Characters Of The Wild West Zusatzinformationen
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But Pitman earned his place in gunfighter lore when he fired the craziest shot in Wild West history. On the evening of September 15, , suspected bandit Francisco Lopez got smashed and started shooting up the town.
When he found the intoxicated gunslinger on Main Street, Pitman walked up to the outlaw, told him he was under arrest, and asked him to come along peacefully.
Lopez, on the other hand, was quick as lighting. The outlaw shot two stray bullets before Pitman could fire even once. But then Pitman did fire, and Lopez fired at the exact same moment.
Lopez screamed and dropped his weapon. There was even a bulge where the hot lead had collided. It was the most implausible shot in the Old West, and it earned Pitman a free vacation.
He even shot five prisoners who were trying to escape. Two never made it to the gallows. George and the Judge did get showy sometimes. Between and , Maledon conducted public executions, drawing in spectators from across the country.
The craziest hanging took place in Five thousand men, women, and children gathered to watch Maledon pull the lever on six men at the same time.
Later, in , someone decided public executions were a bad idea and built a wall around the gallows. Still, Maledon kept dropping those trapdoors until , only refusing to hang one man in his entire career.
The two had been friends. After befriending Mother Amadeus, a nun at the Ursuline Convent in Toledo, Ohio, Mary received the job of hauling freight for the mission.
The story goes that during one trip, wolves frightened her horse, tipping her wagon over. Supposedly, Mary spent the night with a gun at the ready, keeping the wolves at bay.
One knocked her to the ground and then had to duck for cover when Mary pulled out her pistol and started blasting.
Though no one was hurt, the bishop ordered Mary to leave the mission. After a failed adventure in the restaurant business, Mary applied to drive a mail coach.
Since she could hitch a team faster than any other applicant, she got the job, making her the second woman and first African-American to work for the post office.
She he was about 60 years old. Mary faithfully delivered the mail for eight years before opening a laundry. Mary even became a town hero and mascot of the local baseball team, and when her shop burned down in , everyone pitched in to build her a new one.
People said Ned Christie was a shapeshifter, able to morph into an owl or hog when enemies approached.
For five years, this giant fought the best lawmen in the Indian Territory, and each time, he outwitted, outgunned, or outran his foes. Authorities arrested a man who claimed Christie was the killer.
Ned was a member of the Cherokee National Council and had been in town on tribal business when Maples was shot. When he learned he was a suspect, Christie refused to turn himself in.
He skipped town and hunkered down inside his home. With friends and relatives acting as sentries, the Cherokee held off lawman after lawman, including the legendary Bass Reeves , until , when they set his cabin on fire.
The s and the s gave birth to the period known as the Wild West and laid a foundation to its ensuing mythology. It was an era of cowboys, Indians, pioneers, outlaws and gunslingers brought together by the purposes of expansion, defense, greed and reinvention.
Explore some of the legends of the Old West whose untamed spirits helped define the new frontier and the rugged individualism of America:.
He eventually moved out West, where his days as a Wild West outlaw and gunfighter was ripe before him. On the lam from New Mexican authorities for stealing, Billy the Kid fled to Arizona, where he murdered a man during a fight.
Although he boasted of having gunned down close to two dozen men, he probably killed less than 10 before he was fatally shot at the age of 21 by Sheriff Pat Garrett.
William F. He served as an army scout in the Indian Wars, fought for the Union in the Civil War, and found a way of practicing his acting chops in between.
By the time he launched his colorful cowboy-themed Wild West show in , he was already a legend. Easily identifiable by his coonskin cap, Davy Crockett — known for being a hunter, frontiersman, soldier and politician — is one of the most mythologized folk heroes and "forefathers" of the Wild West.
Called the "King of the Wild Frontier," Crockett got involved in Tennessee's local and state politics before representing it as a U. Congressman starting in through After barely losing his election to serve out a fourth term, a disillusioned Crockett moved to Texas, which was under Mexico's jurisdiction at the time, in The following year, he fought for Texas' independence and was killed in the Battle of Alamo.
Famous for dressing and shooting like a man — and drinking like one, too — Jane moved to booming gold rush towns out West and became an expedition scout in South Dakota.
She became famous for her wild antics and quickly learned that telling tall tales of her exploits real and mostly imagined could make her a buck.
Her rumored romantic relations with Wild Bill Hickok were probably started by her, but soon, she even tired of her fanciful stories and persona.
Suffering from alcoholism, Jane died at Per her request, she was buried next to Hickock. He was a wagon master, Union spy, lawman, gunslinger and gambler who became cemented as one of the most famous folk heroes of the era, thanks to his quick-draw duel with Davis Tutt in At the time of his death, he was purportedly holding two pairs of black aces and eights, now known as the dead man's hand in poker.
Until recently, this was the only known image of one of the most notorious outlaws of the Old West — Billy the Kid.
Recently, another photo was confirmed to show him as a clean-cut youngster. The Kid claimed to have gunned down 21 men during his short life, although others place their estimates much lower.
He himself was killed by famed lawman Pat Garrett. Source: Rafael Narbona. In recent times, his exploits were exalted further in the TV show Deadwood which features many real characters from that time and place.
This was mostly thanks to his legendary exploits being recreated on stage and in dime novels. His iconic look with the coonskin cap is still immediately recognized even today, which makes Crockett an early fashion trendsetter.
Source: Tennessee Gvt. Known for her excellent marksmanship, Oakley was a sharpshooter who could have competed and maybe bested any other gunman of her time.
Source: Hello Giggles. He started out as a rider for the Pony Express when he was young, then became a bison hunter and later a scout for the army.
His company grew and grew and toured all over the country before heading overseas throughout Europe.
Critics at the time decried the purchase as "Seward's Folly", reasoning that there were no natural resources in the new territory and no one can be bothered to live in such a cold, icy climate.
Although the development and settlement of Alaska grew slowly, the discovery of goldfields during the Klondike Gold Rush in , Nome Gold Rush in , and Fairbanks Gold Rush in brought thousands of miners into the territory, thus propelling Alaska's prosperity for decades to come.
Major oil discoveries in the late 20th century made the state rich. That same day, the coup organizers created the Provisional Government of Hawaii and appointed Hawaiian jurist Sanford Ballard Dole as the islands' first President, hoping that Hawaii would be annexed by the United States.
Within 48 hours after the overthrow, the new Hawaiian government was recognized by all nations with diplomatic ties to the Kingdom of Hawaii, including the U.
Cleveland was unwilling to overthrow the government by force, and his successor, William McKinley , negotiated a treaty with the Republic of Hawaii in In April , the Spanish—American War broke out, and the strategic use of a naval base at Pearl Harbor in the Pacific during the war convinced the U.
It was signed into law by President McKinley three days later and came into effect on August 12, , officially creating the Territory of Hawaii.
Indian wars have occurred throughout the United States though the conflicts are generally separated into two categories; the Indian wars east of the Mississippi River and the Indian wars west of the Mississippi.
Bureau of the Census provided an estimate of deaths:. The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number.
They have cost the lives of about 19, white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30, Indians.
The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much higher than the given Fifty percent additional would be a safe estimate Historian Russell Thornton estimates that from to , the Indian population declined from , to as few as , The depopulation was principally caused by disease as well as warfare.
Many tribes in Texas, such as the Karankawan , Akokisa , Bidui and others, were extinguished due to conflicts with settlers. Government, and the Doolittle Committee was formed to investigate the causes as well as provide recommendations for preserving the population.
The expansion of migration into the Southeastern United States in the s to the s forced the federal government to deal with the "Indian question".
The Indians were under federal control but were independent of state governments. State legislatures and state judges had no authority on their lands, and the states demanded control.
Politically the new Democratic Party of President Andrew Jackson demanded the removal of the Indians out of the southeastern states to new lands in the west, while the Whig Party and the Protestant churches were opposed to removal.
The Jacksonian Democracy proved irresistible, as it won the presidential elections of , , and By the "Indian Removal policy" began, to implement the act of Congress signed by Andrew Jackson in Many historians have sharply attacked Jackson.
To motivate Natives reluctant to move, the federal government also promised rifles, blankets, tobacco, and cash. By the Cherokee, the last Indian nation in the South, had signed the removal treaty and relocated to Oklahoma.
All the tribes were given new land in the " Indian Territory " which later became Oklahoma. Of the approximate 70, Indians removed, about 18, died from disease, starvation, and exposure on the route.
The impact of the removals was severe. The transplanted tribes had considerable difficulty adapting to their new surroundings and sometimes clashed with the tribes native to the area.
The only way for an Indian to remain and avoid removal was to accept the federal offer of acres 2. However, many Natives who took the offer were defrauded by "ravenous speculators" who stole their claims and sold their land to whites.
Of the five tribes, the Seminole offered the most resistance, hiding out in the Florida swamps and waging a war which cost the U. Indian warriors in the West, using their traditional style of limited, battle-oriented warfare, confronted the U.
The Indians emphasized bravery in combat while the Army put its emphasis not so much on individual combat as on building networks of forts, developing a logistics system, and using the telegraph and railroads to coordinate and concentrate its forces.
Plains Indian intertribal warfare bore no resemblance to the "modern" warfare practiced by the Americans along European lines, using its vast advantages in population and resources.
Many tribes avoided warfare and others supported the U. The tribes hostile to the government continued to pursue their traditional brand of fighting and, therefore, were unable to have any permanent success against the Army.
Indian wars were fought throughout the western regions, with more conflicts in the states bordering Mexico than in the interior states. Arizona ranked highest, with known battles fought within the state's boundaries between Americans and the Natives.
Arizona ranked highest in war deaths, with 4, killed, including soldiers, civilians, and Native Americans.
That was more than twice as many as occurred in Texas, the second-highest-ranking state. Most of the deaths in Arizona were caused by the Apache. Michno also says that fifty-one percent of the Indian war battles between and took place in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico, as well as thirty-seven percent of the casualties in the county west of the Mississippi River.
Indians included in this group attacked and harassed emigrant parties and miners crossing the Snake River Valley, which resulted in further retaliation of the white settlements and the intervention of the United States army.
The war resulted in a total of 1, men who have been killed, wounded, and captured from both sides. Unlike other Indian Wars, the Snake War has widely forgotten in United States history due to having only limited coverage of the war.
The conflict was fought in — while the American Civil War was still ongoing. Caused by dissolution between the Natives and the white settlers in the region, the war was infamous for the atrocities done between the two parties.
White militias destroyed Native villages and killed Indian women and children such as the bloody Sand Creek massacre , and the Indians also raided ranches, farms and killed white families such as the American Ranch massacre and Raid on Godfrey Ranch.
In —, Carson used a scorched earth policy in the Navajo Campaign , burning Navajo fields and homes, and capturing or killing their livestock.
He was aided by other Indian tribes with long-standing enmity toward the Navajos, chiefly the Utes. The Apaches under his command conducted ambushes on US cavalries and forts, such as their attack on Cibecue Creek , while also raiding upon prominent farms and ranches, such as their infamous attack on the Empire Ranch that killed three cowboys.
During the Comanche Campaign , the Red River War was fought in —75 in response to the Comanche's dwindling food supply of buffalo, as well as the refusal of a few bands to be inducted in reservations.
The war finally ended with a final confrontation between the Comanches and the U. Cavalry in Palo Duro Canyon. The last Comanche war chief, Quanah Parker , surrendered in June , which would finally end the wars fought by Texans and Indians.
It was the most successful campaign against the U. By the Treaty of Fort Laramie , the U. With 53 Modoc warriors, Captain Jack held off 1, men of the U.
Army for 7 months. Captain Jack killed Edward Canby. Numbering only warriors, the Nez Perce "battled some 2, American regulars and volunteers of different military units, together with their Indian auxiliaries of many tribes, in a total of eighteen engagements, including four major battles and at least four fiercely contested skirmishes.
The conflict began after repeated violations of the Treaty of Fort Laramie once gold was discovered in the hills. The end of the major Indian wars came at the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, , where the 7th Cavalry attempted to disarm a Sioux man and precipitated an engagement in which about Sioux men, women, and children were killed.
Only thirteen days before, Sitting Bull had been killed with his son Crow Foot in a gun battle with a group of Indian police that had been sent by the American government to arrest him.
As the frontier moved westward, the establishment of U. They served as bases for troops at or near strategic areas, particularly for counteracting the Indian presence.
Fort Laramie and Fort Kearny helped protect immigrants crossing the Great Plains and a series of posts in California protected miners.
Forts were constructed to launch attacks against the Sioux. As Indian reservations sprang up, the military set up forts to protect them. Forts also guarded the Union Pacific and other rail lines.
Fort Omaha , Nebraska, was home to the Department of the Platte , and was responsible for outfitting most Western posts for more than 20 years after its founding in the late s.
Fort Huachuca in Arizona was also originally a frontier post and is still in use by the United States Army.
Settlers on their way overland to Oregon and California became targets of Indian threats. Robert L. Munkres read 66 diaries of parties traveling the Oregon Trail between and to estimate the actual dangers they faced from Indian attacks in Nebraska and Wyoming.
The vast majority of diarists reported no armed attacks at all. However many did report harassment by Indians who begged or demanded tolls, and stole horses and cattle.
A second treaty secured safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail for wagon trains. In return, the tribes would receive, for ten years, annual compensation for damages caused by migrants.
In the Far West settlers began to occupy land in Oregon and California before the federal government secured title from the native tribes, causing considerable friction.
In Utah, the Mormons also moved in before federal ownership was obtained. A new policy of establishing reservations came gradually into shape after the boundaries of the "Indian Territory" began to be ignored.
In providing for Indian reservations, Congress and the Office of Indian Affairs hoped to de-tribalize Native Americans and prepare them for integration with the rest of American society, the "ultimate incorporation into the great body of our citizen population".
Influential pioneer towns included Omaha , Nebraska City , and St. American attitudes towards Indians during this period ranged from malevolence "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" to misdirected humanitarianism Indians live in "inferior" societies and by assimilation into white society they can be redeemed to somewhat realistic Native Americans and settlers could co-exist in separate but equal societies, dividing up the remaining western land.
Conflicts erupted in the s, resulting in various Indian wars. Such as in the case of Oliver Loving , they would sometimes attack cowboys and their cattle if ever caught crossing in the borders of their land.
However, the relationship between cowboys and Native Americans were more mutual than they are portrayed, and the former would occasionally pay a fine of 10 cents per cow for the latter to allow them to travel through their land.
After the Civil War, as the volunteer armies disbanded, the regular army cavalry regiments increased in number from six to ten, among them Custer's U.
The black units, along with others both cavalry and infantry , collectively became known as the Buffalo Soldiers. According to Robert M. Utley :.
The frontier army was a conventional military force trying to control, by conventional military methods, a people that did not behave like conventional enemies and, indeed, quite often were not enemies at all.
This is the most difficult of all military assignments, whether in Africa, Asia, or the American West. Westerners were proud of their leadership in the movement for democracy and equality, a major theme for Frederick Jackson Turner.
The new states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Ohio were more democratic than the parent states back East in terms of politics and society.
By the West, especially California and Oregon, led the Progressive movement. Scholars have examined the social history of the west in search of the American character.
The history of Kansas , argued historian Carl L. Becker a century ago, reflects American ideals. He wrote: "The Kansas spirit is the American spirit double distilled.
It is a new grafted product of American individualism, American idealism, American intolerance. Kansas is America in microcosm.
Scholars have compared the emergence of democracy in America with other countries, regarding the frontier experience. The American frontiersmen relied on individual effort, in the context of very large quantities of unsettled land with weak external enemies.
Israel by contrast, operated in a very small geographical zone, surrounded by more powerful neighbors.
The Jewish pioneer was not building an individual or family enterprise, but was a conscious participant in nation-building, with a high priority on collective and cooperative planned settlements.
The Israeli pioneers brought in American experts on irrigation and agriculture to provide technical advice. However, they rejected the American frontier model in favor of a European model that supported their political and security concerns.
The cities played an essential role in the development of the frontier, as transportation hubs, financial and communications centers, and providers of merchandise, services, and entertainment.
They then shipped the cattle out and cattle drives became short-distance affairs. However, the passenger trains were often the targets of armed gangs.
Denver's economy before had been rooted in mining; it then grew by expanding its role in railroads, wholesale trade, manufacturing, food processing, and servicing the growing agricultural and ranching hinterland.
Denver had always attracted miners, workers, whores, and travelers. Saloons and gambling dens sprung up overnight.
The city fathers boasted of its fine theaters, and especially the Tabor Grand Opera House built in Denver gained regional notoriety with its range of bawdy houses, from the sumptuous quarters of renowned madams to the squalid "cribs" located a few blocks away.
Business was good; visitors spent lavishly, then left town. As long as madams conducted their business discreetly, and "crib girls" did not advertise their availability too crudely, authorities took their bribes and looked the other way.
Occasional cleanups and crack downs satisfied the demands for reform. With its giant mountain of copper, Butte, Montana , was the largest, richest, and rowdiest mining camp on the frontier.
It was an ethnic stronghold, with the Irish Catholics in control of politics and of the best jobs at the leading mining corporation Anaconda Copper.
Ring argues that the library was originally a mechanism of social control, "an antidote to the miners' proclivity for drinking, whoring, and gambling".
It was also designed to promote middle-class values and to convince Easterners that Butte was a cultivated city. European immigrants often built communities of similar religious and ethnic backgrounds.
African Americans moved West as soldiers, as well as cowboys, farmhands, saloon workers, cooks, and outlaws. The Buffalo Soldiers were soldiers in the all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments, and 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments of the U.
They had white officers and served in numerous western forts. About 4, blacks came to California in Gold Rush days.
In , after the end of Reconstruction in the South, several thousand Freedmen moved from Southern states to Kansas. Known as the Exodusters , they were lured by the prospect of good, cheap Homestead Law land and better treatment.
The all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas , which was founded in , was an organized settlement that predates the Exodusters but is often associated with them.
Chinese migrants, many of whom were impoverished peasants, provided the major part of the workforce for the building of the Central Pacific portion of the transcontinental railroad.
Most of them went home by when the railroad was finished. The Chinese were generally forced into self-sufficient "Chinatowns" in cities such as San Francisco , Portland , and Seattle.
By the s, however, Chinatowns had become clean, safe and attractive tourist destinations. The first Japanese arrived in the U.
Japanese were recruited to work on plantations in Hawaii, beginning in By the late 19th Century, more Japanese emigrated to Hawaii and the American mainland.
The Issei, or first-generation Japanese immigrants, were not allowed to become U. This did not change until the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of , known as the McCarran-Walter Act, which allowed Japanese immigrants to become naturalized U.
There were , Japanese Americans in the U. The great majority of Hispanics who had been living in the former territories of New Spain remained and became American citizens in The 10, or so Californios lived in southern California and after were overshadowed by the hundreds of thousands of arrivals from the east.
Those in New Mexico dominated towns and villages that changed little until well into the 20th century. New arrivals from Mexico arrived, especially after the Revolution of terrorized thousands of villages all across Mexico.
Most refugees went to Texas or California, and soon poor barrios appeared in many border towns. Early on there was a criminal element as well.
The California "Robin Hood", Joaquin Murieta , led a gang in the s which burned houses, killed miners, and robbed stagecoaches. On the Great Plains very few single men attempted to operate a farm or ranch; farmers clearly understood the need for a hard-working wife, and numerous children, to handle the many chores, including child-rearing, feeding, and clothing the family, managing the housework, and feeding the hired hands.
After a generation or so, women increasingly left the fields, thus redefining their roles within the family. New conveniences such as sewing and washing machines encouraged women to turn to domestic roles.
The scientific housekeeping movement, promoted across the land by the media and government extension agents, as well as county fairs which featured achievements in home cookery and canning, advice columns for women in the farm papers, and home economics courses in the schools all contributed to this trend.
Although the eastern image of farm life on the prairies emphasizes the isolation of the lonely farmer and farm life, in reality, rural folk created a rich social life for themselves.
They often sponsored activities that combined work, food, and entertainment such as barn raisings , corn huskings, quilting bees,  Grange meetings ,  church activities, and school functions.
The womenfolk organized shared meals and potluck events, as well as extended visits between families. Childhood on the American frontier is contested territory.
One group of scholars, following the lead of novelists Willa Cather and Laura Ingalls Wilder , argue the rural environment was beneficial to the child's upbringing.
Historians Katherine Harris  and Elliott West  write that rural upbringing allowed children to break loose from urban hierarchies of age and gender, promoted family interdependence, and at the end produced children who were more self-reliant, mobile, adaptable, responsible, independent and more in touch with nature than their urban or eastern counterparts.
On the other hand, historians Elizabeth Hampsten  and Lillian Schlissel  offer a grim portrait of loneliness, privation, abuse, and demanding physical labor from an early age.
Riney-Kehrberg takes a middle position. Entrepreneurs set up shops and businesses to cater to the miners. World-famous were the houses of prostitution found in every mining camp worldwide.
Chinese women were frequently sold by their families and taken to the camps as prostitutes; they had to send their earnings back to the family in China.
She nursed victims of an influenza epidemic; this gave her acceptance in the community and the support of the sheriff. The townspeople were shocked when she was murdered in ; they gave her a lavish funeral and speedily tried and hanged her assailant.
It was not uncommon for bordellos in Western towns to operate openly, without the stigma of East Coast cities. Gambling and prostitution were central to life in these western towns, and only later — as the female population increased, reformers moved in, and other civilizing influences arrived — did prostitution become less blatant and less common.
Whenever a new settlement or mining camp started one of the first buildings or tents erected would be a gambling hall.
As the population grew, gambling halls were typically the largest and most ornately decorated buildings in any town and often housed a bar, stage for entertainment, and hotel rooms for guests.
These establishments were a driving force behind the local economy and many towns measured their prosperity by the number of gambling halls and professional gamblers they had.
Towns that were friendly to gambling were typically known to sports as "wide-awake" or "wide-open". The cowboys had been accumulating their wages and postponing their pleasures until they finally arrived in town with money to wager.
Such an atmosphere also invited trouble and such towns also developed reputations as lawless and dangerous places. Historian Waddy W. Moore uses court records to show that on the sparsely settled Arkansas frontier lawlessness was common.
He distinguished two types of crimes: unprofessional dueling , crimes of drunkenness, selling whiskey to the Indians, cutting trees on federal land and professional rustling , highway robbery , counterfeiting.
Bandits, typically in groups of two or three, rarely attacked stagecoaches with a guard carrying a sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun; it proved less risky to rob teamsters, people on foot, and solitary horsemen,  while bank robberies themselves were harder to pull off due to the security of the establishment.
When criminals were convicted, the punishment was severe. Law enforcement emphasized maintaining stability more than armed combat, focusing on drunkenness, disarming cowboys who violated gun-control edicts and dealing with flagrant breaches of gambling and prostitution ordinances.
Dykstra argues that the violent image of the cattle towns in film and fiction is largely a myth. The real Dodge City, he says, was the headquarters for the buffalo-hide trade of the Southern Plains and one of the West's principal cattle towns, a sale and shipping point for cattle arriving from Texas.
He states there is a "second Dodge City" that belongs to the popular imagination and thrives as a cultural metaphor for violence, chaos, and depravity.
A contemporary eyewitness of Hays City, Kansas, paints a vivid image of this cattle town:. Hays City by lamplight was remarkably lively, but not very moral.
The streets blazed with a reflection from saloons, and a glance within showed floors crowded with dancers, the gaily dressed women striving to hide with ribbons and paint the terrible lines which that grim artist, Dissipation, loves to draw upon such faces To the music of violins and the stamping of feet the dance went on, and we saw in the giddy maze old men who must have been pirouetting on the very edge of their graves.
It has been acknowledged that the popular portrayal of Dodge City in film and fiction carries a note of truth, however, as the gun crime was rampant in the city before the establishment of a local government.
Soon after the city's residents officially established their first municipal government, however, a law banning concealed firearms was enacted and crime was reduced soon afterward.
Similar laws were passed in other frontier towns to reduce the rate of gun crime as well. Carrying of guns within the city limits of a frontier town was generally prohibited.
Laws barring people from carrying weapons were commonplace, from Dodge City to Tombstone. When Dodge City residents first formed their municipal government, one of the very first laws enacted was a ban on concealed carry.
The ban was soon after expanded to open carry, too. The Hollywood image of the gunslinger marching through town with two Colts on his hips is just that — a Hollywood image, created for its dramatic effect.
Tombstone, Arizona , was a turbulent mining town that flourished longer than most, from to In the newly arrived Earp brothers bought shares in the Vizina mine, water rights, and gambling concessions, but Virgil , Wyatt , and Morgan Earp obtained positions at different times as federal and local lawmen.
After more than a year of threats and feuding, they, along with Doc Holliday , killed three outlaws in the Gunfight at the O.
Corral , the most famous gunfight of the Old West. In the aftermath, Virgil Earp was maimed in an ambush, and Morgan Earp was assassinated while playing billiards.
Wyatt and others, including his brothers James Earp and Warren Earp , pursued those they believed responsible in an extra-legal vendetta and warrants were issued for their arrest in the murder of Frank Stilwell.
The Cochise County Cowboys were one of the first organized crime syndicates in the United States, and their demise came at the hands of Wyatt Earp.
Western story tellers and film makers featured the gunfight in many Western productions. They solidified Earp's modern reputation as the Old West's deadliest gunman.
Many were misfits and drifters who roamed the West avoiding the law. When outlaw gangs were near, towns would occasionally raise a posse to drive them out or capture them.
Seeing that the need to combat the bandits was a growing business opportunity, Allan Pinkerton ordered his National Detective Agency, founded in , to open branches in the West, and they got into the business of pursuing and capturing outlaws.
Banditry was a major issue in California after , as thousands of young men detached from family or community moved into a land with few law enforcement mechanisms.
To combat this, the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance was established to give drumhead trials and death sentences to well-known offenders.
As such, other earlier settlements created their private agencies to protect communities due to the lack of peace-keeping establishments. Similar vigilance committees also existed in Texas, and their main objective was to stamp out lawlessness and rid communities of desperadoes and rustlers.
Criminals caught by these vigilance committees were treated cruelly; often hung or shot without any form of trial. Civilians also took arms to defend themselves in the Old West, sometimes siding with lawmen Coffeyville Bank Robbery , or siding with outlaws Battle of Ingalls.
In the Post-Civil War frontier, over whites, 34 blacks, and 75 others were victims of lynching. Historian Michael J. Pfeifer writes, "Contrary to the popular understanding, early territorial lynching did not flow from an absence or distance of law enforcement but rather from the social instability of early communities and their contest for a property, status, and the definition of social order.
The names and exploits of Western gunslingers took a major role in American folklore, fiction and film.
Their guns and costumes became children's toys for make-believe shootouts. Actual gunfights in the Old West were more episodic than being a common thing, but when gunfights did occur, the cause for each varied.
Range wars were infamous armed conflicts that took place in the "open range" of the American frontier. The subject of these conflicts was the control of lands freely used for farming and cattle grazing which gave the conflict its name.
Feuds involving families and bloodlines also occurred much in the frontier. The end of the bison herds opened up millions of acres for cattle ranching.
After the Civil War, Texas ranchers raised large herds of longhorn cattle. So once fattened, the ranchers and their cowboys drove the herds north along the Western, Chisholm, and Shawnee trails.
The cattle were shipped to Chicago, St. Louis, and points east for slaughter and consumption in the fast-growing cities. The Chisholm Trail , laid out by cattleman Joseph McCoy along an old trail marked by Jesse Chisholm, was the major artery of cattle commerce, carrying over 1.
The long drives were treacherous, especially crossing water such as the Brazos and the Red River and when they had to fend off Indians and rustlers looking to make off with their cattle.
By the s and s, cattle ranches expanded further north into new grazing grounds and replaced the bison herds in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Nebraska, and the Dakota territory, using the rails to ship to both coasts.
Many of the largest ranches were owned by Scottish and English financiers. The single largest cattle ranch in the entire West was owned by American John W.
Iliff, "cattle king of the Plains", operating in Colorado and Wyoming. Though less hardy and more disease-prone, these breeds produced better-tasting beef and matured faster.
The funding for the cattle industry came largely from British sources, as the European investors engaged in a speculative extravaganza—a "bubble".
Graham concludes the mania was founded on genuine opportunity, as well as "exaggeration, gullibility, inadequate communications, dishonesty, and incompetence".
A severe winter engulfed the plains toward the end of and well into , locking the prairie grass under ice and crusted snow which starving herds could not penetrate.
The British lost most of their money—as did eastern investors like Theodore Roosevelt , but their investments did create a large industry that continues to cycle through boom and bust periods.
On a much smaller scale, sheep grazing was locally popular; sheep were easier to feed and needed less water. However, Americans did not eat mutton. As farmers moved in open range cattle ranching came to an end and was replaced by barbed wire spreads where water, breeding, feeding, and grazing could be controlled.
This led to "fence wars" which erupted over disputes about water rights. Central to the myth and the reality of the West is the American cowboy. His real-life was a hard one and revolved around two annual roundups, spring and fall, the subsequent drives to market, and the time off in the cattle towns spending his hard-earned money on food, clothing, gambling, and prostitution.
During winter, many cowboys hired themselves out to ranches near the cattle towns, where they repaired and maintained equipment and buildings.
Working the cattle was not just a routine job but also a lifestyle that exulted in the freedom of the wide unsettled outdoors on horseback.
Many of the cowboys were veterans of the Civil War; a diverse group, they included Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and immigrants from many lands.
Chaps, the heavy protective leather trousers worn by cowboys, got their name from the Spanish "chaparral", and the lariat, or rope, was derived from "la reata".
All the distinct clothing of the cowboy—boots, saddles, hats, pants, chaps , slickers, bandannas , gloves, and collar-less shirts—were practical and adaptable, designed for protection and comfort.
The cowboy hat quickly developed the capability, even in the early years, to identify its wearer as someone associated with the West; it came to symbolize the frontier.
Before a drive, a cowboy's duties included riding out on the range and bringing together the scattered cattle. The best cattle would be selected, roped, and branded, and most male cattle were castrated.
The cattle also needed to be dehorned and examined and treated for infections. On the long drives, the cowboys had to keep the cattle moving and in line.
The cattle had to be watched day and night as they were prone to stampedes and straying. While camping every night, cowboys would often sing to their herd to keep them calm.
It was grueling, dusty work, with just a few minutes of relaxation before and at the end of a long day.
On the trail, drinking, gambling, and brawling were often prohibited and fined, and sometimes cursing as well. It was monotonous and boring work, with food to match: bacon, beans, bread, coffee, dried fruit, and potatoes.
Anchoring the booming cattle industry of the s and s were the cattle towns in Kansas and Missouri. Like the mining towns in California and Nevada, cattle towns such as Abilene , Dodge City , and Ellsworth experienced a short period of boom and bust lasting about five years.
The cattle towns would spring up as land speculators would rush in ahead of a proposed rail line and build a town and the supporting services attractive to the cattlemen and the cowboys.
If the railroads complied, the new grazing ground and supporting town would secure the cattle trade. However, unlike the mining towns which in many cases became ghost towns and ceased to exist after the ore played out, cattle towns often evolved from cattle to farming and continued after the grazing lands were exhausted.
The concern with the protection of the environment became a new issue in the late 19th century, pitting different interests.
On the one side were the lumber and coal companies who called for maximum exploitation of natural resources to maximize jobs, economic growth, and their own profit.
In the center were the conservationists , led by Theodore Roosevelt and his coalition of outdoorsmen, sportsmen, bird watchers, and scientists.
They wanted to reduce waste; emphasized the value of natural beauty for tourism and ample wildlife for hunters; and argued that careful management would not only enhance these goals but also increase the long-term economic benefits to society by planned harvesting and environmental protections.
Roosevelt worked his entire career to put the issue high on the national agenda. He was deeply committed to conserving natural resources.
Roosevelt set aside more Federal land, national parks , and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.
I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.
The third element, smallest at first but growing rapidly after , were the environmentalists who honored nature for its own sake, and rejected the goal of maximizing human benefits.
Their leader was John Muir — , a widely read author and naturalist and pioneer advocate of preservation of wilderness for its own sake, and founder of the Sierra Club.
Muir, based in California, in started organizing support to preserve the sequoias in the Yosemite Valley ; Congress did pass the Yosemite National Park bill In President Grover Cleveland created thirteen protected forests but lumber interests had Congress cancel the move.
Muir, taking the persona of an Old Testament prophet,  crusaded against the lumberman, portraying it as a contest "between landscape righteousness and the devil".
Biographer Donald Worster says, "Saving the American soul from a total surrender to materialism was the cause for which he fought.
The rise of the cattle industry and the cowboy is directly tied to the demise of the huge herds of bison —usually called the "buffalo". Loss of habitat, disease, and over-hunting steadily reduced the herds through the 19th century to the point of near extinction.
Conservationists founded the American Bison Society in ; it lobbied Congress to establish public bison herds. Several national parks in the U.
The exploration, settlement, exploitation, and conflicts of the "American Old West" form a unique tapestry of events, which has been celebrated by Americans and foreigners alike—in art, music, dance, novels, magazines, short stories, poetry, theater, video games, movies, radio, television, song, and oral tradition—which continues in the modern era.
Religious themes have inspired many environmentalists as they contemplate the pristine West before the frontiersmen violated its spirituality.
The Frontier Thesis of historian Frederick Jackson Turner , proclaimed in ,  established the main lines of historiography which fashioned scholarship for three or four generations and appeared in the textbooks used by practically all American students.
The mythologizing of the West began with minstrel shows and popular music in the s. During the same period, P. Barnum presented Indian chiefs, dances, and other Wild West exhibits in his museums.
However, large scale awareness took off when the dime novel appeared in , the first being Malaeska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter. Millions of copies and thousands of titles were sold.
The novels relied on a series of predictable literary formulas appealing to mass tastes and were often written in as little as a few days.
The most successful of all dime novels was Edward S. Ellis' Seth Jones He presented the first "Wild West" show in , featuring a recreation of famous battles especially Custer's Last Stand , expert marksmanship, and dramatic demonstrations of horsemanship by cowboys and Indians, as well as sure-shooting Annie Oakley.
Elite Eastern writers and artists of the late 19th century promoted and celebrated western lore. Russell , and others. Readers bought action-filled stories by writers like Owen Wister , conveying vivid images of the Old West.
I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever I saw the living, breathing end of three American centuries of smoke and dust and sweat.
In the 20th century, both tourists to the West, and avid readers enjoyed the visual imagery of the frontier. The Western movies provided the most famous examples, as in the numerous films of John Ford.
He was especially enamored of Monument Valley. Critic Keith Phipps says, "its five square miles [13 square kilometers] have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West.
The cowboy has for over a century been an iconic American image both in the country and abroad; recognized worldwide and revered by Americans.
Roosevelt conceptualized the herder cowboy as a stage of civilization distinct from the sedentary farmer—a theme well expressed in the Hollywood hit Oklahoma!
Will Rogers, the son of a Cherokee judge in Oklahoma, started with rope tricks and fancy riding, but by discovered his audiences were even more enchanted with his wit in his representation of the wisdom of the common man.
Others who contributed to enhancing the romantic image of the American cowboy include Charles Siringo —  and Andy Adams — Cowboy, Pinkerton detective, and western author, Siringo was the first authentic cowboy autobiographer.
Adams spent the s in the cattle industry in Texas and the s mining in the Rockies. When an play's portrayal of Texans outraged Adams, he started writing plays, short stories, and novels drawn from his own experiences.
His The Log of a Cowboy became a classic novel about the cattle business, especially the cattle drive. His writings are acclaimed and criticized for realistic fidelity to detail on the one hand and thin literary qualities on the other.
The unique skills of the cowboys are highlighted in the rodeo. It began in an organized fashion in the West in the s, when several Western cities followed up on touring Wild West shows and organized celebrations that included rodeo activities.
The establishment of major cowboy competitions in the East in the s led to the growth of rodeo sports. Trail cowboys who were also known as gunfighters like John Wesley Hardin , Luke Short and others, were known for their prowess, speed and skill with their pistols and other firearms.
Their violent escapades and reputations morphed over time into the stereotypical image of violence endured by the "cowboy hero".
Historians of the American West have written about the mythic West; the west of western literature, art and of people's shared memories.
Such hazardous work in isolated conditions also bred a tradition of self-dependence and individualism, with great value put on personal honesty, exemplified in songs and cowboy poetry.
Following the eleventh U. Census taken in , the superintendent announced that there was no longer a clear line of advancing settlement, and hence no longer a frontier in the continental United States.
The historian Frederick Jackson Turner seized upon the statistic to announce the end of the era in which the frontier process shaped the American character.
When examining the later U. Census population distribution results though, a frontier line does remain. But by the U. Census , only pockets of the frontier remain without a clear westward line, allowing travel across the continental United States without ever entering it possible for the first time.
Fresh farmland was increasingly hard to find after —although the railroads advertised some in eastern Montana. Bicha shows that nearly , American farmers sought cheap land by moving to the Prairie frontier of the Canadian West from to However, about two-thirds of them grew disillusioned and returned to the U.
These contained plenty of unoccupied lands, as did the Territory of Alaska. Typical frontier crimes such as the last stagecoach robbery occurred in Nevada's remaining frontier in December Conflict between the U.
Government, American Indians, and settlers also continued into the early s, shown in events such as the Bluff War — and Posey War Soon, the ethos and storyline of the "American frontier" had passed.
Scores of Turner students became professors in history departments in the western states and taught courses on the frontier. It avoids the word "frontier" and stresses cultural interaction between white culture and groups such as Indians and Hispanics.
It is easy to tell who the bad guys are — they are almost invariably white, male, and middle-class or better, while the good guys are almost invariably non-white, non-male, or non-middle class Anglo-American civilization However, by , Aron argues, the two sides had "reached an equilibrium in their rhetorical arguments and critiques".
Meanwhile, environmental history has emerged, in large part from the frontier historiography, hence its emphasis on wilderness.
The first group emphasizes human agency on the environment; the second looks at the influence of the environment. William Cronon has argued that Turner's famous essay was environmental history in an embryonic form.
It emphasized the vast power of free land to attract and reshape settlers, making a transition from wilderness to civilization. Journalist Samuel Lubell saw similarities between the frontier's Americanization of immigrants that Turner described and the social climbing by later immigrants in large cities as they moved to wealthier neighborhoods.
He compared the effects of the railroad opening up Western lands to urban transportation systems and the automobile, and Western settlers' "land hunger" to poor city residents seeking social status.
Just as the Republican party benefited from support from "old" immigrant groups that settled on frontier farms, "new" urban immigrants formed an important part of the Democratic New Deal coalition that began with Franklin Delano Roosevelt 's victory in the presidential election.
Since the s an active center is the history department at the University of New Mexico , along with the University of New Mexico Press. Leading historians there include Gerald D.
Nash, Donald C. Cutter, Richard N. The department has collaborated with other departments and emphasizes Southwestern regionalism, minorities in the Southwest, and historiography.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Wild West disambiguation. For the film, see Western Frontier film. For cultural influences and their development, see Western genre.
Undeveloped territory of the United States, c. The cowboy , the quintessential symbol of the American frontier, c. Main article: Thirteen Colonies.
Main article: Louisiana Purchase. Main article: Fur trade in North America. Further information: Fur trade in Montana.
See also: Old Southwest. Main article: Manifest Destiny. Main articles: History of Mexico and Texas Revolution. Main article: Mexican—American War.
Main article: California Gold Rush. Main article: Oregon Trail. Main articles: Mormon War and Utah War. Main article: Pony Express. Main article: Bleeding Kansas.
Main article: Land Rush of Main article: Alaska Purchase. Main article: Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Main article: American Indian Wars. Main article: Trail of tears.
Main article: Indian reservation. Main article: History of Chinese Americans. Further information: History of prostitution and Frontier gambler.
Main articles: Gunfighter and Range war. Main article: Cattle drives in the United States. Main article: Cowboy. Main article: Cattle towns. See also: Sagebrush Rebellion.
Main article: American Bison. United States portal. Yale University Press. Reno: University of Nevada Press. Retrieved February 1, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society.
A Companion to the American West. The Reader's Encyclopedia of the American West. Pacific Historical Review. Slatta, Richard W.
January Retrieved November 29, Vaughan New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians, — Journey to New England. Globe Pequot.
Boone: A Biography. Algonquin Books. Ambler and Festus P. Summers, West Virginia, the mountain state p. Agricultural History.
Van Atta Johns Hopkins University Press. The Winning of the West. Current Literature. Simon and Schuster. The Mississippi Valley Historical Review.
Missouri's struggle for statehood, — Rodriguez, ed. Cambridge U. Lee used the consumer price index to translate historic sums into dollars.
The American fur trade of the far West: a history of the pioneer trading posts and early fur companies of the Missouri valley and the Rocky Mountains and the overland commerce with Santa Fe Rohrbough Oxford U.
Military Affairs. Russell, — University of Oklahoma Press. Men with sand: great explorers of the North American West.
Russell [and] Frederic Remington Fremont, pathmarker of the West. University of Nebraska Press. Goetzmann Exploration and empire: the explorer and the scientist in the winning of the American West.
Vintage Books. Wipf and Stock. Religion on the American Frontier: The Presbyterians, — Has a detailed introduction and many primary sources.
Mississippi Valley Historical Review. University of Kentucky Press. University of Tennessee Press. Madison Historical Review.
Oxford University Press. The Santa Fe Trail. New Mexico Press. On the Santa Fe Trail U. Merry A country of vast designs: James K.
Polk, the Mexican War, and the conquest of the American continent. Red and Black Publishers. Race and manifest destiny: the origins of American racial anglo-saxonism.
Harvard U. The American Historical Review. Handbook of Texas online ed. First they were Bushwhackers during the Civil War and then ran their own gang of outlaws, robbing trains, banks and stagecoaches.
He was eventually killed by a member of his own gang, Robert Ford. Source: Biografie Online. The Sundance Kid was a part of it, but so were several other notorious gunslingers including Kid Curry and the Tall Texan.
Source: Kim Macquarrie. The conflicts between Native American tribes and American settlers led to many bloody confrontations, but also created legends out of some of the Native American leaders.
No tribe was fiercer than the Apache and there was no leader greater than Geronimo. One of the greatest folk heroes of the Wild West, Wild Bill Hickok became the most famed gunman of his time.
This all really started from a gunfight with David Tutt. Wyatt Earp was the most famed lawman of the Wild West and might be the most famous figure overall.
He attained notoriety for taking part in the gunfight at the OK Corral against a gang of outlaws but alongside his brothers and Doc Holliday.
Later in life, that same gang would take revenge against the Earps, killing one brother and maiming another. Wyatt would then form a posse and embark on a famous vendetta ride to kill those responsible.
Source: NCSB. Share Tweet Email. Report a bad ad experience. Radu Alexander. Radu is a freelance writer who specializes in historical, scientific and offbeat topics.
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