Week 18: April/May

Week 18: April 30 thru May 6th

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4/30 of…1803

The Louisiana Purchase Treaty is quietly signed in France on this date. Encompassing 530,000,000 acres of land, an estimated 60,000 European immigrants, and uncounted natives. The U.S. paid 50 million francs for the territory and forgave French debts worth another 18 million francs (15 million dollars total). At roughly 3 cents an acre it opens the American flood gates to the west. Long a pawn of European powers it is a coup for President Jefferson and the burgeoning nation.  {003}


William Becknell - Week 18The Texas Red River Country, near Clarksville, sees the passing of Captain William Becknell, age about 76 (born c. 1787 or 1788): freighter, JP, politician, soldier and Texas Ranger. But he is best remembered as the man who opened the Santa Fe Trail (1821) and later, made it a passable wagon route. Photo: U.S. PD pre-1923 – William Becknell.   {001}
Wk 35, 09/01/1821 – departs for Santa Fe
Wk. 46, 11/16/1821 – arrives in Santa Fe
The  Originals Index – ExpeditionsCaptain William Becknell


Burton MossmanCap” born in Aurora, IL. Prominent Arizona businessman, first Captain of the Arizona Rangers.  {001}


Camp Grant massacre: About five miles upstream from Camp Grant, AZ; an attack by six American settlers, 48 Mexican settlers, and 92 O’odham (No U.S. military involved) on Pinal and Aravaipa Apaches who had surrendered to the U. S. Army at Camp Grant. At dawn, they surrounded the peaceful Apache camp; most of the men were off hunting in the mountains. The Americans and Mexicans picked off anyone who tried to escape as the O’odham entered the camp.
All but eight of the corpses were women and children. Twenty-nine children were taken and sold into slavery in Mexico by the Tohono O’odham and the Mexicans themselves. A total of 144 had been killed and mutilated, most scalped.
The military and the Eastern press called it a massacre and the public was outraged. President U.S. Grant informed Governor Anson P.K. Safford that should the perpetrators not be brought to trial, he would place the Arizona Territory under martial law. Soon, a Tucson grand jury indicted 100 of the assailants with 108 counts of murder (10/1871). The December trial, focused solely on Apache depredations. The jury brought in a verdict of not guilty in 19 minutes.
The massacre led to a series campaigns and battles between the Americans, the Apache, and their Yavapai allies which continued until 1875.  {001}


LCW: Seven Rivers Cowboys—including Robert Beckwith and Bob and John Olinger—found Regulator leader Frank McNab, Frank Coe and Ab Sanders watering their horses, and commenced to shoot. McNab and Sanders were dismounted and were shot to the ground. Coe attempted to escape, but his horse was shot from under him and he was arrested. The posse then returned to the creek, murdered the wounded McNab and arrested the wounded Sanders, who recovered. Lincoln County War, NM.  {001}


LCW: George Coe shoots long distance (a measured 444 yds.) from the roof of Issac Ellis’ store in Lincoln, NM to wound Dutch Charlie Kruling through both legs—without breaking a bone . The resulting gun battle is quelled by the army.  {001}


Caldwell, KS, Marshal Henry Brown {12} and his Deputy Ben Wheeler, supposedly hunting a murderer in Oklahoma, actually met up with outlaws Will Smith and John Wesley for the purpose of robbing the Medicine Lodge, KS, bank. There they killed the bank’s President, E.W. Payne, and cashier George Gepert. However, Gepert was able to lock the safe before he died and the robbery was thwarted. With angry townsmen on their heels, the outlaws mistakenly entered a small box canyon that was flooding in the heavy rain. After a  two-hour gunfight they surrendered. That evening a mob overpowered their jailers; Brown tried to run and took both barrels of a shotgun. Smith, Wheeler and Wesley were lynched.  {001}


Louisiana Purchase 10c Stamp - Week 18The Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 (aka: The St. Louis World’s Fair) opened in St. Louis, MO. An interesting display of American hubris and notable in its own right; the fair included several items of Western note. Theodore Roosevelt opened the fair by telegraph. The Ethnology Exhibit featured a teepee and included the notorious Chiricahua Apache Geronimo “on display”. One could also purchase his autograph. Worlds Fair Map 1904 - Week 18The world famous exhibition shooters, “The Fabulous Topperwein’sAdolph “Ad” and Elizabeth “Plinky” made their reputation during the six month run of the fair. A 42 year career in professional shooting followed, most of it with Winchester Arms Company. “Plinky” was a fine aerial rifle shot in the tradition of Annie Oakley. Stamp: U.S. © 1904 U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Map: U.S. PD 1904 Pharius Map.  {001}
See also:
Wk. 22, 06/01/1904 – The Model Indian School


Edwin S Porter - Week 18Edwin Stanton Porter, age 71, died in New York City, NY. Early movie director with the Edison Manufacturing Co., he made the first Western, The Great Train Robbery (1903) starring Broncho Billy Anderson and others, a twelve minute silent film which became a nationwide sensation and founded the genre. Photo: U.S. PD 1901 unknown.  {001}


Sergio Leone - Week 18Sergio Leone, age 60, died in Rome, Lazio, Italy. Italian film director, creator of the “Spaghetti Western”: low budget movies  usually shot in Spain. His Man with no Name Trilogy (the Dollars Trilogy): A Fist Full of Dollars (1964), For a Few  Dollars More (1965), and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966), starring Clint Eastwood created a new perspective on the western characters portrayed. Leone also made, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), often considered his best film. Photo: U.S.©? pre-1989 promo shot, Fair Use.  {001}


5/1 of…1823

Born in St. Louis, MO: Thomas Tate Tobin. Adventurer, army scout, bounty hunter, guide, mountain man, tracker and trapper.  {001}


The Comanche attacked a family named Hibbons along the Guadalupe River. Mrs. Hibbons and two children were kidnapped and two men killed. Somehow, she escaped her captors and wandered into a camp of Texas Rangers, in the middle of the night, naked and bleeding. The Rangers were later able to rescue the children.  {001}


The self proclaimed birthday of Mary Harris (Mother Jones), although she was most likely actually born in late July in Cork City, Ireland. Records show her christening date as 08/01/1837. She emigrated to Canada with her parents as a teenager and then later to the U.S., where she married George E. Jones in 1861.  {001}
Wk. 48, 11/30/1930 – Mother Jones


Thomas J. Farnham, under the banner “Oregon or the Grave“, led sixteen “Oregon Dragoons” from Peoria, IL to travel most of what would eventually become The Oregon Trail. Nine of the emigrants (less Farnham) eventually reached Fort Walla Walla. By the late 1860’s it was estimated that 400,000 travelers had followed the trail and its many cutoffs and variations. The 2,000 mile trek usually took from 140 to 160 days. Read Parkman’s Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman, first published in Knickerbocker Magazine as a serial (1847-49).  {001}
The Originals Index – TrailsThe Oregon Trail – bottom of page
Wk 19, 05/10/1869 – Transcontinental Railroad


Martha Jane Cannary born in Princeton, MO: she will become “Calamity Jane“; muleskinner, army Scout, dipsomaniac.  {001}


Charles Rath and James Langton, after a trek of nearly 200 miles from Dodge City, KS, arrive within a mile of the old ruins at Adobe Walls, TX, where they intend to locate a supply station for the Buffalo Hunting Season.  {001}


John P. Clum+2 prints the first Edition of the Tombstone Epitaph. The newspaper still exists today as a living archive of the historical west. Tombstone, AZTYH!+2  {001}


John B. Armstrong - Week 18John Barclay Armstrong dead at age 62 in Armstrong, TX. Texas Ranger and U.S. Marshal.  {001}


Sunset Carson - Week 18Sunset Carson, Winifred Maurice Harrison, age 69, died in Reno, NV. Rodeo rider, “B” western actor, Carson made  films from 1943 to 1985, 1945-1946 being his best years. The Cherokee Flash (1945), Days of Buffalo Bill (1946), Red River Renegades (1946). Horse: Cactus. Photo: U.S. PD ©? pre-1990 studio promo shot, Fair Use.  {001}


John Clum-john - c 1870 - Week 18John Phillip Clum+2, Nantan-betun-nykahyeh (“Boss-with-the-high-forehead”), age 80, died in Los Angeles, CA. As an Indian agent, Clum was unusual and successful with the Indians, but not the army. In the end, he was forced from his position because he interfered with the profits of various traders and politicians—not an uncommon situation for an agent who was not dishonest. Later a newspaper editor,* a politician, friends with Wyatt Earp, a postmaster and finally a promoter of railroad tourism. Photo: U.S. PD c. 1870.  TYH!  {001}
*05/01/1880 – above


Josie Bassett - tending cattle - Week 18Jensen, UT bids farewell to Josephine “Josie” Bassett McKnight Raney Williams Morris at 90 years. Long time rancher, suspected rustler, a fine bootlegger and a friend and more to members of the Wild Bunch. Photo: U.S. PD? c. 1950’s – 60’s?  {001}

5/2 of… 1849

The city of Independence, MO, confirms ten dead of cholera in each of the preceding two weeks.  {001}


Standing Bear - Week 18United States ex rel. Standing Bear v. Crook. Ponca Chief Standing Bear had been arrested by General George Cook for leaving the reservation. He and his wife Susette Primeau sued the federal government via Cook (with Cook’s contrivance) in U.S. District Court in Omaha, Nebraska, Judge Elmer S. Dundy presiding. Noted attorneys John L. Webster and the chief attorney of the Union Pacific Railroad, Andrew J. Poppleton provided their services pro bono. A well-educated, bi-lingual Omaha Indian, Susette “Bright Eyes” LaFlesche provided translation service. An Indian was not deemed to be a “person” before the law. Standing Bear needed to establish that he was a “person” before he could contend for a writ of habeas corpus. Assistant editor Thomas Tibbles of The Omaha Daily Herald was heavily involved in bringing the issue to court. This was a revolutionary issue in America at the time, with partisans on both sides. Photo: U.S. PD c. 1880’s.   {001}
Wk. 19, 05/12/1879 – Standing Bear v. Crook
Quotes Index – Indian Quotes
Politicians, Soldiers, Preachers & others… Elmer S. Dundy


Oklahoma Territory organized and incorporated under The United States of America.  {001}


Frank Cheney, Henry Starr, Jim Wilson, “Kid” Wilson and several others take the “KATY” (Missouri, Kansas & Texas RR) near Pryor, OK.  {001}


Doolin Gang outlaws “Bitter CreekGeorge Newcomb (born 1866) age 28 or 29, killed (bushwhacked) along with Charley Pierce, by the Dunn brothers (Bee, Bill, Calvin, Dal, and George) at Dunn Ranch on the Cimarron River, OK. Likely inspired by Bill (trying to make them into bounty hunters), they sought the $5,000 reward on George’s head. Talk about a bad debt and a double deal: they owed him money and Newcomb was courting a sister! She was not in on the hunt for Newcomb and, as might be expected, none too pleased with the outcome.  {001}
Photo Gallery Index – Hangings and Shootings (Caution!) –George Newcomb
The Originals Index – Outlaw Gangs Index – Doolin Gang – Wild Bunch

 5/3 of…1840

Otto Mears born in Russia and later sent to relatives in the U.S. as an orphan: soldier, farmer, road builder, Colorado Railroad Pioneer and entrepreneur.  {001}


John Peters “Johnny” Ringo born in Washington, Clay Township, Wayne County, ID: Cowboy, Outlaw.  {001}


Western Author Andy Adams born in Indiana.  {001}


Angel De Cora, Hinook-Mahiwi-Kalinaka (Fleecy Cloud Floating in Place), born at the Winnebago Agency in Dakota County, NE: Native American artist.  {001}


Following the trail of the Geronimo‘s Chiricahua Apache band, thought to be responsible for the Bear Valley Raid, the Buffalo Soldiers+2 of Captain Thomas C. Lebo‘s Troop K of the U.S. 10th Cavalry+2pass the remains of thirty horses the Apaches had ridden to death. The cavalrymen catch up, in the Pinito Mountains of Sonora, MX. An ambush, as the Apaches fired from the top of a steep hill, led to a small battle, The first volley killed private Hollis and wounded corporal Scott. Under intense, accurate fire from the Apaches, Lt. Powhatan Clarke pulled Corporal Scott to safety. (Clarke received the Medal of Honor). After several hours of fighting, with two killed and one wounded, the Indians vanished into the Mexican wilderness. The Battle of Canjón De Los Negros was over.  {001}
see also:
Quotes Index – Commentators QuotesMilitary – Lt. Powhatan Clarke
Wk. 29, 07/21/1893 –Lt. Powhatan H. Clarke


George Montague Wheeler - Week 18George M. Wheeler, age 62, died in New York, NY. Pioneer cartographer and explorer. Leader of the Wheeler Expedition (1872-79). Portrait: U.S. PD 1910 Alice Pike Barney.  {001}
see also:
The Originals Index – Expeditions
Wheeler Expedition


Patsy Montana - Week 18Patsy Montana (Rubye Rebecca Blevins), age 87 died in San Jacinto, CA. Well known country western music pioneer, performer on The American Barn Dance. She had the first million-selling record for a female western singer, “I want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (1935). Photo: U.S. PD c. 1930’s promo pic.  {001}

5/4 of… 1875

Judge Isaac C. Parker arrives in Ft. Smith, AK, to assume his duties as Federal District Judge for the Western District.  {001}


Buffalo Soldiers+2 of the Tenth Cavalry+2 from Ft. Griffin, TX, under the command of Captain P.L. Lee track down the Indians involved in the Yellow House Canyon* battle. After a small skirmish, the Indians are subdued and taken to Fort Sill. This is one of the final incidents in the Texas Indian Wars.  {001}
*Wk. 11, 03/18/1877 – Yellow House Canyon


Nosey Kate‘s “Dancehall” and brothel (a tent) burns to the ground; starting a fire in Gray and McLane’s Stable next to P.W. Smith’s store.  Tombstone, AZ, Territory.  {001}


Sheriff Bowman and Roe Allison attempt to arrest horse thief and rustler George Howard Stunce (aka: George Howard) on a ranch near Ouray, CO. Stunce tries for his gun and is killed by shotgun blasts and rifle fire.  {001}


Edward Maynard - Week 18The passing of Dr. Edward Maynard, dentist and firearms designer. Maynard developed some procedures and invented a number of dental instruments, and but is best known for his contributions to firearms design. The Maynard Tape Primer System of 1845 was adopted by civilian arms manufactures and the U.S. Military. The Maynard Arms Company (1857) had breech loading firearms manufactured under their patents and sold them worldwide. An offshoot of his priming system led to the toy cap gun.* Photo: U.S. PD c. 1870’s? unknown.  {001}
see also:
Photo Gallery Index – Firearms Photos Index – Ammunition Then and Now Maynard Priming System
Photo Gallery Index – Weapons Photos Index – Marcel’s Guns
– 1st. left, Massachusetts Arms Co. .28 cal. percussion Pocket Pistol
*Just for Fun Pages – Cap Guns and More


Porum Range War – Deputy James “Jim” Work was murdered on the Bob Davis farm attempting to serve papers for cattle rustling.  {028}
see also:
PLAYERS – Timelines Master Index- Timelines A-L – Porum Range War Timeline

5/5 of… 1802

Ceran de Hault de Lassus de St. Vrain born near St. Louis, MO. Son of wealthy French aristocrats who had fled the revolution, he would find success of his own making in America as a trapper, a trader, a soldier, and a miller.  {001}


Mary Dixon Kies - Week 18Mary Dixon Kies received a patent, in her own name, (signed by President James Madison) for a new technique of weaving straw with silk and thread to make hats. This is claimed by some sources to be the first American woman to receive a patent. Others claim that Hannah Slater was the first, with a new method of producing sewing thread from cotton in 1793. However, that patent, was in the name of Mrs. Samuel Slater. Portrait: U.S. PD pre-1810.  {001}
also noted in Firsts in the Old West

John Batterson Stetson born in New Jersey: hatter.  {001}


Born: Elizabeth Jane Cochran, aka. Nellie Bly, in Cochran’s Mills, PA—newspaper reporter, author.  {001}


The Confederate States of America+2 are abolished.  {001}


Sioux+2 leaders Charging Hawk, Crazy Horse+2, He Dog, Iron Crow, Knife Chief, Little Big Man, White Twin and others begin formal surrender proceedings with 1st. Lt. William P. Clark at the Red Cloud Agency+2 near Fort Robinson, NE.  {001}


Levi Richardson had issues with gambler “Cockeyed Frank” Loving. He was hot when sat down at Loving’s table in the Long Branch Saloon for some serious discussion. Suddenly, Richardson said loudly “You wouldn’t fight anything you damned son of a bitch”, to which Loving said calmly, “Try me and see”.
Richardson stood, drew his gun and began to shoot, firing five rounds. Loving quickly joined with six. When it was over, Richardson had taken shots to the chest, the side, and one arm. Loving had been grazed on the hand, but was otherwise was uninjured. Deputy Marshal Duffey arrived fast enough to take hold of the dying Richardson as he fell to the floor. When Marshal Charlie Bassett got to the scene, the lawmen arrested Loving. One of many at that notorious Dodge City, KS saloon over the years, this one, “The Long Branch Saloon Gunfight”, became the archetype.  {001}
Quotes Index – Gunfighter Quotes – Loving and Richardson
Wk. 19, 04/07/1879 – The Verdict


Dan Maples - Week 18Surprised on a log crossing at Spring Branch, whiskey runners John Parrish and Ned Christie turn back to flee. Deputy U.S.  Marshal Dan Maples fires a warning shot but Christie’s return round kills him. This event near Tahlequah, OK, led to the  seven-year-long series of attacks by lawmen, and the resulting shootouts which then led to the building of Ned Christie’s Fort in Oklahoma. Photo: U.S. PD pre-1885 unknown, Marshal Dan Maples.  {001}
Wk. 44, 11/ 2 & 3/1892 – Ned Christie’s Fort


Bret Harte (Francis Brett Harte), age 65, died in Frimley, England. Teacher, miner, journalist, noted American author, mostly of  short stories: The Luck of Roaring Camp, The Outcasts of Poker Flat, The Idyl of Red Gulch, Muck-a-Muck, A Lonely Ride, Tennessee’s Partner and many other stories of the far West. Harte was disliked and  criticized by Mark Twain. Several of Harte’s stories have been made into movies: The Outcasts of  Poker Flats (1937) starring Preston Foster, and again with Dale Robertson (1952), Tennessee’s Partner (1955) with John Payne and Ronald Regan. Paint Your Wagon (1969) (loosely), Four of the Apocalypse (1975) (spaghetti western).  Photo: U.S. PD Bret Harte (1872) by Sarony.  {001}

5/6 of… 1859

 Battle Mountain mines at Cripple Creek, CO c. 1898 - Week 18Prospector John H. Gregory finds the placer gold deposit that will found Central City and Blackhawk (CO)Nathaniel Hill builds the first smelter at Blackhawk in 1868, allowing the processing the sulfide ores, which keeps the works here the most productive in Colorado until the rich strikes at Cripple Creek in the 1890’s. Photo: U.S. PD 1898 {001}


Williams Station Massacre: Williams Station was a combination saloon, general store and stagecoach station located along the Carson River in CA. While owner James O. Williams was absent, Paiute Indians attacked the station, torturing, killing and mutilating his two brothers, murdering all the patrons of the saloon and burning the establishment to the ground.  Numerous conflicting accounts exist as to why an Indian War party killed all the white men and burned Williams Station. It seems best explained by the accusation that the white men were holding two Indian women captive in a root cellar. Thirteen more settlers were killed when two cabins across the river were also attacked.  {001}


Richmond, VA, is named the Capitol of the Confederate States of America+2.  {001}


Oglala Surrender 1877 - Week 18Oglala Sioux+2 Chief Crazy Horse+2 leads his tired band from Camp Sheridan to the Red Cloud Agency+2 (NE) to surrender to General George Crook.Photo: and the original art represented: U.S. PD from sketches by Mr. Hottes made that Sunday.  {001}
Wk. 02, 01/08/1877 – Battle of Wolf Mountain
Photo Gallery Index – Indian Photos – full size


With plenty of popular support, the U.S. Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act intended to suspend the immigration of “skilled and unskilled laborers and Chinese employed in mining”  for ten years. It also declared them aliens who could never hold U.S. citizenship. This is only the beginning of the discriminatory laws to follow. No other ethnic group, voluntarily coming to the U.S., even remotely faced such a level of persecution and discrimination. The Act was finally repealed by the Magnuson Act in 1943.  {001}
Quotes Index – Commentators Quotes
Politicians, Soldiers, Preachers & others…Sen. Hoar
Wk. 35, 09/02/1885 – Rock Springs Massacre


A consumptive, morphine addicted Charley Ford takes his own life in Richmond, MO.  {001}
Photo Gallery Index – Outlaw PhotosCharlie Ford


Thomas Gilcrease - Week 18The passing of Oklahoma oilman Thomas Gilcrease, age 72. Collector, benefactor and founder of what became The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK, which houses one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of fine art, artifacts, and archives relating to Native Americans and the American West. Photo: U.S. ©? pre-1962 unknown, crop, Fair Use.  {001}

barbed wire divider2 - Week 18End: Week 18, April 30 thru May 6th
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{001} C 11/21; E 11/21; F 06/11; P 03/18

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