Mrs. Samuel's Say
Joplin Daily Herald, July 22, 1880.
Racy Interview Between the Mother of the James Boys and Geo. Shepherd.
Kansas City Times, July 21.
Mrs. Samuels, mother of the notorious outlaws, Frank
and Jesse James, resides in a small house situated among the timber
near Kearney, a small station on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad,
a few miles from Kansas City, and can always be expected in this city
within twenty-four hours after any startling news appears regarding her
outlawed sons. On Saturday last the Times contained an article
regarding the appearance of Frank James in the eastern portion of the
county, and yesterday, like the "Lone Fisherman," Mrs. Samuels appeared
at the office of County Marshal Ligget, the look of inquiry in her face
plainly telling what she came for. After talking with the Marshal
awhile Mrs. Samuels managed to ask some questions regarding the
reported appearance of Frank, and then went to do some shopping.
She was on her way back to the Court House when a man from Liberty,
knowing who she was, stopped her at the corner of Main and Fifth
streets and asked her "if she would like to see George Shepherd, the
reported slayer of her son near Joplin last fall."
"Is he about here?" asked Mrs. Samuels, her whole
frame showing the excitement which, like Banquo's ghost, would not down
as the name of Shepherd was uttered.
"Yes, he is right here on the corner," and Mrs.
Samuels was escorted where Shepherd was standing, near the barber shop
just north of Fifth street on Main.
Mrs. Samuels cast one contempuous look at the man and then said:
"As so George Shepherd, you say you killed my son Jesse?"
"Yes I did."
"What did you do it for?"
"Partly to avenge an old score and partly for money," replied the one-eyed ex-guerilla.
Mrs. Samuels all this time was eyeing the man before
her, who boasts of having killed her son, and then asked quickly,
":And so you killed Jesse, and do you expect to live until the leaves fall?"
"I think it doubtful."
"Well, I should think you would ----- George
Shepherd, I would see my far----- and live the rest of my days in the
poor house in order to raise money to pay someone for killing you if I
knew you killed Jesse." (----- denote sections missing from
As she said this Mrs. Samuels became terribly
excited, and Shepherd drew back in the hallway to continue the
conversation, as a crowd had gathered, knowing that the mother of the
most famous outlaws in the country was in conversation with the man who
said to have followed and killed one of them at the risk of his own
life. The two then continued the conservation, and those who
witnessed it say that the old lady laid down the law in the most
emphatic manner. At the conclusion of the confab Mrs. Samuels
moved away repeating her vow that Shepherd would die before winter, "as
money could accomplish anything."