Bandits seem ubiquitous in Latin American culture. Even contemporary actors of violence are framed by narratives that harken back to old images of the rural bandit, either to legitimize or delegitimize violence, or to intervene in larger conflicts within or between nation-states.
However, the bandit escapes a straightforward definition, since the same label can apply to the leader of thousands of soldiers (as in the case of Villa) or to the humble highwayman eking out a meager living by waylaying travelers at machete point. Dabove presents the reader not with a definition of the bandit, but with a series of case studies showing how the bandit trope was used in fictional and non-fictional narratives by writers and political leaders, from the Mexican Revolution to the present. By examining cases from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, from Pancho Villa’s autobiography to Hugo Chávez’s appropriation of his “outlaw” grandfather, Dabove reveals how bandits function as a symbol to expose the dilemmas or aspirations of cultural and political practices, including literature as a social practice and as an ethical experience.
By the end of the Civil War, Champ Ferguson had become a notorious criminal whose likeness covered the front pages of Harper’ s Weekly, Leslie’ s Illustrated, and other newspapers across the country. His crime? Using the war as an excuse to steal, plunder, and murder Union civilians and soldiers.
CumberlandBlood: Champ Ferguson’ s Civil War offers insights into Ferguson's lawless brutality and a lesser-known aspect of the Civil War, the bitter guerrilla conflict in the Appalachian highlands, extending from the Carolinas through Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. This compelling volume delves into the violent story of Champ Ferguson, who acted independently of the Confederate army in a personal war that eventually garnered the censure of Confederate officials.
Author Thomas D. Mays traces Ferguson's life in the Cumberland highlands of southern Kentucky, where— even before the Civil War began— he had a reputation as a vicious killer.
Ferguson, a rising slave owner, sided with the Confederacy while many of his neighbors and family members took up arms for the Union. For Ferguson and others in the highlands, the war would not be decided on the distant fields of Shiloh or Gettysburg: it would be local— and personal.
Cumberland Blood describes how Unionists drove Ferguson from his home in Kentucky into Tennessee, where he banded together with other like-minded Southerners to drive the Unionists from the region. Northern sympathizers responded, and a full-scale guerrilla war erupted along the border in 1862. Mays notes that Ferguson's status in the army was never clear, and he skillfully details how raiders picked up Ferguson's gang to work as guides and scouts. In 1864, Ferguson and his gang were incorporated into the Confederate army, but the rogue soldier continued operating as an outlaw, murdering captured Union prisoners after the Battle of Saltville, Virginia.
Cumberland Blood, enhanced by twenty-one illustrations, is an illuminating assessment of one of the Civil War's most ruthless men.
Ferguson's arrest, trial, and execution after the war captured the attention of the nation in
1865, but his story has been largely forgotten. CumberlandBlood: Champ Ferguson's Civil War returns the story of Ferguson's private civil war to its place in history.
"An ambitious, well-written effort to restore a Wild West desperado to history.... Readers will surely remember Jack Slade from henceforth. A treat for Western history buffs and fans of true crime."—Kirkus Reviews
"An enjoyable read, and it is also a heroic effort."—Wall Street Journal
"Every bit the page-turner as Roughing It, with one added advantage—Rottenberg's book approaches the truth."—Wild West magazine
"Now and then a book of Western history comes along that captures an era and clears up many a mystery; Death of a Gunfighter is such a book."—Colorado Central magazine
In 1859, as the United States careened toward civil war, Washington's only northern link with America's richest state, California, was a stagecoach line operating between Missouri and the Pacific. Yet the stage line was plagued by graft, outlaws, and hostile Indians. At this critical moment, the company enlisted a former wagon train captain and Mexican War veteran to clean up its most dangerous division. Over the next three years, Joseph Alfred "Jack" Slade exceeded his employers' wildest dreams, capturing bandits and horse thieves and driving away gangs; he even shot to death a disruptive employee. He kept the stagecoaches and the U.S. Mail running, and helped launch the Pony Express, all of which kept California in the Union—and without California's gold, the Union would have failed to finance its cause. Across the Great Plains he became known as "The Law West of Kearny."
Slade's legend grew when he was shot multiple times and left for dead, only to survive and exact revenge on his would-be killer. But once Slade had restored the peace, leaving him without challenges, his life descended into an alcoholic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde nightmare, transforming him from a courageous leader, charming gentleman, and devoted husband into a vicious, quick-triggered ruffian—a purported outlaw —who finally lost his life at the hands of vigilantes.
Since Slade's death in 1864, persistent myths and stories have defied the efforts of writers and historians, including Mark Twain, to capture the real Jack Slade. Despite his notoriety, the pieces of Slade's fascinating life—including his marriage to the beautiful Maria Virginia—have remained scattered and hidden. He was never photographed and left almost no personal writings, not even a letter. In Death of a Gunfighter: The Quest for Jack Slade, the West's Most Elusive Legend, journalist Dan Rottenberg assembles years of research to reveal the true story of Jack Slade, one of America's greatest tragic heroes.
A thrilling true crime narrative and groundbreaking historical account, Dime Novel Desperadoes recovers the long-forgotten story of Ed and Lon Maxwell, the outlaw brothers from Illinois who once rivaled Jesse and Frank James in national notoriety. Growing up hard as the sons of a struggling tenant farmer, the Maxwell brothers started their lawbreaking as robbers and horse thieves in the 1870s, embarking on a life of crime that quickly captured the public eye.
Already made famous locally by newspapers that wanted to dramatize crimes and danger for an eager reading audience, the brothers achieved national prominence in 1881 when they shot and killed Charles and Milton Coleman, Wisconsin lawmen who were trying to apprehend them. Public outrage sparked the largest manhunt for outlaws in American history, involving some twenty posses who pursued the desperadoes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska. Some of the pursuers were intent on a lynching, but the outlaws escaped against incredible odds. When a mob finally succeeded in killing Ed, in broad daylight on a courthouse lawn, that event generated widespread commentary on law and order. Nevertheless, the daring desperadoes were eventually portrayed as heroes in sensationalistic dime novels.
A stunning saga of robbery and horse stealing, gunfights and manhunts, murder and mob violence, Dime Novel Desperadoes also delves into the cultural and psychological factors that produced lawbreakers and created a crime wave in the post-Civil War era. By pointing to social inequities, media distortions, and justice system failures, John E. Hallwas reveals the complicity of nineteenth-century culture in the creation of violent criminals. Further, by featuring astute, thought-provoking analysis of the lawbreaker's mindset, this book explores the issue at the heart of humanity's quest for justice: the perpetrator's responsibility for his criminal acts.
Every overview and encyclopedia of American outlaws will need to be revised, and the fabled "Wild West" will have to be extended east of the Mississippi River, in response to this riveting chronicle of major American desperadoes who once thrilled the nation but have since escaped historical attention for well over a century. With more than forty illustrations and several maps that bring to life the exciting world of the Maxwell brothers, Dime Novel Desperadoes is a new classic in the annals of American outlawry.
Dust Devils: (A Novella)
Robert Laxalt University of Nevada Press, 1997 Library of Congress PS3562.A9525D8 1997 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
An action-packed story set during the violent and conflict-ridden days of the early 20th century, Dust Devils takes place in the rugged mountains and deserts of Eastern California and Northern Nevada. Ira Hamilton, the teenage son of rugged Indian-hating rancher John D. Hamilton, wins the bronc-riding competition at a local rodeo and comes away with a special prize: a beautiful Arabian colt. But the horse is soon stolen by Hawkeye, a notorious local rustler. Accompanied by Cricket, a young Paiute who has been his closest companion since infancy, Ira vows to retrieve his prize. On the way, Ira must find the courage to overcome the challenges of nature and outlaw, and to love the woman of his choice. This vivid tale will thrill readers with its authentic depiction of Nevada's lonely back country, its hardy ranchers, and its native peoples. Ira Hamilton's adventure shows us the last days of the Old West, when cowboys, sheepmen, and Indians still struggled to survive and overcome their long-standing animosities, and violent men rode boldly and unhindered across the harsh landscape.
During the bleak days of the Great Depression, news of economic hardship often took a backseat to articles on the exploits of an outlaw from Indiana—John Dillinger. For a period of fourteen months during 1933 and 1934 Dillinger became the most famous bandit in American history, and no criminal since has matched him for his celebrity and notoriety.
Dillinger won public attention not only for his robberies, but his many escapes from the law. The escapes he made from jails or “tight spots,” when it seemed law officials had him cornered, became the stuff of legends. While the public would never admit that they wanted the “bad guy” to win, many could not help but root for the man who appeared to be an underdog.
Although his crime wave took place in the last century, the name Dillinger has never left the public imagination
The Civil War in Missouri was a time of great confusion, violence, and destruction. Although several major battles were fought in the state between Confederate and Union forces, much of the fighting in Missouri was an ugly form of terrorism carried out by loose bands of Missouri guerrillas, by Kansas "Jayhawkers," or by marauding patrols of Union soldiers. This irregular warfare provided a training ground for people like Jesse and Frank James who, after the war, used their newly learned skills to form an outlaw band that ultimately became known all over the world.
Jesse James and the Civil War in Missouri discusses the underlying causes of the Civil War as they relate to Missouri and reveals how the war helped create both the legend and the reality of Jesse James and his gang. Written in an accessible style, this valuable little book will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in the Civil War, the legend of Jesse James, or Missouri history.
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.
He was the deadliest gun in the West. Or was he? Ringo: the very name has come to represent the archetypal Western gunfighter and has spawned any number of fictitious characters laying claim to authenticity. John Ringo's place in western lore is not without basis: he rode with outlaw gangs for thirteen of his thirty-two years, participated in Texas's Hoodoo War, and was part of the faction that opposed the Earp brothers in Tombstone, Arizona. Yet his life remains as mysterious as his grave, a bouldered cairn under a five-stemmed blackjack oak. Western historian Jack Burrows now challenges popular views of Ringo in this first full-length treatment of the myth and the man. Based on twenty years of research into historical archives and interviews with Ringo's family, it cuts through the misconceptions and legends to show just what kind of man Ringo really was.
Among the forces that took the field in the 1890s in an attempt to overturn the Spanish colonial regime in Cuba were a large number of rural bandits. The alliance between outlaws and more respectable separatists was not accidental, nor did it prove peripheral to Independence strategies. Thieves, extortioners, kidnappers, and killers who cast their lot with veteran insurgents emerged from and contributed to, a century of social and economic upheaval; the reasons cited by many bandits for their outlawry were the same as those that appeared as complaints in revolutionary manifestos. Ransom and extortion money furnished by bandits also often replenished the bankrupt coffers of the rebellion. Manuel Garcia, a hero-villian of Cuban folklore to this day, was the most notorious of the brigand-patriots and led a gang that spread terror throughout Havana province, contributing to the breakdown of rural order that preceded full-scale rebellion in 1895. Lawless Liberators examines the origins, actions, and ends (often sudden and violent) of the bandit groups such as Garcia’s that paved the way for the revolution and offers a reasoned and balanced analysis of their role in those dramatic events.
Lords of the Mountain is a colorful narrative that views how Cuba's violent history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century was also a history of economic violence. From the 1870s, the expanding sugar industry began to swallow up rural communities and destroy the traditional land tenure system, as the great sugar estates-the “latifundia” dominated the economy. Perez chronicles the popular resistance to these powerful landholders, and the violent uprisings and banditry propagated against them.
The True Story Behind the Legendary Outlaw Gang, a Civil War Vendetta, and the Forgotten Court Documents That Helped Seal Their Fate On a dreary December 7, 1869, two strangers entered the Daviess County Savings and Loan in Gallatin, Missouri. One of the men asked the cashier for change and then unexpectedly raised a revolver and shot him at point-blank range. Until now, this crime has been considered the first of a string of bank and train robberies committed by Jesse James, his brother Frank, and other gang members. But a story has circulated for more than a century that the case was actually brought to trial by a young Missouri lawyer—and it was through this case that twenty-two-year-old Jesse was first identified as a criminal to the country. But until recently no evidence for such an action could be found. After years of painstaking searches through dusty court archives across Missouri, defense attorney James P. Muehlberger finally discovered the historic documents in 2007. These fascinating and important records reveal that the gunmen were forced to leave behind a magnificent thoroughbred that linked James to the murder and, more intriguing, that the attack was not a bank robbery at all, but a calculated assassination in retribution for a Civil War killing. The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James is a thoroughly researched, thrilling account of the rise, pursuit, and prosecution of the legendary outlaw gang. Beginning with the newfound evidence of the Gallatin bank teller murder, the author explains how Jesse James attempted to avenge the death of his Confederate partisan leader, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, but shot the wrong man. Having lost his thoroughbred, Jesse stole another horse. Newly minted lawyer Henry McDougal brashly sued Jesse and Frank James for the loss of property, which would hang the murder on their heads. While Jesse professed his innocence and remained at large, his case was taken up by John Newman Edwards, editor of the Kansas City Times. Through Edwards’s pen, the James brothers were transformed from petty criminals to noble outlaws still fighting for Southern honor—the “Lost Cause.” Not fooled by Edwards’s rhetoric and populist appeal, McDougal and others, including Pinkerton detectives and the governor of Missouri, led a behind-the-scenes fight to bring down the gang. As the author explains, they first prosecuted lesser gang members, and by infiltrating the group, the authorities slowly unraveled the gang, with Jesse being shot by a paid informant in 1882. Frank James gave himself up, and in what was called the “trial of the century,” he was exonerated on all charges and retired to become a notable horse racing official until his death in 1915. Combining true crime, western adventure, and the transformation of America into a modern nation, The Lost Cause is engaging, entertaining history.
Historians and novelists alike have described the vigilantism that took root in the gold-mining communities of Montana in the mid-1860s, but Mark C. Dillon is the first to examine the subject through the prism of American legal history, considering the state of criminal justice and law enforcement in the western territories and also trial procedures, gubernatorial politics, legislative enactments, and constitutional rights.
Using newspaper articles, diaries, letters, biographies, invoices, and books that speak to the compelling history of Montana’s vigilantism in the 1860s, Dillon examines the conduct of the vigilantes in the context of the due process norms of the time. He implicates the influence of lawyers and judges who, like their non-lawyer counterparts, shaped history during the rush to earn fortunes in gold.
Dillon’s perspective as a state Supreme Court justice and legal historian uniquely illuminates the intersection of territorial politics, constitutional issues, corrupt law enforcement, and the basic need of citizenry for social order. This readable and well-directed analysis of the social and legal context that contributed to the rise of Montana vigilante groups will be of interest to scholars and general readers interested in Western history, law, and criminal justice for years to come.
“In following the paths of Cameroonian nationalists where they actually lead, Meredith Terretta’s study does a number of things that no previously published histories of Cameroon’s decolonization have done. ” —African Studies Quarterly
Nation of Outlaws, State of Violence is the first extensive history of Cameroonian nationalism to consider the global and local influences that shaped the movement within the French and British Cameroons and beyond. Drawing on the archives of the United Nations, France, Great Britain, Ghana, and Cameroon, as well as oral sources, Nation of Outlaws, State of Violence chronicles the spread of the Union des populations du Cameroun (UPC) nationalist movement from the late 1940s into the first postcolonial decade. It shows how, in the French and British Cameroon territories administered as UN Trusteeships after the Second World War, notions of international human rights, the promise of Third World independence, Pan-African federation, and national citizenship blended with local political and spiritual practices that resurfaced as the period of European rule came to a close. After French and British administrators banned the party in the mid-1950s, UPC nationalists adopted violence as a revolutionary strategy. In the 1960s, the nationalist vision disintegrated. The postcolonial regime labeled UPC nationalists “outlaws” and rounded them up for imprisonment or execution as the state shifted to single-party rule in 1966.
Nation of Outlaws, State of Violence traces the connection between local and transregional politics in the age of Africa’s decolonization and the early decades of the Cold War. Rather than stop at official independence as most conventional histories of African nationalist movements do, this book considers postindependence events as crucial to the history of Cameroonian nationalism and to an understanding of the postcolonial government that came to power on 1 January 1960. While the history of the UPC is a story that ends with the party’s failure to gain access to political power with independence, it is also a story of the postcolonial state’s failure to become a nation.
The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock
Otto A. Rothert. Foreword by Robert Clark Southern Illinois University Press, 1996 Library of Congress F549.C37R8 1996 | Dewey Decimal 977.398
Exceptionally rare and valued by book collectors, Otto A. Rothert’ s riveting saga of the outlaws and scoundrels of Cave-in-Rock chronicles the adventures of an audacious cast of river pirates and highwaymen who operated in and around the famous Ohio River cavern from 1795 through 1820 (adventures featured in Disney’ s Davy Crockett and the film How the West Was Won). Once sporting the enticing sign "Liquor Vault and House for Entertainment," this beautiful cavern location decoyed the unsuspecting by offering a venue for food, drink, and rest.
Compellingly lively, The Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock is nonetheless the work of a scholar, a historian who documents his findings and leaves a detailed bibliographical trail. Presenting many eyewitness accounts, Rothert supplies the lore and legend of the colorful villains of Cave-in-Rock. Always maintaining the difference between stories he tells with historical authority and those that are pure speculation, Rothert provides both a fascinating narrative and a valuable regional history.
Isolated by geology and passed over by development, the vast, waterless tablelands of the Edwards Plateau of Texas became the stage for one of the great nineteenth-century dramas of western justice. In 1873, opportunistic Anglo-Celtic cattlemen and homesteaders, protected by little other than personal firearms and their own bravado, began settling the stream-laced rangelands east of the plateau. An insidious criminal element soon followed: a family-based tribal confederation of frontier outlaws took root in the canyonlands around the forks of the Llano River, in unorganized and lawless Kimble County. Sometimes disguised as Indians, they preyed on neighbors, northbound trail herds, and stockmen in adjacent counties. They robbed stagecoaches repeatedly. They traded in border markets alongside Mexican Indian raiders, and may have participated in the brutal Dowdy massacre of 1878.Outnumbering and intimidating law-abiding settlers, the confederation took over the nascent Kimble County government in 1876. Only dogged persistence by Texas Rangers, with increasing support from citizens and local law officers, would stem the tide. Meticulously researched and documented, The Reckoning examines all the players. Rose shows frontier West Texas as it really was: a raw, lawless, unforgiving place and time that yielded only stubbornly to Order and its handmaiden, the Rule of Law.
"Those at the periphery of society often figure obsessively for those at its center, and never more so than with the rogues of early modern England. Whether as social fact or literary fiction-or both, simultaneously-the marginal rogue became ideologically central and has remained so for historians, cultural critics, and literary critics alike. In this collection, early modern rogues represent the range, diversity, and tensions within early modern scholarship, making this quite simply the best overview of their significance then and now."
-Jonathan Dollimore, York University
"Rogues and Early Modern English Culture is an up-to-date and suggestive collection on a subject that all scholars of the early modern period have encountered but few have studied in the range and depth represented here."
-Lawrence Manley, Yale University
"A model of cross-disciplinary exchange, Rogues and Early Modern English Culture foregrounds the figure of the rogue in a nexus of early modern cultural inscriptions that reveals the provocation a seemingly marginal figure offers to authorities and various forms of authoritative understanding, then and now. The new and recent work gathered here is an exciting contribution to early modern studies, for both scholars and students."
-Alexandra W. Halasz, Dartmouth College
Rogues and Early Modern English Culture is a definitive collection of critical essays on the literary and cultural impact of the early modern rogue. Under various names-rogues, vagrants, molls, doxies, vagabonds, cony-catchers, masterless men, caterpillars of the commonwealth-this group of marginal figures, poor men and women with no clear social place or identity, exploded onto the scene in sixteenth-century English history and culture. Early modern representations of the rogue or moll in pamphlets, plays, poems, ballads, historical records, and the infamous Tudor Poor Laws treated these characters as harbingers of emerging social, economic, and cultural changes.
Images of the early modern rogue reflected historical developments but also created cultural icons for mobility, change, and social adaptation. The underclass rogue in many ways inverts the familiar image of the self-fashioned gentleman, traditionally seen as the literary focus and exemplar of the age, but the two characters have more in common than courtiers or humanists would have admitted. Both relied on linguistic prowess and social dexterity to manage their careers, whether exploiting the politics of privilege at court or surviving by their wits on urban streets.
Deftly edited by Craig Dionne and Steve Mentz, this anthology features essays from prominent and emerging critics in the field of Renaissance studies and promises to attract considerable attention from a broad range of readers and scholars in literary studies and social history.
A badman is not necessarily a bad man, but he is not a man to mess with. He might be a killer, a con artist, or even a Texas Ranger with his own ideas about law enforcement; or he might just be "wuthless." A bad woman might be a criminal too, or she might just be one who didn’t conform to accepted notions of womanly conduct in her time and place. C. F. Eckhardt tells the stories your teacher never told you about Texas outlaws. Some are famous, and some you may never have heard of. All of them were out for their share of the good life in Texas.