Jesse’s Diaries

Among the wealth of heirlooms and artifacts left to his daughter were half a dozen long narrow breast pocket books. The were filled with handwritten notes, ledges, so many details about his life and projects.

But what was most interesting are a few poems, pros and stories in his own handwriting. There are three that stand out which are on exhibit here as sub-menus. Just hover your mouse over the HOME tab to get the drop down menu, go to the JESSE”S DIARIES tab and select a page.

JM James Diary Signature Comparison

JM James Diary
Signature Comparison

At first glance the JM James signature in the diary does not seem to match the hand of Jesse W. James. A second sample of JM James signature is also shown below the one in the book. He made his “J’s” distinctly different in the two samples.Why would JM James sign his name differently?

When presented to a handwriting “expert” he did not find a match. However, he failed to catch two major issues. The examiner missed the Tom Howard control sample included in the test group as being Jesse’s. It is commonly accepted that the letter signed as Tom Howard was Jesse W. James.

The other failure of the expert was his attempt to find someone forging Jesse’s signature to match him, when that is the opposite of what is the case here. The test was sent back to the expert for a second look with the repeated instruction of finding someone changing their style so that they are not discovered to be Jesse W. James. Another words someone attempting to conceal their identity.

Finally, after a far more thoughtful and thorough examination it was confirmed that it was highly likely Jesse W. James. After 50 years of living incognito, impersonating his secretly murdered cousin, he had perfected a cleaner and more refined style of writing. Yet, it is the last four letters in James, the “ames” that bears a strong likeness to Jesse’s.

Read one of Jesse’s original stories here: