A Lawless Breed
John Wesley Hardin, Texas Reconstruction, and Violence in the Wild West
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of North Texas Press
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...nize, but as an Old West gunslinger he was the giant of his time. He was a man among men, a titan in Western gunfi ghter history. Granted that he was not a killer like Billy the Kid, but in his own way, he was better. Billy the Kid supposedly killed twenty- one men. Hardin most father a Methodist preacher. So what was it that pointed Hardin in the ...
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...n 1895 John Wesley Hardin was nearing the conclusion of his auto-biography. He had brought the story of his adventurous life up to the year of 1889, relating how he was beginning the study of law, deter-mining what books to obtain in order to pass the bar exam. He had just quoted a letter from the noted legislator A. T. McKinney, itemizing what ...
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...ment through the years. If we have overlooked anyone, please accept our Annie M. Allis, Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso; Ronnie Atnip, Frontier Properties, Bonham, Texas; Karen Ileana Barraza, Special Collections, University of Texas at El Paso; El Paso; Melleta Bell, Special Collections, Sul Ross University, Alpine; Donaly E. Brice, ...
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...years of age, shot to death a former slave who had belonged to his as âMaje,â a nickname he either adopted or was given. This is the only name history has preserved for him. It was Hardinâs fi rst killing, a kill-ing which he claimed had to happen or else he himself would have been killed by the overbearing black man. In his mind, this killingâlike all ...
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...âTo be tried at that time for the killing of a Negro meant certain death at the hands of a court, backed by Northern bayonets. . . . Thus, unwillingly I became a fugitive, not from justice, but from n May 19, 1847, the Rev. James Gibson Hardin (age twenty- fi ve), in holy matrimony in Navarro County, Texas. History has not pre-...
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...âHe commenced to fi re on me, fi ring once, then snapping, and then fi ring again. . . . I fi red with a Remington .45 at his heart said, âO, Lordy, donât shoot me any more.â I could not stop.âill County lies in north Central Texas, a dayâs ride south of Fort Worth and two or three daysâ ride north of Austin in Hardinâs ...
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...were sworn in for a period of not less than four yearsââunless sooner removed.â Policemen also would earn what some considered an inordinate amount for services: a private would receive $60 per month, each sergeant $75, each lieutenant $100, and each captain would receive $125. In addition, if a policeman captured a fugitive for whom there was ...
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...âI have seen many fast towns, but I think Abilene beat them all. wenty miles south of Wichita was a crossing over Cowskin Creek, a group of men met the Texans. They were not to cause trouble for the drovers but wanted the herd to be driven west of Wichita, opening a trail to their community to build up âa new town on the north bank of the ...
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...âIt has been Said of me before I reached my majority that I had vanquished E. J. Davisâs police force from the red river to the rio grand from matamoris to Sabine Pass that I had defeated the ardin and cousin John Gibson âGipâ Clements arrived at Uncle Barnett Hardinâs in Hill County where they met Mannen Clements, ...
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...âI am either killed or shot. If all the gold in the world belonged to me, I would freely give it to kill him. I have one consolation, ugitive Hardin did not leave Sabine County in a gallop as one might expect him to do after wounding a state policeman. He intended to return to Gonzales Countyâto Janeâbut on the way he stopped ...
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...âThey [Jack Helm and Jim Cox] said there were but two sidesâfor them or against them. I talked as if I would join them, and lying in the fact that they did not endorse the vigilant commit-the Sutton faction. Tumlinson, Helm and Davis had all been members of the State Police force, which Hardin so despised. Tumlinson had served ...
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...likely to have provided a bloody encounter lately, at Cuero, has party great concern as it was obvious that with Hardinâs leader-ship, the lay of the battlefi elds had changed in favor of the Taylors. Hardinâs unbridled and psychopathic aggressiveness was now openly shown. He may have seen himself as a freedom fi ghter, killing the en-...
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...âBut the lynx eyes of the Taylors never lost sight of him. Jim and Bill Taylor, implacable as fate, followed him to Indianola. Suttonâs noble little wife suspicioned their intentions, and so as-siduous was her solicitude for her husband that she remained at his side, and thus shielded him from the murderous lead already ...
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...â[Captain Waller ] aroused the whole country and had about 500 harles M. Webb, deputy sheriff of Brown County, lay dead on the street in Comanche. This victim was different from Hardinâs pre-vious ones: he was not a member of the unpopular State Police; he was not a soldier wearing the uniform of an occupation army; this man ...
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...âThe pursuing party [was] fi xing to surround us again, [so] we their horses stood still. . . . Good horsefl esh is a good thing in Hardinâs hands, but confi scated by the Rangers. Wallerâs men had arrested the cowboys, or most of them, including James M. âDocâ Bockius, Rufus P. âScrapâ Taylor, Alf âKuteâ Tuggle, Thomas Bass, ...
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...â[W]hiskey is the cause of many troubles in this life. . . . may âTown of Cedar Keysâ1 the population by the time of its fi rst census was 400. It scarcely increased through the years, not even dou-bling by the year 2000. The Keys had been a base for Seminoles, then the Spanish and later for such pirates as Jean Lafi tte and Captain Kidd. ...
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...have any Idea and assure me that I will not be mobed [sic] . . . Jane Be in cheer and donât take trouble to Heart . . . But what I n the afternoon of August 23, 1877, Mr. John H. Swain was ready to leave Pensacola and return home to Jane and their three chil-afternoon was no different: he was with several friends who together ...
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...âI want justice. I want to be dealt with according to law. All I Longview Duncan sent a telegram to his brother S. W. S. Duncan informing him where they were and that they were âall safeâ and that they would arrive in Austin the following day.1 All along the way, once the news was out that Hardin the man- killer was on the train, people ...
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...power of the mob, the spirit that possessed them, and knew that not avoid each other. On January 29, 1878, Hardin wrote to Jane, point-ing out that friend Bill Taylorâs conviction for killing Gabriel Webster Slaughter back in March of 1874 had been remanded; hence there was hope Taylor would be somehow acquitted of the deed, and be released ...
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...âDearest Be carefull with our Sweet Little children for the way thirty- nine lashes? He only knew the pain of it being infl icted, not of corporal punishment which harkened back centuries. Ancient Jewish punishment demanded that the maximum number of lashes allowed per infraction was forty, given in multiples of three, effectively making the ...
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...mankind wil[l] vindicate your father . . . there will be no Stigma attached to my name for the blood which I have Spilt is of that t is evident from the Hardin correspondence beginning the second de-cade of his imprisonment that his studying showed results in greatly improved writing. His letters, although still far from grammatical and ...
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...âEnclosed I send you a full pardon from the Governor of Texas. There is time to retrieve a lost past. . . . The hand of every man will be extended to assist you in your upward course and I trust ollowing the brief visit with Jane and the childrenâstrangers to him now, just as he was a stranger to themâprisoner 7109 returned to ...
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...ne of the fi rst people Hardin intended to meet in Gonzales was had been in Gonzales, driving cattle and feuding with the Sutton forces. Gloverâs older brother Edward had been with the Clements family and perhaps Richard developed an admiration for Hardin during those years. A decade younger than Hardin, he now was a highly respected citizen of ...
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...âThere seems to be a feud existing between the Sheriff of that county & the city marshal of Pecos City, & some cittizens [sic] which is liable to terminate in trouble at any time, in fact I donât think it will be Settled So long as the present Sheriff holds offi ceâfi rst Christmas as a free man he may have been lonely, and he and ...
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...â[John Wesley Hardin is] a quiet, dignifi ed peaceable man of ways it reminded him of the wild towns of his youth; El Paso now was a wild town of his middle age. The railroad had reached there in 1881 and by the time Hardin arrived the population had boomed to over ten thousand souls. That population was more Mexican than Anglo, ...
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...arious authors over the years have attempted to list the kills of John Wesley Hardin. Most have relied on Hardinâs Life exclusively and accept what he wrote as accurate, not raising the question of whether the man Hardin shot was dead or merely wounded. Several of the gunfi ghts in which he participated must be considered âgroup kills,â ...
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...and had it not been for the unfortunate surroundings of his boy-concerning his business matters and on August 20 went to Thomas Powellâs funeral parlor with two friends, Maurice McKillegon and Joseph Woodson, to look at the body of John Wesley Hardin. With a tape measure he and Powell took measurements, and noted: âBullet hole in ...
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...â[Jeff Hardin] was at his place of business, when, it seems he and John Snowden got into a dispute about an account. . . . [In] enced violence as well as his older brother. In 1874, at the age Hardin barely mentioned him in his Life, a simple mention that he drove the wagon back to his fatherâs farm. During the next thirteen years Jeff ...
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ne of the fascinating aspects of Hardinâs life is the fact that even though he was a hunted fugitive for much of his adulthood he befriended many lawmen, men whose sworn duty was to arrest him, such as state policemen, deputies, and county sheriffs. He seemed to have...
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Page Count: 512
Illustrations: 83 b&w illus. 3 maps.
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: A. C. Greene Series