Category Archives: History

The Devil in John Marshall

Introduction There was nothing easy in the process of creating a new country called the United States, but if we endeavor to understand that process, then it becomes more likely that we will better understand how we’ve arrived at our … Continue reading

Posted in Bill of Rights, British Colonies, Colonial America, Corruption, Founding Fathers, History, Justice, The Constitution | 10 Comments

A Black Speck

A black speck appears against the sky, and it is plain that it moves.  … Another instant and man and horse burst past our excited faces and go winging away like the belated fragment of a storm.  —Mark Twain (Roughing … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, American Indians, California, Civil War, Colorado, Gunfights and such, History, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Pony Express | 1 Comment

Hell’s Fury

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. —William Congreve, The Mourning Bride (1697)[1] Between 1960-63, the ABC Television Network hosted an entertaining crime drama called The Naked City.  The star … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, Civil War, Goldrush, Gunfights and such, History, Justice, Missouri, Society, The Ladies | 8 Comments

Mister Montana

Last week — … we examined the outlaw sheriff operating in and around Virginia City-Bannack, in the Idaho/Montana Territory.  This week, we will look at a man who some would argue was as bad as the outlaw sheriff, only better … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, American Indians, Goldrush, Gunfights and such, History, Idaho, Indian Territory, Montana, Outlaws, Pioneers, Politicians, Range War, Society | 4 Comments

Outlaw Sheriff

William Henry Handy Plumer was born in Addison, Maine in 1832.  He was the youngest of six children born to Jeremiah and Elizabeth Plumer.  Jeremiah died when William was still a teenager.  Henry left home in 1851, at age 19, … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, California, Corruption, Goldrush, Gunfights and such, History, Idaho, Montana, Outlaws, Society | 7 Comments

Old West Shootouts

My parents encouraged reading, and I attended schools where there was always a well-stocked library of the things I was interested in — explorers, adventurers, and frontiersmen.  They were primarily biographies of such men as William Penn, George Washington, Thomas … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, Colorado, Gunfights and such, History, Indian War, Kansas, Kansas Law Dogs, Society | 8 Comments

Old Paint

Following the French and Indian War (1754-63), the British colony of Virginia extended from the Atlantic seaboard to the eastern bank of the Mississippi River.  Few British subjects traveled beyond the Appalachian Mountains until the early 1770s.  The area of … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, American Indians, American Southwest, Comanche, History, Mexican Border War, Mexican Revolution, Missouri, New Mexico, Pioneers, Politicians, Revolution, Texas, Texas Rangers, Very Strange | 5 Comments

Spirits in Mooney Basin

In 1929, English author Montague James offered five key features of ghost stories:  They offer the pretense of truth, a “pleasing” sense of terror, they avoid bloodshed and sex, they avoid trying to explain the mechanism, and they offer a … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, American Indians, Ghoulies & Beasties, History, Nevada, Pioneers, Very Strange | 7 Comments

The Ringtail Panther

Martin Van Buren Palmer (later, Parmer) (1778-1850) was born in Charlotte County, Virginia.  In 1798, he moved to Tennessee, settling in Dickson County where he superintended the Montgomery-Bell Iron Works.  During the War of 1812, Parmer served as a commissioned … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, American Indians, American Southwest, Feuds & Rivalries, History, Justice, Missouri, Pioneers, Politicians, Revolution, Society, Texas, Texas Rangers | 6 Comments

Olive Oatman Fairchild

Background Joseph Smith Jr. (1805 – 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saints movement.  Smith was born in Vermont, but by 1817, he had moved with his family to Western New York, which was … Continue reading

Posted in American Frontier, American Indians, American Southwest, Arizona Territory, California, History, Indenture & Slavery, Massacres, Mormons, New Mexico, Pioneers, Religion, Texas, The Ladies, Yavapai | 7 Comments