's dissolution over the slavery issue, but said that if the South became independent there would be a series of bloody slave revolts.

John Quincy Adams was born on July 11th, 1767 to John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams (née Smith) in a part of Braintree, Massachusetts, that is now Quincy Massachusetts. John Quincy Adams Birthplace is now part of Adams National Historical Park and open to the public. He was named for his mother's maternal grandfather, Colonel John Quincy, after whom Quincy, Massachusetts, is named. The name Quincy has subsequently been used for at least nineteen other places in the United States. Those places were either directly or indirectly named for John Quincy Adams (for example, Quincy, Illinois was named in honor of Adams while Quincy, California was named for Quincy, Illinois). The Quincy family name was pronounced kwinsi as is the name of the city in Massachusetts where Adams was born. However, all of the other place names are locally kwinsi. Though technically incorrect, this pronunciation is also commonly used for Adams' middle name. Adams first learned of the Declaration of Independence from the letters his father wrote his mother from the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In 1779, Adams began a diary that he kept until just before he died in 1848. The massive fifty volumes are one of the most extensive collections of first-hand information from the period of the early republic and are widely cited by modern historians. Much of Adams' youth was spent accompanying his father overseas. John Adams served as an American envoy to France from 1778 until 1779 and to the Netherlands from 1780 until 1782, and the younger Adams accompanied his father on these journeys. Adams acquired an education at institutions such as Leiden University. He matriculated in Leiden January 10th 1781. For nearly three years, at the age of 14, he accompanied Francis Dana as a secretary on a mission to Saint Petersburg, Russia, to obtain recognition of the new United States. He spent time in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark and, in 1804, published a travel report of Silesia. During these years overseas, Adams became fluent in French and Dutch and became familiar with German and other European languages. He entered Harvard College and was graduated in 1787 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa. Adams House at Harvard College is named in honor of Adams and his father. He later earned an A.M. from Harvard in 1790. He apprenticed as an attorney with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, Massachusetts, from 1787 to 1789. He gained admittance to the bar in 1791 and began practicing law in Boston.

Adams first won national recognition when he published a series of widely read articles supporting Washington's decision to keep America out of the growing hostilities surrounding the French Revolution. Soon after, George Washington appointed Adams minister to the Netherlands (at the age of 26) in 1793. He did not want the position, preferring to maintain his quiet life of reading in Massachusetts, and probably would have rejected it if his father had not persuaded him to take it. On his way to the Netherlands, he was to deliver a set of documents to Chief Justice John Jay, who was negotiating the Jay Treaty. After spending some time with Jay, Adams wrote home to his father, in support of the emerging treaty because he thought America should stay out of European affairs. Historian Paul Nagel has noted that this letter reached Washington, and that parts of it were used by Washington when drafting his farewell address.
While going back and forth between The Hague and London, he met and proposed to his future wife. Though he wanted to return to private life at the end of his appointment, Washington appointed him minister to Portugal in 1796, where he was soon promoted to the Berlin Legation. Though his talents were far greater than his desire to serve, he was finally convinced to remain in public service when he learned how highly Washington thought of his abilities. Washington called Adams "the most valuable of America's officials abroad," and Nagel believes that it was at this time that Adams first came to terms with a lifetime of public service. He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1797. When the elder Adams became president, he appointed his son in 1797 as Minister to Prussia at Washington's urging. There Adams signed the renewal of the very liberal Prussian-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce after negotiations with Prussian Foreign Minister Count Karl-Wilhelm Finck von Finckenstein. He served at that post until 1801. While serving abroad, Adams married Louisa Catherine Johnson, the daughter of an American merchant, in a ceremony at the church of All Hallows-by-the-Tower, London. Adams remains the only president to have a First Lady born outside of the United States.

On his return to the United States, Adams was appointed a Commissioner of Monetary Affairs in Boston by a Federal District Judge, however, Thomas Jefferson rescinded this appointment. He again tried his hand as an attorney, but shortly afterward entered politics. John Quincy Adams was elected a member of the Massachusetts State Senate in April 1802. In November 1802 he ran as a Federalist for the United States House of Representatives and lost. The Massachusetts General Court elected Adams as a Federalist to the U.S. Senate soon after, and he served from March 4, 1803, until 1808, when he broke with the Federalist Party. Adams, as a Senator, had supported the Louisiana Purchase and Jefferson's Embargo Act, actions which made him very unpopular with Massachusetts Federalists. The Federalist-controlled Massachusetts Legislature chose a replacement for Adams on June 3, 1808, several months early. On June 8, Adams broke with the Federalists, resigned his Senate seat, and became a Democrat-Republican.

President James Madison appointed Adams as the first ever United States Minister to Russia in 1809 (though Francis Dana and William Short had previously been nominated to the post, neither presented his credentials at Saint Petersburg). Louisa Adams was with him in Saint Petersburg almost the entire time. While not officially a diplomat, Louisa Adams did serve an invaluable role as wife-of-diplomat, becoming a favorite of the tsar and making up for her husband's utter lack of charm. She was an indispensable part of the American mission. In 1812, Adams reported the news of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and Napoleon's disastrous retreat. In 1814, Adams was recalled from Russia to serve as chief negotiator of the U.S. commission for the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. Finally, he was sent to be minister to the Court of St. James's (Britain) from 1815 until 1817, a post that was first held by his father.

Adams served as Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President James Monroe from 1817 until 1825. Typically, his views concurred with those espoused by Monroe. As Secretary of State, he negotiated the Adams-Onís Treaty (which acquired Florida for the United States), the Treaty of 1818, and wrote the Monroe Doctrine. Many historians regard him as one of the greatest Secretaries of State in American history.

The Floridas, still a Spanish territory but with no Spanish presence to speak of, became a refuge for runaway slaves and Indian raiders. Monroe sent in General Andrew Jackson who pushed the Seminole Indians south, executed two British merchants who were supplying weapons, deposed one governor and named another, and left an American garrison in occupation. President Monroe and all his cabinet, except Adams, believed Jackson had exceeded his instructions. Adams argued that since Spain had proved incapable of policing her territories, the United States was obliged to act in self-defense. Adams so ably justified Jackson's conduct that he silenced protests from either Spain or Britain; Congress refused to punish Jackson. Adams used the events that had unfolded in Florida to negotiate the Florida Treaty with Spain in 1819 that turned Florida over to the U.S. and resolved border issues regarding the Louisiana Purchase.

With the ongoing Oregon boundary dispute, Adams sought to negotiate a settlement with England to decide the border between the western United States and Canada. This would become the Treaty of 1818. Along with the Rush–Bagot Treaty of 1817, this marked the beginning of improved relations between the British Empire and its former colonies, and paved the way for better relations between the U.S. and Canada. The treaty had several provisions, but in particular it set the boundary between British North America and the United States along the 49th parallel through the Rocky Mountains. This settled a boundary dispute caused by ignorance of actual geography in the boundary agreed to in the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolutionary War. That earlier treaty had used the Mississippi River to determine the border, but assumed that the river extended further north than it did, and so that earlier settlement was unworkable.

By the time Monroe became president, several European powers, in particular Spain, were attempting to re-establish control over South America. On Independence Day 1821, in response to those who advocated American support for independence movements in many South American countries, Adams gave a speech in which he said that American policy was moral support for independence movements but not armed intervention. He stated that America "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy." From this, Adams authored what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine, which was introduced on December 2, 1823. It stated that further efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention. The United States, reflecting concerns raised by Great Britain, ultimately hoped to avoid having any European power take over Spain's colonies. It became a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets, and would be invoked by many U.S. statesmen and several U.S. presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and others.

As the 1824 election drew near people began looking for candidates. New England voters admired Adams' patriotism and political skills and it was mainly due to their support that he entered the race. The old caucus system of the Democratic-Republican Party had collapsed; indeed the entire First Party System had collapsed and the election was a fight based on regional support. Adams had a strong base in New England. His opponents included John C. Calhoun, William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, and the hero of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson. During the campaign Calhoun dropped out, and Crawford fell ill giving further support to the other candidates. When Election Day arrived, Andrew Jackson won, although narrowly, pluralities of the popular and electoral votes, but not the necessary majority of electoral votes. Under the terms of the Twelfth Amendment, the presidential election fell to the House of Representatives, which was to choose from the top three candidates: Jackson, Adams, and Crawford. Clay had come in fourth place and thus was not on the ballot, but he retained considerable power and influence as Speaker of the House.
Clay's personal dislike for Jackson and the similarity of his American System to Adams' position on tariffs and internal improvements caused him to throw his support to Adams, who was elected by the House on February 9, 1825, on the first ballot. Adams' victory shocked Jackson, who had won the most electoral and popular votes and fully expected to be elected president. When Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State - the position that Adams and his three predecessors had held before becoming president - Jacksonian Democrats were outraged, and claimed that Adams and Clay had struck a "corrupt bargain". This contention overshadowed Adams' term and greatly contributed to Adams' loss to Jackson four years later, in the 1828 election.

Adams served as the sixth President of the United States from March 4th, 1825, to March 4th, 1829. He took the oath of office on a book of constitutional law, instead of the more traditional Bible. Adams proposed an elaborate program of internal improvements (roads, ports and canals), a national university, and federal support for the arts and sciences. He favored a high tariff to encourage the building of factories, and restricted land sales to slow the movement west. Opposition from the states' rights faction of a hostile congress killed many of his proposals. He also reduced the national debt from $16 million to $5 million, the remainder of which was paid off by his immediate successor, Andrew Jackson. Paul Nagel argues that his political acumen was not any less developed than others were in his day, and notes that Henry Clay, one of the era's most astute politicians, was a principal advisor to Adams and supporter throughout his presidency. Nagel argues that Adams' political problems were the result of an unusually hostile Jacksonian faction, and Adams' own dislike of the office. Although a product of the political culture of his day, he refused to play politics according to the usual rules and was not as aggressive in courting political support as he could have been. He was attacked by the followers of Jackson, who accused him of being a partner to a "corrupt bargain" to obtain Clay's support in the election and then appoint him Secretary of State. Jackson defeated Adams in 1828, and created the modern Democratic party thus inaugurating the Second Party System.

During his term, Adams worked on transforming America into a world power through "internal improvements," as a part of the "American System". It consisted of a high tariff to support internal improvements such as road-building, and a national bank to encourage productive enterprise and form a national currency. In his first annual message to Congress, Adams presented an ambitious program for modernization that included roads, canals, a national university, an astronomical observatory, and other initiatives. The support for his proposals was mixed, mainly due to opposition from Jackson's followers. Some of his proposals were adopted, specifically the extension of the Cumberland Road into Ohio with surveys for its continuation west to St. Louis; the beginning of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the construction of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and the Louisville and Portland Canal around the falls of the Ohio; the connection of the Great Lakes to the Ohio River system in Ohio and Indiana; and the enlargement and rebuilding of the Dismal Swamp Canal in North Carolina. One of the issues which divided the administration was protective tariffs, of which Henry Clay was a leading advocate. After Adams lost control of Congress in 1827, the situation became more complicated. By signing into law the Tariff of 1828, quite unpopular in parts of the south, he further antagonized the Jacksonians.

Adams' generous policy toward Native Americans caused him trouble. Settlers on the frontier, who were constantly seeking to move westward, cried for a more expansionist policy. When the federal government tried to assert authority on behalf of the Cherokees, the governor of Georgia took up arms. Adams defended his domestic agenda as continuing Monroe's policies. In contrast, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren instigated the policy of Indian removal to the west (i.e. the Trail of Tears.)

John Quincy Adams left office on March 4, 1829, after losing the election of 1828 to Andrew Jackson. Adams did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Andrew Jackson, who had openly snubbed him by refusing to pay the traditional "courtesy call" to the outgoing president during the weeks before his own inauguration. He was one of only three presidents who chose not to attend their respective successor's inauguration; the others were his father and Andrew Johnson.

After the inauguration of Adams in 1825, Jackson resigned from his senate seat. For four years he worked hard, with help from his supporters in Congress, to defeat Adams in the presidential election of 1828. The campaign was very much a personal one. As was the tradition of the day and age in American presidential politics, neither candidate personally campaigned, but their political followers organized many campaign events. Both candidates were rhetorically attacked in the press. This reached a low point when the press accused Jackson's wife Rachel of bigamy. She died a few weeks after the elections. Jackson said he would forgive those who insulted him, but he would never forgive the ones who had attacked his wife.

Adams lost the election by a decisive margin. He won all the same states that his father had won in the election of 1800: the New England states, New Jersey, and Delaware, as well as parts of New York and a majority of Maryland. Jackson won the rest of the states, picking up 178 electoral votes to Adams' 83 votes, and succeeded him. Adams and his father were the only U.S. presidents to serve a single term during the first 48 years of the Presidency (1789–1837). Historian Thomas Bailey observed, "Seldom has the public mind been so successfully poisoned against an honest and high-minded man.

Adams did not retire after leaving office. Instead he ran for and won a seat in the United States House of Representatives in the 1830 elections. He was the first president to serve in Congress after his term of office, and one of only two former presidents to do so (Andrew Johnson later served in the Senate). He was elected to eight terms, serving as a Representative for 17 years, from 1831 until his death.

Adams focused more on anti-slavery issues starting in 1841. He involved himself on the Amistad case which determined that the slaves that were captured in the Sierra Leone region would not be held accountable as slaves and that they could return home to their family and friends. Adams agreed for Lewis Tappan and Ellis Gray to take the stand at the Supreme Court on behalf of the African Americans after a revolt on the Spanish ship of Amistad. Adams took the case for February 24, 1841 and argued on behalf of the African Americans for four hours. His argument put an end to the Armistad affairs and freed the slaves. In authoring a change to the Tariff of 1828, he was instrumental to the compromise that ended the Nullification Crisis. When James Smithson died and left his estate to the U.S. government to build an institution of learning, congress wanted to appropriate the money for other purposes. Adams was key to ensuring that the money was instead used to build the Smithsonian Institution. He also led the fight against the gag rule, which prevented congress from hearing anti-slavery petitions. Throughout much of his congressional career, he fought it, evaded it, and tried to repeal it. In 1844 he assembled a coalition that approved his resolution to repeal the rule. He was considered by many to be the leader of the anti-slavery faction in congress, as he was one of America's most prominent opponents of slavery.

A longtime opponent of slavery, Adams used his new role in Congress to fight it. In 1836, Southern Congressmen voted in a rule, called the “gag rule,” that immediately tabled any petitions about slavery, banning discussion or debate of the slavery issue. He became a forceful opponent of this rule and conceived a way around it, attacking slavery in the House for two weeks. The gag rule prevented him from bringing slavery petitions to the floor, but he brought one anyway. It was a petition from a Georgia citizen urging disunion due to the continuation of slavery in the South. Though he certainly did not support it and made that clear at the time, his intent was to antagonize the pro-slavery faction of Congress into an open fight on the matter. The plan worked. The petition infuriated his congressional enemies, many of whom were agitating for disunion themselves. They moved for his censure over the matter, enabling Adams to openly discuss slavery during his subsequent defense. Taking advantage of his right to defend himself, Adams delivered prepared and impromptu remarks against slavery and in favor of abolition. Knowing that he would probably be acquitted, he changed the focus from his own actions to those of the slaveholders, speaking against the slave trade and the ownership of slaves. He decided that if he were censured, he would merely resign, run for the office again, and probably win easily. When his opponents realized that they played into his political strategy, they tried to bury the censure. Adams made sure this did not happen, and the debate continued. He attacked slavery and slaveholders as immoral and condemned the institution while calling for it to end. After two weeks, a vote was held, and he was not censured. He delighted in the misery he was inflicting on the slaveholders he so hated, and prided himself on being "obnoxious to the slave faction."

Although the censure of Adams over the slavery petition was ultimately abandoned, the House did address the issue of petitions from enslaved persons at a later time. Adams again argued that the right to petition was a universal right, granted by God, so that those in the weakest positions might always have recourse to those in the most powerful. Adams also called into question the actions of a House that would limit its own ability to debate and resolve questions internally. After this debate, the gag rule was ultimately retained. The discussion ignited by his actions and the attempts of others to quiet him raised questions of the right to petition, the right to legislative debate, and the morality of slavery. During the censure debate, Adams said that he took delight in the fact that southerners would forever remember him as "the acutest, the astutest, the archest enemy of southern slavery that ever existed". Later he led a committee that sought to reform Congress' rules, and he used this opportunity to try to repeal the gag rule once again. He spent two months building support for this move, but due to northern opposition, the rule narrowly survived. He fiercely criticized northern Congressmen and Senators, in particular Stephen A. Douglas, who seemed to cater to the slave faction in exchange for southern support. His opposition to slavery made him, along with Henry Clay, one of the leading opponents of Texas annexation and the Mexican–American War. He correctly predicted that both would contribute to civil war. After one of his reelection victories, he said that he must "bring about a day prophesied when slavery and war shall be banished from the face of the earth."

On February 21, 1848, the House of Representatives was discussing the matter of honoring US Army officers who served in the Mexican–American War. Adams firmly opposed this idea, so when the rest of the house erupted into 'ayes', he cried out, 'No!.' He rose to answer a question put forth by the Speaker of the House. Immediately thereafter, Adams collapsed, having suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Two days later, on February 23, he died with his wife and son at his side in the Speaker's Room inside the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. His last words were "This is the last of earth. I am content." He died at 7:20 P.M. His original interment was temporary, in the public vault at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Later, he was interred in the family burial ground in Quincy across from the First Parish Church, called Hancock Cemetery. After Louisa's death in 1852, his son, Charles Francis Adams, had his parents reinterred in the expanded family crypt in the United First Parish Church across the street, next to John and Abigail. Both tombs are viewable by the public. Adams' original tomb at Hancock Cemetery is still there and marked simply "J.Q. Adams".

John Quincy Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams had three sons and a daughter. Their daughter, Louisa, was born in 1811 but died in 1812 while the family was in Russia. They named their first son George Washington Adams (1801-1829) after the first president. Both George and their second son, John (1803 - 1834), led troubled lives and died in early adulthood. (George committed suicide and John was expelled from Harvard before his 1823 graduation.)

Adams' youngest son, Charles Francis Adams (who named his own son John Quincy), also pursued a career in diplomacy and politics. In 1870 Charles Francis built the first memorial presidential library in the United States, to honor his father. The Stone Library includes over 14,000 books written in twelve languages. The library is located in the "Old House" at Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.

John Adams and John Quincy Adams were the first father and son to each serve as president (the others being George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush). Each Adams served only one term as president.

Source: Wikipedia

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Carroll's Journal: Beautiful Delirium

I heard my old Goodreads group has officially been deleted. I don’t know how to feel about that. Except to say that some people were holding on too close. It’s just a group. Or, it was just a group. However, there were a lot of memories there. I will probably always remember the amazing young people I got to meet and hopefully, helped. I have had quite a few emails telling me that Goodreads dropped several “class points” when I got the proverbial boot. Hell, I could have told you that, LOL


Aaahhhhhh, beautiful delirium.


Seriously though, I will remember the great times I had on there with many of you. We had a lot of fun and laughs, as well as dropped a few tears. We solved some problems and had more than our share of drama. They say, all good things must come to an end. And sometimes, even great things must come to an end. It was a year to remember, that’s for sure. If you’re looking for someone to blame, there is plenty to go around. So, pass the mashed-potatoes & gravy and let’s start feasting!


My thoughts may be wireless, but my brain constantly needs recharging.


That sentence first appeared to me while counting pixie dust particles in a forest of sweet enchantment. While wireless thoughts is a good concept in theory, the fact remains that everything transmitted through my mind can be captured in a black-box located somewhere in a tower near you. They are isolated from the rest of the world. Sure, this appears relevant at first glance, but after a second peek, you realize how familiar it looks in association to your mother-in-law, and let’s face it, that can’t be good.


Did I throw you off with that paragraph? Ha-ha.


Recently, I attempted to seriously address some issues with one of the bullies on her blog. I don’t know what it is that makes me think I can reach out and connect with people’s humanity. For some reason, I get it in my head that everybody has an ounce of decency in them and yet, every single time I give these people the opportunity to prove they do, they let me down. Now I fear I have another stalker who is madly in love with me. Someone keeps posting on her blog, all kinds of stuff about me but, all it is - is my comments. Comments that I make on STGRB and here on my blog. I don’t get it.


Damn me and my animal magnetism!


Anyhow, it is really a shame when grown adults want to play silly childish games that even my six year old nephew has out-grown. Sometimes I want to become a Christian just to pray for other people’s souls. Speaking of my nephew, I miss him. Haven’t seen him for a while. I should go pay him a visit soon.


You know, there are a lot of people in this world who can’t seem to grasp the concept that we are all human. And sometimes, by being human, we are going to make mistakes. Trust me, we are all going to make more than our fair share of them too. The beauty of this is: when you do make them, wouldn’t it be nice if people could move past them? Believe me, there’s a lot of people on the internet world who just can’t seem to let the past go. These people need to learn how to move on. (You know who you are) If you ever expect to be forgiven for your mistakes, you’re going to have to learn to forgive others. A lot of you out there are still clinging to things better left un-clung? However, if it makes you feel God-like to keep hanging on and posting about me, commenting about me, stalking me or whatever, then knock yourselves out. Just remember, when it’s your turn to be forgiven, you can look pass me to give it. There’s a pretty good chance I won’t forgive you. Why? Because I’m still human. To receive, you must also give. But to give, you have to have the heart for it.

In case any of you were wondering, I took down my Youtube videos addressing the bullies situation. I did this about 5 or 6 weeks ago. The consensus was that they were overshadowing the music. You can still keep up with all of the bully activity over at STGRB. They are doing a fine job at reporting all of their shenanigans. Also, I decided not to give them (the bullies) anymore free publicity. If you are a religious person, pray for the bullies. They could certainly use all the prayers they can get. They are very troubled people and after reading several articles about internet bullies, I have come to realize that many of these people could be suffering from some form of mental illness. Being one who has been diagnosed with bi-polar, I have become quite compassionate towards people with mental conditions. Don’t hate them, just hate their actions.


I want to take this time to thank the many of you who have been sending me links to a certain new bully blog that has appeared in recent weeks. I do not know who they are or why they have decided to target me. I appreciate the concern and the fact that some of you have told me that you reported that site to the proper authorities for “cyber bullying”. I appreciate the continued support, but I have bigger and better things to concentrate on at the moment. I have been to that blog in it’s initial conception and after having interacted with them, came to the conclusion that they were just a couple of people thirsting for some attention. I myself do not find them worthy of being mentioned. I thought I might actually find some kind of evidence that would support their claims but as like the rest of the people who spread rumors about me, they have nothing. Just a lot of hot air dribble and baseless opinions. I am quite confident that for anybody who stumbles onto that site, they will clearly see that it is a blog operated and run by the bullies from the website Goodreads.


Anyhow, I am getting prepared to travel west. A little Vegas, and some California – will do a Carz good right about now. I should get a haircut before I leave. Not to worry, I have scheduled some really good posts for you all to enjoy. They'll be popping up every couple of days so it will be like I'm not even gone.  
Various Cruelties - "Beautiful delirium"

Friday, February 22, 2013

Teen Idol: Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is a Canadian pop musician, actor, and singer-songwriter. Bieber was discovered in 2008 by American talent manager Scooter Braun, who came across Bieber's videos on YouTube and later became his manager. Braun arranged for him to meet with entertainer Usher Raymond in Atlanta, Georgia, and Bieber was signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), and then to an Island Records recording contract offered by record executive L.A. Reid. His debut extended play, the seven-track My World, was released in November 2009, and was certified platinum in the United States. He became the first artist to have seven songs from a debut record to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Bieber's first full-length studio album, My World 2.0, was released in March 2010. It debuted at or near number-one in several countries and was certified platinum in the United States. It was preceded by the worldwide top-ten single "Baby". He followed up the release of his debut album with his first headlining tour, the My World Tour, the remix albums My Worlds Acoustic and Never Say Never – The Remixes, and the 3D biopic-concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Bieber released his second studio album Under the Mistletoe in November 2011, when it debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200. Bieber released his third studio album Believe on June 19, 2012, and it became his fourth chart topper in the United States, debuting at number-one on the Billboard 200.

Bieber has received numerous awards, including both Artist of the Year Awards at the 2010 American Music Awards and the 2012 American Music Awards, and was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards. With a global fan base, termed as "Beliebers", and over 33 million followers on Twitter, he was named by Forbes magazine in 2012 as the third-most powerful celebrity in the world. He had earned an estimated U.S. $55 million in the previous 12 months. As of May 2012, Bieber has sold 15 million albums. He is also currently the youngest artist to have five consecutive number one albums. (Five in a row and first five albums)

Justin Drew Bieber was born on March 1, 1994, in London, Ontario, at St Joseph's Hospital, and was raised in Stratford, Ontario. He is the son of Jeremy Jack Bieber and Patricia "Pattie" Mallette. Bieber's mother was 17 years old when she became pregnant. His parents were never married, but maintain a close friendship and common goals regarding their son's personal and professional life. Mallette raised her son with the help of her mother Diane, and stepfather, Bruce. In September 2012, Mallette's memoirs, titled Nowhere but Up, were published. The book tells of her early life and her work with her son to pursue a career in the music industry. In her book, as well as in an interview with the Today show, Mallette talked about how everyone around her tried to push her toward abortion, and how she refused to abort her baby. Mallette worked a series of low-paying office jobs, raising Bieber as a single mother in low-income housing. Bieber has maintained contact with his father, who married another woman and had two children. Bieber's paternal great-grandfather was German. Bieber's mother's ancestry is French Canadian. He has stated that he believes that he has some undetermined Aboriginal Canadian ancestry. He attended a French-language immersion elementary school in Stratford, the Jeanne Sauvé Catholic School. Interested in hockey, soccer, and chess, he kept his musical aspirations to himself. As he grew up, Bieber taught himself to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet. In early 2007, aged 12, Bieber sang Ne-Yo's "So Sick" for a local singing competition in Stratford and was placed second. Mallette posted a video of the performance on YouTube for their family and friends to see. She continued to upload videos of Bieber singing covers of various R&B songs, and Bieber's popularity on the site grew.

While searching for videos of a different singer, Scooter Braun, a former marketing executive of So So Def, clicked on one of Bieber's 2007 videos by accident. Impressed, Braun tracked down the theater Bieber was performing in, located Bieber's school, and finally contacted Mallette, who was reluctant because of Braun's Jewish religion; she remembered praying, "God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label!... you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?" However, after praying with her church elders and receiving their encouragement, she permitted Braun to fly Bieber, then 13, to Atlanta, Georgia, to record demo tapes. A week after arriving, Bieber sang for R&B singer/songwriter Usher. Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher. Justin Timberlake was also reportedly in the running to sign Bieber, but lost the bidding war to Usher. Usher then sought assistance in finding a label home for the artist from then manager Chris Hicks, who helped engineer an audition with his contact Antonio "L.A." Reid of Island Def Jam Music Group. Reid signed Bieber to Island Records in October 2008 (resulting in a joint venture between RBMG and Island Records) and appointed Hicks as executive Vice-President of Def Jam where he would be able manage Bieber's career at the label. At that point, Bieber and his mother moved to Atlanta temporarily, also the home of Usher and Braun, to record and get counseling from Braun. Braun became Bieber's manager.

Bieber's first single, "One Time", was released to radio while Bieber was still recording his debut album. The song reached number 12 on the Canadian Hot 100 during its first week of release in July 2009, and later peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. During fall 2009, it had success in international markets. The song was certified Platinum in Canada and the US and Gold in Australia and New Zealand. His first release, an extended play entitled My World, was released on November 17, 2009. The album's second single, "One Less Lonely Girl", and two promo singles, "Love Me", and "Favorite Girl", were released exclusively on the iTunes Store and charted within the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100. "One Less Lonely Girl" was later also released to radio and peaked within the top fifteen in Canada and the US, being certified Gold in the latter. My World was eventually certified Platinum in the US and Double Platinum in both Canada and the UK. To promote the album, Bieber performed on several live shows such as mtvU's VMA 09 Tour, European program The Dome, YTV's The Next Star, The Today Show, and many others.

Bieber performed Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" for U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House for Christmas in Washington, which was broadcast on December 20, 2009, on US television broadcaster TNT. Bieber was also one of the performers at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest on December 31, 2009. Bieber was a presenter at the 52nd Grammy Awards on January 31st, 2010. He was invited to be a vocalist for the remake of We Are The World (a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie) for its 25th anniversary to benefit Haiti after the earthquake. Bieber sings the opening line, which was sung by Lionel Richie in the original version.

"Baby", the lead single from his debut album, My World 2.0, which features Ludacris, was released in January 2010 and became an international hit. It charted at number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top ten in several international markets. Two promo singles "Never Let You Go", and "U Smile" were top thirty hits on the U.S. Hot 100, and top twenty hits in Canada. According to review aggregator Metacritic, the album has received "generally favorable reviews". It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making Bieber the youngest solo male act to top the chart since Stevie Wonder in 1963. My World 2.0 also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, Irish Albums Chart, Australian Albums Chart, and the New Zealand Albums Chart and reached the top ten of fifteen other countries. To promote the album, Bieber appeared on several live programs including The View, the 2010 Kids Choice Awards, Nightline, Late Show with David Letterman, The Dome and 106 and Park. Bieber collaborated with Sean Kingston on his single "Eenie Meenie" which also appeared on Bieber's debut album. The song reached the top ten in the United Kingdom and Australia, and the top-twenty of most other markets. On April 10, 2010, Bieber was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. On July 4th, 2010, Bieber performed at the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular in New York City. The second single from My World 2.0, "Somebody to Love", was released in April 2010, and a remix was released featuring Bieber's mentor Usher. On June 23, 2010, Bieber went on his first official headlining tour, the My World Tour, starting in Hartford, Connecticut, to promote My World and My World 2.0. In July 2010, it was reported that Bieber was the most searched for celebrity on the Internet. That same month his music video, "Baby", surpassed Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" to become the most viewed, and most disliked YouTube video ever. It remained the most viewed video until November 2012. In September 2010, it was reported that Bieber accounted for three percent of all traffic on Twitter, according to an employee of the social-networking site.

A 3-D part-biopic, part-concert film starring Bieber entitled Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, was released on February 11, 2011, directed by Step Up 3D director Jon Chu. It topped the box office with an estimated gross of $12.4 million on its opening day from 3,105 theaters. It grossed $30.3 million for the weekend and was narrowly beaten by the romantic comedy Just Go With It, which grossed $31 million. Never Say Never reportedly exceeded industry expectations, nearly matching the $31.1 million grossed by Miley Cyrus's 2008 3-D concert film, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, which holds the record for the top debut for a music-documentary. Never Say Never grossed a total of $98,441,954 worldwide. The film is accompanied by his second remix album, Never Say Never – The Remixes, released February 14th, 2011, and features remixes of songs from his debut album, with guest appearances from Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, and Kanye West, among others.

In June 2011, Bieber was ranked #2 on the Forbes list of Best-Paid Celebrities under 30. He is the youngest star, and 1 of 7 musicians on the list, having raked in $53 million in a 12 month period. On November 1, 2011, Bieber released Under the Mistletoe, his second studio album. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 210,000 copies in its first week of release.

In late 2011, Bieber began recording his third studio album, entitled Believe. On February 22, 2012, Bieber announced via Twitter that the first single off Believe would be released in March 2012. The following week, Bieber appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to announce that the first single would be called "Boyfriend" and would be released on March 26th, 2012. The song was co-written by Mike Posner. The song debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, selling a total of 521,000 digital units, the second-highest-ever debut digital sales week. Bill Werde of Billboard noted that it failed to debut at number one because the digital download of the track was available only through iTunes Store, "restricting the buying option for those that do not frequent the Apple retail store." "Boyfriend" became Bieber's first single ever to reach the top position on the Canadian Hot 100 by debuting at number one and staying on for one week.

His third studio album, Believe was released on June 19, 2012, by Island Records. The album marks a musical departure from the teen pop sound of his previous releases, and incorporates elements of dance-pop and R&B genres. Intent on developing a more mature sound, Bieber collaborated with a wide range of urban producers for the release as well as some long-time collaborators, including Darkchild, Hit-Boy, Diplo and Max Martin. Entertainment Weekly praised Bieber's evolution, calling the album both a "reinvention and a reintroduction." Rolling Stone noted the deeper voice and more intense beats found on the album, although it lampooned one of his euphemisms for newfound sexual maturity. Believe debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming his fourth number-one album. The album sold 57,000 copies in its first week in Canada, debuting atop the Canadian Albums Chart.

The Believe Tour, which further promoted the album, began in September 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. On December 14, 2012, Bieber appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he announced plans to release an acoustic album titled Believe Acoustic, which is scheduled for release on January 29, 2013. He has stated on Twitter that he will host and perform as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live sometime in 2013.

Justin Bieber has a higher score on the Klout online "influence" scale than Barack Obama or The Dalai Lama. According to Jan Hoffman of The New York Times, part of Bieber's appeal stems from his YouTube channel. Long before he released his EP, My World, in mid-November, the YouTube videos attracted millions of views. Braun recognized the appeal. Before flying him to Atlanta, Braun wanted to "build him up more on YouTube first" and had Bieber record more home videos for the channel. "I said: 'Justin, sing like there’s no one in the room. But let's not use expensive cameras.' We'll give it to kids, let them do the work, so that they feel like it's theirs", recalled Braun. Bieber continues to upload videos to the same channel and has opened a Twitter account, from which he interacts with fans regularly; his account was reported in November 2010 to have more than six million followers. Since then he has been consistently gaining followers at an average of 24,000 per day. The accounts also serve marketing purposes; for example, Bieber's music video for "One Time" only began selling quickly after it was uploaded to YouTube.
Usher comments that while he and Bieber were both signed at the same age, "I had the chance to ramp up my success, where this has happened to Bieber abruptly." As a result, Usher, Braun, Bieber's bodyguard Kenny, and other adults surrounding Bieber constantly coach him on handling fame and his public image. After signing Bieber, Usher appointed one of his former assistants, Ryan Good, to be Bieber's road manager and stylist. Good, once nicknamed Bieber's "swagger coach", created a "streetwise look" for the singer which consisted of baseball caps, hoodies, dog chains and flashy sneakers. Amy Kaufman of The Los Angeles Times comments, "Though a product of a middle-class suburban upbringing in Stratford, Ontario, Bieber's manner of dress and speech ("Wassup man, how you doin'?" or "It's like, you know, whateva' ") suggest he's mimicking his favorite rappers. Bieber is often featured in teen magazines such as Tiger Beat, and has been labeled as a "teen heartthrob". Wax statues of Bieber are on display at Madame Tussauds wax museums in New York, Amsterdam and London. His change of hairstyle in 2010, and the consequent alterations to Bieber products, led to it being called 'the most expensive musical haircut of all time; one company spent $100,000 to fix its dolls for the 2011 Christmas season. Bieber has also been criticized for looking and sounding younger than his age, his teen-pop music, image, and frequent media attention. He has been a frequent target of Internet bloggers and message board posters, notably by users of Internet message board 4chan and users of YouTube. Nick Collins of The Daily Telegraph speculated that "Bieber's character also appears to strike a particularly sour note with his Internet critics, with many remarks commenting on his youthful appearance, his teen-pop songs, his image as a heart-throb to young teenage girls and his manner of speech". Bieber's androgynous appearance has also been frequently noted in the media, including when he appeared on the cover of LOVE magazine's androgyny issue in 2011.

Bieber is a Christian, and said he has a relationship with Jesus, talks to him and that "he's the reason I'm here". Bieber's comments in a February 2011 profile in Rolling Stone sparked controversy. Asked about abstinence, Bieber responded, "I don't think you should have sex with anyone unless you love them." He said he does not "believe in abortion" and that it is "like killing a baby". He described sexual orientation as "everyone's own decision". Bieber has contributed to the It Gets Better Project, which aims to prevent suicide among LGBT youth. Bieber has said he is not interested in obtaining United States citizenship and has criticized America's health care system. Praising Canada as being "the best country in the world", he cited its health care system as a model example. In May 2012, Bieber purchased a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) mansion on 1.3 acres (0.53 ha) of land in the community of Calabasas, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Bieber's philanthropic activities have included visiting children's hospitals. In June 2012, the "Music Makes It Better" campaign was released, featuring PSAs by Bieber, Victoria Justice, and The Band Perry. The campaign aims to bring music, arts, and other programs to children while they're in the hospital.

On February 27, 2011, Bieber attended the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar Party with American actress and singer Selena Gomez, confirming several months of media speculation about a romantic relationship between the pair. In early November 2012, it was reported that Bieber and Gomez had ended their relationship after approximately two years of dating. The couple reconciled later that month. However, in January 2013, it was reported that they had broken up again.

Bieber has come under scrutiny for his controversial relationship with the paparazzi. In March 2011, Bieber was photographed flipping a photographer off outside of his 17th birthday party; however he later released a public apology via Twitter. He was photographed performing the same gesture to photographers again in November 2011 and November 2012. In July 2012, Bieber was pulled over on the Ventura Freeway in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Metro by California Highway Patrol, where he was reportedly driving at a speed of over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) in a 65 mph (105 km/h) zone. Bieber claimed he had been attempting to lose a team of photographers who had been following him. Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine called the incident a "very dangerous, chaotic situation", and called Bieber's driving "careless" and "reckless". Bieber was ticketed for the incident, and a photographer reportedly received four misdemeanor charges, two of which were later dropped. On January 1, 2013, a photographer, later identified as Chris Guerra, was killed while attempting to cross the street after he saw Bieber's car and pursued it on foot to capture an image of him. Bieber had not been in the car at the time.

As of January 2013, Bieber's Twitter account (@justinbieber) is the most popular celebrity account with over 33 million followers. His account acquires one new follower every other second. His popularity on Twitter at one point accounted for three percent of all Twitter related traffic, with a Twitter employee commenting that "racks of servers are dedicated" to Bieber. This resulted in over 180 million page views for the service each month. Bieber was frequently a trending topic on Twitter when the feature first launched because his fans frequently discussed him on the network, and he was named the top trending star on Twitter in 2010; Klout gave his account a score of 100. The size of Bieber's and Gaga's follower bases are cited as a reason why marketers should pay attention to Twitter due to their ability to reach millions of people with a single tweet. 8.3% of tweets mentioning "bieber" were semi-automated and probably Twitter related spam. Research done about Twitter and the 2011 Egyptian revolution includes Bieber as he made tweets about the topic at a time when he had roughly 8 million followers. His multiple tweets resulted in 32,000 responses each, which made Bieber's Twitter account one of the single largest nodes for discussion about the uprising on Twitter.

Source: Wikipedia

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Contest 2013 "Year Of The Cat": Winner Declared

Hey everyone, I just wanted to announce that there is a winner for the "Year of The Cat" contest. A local resident of the Piketon/Waverly area named Brenda. Congratulations Brenda! She wins a fifty dollar Walmart gift card and a copy of my musical CD "Rock That Country".

And here are the answers to the contest questions: (The first ten)

1) Jason

2) Judi Felix

3) Faulty Pen

4) Judi Felix

5) Gomez Gomez

6) Jude

7) No, she stole it. (Would have accepted "Borrowed")

8) Clarithromycin

9) Yes

10) Judi Felix

* I think questions 2, 4, and 10 threw everybody off. The idea that I would have the same answer for three questions confused everyone. That is where many of you got stuck. LOL Sorry about that.

Here are the answers for the random questions: (I had ten but mixed them up and sent only five of them to be answered to each individual who answered the first ten questions)

11) Who did Lancaster find hung in the jail cell? (Full name)
* Celeste Santiago Rodriquez

12) What is the name of the mental hospital that Lancaster visited?

* Sayago 

13) Yes or no, Hernando killed Emilio.

 * No (One of his officers killed him)

14) What was the second name the mysterious girl used as her identity to Lancaster?

* Isabella 

15) Who broke the mirror in Lancaster’s hotel room? (First name and last)

* Lancaster Parks 

16) What is the name of the coroner? (First and last name)

* Domingo Estrada 

17) Yes or no, Irene was married to Fast Eddie?

* No. They were engaged, but never married. 

18) What does - “El amor es puro como el fuego” mean when translated in English?

* Love is pure as fire 

19) What is the first name of Hernando’s wife?

* Estella 

20) Yes or no, Lancaster dies at the end?

* No. (But I think he wishes he was - LOL)

Thanks to everyone who participated. I was really pleased with the response. Maybe we can do it again sometime. I'll see about putting another one together when I get back from California.

Jesse James: American Outlaw

Jesse Woodson James was born in Clay County, Missouri, near the site of present day Kearney, on September 5, 1847. Jesse James had two full siblings: his older brother, Alexander Franklin "Frank", and a younger sister, Susan Lavenia James. Across a creek and up a hill from the house on the right was the home of Daniel Askew, where Askew was killed on April 12, 1875. Askew was suspected of cooperating with the Pinkertons in the January 1875 arson of the house (in a room on the left). James's original grave was on the property but he was later moved to a cemetery in Kearney. The original footstone is still outside, although the family has replaced the headstone.

His father, Robert S. James, was a commercial hemp farmer and Baptist minister in Kentucky, who migrated to Bradford, Missouri, after marriage and helped found William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. He was prosperous, acquiring six slaves and more than 100 acres of farmland. Robert James traveled to California during the Gold Rush to minister to those searching for gold and died there when Jesse was three years old.

After Robert James' death, his widow Zerelda remarried twice, first to Benjamin Simms and then in 1855 to Dr. Reuben Samuel, who moved into the James home. Jesse's mother and Reuben Samuel had four children together: Sarah Louisa, John Thomas, Fannie Quantrell, and Archie Peyton Samuel. Zerelda and Reuben Samuel acquired a total of seven slaves, who served mainly as farmhands in tobacco cultivation in Missouri.

The approach of the American Civil War overshadowed the James-Samuel household. Missouri was a border state, sharing characteristics of both North and South, but 75% of the population was from the South or other border states. Clay County was in a region of Missouri later dubbed "Little Dixie," as it was a center of migration from the Upper South. Farmers raised the same crops and livestock as in the areas they migrated from. They brought slaves with them and purchased more according to need. The county counted more slaveholders, who held more slaves, than other regions of the state. Aside from slavery, the culture of Little Dixie was Southern in other ways as well. This influenced how the population acted during and for a period of time after the American Civil War. In Missouri as a whole, slaves accounted for only 10 percent of the population, but in Clay County they constituted 25 percent.
After the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, Clay County became the scene of great turmoil, as the question of whether slavery would be expanded into the neighboring Kansas Territory came to dominate public life. Numerous people from Missouri migrated to Kansas to try to influence its future. Much of the tension that led up to the Civil War centered on the violence that erupted in Kansas between pro- and anti-slavery militias.
The Civil War may have shaped Jesse James' life. After a series of campaigns and battles between conventional armies in 1861, guerrilla warfare gripped the state, waged between secessionist "bushwhackers" and Union forces which largely consisted of local militia organizations ("jayhawkers"). A bitter conflict ensued, bringing an escalating cycle of atrocities by both sides. Guerrillas murdered civilian Unionists, executed prisoners and scalped the dead. Union forces enforced martial law with raids on homes, arrests of civilians, summary executions, and banishment of Confederate sympathizers from the state.
The James-Samuel family took the Confederate side at the outset of the war. Frank James joined a local company recruited for the secessionist Drew Lobbs Army, and fought at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, though he fell ill and returned home soon afterward. In 1863, he was identified as a member of a guerrilla squad that operated in Clay County. In May of that year, a Union militia company raided the James-Samuel farm, looking for Frank's group. They tortured Reuben Samuel by briefly hanging him from a tree. According to legend, they lashed young Jesse.
At the end of the Civil War, Missouri was in shambles. The conflict split the population into three bitterly opposed factions: anti-slavery Unionists, identified with the Republican Party; the segregationist conservative Unionists, identified with the Democratic Party; and pro-slavery, ex-Confederate secessionists, many of whom were also allied with the Democrats, especially the southern part of the party. The Republican Reconstruction administration passed a new state constitution that freed Missouri's slaves. It temporarily excluded former Confederates from voting, serving on juries, becoming corporate officers, or preaching from church pulpits. The atmosphere was volatile, with widespread clashes between individuals, and between armed gangs of veterans from both sides of the war.
Jesse recovered from his chest wound at his uncle's boardinghouse in Harlem, Missouri (north across the Missouri River from the City of Kansas' River Quay [changed to Kansas City in 1889]), where he was tended to by his first cousin, Zerelda "Zee" Mimms, named after Jesse's mother. Jesse and his cousin began a nine-year courtship, culminating in marriage. Meanwhile, his old commander Archie Clement kept his bushwhacker gang together and began to harass Republican authorities.
These men were the likely culprits in the first daylight armed bank robbery in the United States during peacetime, the robbery of the Clay County Savings Association in the town of Liberty, Missouri, on February 13, 1866. This bank was owned by Republican former militia officers who had recently conducted the first Republican Party rally in Clay County's history. One innocent bystander, a student of William Jewell College (which James's father had helped to found), was shot dead on the street during the gang's escape. It remains unclear whether Jesse and Frank took part.
After their later robberies took place and they became legends, there were those who credited them with being the leaders of the Clay County robbery. It has been argued in rebuttal that James was at the time still bedridden with his wound. No concrete evidence has surfaced to connect either brother to the crime, or to rule them out. On June 13, 1866 in Jackson County, Missouri two jailed members of Quantril's gang were demanded to be freed by a gang and the Jailor killed. It is believed the James Brothers were involved.
This was a time of increasing local violence; Governor Fletcher had recently ordered a company of militia into Johnson County to suppress guerrilla activity. Archie Clement continued his career of crime and harassment of the Republican government, to the extent of occupying the town of Lexington, Missouri, on Election Day in 1866. Shortly afterward, the state militia shot Clement dead, an event James wrote about with bitterness a decade later.
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 that was an object of popular discontent in the 1860s and 1870’s. On May 23rd, 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 James did not become famous, however, until December 7th, 1869, when he and (most likely) Frank robbed the Daviess County Savings Association in Gallatin, Missouri. The robbery netted little money, but it appears that Jesse shot and killed the cashier, Captain John Sheets, mistakenly believing him to be Samuel P. Cox, the militia officer who had killed "Bloody Bill" Anderson during the Civil War. James's self-proclaimed attempt at revenge, and the daring escape he and Frank made through the middle of a posse shortly afterward, put his name in the newspapers for the first time.
The 1869 robbery marked the emergence of Jesse James as the most famous of the former guerrillas and the first time he was publicly labeled an "outlaw," as Missouri Governor Thomas T. Crittenden set a reward for his capture. This was the beginning of an alliance between James and John Newman Edwards, editor and founder of the Kansas City Times. Edwards, a former Confederate cavalryman, was campaigning to return former secessionists to power in Missouri. Six months after the Gallatin robbery, Edwards published the first of many letters from Jesse James to the public, asserting his innocence. Over time, the letters gradually became more political in tone, denouncing the Republicans and voicing James' pride in his Confederate loyalties. Together with Edwards's admiring editorials, the letters turned James into a symbol of Confederate defiance of Reconstruction. Jesse James's initiative in creating his rising public profile is debated by historians and biographers, though the tense politics certainly surrounded his outlaw career and enhanced his notoriety.
Meanwhile, the James brothers joined with Cole Younger and his brothers John, Jim and Bob as well as Clell Miller and other former Confederates to form what came to be known as the James-Younger Gang. With Jesse James as the public face of the gang (though with operational leadership likely shared among the group), the gang carried out a string of robberies from Iowa to Texas, and from Kansas to West Virginia. They robbed banks, stagecoaches and a fair in Kansas City, often in front of large crowds, even hamming it up for the bystanders.
On July 21st, 1873, they turned to train robbery, derailing the Rock Island train in Adair, Iowa and stealing approximately $3,000 ($51,000 in 2007). For this, they wore Ku Klux Klan masks, deliberately taking on a potent symbol years after the Klan had been suppressed in the South by President Grant's use of the Force Acts. Former rebels attacked the railroads as symbols of threatening centralization.
The James' gang's later train robberies had a lighter touch. In only two train hold-ups did they rob passengers, because James typically limited himself to the express safe in the baggage car. Such techniques reinforced the Robin Hood image that Edwards created in his newspapers, but the James gang never shared any of the robbery money outside their circle.
The Adams Express Company turned to the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in 1874 to stop the James-Younger gang. The Chicago-based agency worked primarily against urban professional criminals, as well as providing industrial security, such as strike breaking. Because the gang received support by many former Confederate soldiers in Missouri, they eluded the Pinkertons. Joseph Whicher, an agent dispatched to infiltrate Zerelda Samuel's farm, shortly afterwards was found killed. Two others, Captain Louis J. Lull and John Boyle, were sent after the Youngers; Lull was killed by two of the Youngers in a roadside gunfight on March 17, 1874. Before he died, Lull fatally shot John Younger. A deputy sheriff named Edwin Daniels also died in the skirmish.
Allan Pinkerton, the agency's founder and leader, took on the case as a personal vendetta. He began to work with former Unionists who lived near the James family farm. On the night of January 25th, 1875, he staged a raid on the homestead. Detectives threw an incendiary device into the house; it exploded, killing James's young half-brother Archie and blowing off one of the arms of the James family's matriarch Zerelda Samuel. Afterward, Pinkerton denied that the raid's intent was arson, but biographer Ted Yeatman located a letter by Pinkerton in the Library of Congress in which Pinkerton declared his intention to "burn the house down.”
The raid on the family home outraged many, and did more than all of Edwards's columns to create sympathy for Jesse James. The Missouri state legislature only narrowly defeated a bill that praised the James and Younger brothers and offered them amnesty. Allowed to vote and hold office again, former Confederates voted to limit reward offers that the governor could make for fugitives. This extended a measure of protection over the James-Younger gang. (Only Frank and Jesse James previously had been singled out for rewards larger than the new limit.)
Jesse and his cousin Zee married on April 24th, 1874, and had two children who survived to adulthood: Jesse Edward James (b. 1875) and Mary Susan James (later Barr) (b. 1879). Twins Gould and Montgomery James (b. 1878) died in infancy. Jesse, Jr., became a lawyer who practiced in Kansas City, Missouri, and Los Angeles, California.
On September 7, 1876, the James-Younger gang attempted a raid on the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. After this robbery and a manhunt, only Frank and Jesse James were left alive and uncaptured. Cole and Bob Younger later stated that they selected the bank because they believed it was associated with the Republican politician Adelbert Ames, the governor of Mississippi during Reconstruction, and Union general Benjamin Butler, Ames' father-in-law and the Union commander of occupied New Orleans. Ames was a stockholder in the bank, but Butler had no direct connection to it.
The gang attempted to rob the bank in Northfield about 2 p.m. on September 7, 1876, but the robbery was bungled because several gang members had been drinking that morning, something Jesse James would never have permitted had he been present in Northfield. This was a primary reason Jesse James was never indicted for the Northfield crimes. Jesse James was highly disciplined; he never drank alcohol and never permitted his gang members to drink alcohol on the job because he had seen the disastrous results of drunken raids during and after the Civil War. Northfield residents had seen the gang members leave a local restaurant near the mill shortly after noon, and they testified in Faribault at the Younger brothers' trial that they smelled of alcohol and that gang members were obviously under the influence when they greeted General Ames near the mill. To carry out the robbery, the gang divided into two groups. Three men entered the bank, two guarded the door outside, and three remained near a bridge across an adjacent square. The robbers inside the bank were thwarted when acting cashier Joseph Lee Heywood refused to open the safe, falsely claiming that it was secured by a time lock even as they held a bowie knife to his throat and cracked his skull with a pistol butt. Assistant cashier Alonzo Enos Bunker was wounded in the shoulder as he fled out the back door of the bank.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Northfield grew suspicious of the men guarding the door and raised the alarm. The five bandits outside fired in the air to clear the streets, which drove the townspeople to take cover and fire back from protected positions. Two bandits were shot dead and the rest were wounded in the barrage. Inside, the outlaws turned to flee. As they left, one shot the unarmed cashier Heywood in the head. Historians have speculated about the identity of the shooter but have not reached consensus on his identity.
The gang barely escaped Northfield, leaving two dead companions behind. They killed two innocent victims, Heywood, and Nicholas Gustafson, a Swedish immigrant from the Millersburg community west of Northfield. A massive manhunt ensued. It is believed that the gang burned 14 Rice County mills shortly after the robbery. The James brothers eventually split from the others and escaped to Missouri. The militia soon discovered the Youngers and one other bandit, Charlie Pitts. In a gunfight, Pitts died and the Youngers were taken prisoner. Except for Frank and Jesse James, the James-Younger Gang was destroyed.
Later in 1876, Jesse and Frank James surfaced in the Nashville, Tennessee, area, where they went by the names of Thomas Howard and B. J. Woodson, respectively. Frank seemed to settle down, but Jesse remained restless. He recruited a new gang in 1879 and returned to crime, holding up a train at Glendale, Missouri (now part of Independence, Missouri, on October 8th, 1879. The robbery was the first of a spree of crimes, including the holdup of the federal paymaster of a canal project in Killen, Alabama, and two more train robberies. But the new gang did not consist of battle-hardened guerrillas; they soon turned against each other or were captured, while James grew paranoid to the point where he scared away one of his gang, and it is believed by some that he killed another.
By 1881, with authorities growing suspicious, the brothers returned to Missouri where they felt safer. In December, Jesse rented a house in Saint Joseph, Missouri, not far from where he had been born and raised. Frank, however, decided to move to safer territory, heading east to Virginia.
With his gang nearly annihilated, James trusted only the Ford brothers, Charley and Robert. Although Charley had been out on raids with James, Bob was an eager new recruit. For protection, James asked the Ford brothers to move in with him and his family. James had often stayed with their sister Martha Bolton and, according to rumor, he was "smitten" with her. James did not know that Bob Ford had conducted secret negotiations with Thomas T. Crittenden, the Missouri governor, to bring in the famous outlaw. Crittenden had made capture of the James brothers his top priority; in his inaugural address he declared that no political motives could be allowed to keep them from justice. Barred by law from offering a sufficiently large reward, he had turned to the railroad and express corporations to put up a $5,000 bounty for each of them.
On April 3rd, 1882, after eating breakfast, the Fords and James prepared to depart for another robbery. They went in and out of the house to ready the horses. As it was an unusually hot day, James removed his coat, then removed his firearms, lest he look suspicious. Noticing a dusty picture on the wall, he stood on a chair to clean it. Bob Ford shot James in the back of the head. James' two previous bullet wounds and partially missing middle finger served to positively identify the body.
The murder of Jesse James became a national sensation. The Fords made no attempt to hide their role. Indeed, Robert Ford wired the governor to claim his reward. Crowds pressed into the little house in St. Joseph to see the dead bandit, even while the Ford brothers surrendered to the authorities but they were dismayed to find that they were charged with first degree murder. In the course of a single day, the Ford brothers were indicted, pleaded guilty, were sentenced to death by hanging, and two hours later were granted a full pardon by Governor Crittenden.
The governor's quick pardon suggested that he knew the brothers intended to kill James rather than capture him. The implication that the chief executive of Missouri conspired to kill a private citizen startled the public and added to James' notoriety.
After receiving a small portion of the reward, the Fords fled Missouri. Sheriff James Timberlake and Marshal Henry H. Craig, who were law enforcement officials active in the plan took in the majority of the bounty. Later the Ford brothers starred in a touring stage show in which they reenacted the shooting.
Suffering from tuberculosis (then incurable) and a morphine addiction, Charley Ford committed suicide on May 6th, 1884, in Richmond, Missouri. Bob Ford operated a tent saloon in Creede, Colorado. On June 8th, 1892, a man named Edward O'Kelley went to Creede, loaded a double barrel shotgun, entered Ford's saloon and said "Hello, Bob" before shooting Bob Ford in the throat, killing him instantly. O'Kelley was sentenced to life in prison. O'Kelley's sentence was subsequently commuted because of a 7,000 signature petition in favor of his release. The governor pardoned him on October 3, 1902.
James' mother Zerelda Samuel wrote the following epitaph for him: In Loving Memory of my Beloved Son, Murdered by a Traitor and Coward Whose Name is not Worthy to Appear Here. James's widow Zerelda Mimms James died alone and in poverty.
Rumors of Jesse James's survival proliferated almost as soon as the newspapers announced his death. Some said that Robert Ford killed someone other than James, in an elaborate plot to allow him to escape justice. These tales have received little credence, then or later. None of James's biographers has accepted them as plausible. The body buried in Kearney, Missouri, as Jesse James's was exhumed in 1995 and subjected to mitochondrial DNA typing. The report, prepared by Anne C. Stone, Ph.D., James E. Starrs, L.L.M., and Mark Stoneking, Ph.D., stated the mtDNA recovered from the remains was consistent with the mtDNA of one of James's relatives in the female line. This theme resurfaced in a 2009 documentary, Jesse James' Hidden Treasure, which aired on the History Channel. The documentary was dismissed as pseudo-history and pseudo-science by historian Nancy Samuelson in a review she wrote for the Winter 2009-2010 edition of The James-Younger Gang Journal.
One prominent claimant was J. Frank Dalton, who died August 15th, 1951, in Granbury, Texas. Dalton was allegedly 101 years old at the time of his first public appearance, in May 1948. His story did not hold up to questioning from James' surviving relatives.
Source: Wikipedia
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