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Monday, September 27, 2010

Robert Sallee James

Rev. Robert Sallee James (1818-1850) = Circuit Rider. Hemp Farmer. Born to John M. and Mary G. Poor James in Logan County, Kentucky. In the mid 1600s, his ancestor, John James, came to America from Pembrokeshire, Wales. Robert's brother, Drury Woodson James, would later pass on his middle name to one of Robert's sons.
Robert met Zeralda E. Cole (1825- 1911) while he was a ministerial student. They married in 1842 and moved to Clay County, MO. where her mother lived. They purchased a 245-acre farm to make a living as Baptist congregations did not pay their preachers at that time.
To this union were born five children; Alexander Franklin (1843- 1915), Robert B.(died in infancy), Jesse Woodson (1847-1882); Susan Lavenia (b.1849); and Mary, who also died in infancy.
Shortly after their son, Frank, was born, he began to shepherd the New Hope Baptist Church (f. 1828), a log cabin church of about fifteen members near Centerville (present-day Kearney). A new brick building was built towards the end of 1845 as the congregation soon outgrew the log cabin.
He also organized another neighborhood congregation, known as the Providence Baptist Church. James organized his growing following along his circuit into the North Liberty Baptist Association in 1844. Several years later, starting on the third Saturday of July through the end of August, 1849, James, as well as local Methodist and Presbyterian ministers joined together in a campmeeting. Forty people joined New Hope before the revival was half over. The following year, William Jewell College was established by Dr. William Jewell (1789-1852) and Robert James served as one of its trustees.
Robert wanted to preach to the Gold Rush miners, traveling to Hangtown (now Placerville, east of Sacramento), California. After arriving, he contracted cholera, died, and was buried there

Historical Note: Rev. James baptized Walt Watkins of Watkins Woolen Mill at Tryst Falls.

More to Read:
1. Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War. By T.J. Stiles. 2002.
2. Legends of the Wild West: Jesse James. By Adam Woog. 2010.
3. Missouri Baptist Heritage Series: William Jewell. By Mark D. Buhlig. Missouri Baptist Historical Commission at the Wm. F. Partee Center for Baptist Historical Studies, William Jewell College, Liberty, MO 64068.
4. The Rise and Fall of Jesse James. By Robertus Love. University of Nebraska Press, 1990.
5. The Heritage League of Greater Kansas City Directory of Historical Sites and Organizations History Map brochure. PO Box 10366, Kansas City,
6. US Federal 1850 Census for Platte, Clay County, MO.
7. Findagrave #127676458

Places to See in MO.
1. Jesse James Birthplace & Museum, 21216 Jesse James Farm Rd, 2 miles east of Kearney on Hwy 52, Clay County, MO
2. Wm. F. Partee Center for Baptist Historical Studies. William Jewell College, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068.
3. Watkins Woolen Mill State Park, Located 6.5 miles north of Excelsior Springs & on Hwy 92, 7 miles east of Kearney, Mo.
4. Tryst Falls Park, on Hwy 92, five miles east of Kearney