It is with great disappoint and regret that I bring you the news that the Zee James Collection of Jesse James family artifacts, found recently in Stamping Ground, Scott County, kentucky, will go to auction in May of this year. I have
just been notified by its owners, Al King & Danny Profit.
A tremendous amount of effort has gone into saving the Collection in the past nine months. The extraordinary journey will be reported in the upcoming new edition of Stray Leaves. Purchase loans were obtained and
then rescinded. Numerous institutions & museums were contacted. Personal and commercial sponsorships were solicited. Most recently, the owner of Black Horse Inn in Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky made available this historical James home as a museum to house the collection. Support was garnered from local institutions, and plans were being formed. All this effort, however, has not secured the $250,000 necessary to acquire the Collection & preservation efforts have now had its wings clipped.
Recently it's been learned the Lee Pollock, noted collector of James artefacts, had sold his collection to the new firearms museum being built in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Pollock's effort to house his collection in a suitable home where it can be shared with the public sets the example for what should have happened with the Zee James
Now it appears the Zee James Collection will be dispersed as separate collector artifacts to be dispersed world wide into the hands of private collectors, and never be shared, seen, nor appreciated by the public.
The nine months time and other constraints permitted by the owners to raise the money simply was insufficient to meet the task. This gesture was appreciated nonetheless. Appreciation is also due to Phil Stewart, for the extraordinary time and effort he put into authenticating the Collection. The resulting personal attacks upon his integrity that he was subject to in Missouri was certainly needless and unwarranted. He employed his finest effort to achieve what was best, preservation of the Collection so it could be shared with as much of the public as possible.
If you would like to express your disappointment and regrets, you can contact the owners as follows:
Lastly, I am also requesting your vote as to whether you believe the authentication report for the Zee James Collection should remain on Stray Leaves through the time of auction in May, or should it be removed. Please reply: firstname.lastname@example.org
My personal thanks to everyone who participated in the effort to preserve the Zee James Collection. My hope for its preservation is now replaced by my hope for a miracle. I know those can happen.
STRAY LEAVES, A JAMES FAMILY IN AMERICA SINCE 1650
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