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Tintype of Jesse James AKA James Courtney from Betty Dorsett Duke's Family Collection.


Screenshot Of The Ebay photo Of Jesse James' Family & Friends.

Cropped Image of Screenshot

The original image of the eBay photo is a tintype, and as seen below they were taken in the latter half of the 19th century (1850 and before 1900). Judging by this and by highlighted information presented below regarding the style of the women's clothing, the eBay photo was taken in the 1870's. I believe it was taken in 1875 to commemorate Frank James marriage to Annie Ralston. Again, given the fact that the original of the eBay photo is a tintype and the style of the women's dresses, I believe the eBay photo was taken in 1875.


"Tintype - Similar to the daguerreotype in that it had a metal backing, the tintype was popular for the last half of the 19th century. These images were made in varying sizes, but the most popular was about two and a half by three and a half inches. These images were also displayed in cases.

Women's Clothing
There was a great deal of change in women's clothing styles throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which makes it a great clue for dating photos. While men's clothing and children's styles changed over the years, women's clothing shows the most dramatic changes. Here's a general sense of how the styles changed through the decades:
1850s and 1860s - Very wide, bell-shaped dresses with a simple neckline and simple hairstyle

  • 1870s - Long skirt with little or no draping, a high collar, and slim-fitting sleeves

  • 1880s - Dresses with elaborate draping, a bustle back, and a straight front, along with long, slim sleeves

  • 1890s - Dresses with high, full sleeves, high collars, and straight skirts with bustles

  • 1900 to 1910 - Gently puffed sleeves, loose-fitting, light-colored blouses, and narrow dark skirts or all-white dresses

  • 1910s - Ankle-length skirts or dresses and simple, straight bodices or blouses

  • 1920s - Straight silhouettes with tea-length skirts and appliqués and embellishments"

    Frank James and Annie Ralston were married in Blevins, Texas in 1875.

The front and back of the eBay photo follow:

This important postcard was obviously made from the original copy of the original photo of the James family that I recently won on Ebay. One can determine it's a copy of the photo I won by the typewritten caption around the border of my original copy (pictured above) which clearly states that it is a REVERSED image of the original picture. Therefore the image on the postcard is in its original state but, whomever identified Jesse and Frank James mistakenly identified them according to the reversed image. Jesse James is the "tall man with the dark mustache" seated on the ground on the left in the postcard. Frank James is seated on the right wearing the white suit next to his bride Anna "Annie" Ralston. This postcard proves that long before I ever published my first book on this subject, (Jesse James Lived & Died In Texas, 1998), my great-grandfather had, unbeknownst to me, already been publicly identified as Jesse James. (Postcard Courtesy of Patrick R. Marquis)

Authenticity Statement

Dallas Hunt posted the following message on Greg Ellison's Jesse James Photo Discussion Forum:

"This photo is located in The William Clarke Quantrill Man Reunions compiled by Don Hale. It was a newspaper photo of a Quantrill Reunion that appeared in the Kansas City Post in 1921. James Courtney is clearly visible in the photo between two Quantrill veterans. Miss Lizzie Wallace who held the reunions for over twenty years is the woman in the back. Jesse James AKA James Courtney appears to be wearing the same coat as he is pictured wearing in three photos in Betty's First Book "Jesse James Lived and Died in Texas." This proves he was none other than the legendary Jesse James!
For those not familiar James Courtney is the large man on the left with the dark open coat. Take note of how everyone is looking directly at him as if they know they are in the presence of a so called "dead man"."


Here is a close up of Jesse James AKA James Courtney in the 1921 Quantrill Reunion photo that appeared in the newspaper posted in the above post. Why is Jesse James alive 40 years after he was supposed to be killed? - Dallas Hunt

Here's one photo of the man known as James Courtney in Texas to compare to. Notice that he's wearing the same coat as in the newspaper. The collar has a long cut that reaches mid- torso level in both photos. Also compare his nose, and other facial features to the man in the newspaper. One in the same! - Dallas Hunt

Now Available! The TRUTH About Jesse James by Betty Dorsett Duke

Betty Dorsett Duke’s provocative new book, The Truth About Jesse James, makes a convincing case that Jesse James pulled off one of the biggest hoaxes in American history by getting away with his own murder. Despite 1996 DNA results highly touted as proving with a high degree of certainty that Jesse James died and is buried in Kearney, Missouri just as history reports, the author presents findings from her investigation of the 1995 exhumation and subsequent DNA testing showing why they are tainted and proved absolutely nothing. Read more

Click here to purchase

Click here to view press release.

Click here to view the "TRUTH" about Jesse James Video.

What if the traditional history of Jesse James was not all true, and there was a clever twist where he escaped and lived to a peaceful and ripe old age? What if others close to him followed suit? Some have considered such proposals as utterly preposterous, while others have opened their minds to seriously consider the growing and undeniable alternative evidences. After perusing this site each reader will have to decide for his or her self if Jesse James was wise enough to fake his death, or did he just wait for the inevitable? As you consider the possibilities, ask yourself what you would have done given his limited choices.

Jesse James’ legendary status began in his own time and still attracts world-wide fascination – it will never die. He has been referred to as America’s Robin Hood, a robbin’ hood, an outlaw, a patriot and a terrorist. Perhaps he was all of these things, but the word terrorist is often misused to abuse one’s enemies. The debate will never end because one man’s Robin Hood or patriot is another man’s terrorist.

The traditional story of Jesse James’ death goes that he was living as Thomas Howard with his wife and first cousin, Zee Mimms, along with their two children, Jesse Edwards James and Mary James, at 1318 Lafayette Street in St. Joseph, Missouri. On April 3, 1882 he reportedly removed his guns, stepped onto a chair to dust a picture with his back to his house guests, Bob and Charley Ford, blissfully unaware that they had conspired with Missouri Governor Thomas T. Crittenden to kill him for reward money. Hearing the click of a pistol being cocked, Jesse began turning his head towards the ominous sound just as Bob fired a ball that tore through his brain. That very day a rumor began circulating that this was just another one of Jesse's death hoaxes, and it is still circulating to this very day.

Tabloid journalism was alive and well in Jesse James’ day and operating in the same way, just sensationalizing a complete fabrication of untruths. This certainly holds true with Professor James E. Starrs’ 1995 exhumation and subsequent DNA testing of Jesse James’ reported grave in Kearney. Missouri's Mt. Olivet Cemetery. The DNA results are highly touted as proving with a 99.7 degree of certainty that Jesse died and is buried just as history reports, but the truth of the matter is that they proved absolutely nothing.

No one alive today knows the complete true story of Jesse James. Much of the historical version of his life and death is based on hearsay from the very individuals who were trying to protect him. However, legitimate DNA testing can determine if he is buried in that questioned grave in Kearney, Missouri, but until this happens the traditional version of his death is based on nothing but folk lore.

If Jesse did not die as history reports the domino effect begins -- Zee Mimms was not his wife; Jesse Edwards James was not his son; Mary James was not his daughter, and so on down the line. Most “experts” believe Jesse James died just as history reports, but they cannot definitively prove that he did without valid DNA results. There are enough dissenters to make it an intriguing idea, and if anyone could have pulled it off it would have been Jesse James.

Jesse James eluded capture for over twenty years, so he was certainly capable of pulling off his biggest heist ever by getting away with his own murder. The historical fact is that in 1879 he tried faking his death at Short Creek, Joplin, Missouri, so why wouldn’t he try it again in 1882 and succeed?

I’ve spent the last thirteen years trailing Jesse James searching for evidences leading to his true burial place, because once it's found his true descendants will be revealed. The search ended in Blevins, Texas. From all indications Jesse James is buried in Blevins Cemetery under the tombstone bearing the name of James L. Courtney.

For as long as I can remember I’ve heard family stories that claim Jesse James was my great-grandfather. The story goes that he assumed the name of James L. Courtney, hightailed it to Texas in 1871 and lived to tell his great-grandchildren about his amazing exploits.

Does Jesse James’ blood really run through my veins? How many supposed experts have ridden down the wrong trail? I want to know the truth and have researched every known fact. I rode, hell-bent, into wild uncharted territories, ambushed by hired guns at every turn. Some from the past, and some aimed today -- truth is a tough journey.

So saddle up! Together we'll retrace Jesse's discovery trail as I have replaced the fiction often told with the facts. You decide, perhaps you will catch a glimpse of a great mystery solved as I have; and maybe those rich insights will bring to you a new understanding of Jesse James’ life in the old Wild West. Most of all, for Jesse's sake, the real story of his life and death, never told before, unfolds. Ride with me, to a time, a place, and find The TRUTH about JESSE JAMES.

A Welcome from Betty Dorsett Duke, great-granddaughter of the man known in Texas as James Lafayette Courtney:

Thank you for visiting.  I am a great-granddaughter of the man who lived over seventy (70) years of his life using the name of James Lafayette Courtney.  I believe my great-grandfather's true identity was Jesse James--the most famous outlaw in American history.

My main objectives in writing my book and in sponsoring this site are as follows:

1. To establish my great-grandfather's true identity and tell his story.

2. To correct the historically accepted version of the life and death of Jesse James.

After eight years of intensive research, I have unearthed strong circumstantial evidence indicating that Jesse James and James Courtney were one and the same.

However, some are understandably skeptical of my claim because of the 1995 exhumation, and subsequent DNA testing of the purported grave of Jesse James in Kearney, Missouri.  Exhumation project leader, Professor James E. Starrs, touts that those DNA results proved with a 99.7 degree of certainty that Jesse James lies at rest in that questioned grave.  But my investigation of Starrs' findings has yielded a much different conclusion---the 1995 exhumation and subsequent DNA testing proved absolutely nothing because of the following reasons:

1. The questionable origin of the teeth and hair used for DNA testing, and

2. The questionable genealogy of the DNA reference source.

Join me to see what I have discovered in my research and decide for yourself.

"When stemm and tryst James L. Courtney is my heist." 

-James L. Courtney/Jesse James


I believe this entry from his diary is just one indication that Grandpa stole the name James L. Courtney.  Stemm: a line of descendants from a particular ancestor.  Tryst:  a prearranged meeting place.  Heist: a robbery. 


Jesse James AKA James L. Courtney signed his 1871 diary "J. James.


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