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John Ringo, King of the Cowboys
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summary
Few names in the lore of western gunmen are as recognizable. Few lives of the most notorious are as little known. Romanticized and made legendary, John Ringo fought and killed for what he believed was right. As a teenager, Ringo was rushed into sudden adulthood when his father was killed tragically in the midst of the family's overland trek to California. As a young man he became embroiled in the blood feud turbulence of post-Reconstruction Texas. The Mason County “Hoo Doo” War in Texas began as a war over range rights, but it swiftly deteriorated into blood vengeance and spiraled out of control as the body count rose. In this charnel house Ringo gained a reputation as a dangerous gunfighter and man killer. He was proclaimed throughout the state as a daring leader, a desperate man, and a champion of the feud. Following incarceration for his role in the feud, Ringo was elected as a lawman in Mason County, the epicenter of the feud’s origin. The reputation he earned in Texas, further inflated by his willingness to shoot it out with Victorio’s raiders during a deadly confrontation in New Mexico, preceded him to Tombstone in territorial Arizona. Ringo became immersed in the area’s partisan politics and factionalized violence. A champion of the largely Democratic ranchers, Ringo would become known as a leader of one of these elements, the Cowboys. He ran at bloody, tragic odds with the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday, finally being part of the posse that hounded these fugitives from Arizona. In the end, Ringo died mysteriously in the Arizona desert, his death welcomed by some, mourned by others, wrongly claimed by a few. Initially published in 1996, John Ringo has been updated to a second edition with much new information researched and uncovered by David Johnson and other Ringo researchers.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Half Title
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  1. Frontispiece
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Chapter 1. "A Hamlet among outlaws"
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Chapter 2. "passionate, domineering and dangerous"
  2. pp. 9-16
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  1. Chapter 3. "Ringo & Pryor"
  2. pp. 17-24
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  1. Chapter 4. "I pray God we may get along safely"
  2. pp. 25-34
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  1. Chapter 5. "Mrs. Mary Ringo, Proprietress"
  2. pp. 35-43
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  1. Chapter 6. "The people he fell in with were fighters"
  2. pp. 44-53
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  1. Chapter 7. “back-shooting border scum and thieves”
  2. pp. 69-77
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  1. Chapter 8. “The mob has been operating some”
  2. pp. 63-73
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  1. Chapter 9. “Hell has broke loose up here”
  2. pp. 74-86
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  1. Chapter 10. “alias Long John”
  2. pp. 87-97
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  1. Chapter 11. “State of Texas vs. John Ringo”
  2. pp. 98-108
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  1. Chapter 12. “brave and fearless”
  2. pp. 109-118
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  1. Chapter 13. “disrupting a young economy”
  2. pp. 119-129
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  1. Chapter 14. “and a stray cat”
  2. pp. 130-139
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  1. Chapter 15. “as well known as Satan himself”
  2. pp. 140-152
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  1. Chapter 16. “John R. Godalmighty”
  2. pp. 153-164
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  1. Chapter 17. “a killer and professional cutthroat”
  2. pp. 165-175
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  1. Chapter 18. “armed with a Henry side”
  2. pp. 176-189
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  1. Chapter 19. “the sympathy of the border people seems to be with them”
  2. pp. 190-204
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  1. Chapter 20. “desperate and dangerous”
  2. pp. 205-215
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  1. Chapter 21. “we have seen that he lied”
  2. pp. 216-225
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  1. Chapter 22. “Ringo . . . the cowboy leader”
  2. pp. 225-235
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  1. Chapter 23. “Blood will surely come”
  2. pp. 236-244
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  1. Chapter 24. “his band of questionable repute”
  2. pp. 245-255
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  1. Chapter 25. “Many friends will mourn him”
  2. pp. 256-267
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  1. Chapter 26. “bitter and conspiratorial silence”
  2. pp. 268-278
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  1. Appendix 1
  2. pp. 279-280
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  1. Appendix 2
  2. pp. 281-282
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  1. Endnotes
  2. pp. 283-331
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  1. Selected Bibliography of Works Consulted
  2. pp. 332-351
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 351-366
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