No, not that Jesse James. Along with Jesse James other members included Jefferson Davis, Bedford Forrest, and William Quantrill (leader of the Confederate guerilla outfit Quantrill’s Raiders, with whom James rode). Some believe the society was created by the notorious Albert Pike, the subject of many a Masonic conspiracy theory. The South did in fact have an extensive intelligence infrastructure and Albert Pike was a key figure in that intelligence network. The only real news here is the claim that Jesse James was a key figure within that intelligence community as well and of course, the business about The Knights of the Golden Circle.
The James Gang’s train and bank robberies, it is claimed, were fundraising operations to finance the activities of the Knights of the Golden Circle, as well as to wreak general havoc with the plans of the Northern reconstructionists. James is also said to have been involved in supplying weapons and training to the Plains Indians, as a means of waging proxy war against the Union Army.
The Knights of the Golden Circle was “the most powerful subversive organization ever to operate within the United States.” (Getler & Brewer, op. cit.) First, they schemed to have Abraham Lincoln elected president, so as to inflame the South and cause secession. Later, their subordinate, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated Abraham Lincoln and with KGC assistance, Booth escaped. (what was behind that?) The KGC did not officially disband until 1908.
According to Norma Cox, in her book, The New Spoilers, she has the 12 charter members of the Golden Circle as including Jefferson Davis, Bedford Forrest, Jesse James, and William Quantrill. Some say Albert Pike was the creator of the Knights of the Golden Circle, but Cox doubts it. “Important to remember about such secret organizations is the fact that only the men at the top know the truth…”
Unfortunately for our tale, The Knights of the Golden Circle are linked to the infamous Ku Klux Klan, an organization responsible for many hateful acts over the years.