Monday, February 29, 2016

Trump's Popularity

by Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/Historian

The majority of politicians on the left and right side of the political spectrum cannot seem to grasp why Donald Trump is surging ahead in the polls, not only within individual states but also doing very well in the national polls. 

Of course the Democrats in power want nothing to do with Trump because of their Socialist leaning policies, and the Republicans want nothing to do with him because he is not part of the good old boy system and realize they cannot control him or expect him to toe the party line which amounts to politics as usual and mediocrity.

The American people are sick and tired of politics as usual because neither the left nor the right has done anything in the past many years to bring decent paying jobs back into our country, nor have they stood up against illegal immigration, just to name a few of the hot topics with which we Americans are fed up. 

For years now the delegates from both sides talk a big story in order to get elected but have done nothing to back up their campaign promises once elected, and the average American citizen has had a belly full of it.

I believe Donald Trump is running as a Republican because the right side of the aisle fits his beliefs closer than the Socialist left which is a good thing. But, it's my belief that Mr. Trump is actually an Independent more so than a Republican. In other words, in my opinion, he is smart enough to realize that running as a Republican gives him a better chance of winning the nomination than actually running as an Independent and this is what drives the GOP establishment insane.

If you notice, the American people who stand behind Mr. Trump call themselves Trumpers, not Republicans. Although most of them are Republicans there are also a lot of long time Democrats as well as many Independents who have become Trumpers. Reason being, they are fed up with business as usual within the political system, and many are now reaching out to the Trump campaign in hopes of saving our country from falling into the bottomless pit of the One World Order, Socialist/Communist movement, which Mr. Obama seems to endorse by his inactions of standing up for America first.

Taking a look at the other candidates within both parties I also suspect the reason so many Americans are behind Trump is a very simple one. Ted Cruz does not have the kind of numbers it takes to become the nominee. Marco Rubio claims to be somewhat of a political outsider but he is not. Rubio has been being groomed by the GOP for several years now, and no matter what he says, he would just become another GOP puppet. 

Then there is the other side of the coin, the Democratic front runners. Bernie Sanders, a self- proclaimed Socialist. I have heard some of the younger generation state that being a Democratic Socialist is different. No, it is not! A Socialist is a Socialist is a Socialist, period! 

Last but not least, we have Hillary Clinton. This woman is also a Socialist underneath of it all, just not outwardly. She has been proven to be a liar time and time again as well as a cheat and a thief. She cheated in the stock market with insider trading, then she and Bill stole items from the White House and were forced to return them. 

So, here are our choices. Rubio the probable puppet, Cruz who does not have the numbers, Sanders the Socialist, or Clinton who is exactly what this country doesn't need, a liar, cheat, thief, and an elitist.

I find it rather odd that the long time political establishment on both sides of the aisle, as well as the biased media, cannot understand why so many of the American people are standing behind Trump in mass. I am no genius by any stretch of the imagination, but common sense tells me the reasons I have mentioned within this article cover Donald Trump's popularity with a large number of the average American citizens.

Think about this for one moment before you vote. The political establishment has resorted to not only calling Donald Trump names but also the American people who support him. Trump supporters have been called stupid, brown shirts, and racists by the professional politicians and media. 

I don't know about you, but if the old establishment is against Trump then I am for him, because with Mr. Trump we at least have the chance to bring America back from sliding down the slippery slope into Socialism and or mediocrity, with which the old guard seems to be perfectly happy.

That's the way I see it.
Terry McGahey

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Vigilantes Of California, Part Four

by Emerson Hough

If opinion was divided to some extent in San Francisco, where those stirring deeds occurred, the sentiment of the outlying communities of California was almost a unit in favor of the Vigilantes, and their action received the sincere flattery of imitation, as half a score of criminals learned to their sorrow on impromptu scaffolds.

There was no large general organization in any other community, however.

After a time some of the banished men came back, and many damage suits were argued later in the courts; but small satisfaction came to those claimants, and few men who knew of the deeds of the "Committee of Vigilance" ever cared to discuss them. Indeed it was practically certain that any man who ever served on a Western vigilance committee finished his life with sealed lips. Had he ventured to talk of what he knew he would have met contempt or something harsher.

A political capital was made out of the situation in San Francisco. The "Committee of Vigilance" felt that it had now concluded its work and was ready to go back to civil life.

On August 18, 1856, the Committee marched openly in review through the streets of the city, five thousand one hundred and thirty-seven men in line, with three companies of artillery, eighteen cannon, a company of dragoons, and a medical staff of forty odd physicians. There were in this body one hundred and fifty men who had served in the old Committee in 1851.

After the parade the men halted, the assemblage broke up into companies, the companies into groups; and thus, quietly, with no vaunting of themselves and no concealment of their acts, there passed away one of the most singular and significant organizations of American citizens ever known.

They did this with the quiet assertion that if their services were again needed, they would again assemble; and they printed a statement covering their actions in detail, showing to any fair-minded man that what they had done was indeed for the good of the whole community, which had been wronged by those whom it had elected to power, those who had set themselves up as masters where they had been chosen as servants.

The "Committee of Vigilance" of San Francisco was made up of men from all walks of life and all political parties. It had any amount of money at its command that it required, for its members were of the best and most influential citizens. It maintained, during its existence, quarters unique in their way, serving as arms-room, trial court, fortress, and prison.

It was not a mob, but a grave and orderly band of men, and its deliberations were formal and exact, its labors being divided among proper sub-committees and boards. The quarters were kept open day and night, always ready for swift action, if necessary.

It had an executive committee, which upon occasion conferred with a board of delegates composed of three men from each subdivision of the general body. The executive committee consisted of thirty-three members, and its decision was final; but it could not enforce a death penalty except on a two-thirds vote of those present. It had a prosecuting attorney, and it tried no prisoner without assigning to him competent counsel. It had also a police force, with a chief of police and a sheriff with several deputies. In short, it took over the government, and was indeed the government, municipal and state in one.

Recent as was its life, its deeds to-day are well-nigh forgotten. Though opinion may be still divided in certain quarters, California need not be ashamed of this "Committee of Vigilance." She should be proud of it, for it was largely through its un-thanked and dangerous safeguarding of the public interests that California gained her social system of today.

In all the history of American desperadoism and of the movements which have checked it, there is no page more worth study than this from the story of the great Golden State. The moral is a sane, clean, and strong one.

The creed of the "Committee of Vigilance" is one which we might well learn to-day; and its practice would leave us with more dignity of character than we can claim, so long as we content ourselves merely with outcry and criticism, with sweeping accusation of our unfaithful public servants, and without seeing that they are punished.

There is nothing but manhood and freedom and justice in the covenant of the Committee. That covenant all American citizens should be ready to sign and live up to:

"We do bind ourselves each unto the other by a solemn oath to do and perform every just and lawful act for the maintenance of law and order, and to sustain the laws when faithfully and properly administered. But we are determined that no thief, burglar, incendiary, assassin, ballot-box stuffer or other disturber of the peace, shall escape punishment, either by quibbles of the law, the carelessness of the police or a laxity of those who pretend to administer justice."

What a man earns, that is his -- such was the lesson of California. Self-government is our right as a people -- that is what the Vigilantes said. When the laws failed of execution, then it was the people's right to resume the power that they had delegated, or which had been usurped from them -- that is their statement as quoted by one of the ablest of many historians of this movement. The people might withdraw authority when faithless servants used it to thwart justice -- that was what the Vigilantes preached. It is good doctrine today.

-- end of The Vigilantes Of California.

Editor's Note:

As with other Vigilante groups, both big and small in both other parts of California and around the nation, the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance was about the restoration of law and order by the Citizenry. When the law failed, when abuse of political office was conducted on a daily basis, when government corruption and neglect for the law was rampant, when security and justice for the people was not looked upon as a primary concern by the local government, the people exerted their right to assume control of an out of control situation.

I believe, like what is going on in Europe today with the formation of Vigilante groups, it is what happens when servants of the people believe they are above the law and use their power to impose tyranny upon the citizens. It is what happens when our laws are not enforced and favoritism is given to a select few in a population. It is what takes place when criminals rape, pillage, and blunder, create lawless zones, and the people are frightened for their own safety.

This was the American West. This was the "Far West" of California.

I find it amazing that thousands of San Franciscans participated in the Vigilante committees at the time. As for the idea that none of this "should" be necessary, it appears We The People time and time again prove that we better take care of ourselves when the government is too corrupt and fails at it's number one responsibility of providing security for our nation.

While law enforcement in America is tasked with maintaining order, they were born out of a need for security. And while that is the case, their ability to provide security is limited. Subsequently, We The People must be willing to accept that fact that we are ultimately responsible for our own security.

And yes, if that means we should band together to create Vigilante groups, Citizen Committees, to provide our own security -- especially in a society where the government has failed to do so, or the corrupt are in control, or where the police are outnumbered -- then it is our duty to do so.

And yes, that's just the way I see things. 
Tom Correa
The American Cowboy Chronicles

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Vigilantes Of California, Part Three

by Emerson Hough, 1905

The Vigilante Committee now arrested two more men, not for a capital crime, but for one which lay back of a long series of capital crimes -- the stuffing of ballot-boxes and other election frauds.

These men were Billy Mulligan and the prize-fighter known as Yankee Sullivan. Although advised that he would have a fair trial and that the death penalty would not be passed upon him, Yankee Sullivan committed suicide in his cell.

The entire party of lawyers and judges were arrayed against the Committee, naturally enough. Judge Terry, of the Supreme Court, issued a writ of habeas corpus for Mulligan. The Committee ignored the sheriff who was sent to serve the writ. 

They cleared the streets in front of headquarters, established six cannon in front of their rooms, put loaded swivels on top of the roof and mounted a guard of a hundred riflemen. They brought bedding and provisions to their quarters, mounted a huge triangle on the roof for a signal to their men all over the city, arranged the interior of their rooms in the form of a court and, in short, set themselves up as the law, openly defying their own Supreme Court of the state. 

So far from being afraid of the vengeance of the law, they arrested two more men for election frauds, Chas. P. Duane and "Woolly" Kearney. All their prisoners were guarded in cells within the headquarters building.

The opposition to the Committee now organized in turn under the name of the "Law and Order Men," and held a public meeting.

This was numerously attended by members of the Vigilante Committee, whose books were now open for enrollment. Not even the criticism of their own friends stayed these men in their resolution.

They went even further. Governor Johnson issued a proclamation to them to disband and disperse. They paid no more attention to this than they had to Judge Terry's writ of habeas corpus. The governor threatened them with the militia, but it was not enough to frighten them. General Sherman resigned his command in the state militia, and counseled moderation at so dangerous a time.

Many of the militia turned in their rifles to the Committee, which got other arms from vessels in the harbor, and from carelessly guarded armories. Halting at no responsibility, a band of the Committee even boarded a schooner which was carrying down a cargo of rifles from the governor to General Howard at San Francisco, and seized the entire lot.

Shortly after this they confiscated a second shipment which the governor was sending down from Sacramento in the same way; thus seizing property of the federal government. If there was such a crime as high treason, they committed it, and did so openly and without hesitation.

Governor Johnson contented himself with drawing up a statement of the situation, which was sent down to President Pierce at Washington, with the request that he instruct naval officers on the Pacific station to supply arms to the State of California, which had been despoiled by certain of its citizens.

President Pierce turned over the matter to his attorney-general, Caleb Gushing, who rendered an opinion saying that Governor Johnson had not yet exhausted the state remedies, and that the United States government could not interfere.

Little remained for the Committee to do to show its resolution to act as the State pro tern pore. That little it now proceeded to do by practically suspending the Supreme Court of California. In making an arrest of a witness wanted by the Committee, Sterling A. Hopkins, one of the policemen retained for work by the Committee, was stabbed in the throat by Judge Terry, of the Supreme Bench, who was very bitter against all members of the Committee.

It was supposed that the wound would prove fatal, and at once the Committee sounded the call for general assembly. The city went into two hostile camps, Terry and his friend, Dr. Ashe, taking refuge in the armory where the "Law and Order" faction kept their arms.

The members of the Vigilante Committee besieged this place, and presently took charge of Terry and Ashe, as prisoners. Then the scouts of the Committee went out after the arms of all the armories belonging to the governor and the "Law and Order" men who supported him, the lawyers and politicians who felt that their functions were being usurped.

Two thousand rifles were taken, and the opposing party was left without arms. The entire state, so to speak, was now in the hands of the "Committee of Vigilance," a body of men, quiet, law loving, law-enforcing, but of course technically traitors and criminals. The parallel of this situation has never existed elsewhere in American history.

Had Hopkins died the probability is that Judge Terry would have been hanged by the Committee, but fortunately he did not die. Terry lay a prisoner in the cell assigned him at the Committee's rooms for seven weeks, by which time Hopkins had recovered from the wound given him by Terry.

The case became one of national interest, and tirades against "the Stranglers" were not lacking; but the Committee went on enrolling men. And it did not open its doors for its prisoners, although appeal was made to Congress in Terry's behalf -- an appeal which was referred to the Committee on Judiciary, and so buried.

Terry was finally released, much to the regret of many of the Committee, who thought he should have been punished. The executive committee called together the board of delegates, and issued a statement showing that death and banishment were the only penalties optional with them.

Death they could not inflict, because Hopkins had recovered; and banishment they thought impractical at that time, as it might prolong discussion indefinitely, and enforce a longer term in service than the Committee cared for. It was the earnest wish of all to disband at the first moment that they considered their state and city fit to take care of themselves, and the sacredness of the ballot box again insured. To assure this latter fact, they had arrayed themselves against the federal government, as certainly they had against the state government.

The Committee now hanged two more murderers -- Hetherington and Brace -- the former a gambler from St. Louis, the latter a youth of New York parentage, twenty-one years of age, but hardened enough to curse volubly upon the scaffold.

By the middle of August, 1856, they had no more prisoners in charge, and were ready to turn the city over to its own system of government. Their report, published in the following fall, showed they had hanged four men and banished many others, besides frightening out of the country a large criminal population that did not tarry for arrest and trial.

-- end of Part Three, The Vigilantes Of California

The Vigilantes Of California, Part Four

Editor's Note:

The picture above is of the headquarters of the San Francisco Vigilantes of 1856. The building was nicknamed Fort Gunny Bags. It was burned to the ground during the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The building was located at 243 Sacramento Street.

I hope you are enjoying the historical accuracy of what took place in California. Sadly, for some odd reason, a number of people think the Old West was only located back East in Kansas or out that way. Sadly, what took place in California during the Old West is not talked about very much.

Tom Correa
The American Cowboy Chronicles

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Vigilantes Of California, Part Two

by Emerson Hough

It was difficult material out of which to build a civilized community. The hardest population of the entire world was there; men savage or civilized by tradition, heathen or Christian once at least, but now all Californian.

Wealth was the one common thing. The average daily return in the work of mining ranged from twenty to thirty dollars, and no man might tell when his fortune might be made by a blow of a pick.

Some nuggets of gold weighing 25 pounds were discovered. In certain diggings men picked pure gold from the rock crevices with a spoon or a knife point. As to values, they were guessed at, the only currency being gold dust or nuggets.

Prodigality was universal. All the gamblers of the world met in vulture concourse. There was little in the way of home; of women almost none. Life was as cheap as gold dust. Let those who liked bother about statehood and government and politics; the average man was too busy digging and spending gold to trouble over such matters. The most shameless men were those found in public office.

Wealth and commerce waxed great, but law and civilization languished. The times were ripening for the growth of some system of law which would offer proper protection to life and property. The measure of this need may be seen from the figures of the production of gold. From 1848 to 1856 California produced between 500-600 million dollars in virgin gold. What wonder the courts were weak; and what wonder the Vigilantes became strong!

There were in California three distinct Vigilante movements, those of 1849, the San Francisco Vigilantes of 1851, and the San Francisco Vigilantes of 1856, the earliest applying rather to the outlying mining camps than to the city of San Francisco.

In 1851, seeing that the courts made no attempt to punish criminals, a committee was formed which did much toward enforcing respect for the principles of justice, if not of law. On June 11th, they hanged John Jenkins for robbing a store. A month later they hanged James Stuart for murdering a sheriff.

In August of the same summer they took out of jail and hanged Whittaker and McKenzie, Australian ex-convicts, whom they had tried and sentenced, but who had been rescued by the officers of the law.
Two weeks later this committee disbanded. They paid no attention to the many killings that were going on over land titles and the like, but confined themselves to punishing men who had committed intolerable crimes.

Theft was as serious as murder, perhaps more so, in the creed of the time and place. The list of murders reached appalling dimensions. The times were sadly out of joint. The legislature was corrupt, graft was rampant -- though then unknown by that name -- and the entire social body was restless, discontented, and uneasy.

Politics had become a fine art. The judiciary, lazy and corrupt, was held in contempt. The dockets of the courts were full, and little was done to clear them effectively. Criminals did as they liked and went un-whipped of justice. It was truly a day of violence and license.

Once more the sober and law-loving men of California sent abroad word, and again the Vigilantes assembled. 

In 1853 they hanged two Mexicans for horse stealing, and also a bartender who had shot a citizen near Shasta.

At Jackson, they hanged another Mexican for horse stealing, and at Volcano, in 1854, they hanged a man named Macy for stabbing an old and helpless man. In this instance vengeance was very swift, for the murderer was executed within half an hour after his deed.  The haste caused certain criticism when, in the same month one Johnson was hanged for stabbing a man named Montgomery, at Iowa Hill, who later recovered.

At Los Angeles three men were sentenced to death by the local court, but the Supreme Court issued a stay for two of them, Brown and Lee. The people asserted that all must die together, and the mayor of the city was of the same mind. The third man, Alvitre, was hanged legally on January 12, 1855.

On that day the mayor resigned his office to join the Vigilantes. Brown was taken out of jail and hanged in spite of the decision of the Supreme Court. The people were out-running the law. That same month they hanged another murderer for killing the treasurer of Tuolumne County.

In the following month they hanged three more cattle thieves in Contra Costa County, and followed this by hanging a horse thief in Oakland. A larger affair threatened in the following summer, when thirty-six Mexicans were arrested for killing a party of Americans.

For a time it was proposed to hang all thirty-six, but sober counsel prevailed and only three were hanged; this after formal jury trial. Unknown bandits waylaid and killed Isaac B. Wall and T. S. Williamson of Monterey, and, that same month U.S. Marshal William H. Richardson was shot by Charles Cora in the streets of San Francisco.

The people grumbled. There was no certainty that justice would ever reach these offenders. The reputation of the state was ruined, not by the acts of the Vigilantes, but by those of unscrupulous and unprincipled men in office and upon the bench.

The government was run by gamblers, ruffians, and thugs. The good men of the state began to prepare for a general movement of purification and the installation of an actual law. The great Vigilante movement of 1856 was the result.

The immediate cause of this last organization was the murder of James King, editor of the Bulletin, by James P. Casey. Casey, after shooting King, was hurried off to jail by his own friends, and there was protected by a display of military force. King lingered for six days after he was shot, and the state of public opinion was ominous. Cora, who had killed Marshal Richardson, had never been punished, and there seemed no likelihood that Casey would be.

The local press was divided. The religious papers, the Pacific and the Christian Advocate, both openly declared that Casey ought to be hanged. The clergy took up the matter sternly, and one minister of the Gospel, Rev. J. A. Benton, of Sacramento, gave utterance to this remarkable but well-grounded statement: "A people can be justified in recalling delegated power and resuming its exercise."

Before we hasten to criticize sweepingly under the term "mob law" such work as this of the Vigilantes, it will be well for us to weigh that utterance, and to apply it to conditions of our own times; to-day is well-nigh as dangerous to American liberties as were the wilder days of California.

Now, summoned by some unknown command, armed men appeared in the streets of San Francisco, twenty-four companies in all, with perhaps fifty men in each company.

The Vigilantes had organized again. They brought a cannon and placed it against the jail gate, and demanded that Casey be surrendered to them. There was no help for it, and Casey went away handcuffed, to face a court where political influence would mean nothing.

An hour later the murderer Cora was taken from his cell, and was hastened away to join Casey in the headquarters building of the Vigilantes. A company of armed and silent men marched on each side of the carriage containing the prisoner. The two men were tried in formal session of the Committee, each having counsel, and all evidence being carefully weighed.

King died on May 20, 1856, and on May 22nd was buried with popular honors, a long procession of citizens following the body to the cemetery. A popular subscription was started, and in a brief time over thirty thousand dollars was raised for the benefit of his widow and children.

When the long procession filed back into the city, it was to witness, swinging from a beam projecting from a window of Committee headquarters, the bodies of Casey and Cora.

-- end of Part Two, The Vigilantes Of California 

The Vigilantes Of California, Part Three

Editor's Note:

Emerson Hough was born in 1857 and passed away in 1923. He was an American author, Western Historian, best known for writing western stories and historical novels. One such novel is titled The Story of the Outlaw which was first published by the Curtis Publishing Co. in 1905 and then published again by the Outing Publishing Company, New York, in 1907.

As with all of his books, from outlaws to border wars, from vigilantes to lawmen, The Story of the Outlaw includes historical narratives of the American West. The Vigilantes Of California is a chapter in that novel. Because of my Blog's limited space, I'm posting this chapter in four parts. Since Emerson Hough is known to have written factual accounts, I hope you enjoy the historical accuracy of what took place in the American West.

Tom Correa
The American Cowboy Chronicles

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Vigilantes Of California, Part One

Right now, there are Vigilante groups forming throughout the European Union in response to the failure of governments in Europe to provide security for the people there. Since we Americans are now being forced to accept refugees who many worry are a security risk, we may be forced into a similar position whether we like it or not.

Because of this, I feel compelled to talk about the history of Vigilante groups in the Old West.

So with that, for the next week, I will put other interest aside so that I may focus on the history of a few of the larger Vigilante groups that were present in the American West.

I'll be using as many sources as I can, including such sources as Emerson Hough who was a writer and American Historian during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

I hope you see a correlation between the threats felt by the people in the Old West to what people are feeling today in both Europe and here.

I feel that by examining the history of some of these groups, we can better understand why people resorted to forming "Citizen Committees". Many may see one reoccurring theme in that when a government fails to provide security for their people -- citizens will pickup that touch for themselves.

The Vigilantes Of California, Part One
by Emerson Hough

The world will never see another California. Great gold stampedes there may be, but under conditions far different from those of 1849. Transportation has been so developed; travel has become so swift and easy, that no section can now long remain segregated from the rest of the world.

There is no corner of the earth which may not now be reached with a swiftness impossible in the days of the great rush to the Pacific Coast.

The whole structure of civilization, itself based upon transportation, goes swiftly forward with that transportation, and the tent of the miner or adventurer finds immediately erected by its side the temple of the law.

It was not thus in those early days of our Western history. The law was left far behind by geography and wilderness travel. Thousands of honest men pressed on across the plains and mountains inflamed, it is true, by the madness of the lust for gold, but carrying at the outset no wish to escape from the watchfulness of the law. 

With them, went equal numbers of those eager to escape all restraints of society and law, men intending never to aid in the uprearing of the social system in new wild lands.

Both these elements, the law-loving and the law-hating, as they advanced farther and farther from the staid world which they had known, noticed the development of a strange phenomenon: that law, which they had left behind them, waned in importance with each passing day. The standards of the old home changed, even as customs changed. 

A week's journey from the settlements showed the Argonaut a new world. A month hedged it about to itself, alone, apart, with ideas and values of its own and independent of all others. A year sufficed to leave that world as distinct as though it occupied a planet all its own. For that world the divine fire of the law must be re-discovered, evolved, nay, evoked fresh from chaos even as the savage calls forth fire from the dry and sapless twigs of the wilderness.

In the gold country all ideas and principles were based upon new conditions. Precedents did not exist. Man had gone savage again, and it was the beginning. Yet this savage, willing to live as a savage in a land which was one vast encampment, was the Anglo-Saxon savage, and therefore carried with him that chief trait of the American character, the principle that what a man earns -- not what he steals, but what he earns -- is his and his alone. 

This principle sowed in ground forbidding and unpromising was the seed of the law out of which has sprung the growth of a mighty civilization fit to be called an empire of its own. The growth and development of law under such conditions offered phenomena not recorded in the history of any other land or time.

In the first place, and even while in transit, men organized for the purpose of self-protection, and in this necessary act, law-abiding and criminal elements united. After arriving at the scenes of the gold fields, such organization was forgotten; even the parties that had banded together in the Eastern states as partners rarely kept together for a month after reaching the region where luck, hazard and opportunity, inextricably blended, appealed to each man to act for himself and with small reference to others. 

The first organizations of the mining camps were those of the criminal element. They were presently met by the organization of the law and order men. 

Hard upon the miners' law came the regularly organized legal machinery of the older states, modified by local conditions, and irretrievably blended with a politics more corrupt than any known before or since. Men were busy in picking up raw gold from the earth, and they paid small attention to courts and government. 

The law became an unbridled instrument of evil. Judges of the courts openly confiscated the property of their enemies, or sentenced them with no reference to the principles of justice, with as great disregard for life and liberty as was ever known in the Revolutionary days of France. 

Against this manner of government presently arose the organizations of the law-abiding, the justice-loving, and these took the law into their own stern hands. The executive officers of the law, the sheriffs and constables, were in league to kill and confiscate; and against these the new agency of the actual law made war, constituting themselves into an arm of essential government, and openly called themselves Vigilantes.

In turn, criminals used the cloak of the Vigilantes to cover their own deeds of lawlessness and violence. The Vigilantes purged themselves of the false members, and carried their own title of shameful conduct, the "stranglers," with unconcern or pride. 

They grew in numbers, the love of justice their lodestone, until at one time they numbered more than five thousand in the city of San Francisco alone, and held that community in a grip of lawlessness, or law, as you shall choose to term it. They set at defiance the chief executive of the state, erected an armed castle of their own, seized upon the arms of the militia, defied the government of the United States and even the United States Army. They were, as you shall choose to call them, criminals, or great and noble men. 

Seek as you may today, you will never know the full roster of their names, although they made no concealment of their identity; and no one, to this day, has ever been able to determine who took the first step in their organization.

They began their labors in California at a time when there had been more than two thousand murders-- five hundred in one year -- and not five legal executions. Their task included the erection of a fit structure of the law, and, incidentally, the destruction of a corrupt and unworthy structure claiming the title of the law.

In this strange, swift panorama there is all the story of the social system, all the picture of the building of that temple of the law which, as Americans, we now revere, or, at times, still despise and desecrate. 

At first, the average gold seeker concerned himself little with law, because he intended to make his fortune quickly and then hasten back East to his former home; yet, as early as the winter of 1849, there was elected a legislature which met at San Jose, a Senate of sixteen members and an Assembly of thirty-six. In this election the new American vote was in evidence. 

The miners had already tired of the semi-military phase of their government, and had met and adopted a state constitution. The legislature enacted 140 new laws in two months, and abolished all former laws; and then, satisfied with its labors, it left the enforcement of the laws, in the good old American fashion, to whomsoever might take an interest in the matter. This is our custom even today.

Our great cities of the East are practically all governed, so far as they are governed at all, by civic leagues, civic federations, citizens' leagues, business men's associations -- all protests at non-enforcement of the law. This protest in '49 and on the Pacific Coast took a sterner form.

At one time the city of San Francisco had three separate and distinct city councils, each claiming to be the only legal one. In spite of the new state organization, the law was much a matter of go as you please. Under such conditions it was no wonder that outlawry began to show its head in bold and well-organized forms. 

A party of ruffians, who called themselves the "Hounds," banded together to run all foreigners out of the rich camps, and to take their diggings over for themselves. A number of Chileans were beaten or shot, and their property was confiscated or destroyed. This was not in accordance with the saving grace of American justice, which devoted to a man that which he had earned. 

A counter organization was promptly formed, and the "Hounds" found themselves confronted with two hundred "special constables," each with a good rifle. A mass meeting sat as a court, and twenty of the "Hounds" were tried, ten of them receiving sentences that never were enforced, but which had the desired effect. 

So now, while far to the east, Congress was hotly arguing the question of the admission of California as a state, she was beginning to show an interest in law and justice when aroused thereto.

-- end of Part One, The Vigilantes Of California 

The Vigilantes Of California, Part Two

Editor's Note:

Emerson Hough was born in 1857 and passed away in 1923. He was an American author, Western Historian, best known for writing western stories and historical novels. 

One such novel is titled The Story of the Outlaw which was first published by the Curtis Publishing Co. in 1905 and then published again by the Outing Publishing Company, New York, in 1907.

As with all of his books, from outlaws to border wars, from vigilantes to lawmen, The Story of the Outlaw includes historical narratives of the American West. The Vigilantes Of California is a chapter in that novel. Because of my Blog's limited space, I'm posting this chapter in four parts.

Since Emerson Hough is known to have written factual accounts, I hope you enjoy the historical accuracy of what took place in the American West.

Tom Correa
The American Cowboy Chronicles

Monday, February 22, 2016

Media and Republican Debates, Shameful

By Terry McGahey

After the last debate, and now with Donald Trump winning South Carolina, is it just me who feels that the Republican debates have been turned into a circus by the media and their so called moderators?

I don't know about you but when I watch the debates I expect to hear an honest discussion over the candidates policies, not the arguments over what he said or she said.

Ever since the very first debate and each one since, these debates have been more about character assassination than true substance of the issues that lay ahead for the next president of our country.

It's almost as though the media, including Fox, is trying to disrupt the Republican debates in order to have another Democrat voted into office. If that is not their intention then they are either blind, just plain stupid, or so biased that they should be banned from holding these debates.

Again, I don't know about you, but I would rather see the average American people asking these candidates the hard questions about their policies instead of the media promoting the circus which resembles the phony world of professional wrestling more so than the seriousness of electing our next president.

In reality, we only have three candidates in the Republican party who actually have a chance at winning the nomination, Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, in that order at this time. It is time that the RINOs like Bush step out because all they are doing is promoting more of the dissension which the media seems to be thriving upon.

It seems to me that the reason these other candidates are hanging in there, even though they don't stand a chance, is to attack Trump because the establishment of good old boy's within the GOP can't control the man, and they are afraid of a non-establishment president who will not follow their own policies of hypocrisy.

Yes, I am for Trump, and the reason being is simple. I am sick and tired of professional politicians who promise the world but yet deliver nothing but token policies which have done nothing to bring better paying jobs back to this country, as well as allowing our Constitution to be slowly eroded over these past many years. And do not fool yourself, both sides of the isle have been allowing this to happen.

The only difference is that the Democrat progressives have made it happen in a more aggressive manner while the RINO Republicans have done little more than stand back and watch it take place. Enough is enough!

No matter the outcome we the people are just as much to blame as the media when it comes to the debates and nomination process. On Facebook as well as other outlets, I notice that people who do stand on the side of the Republican isle are also calling the candidates whom they do not support names and other horrible things.

It's time to stop the name calling because someone changed their opinion on a certain subject or policy over the years, human nature is to grow, and each and every one of us has changed our outlook on a certain subject at one time or another during our lifetime as well.

No matter if you agree with me or not that is your right, but please understand this. No matter who wins the Republican nomination, be it Trump, Cruz, or Rubio, we will have no choice but to vote for that person if we want to keep the self proclaimed socialist, Bernie Sanders, or the proven lying, cheating, elitist, Hillary Clinton, out of the White House.

With that in mind lets look at some of the positive sides of the top three candidates instead of only the negative sides. So yes, by all means stand by your candidate, but remember this, we may have to vote for one of the others before this is over.

I don't know about you, but that's the way I see it.
Terry McGahey

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Obama Proves Himself To Be A Very Small Man

Antonin Scalia was born on March 11th, 1936, and died in his sleep from natural causes on the night of February 12th or the morning of February 13th, 2016, following an afternoon of quail hunting and dining at the Cibolo Creek Ranch in Shafter, Texas.

Antonin Scalia was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, and served until his death a few days ago. Yes, Justice Scalia served on the Court for nearly 30 years.

Justice Scalia has been described as an American patriot, a lifelong Conservative, a defender of the Constitution. He espoused a Conservative jurisprudence and ideology, advocating textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in Constitutional interpretation.

So yes, for the last 30 years he was the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court's Conservative wing. 

What does that mean? That means he was a strict Constitutionalist who believed that the Constitution of the United States is a legal document and should be taken as such. It is a contract between the government and Americans citizens. It directs what the government can and cannot do in extremely plain language. It is what it is and shouldn't be twisted or spun to mean something that it does not say.

Yesterday, Americans paid their final respects to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in a Catholic Mass funeral in Washington D.C. that celebrated the Conservative Justice's devotion to his faith and family.

Justice Scalia's flag-draped casket was brought to the church Saturday morning, in a short trip from the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill where it had been laying in repose. In fact, his casket in repose rested on a funeral bier that first held President Abraham Lincoln's casket after his assassination.

His sons and his sons-in-law served as pallbearers carried the casket into and out of the basilica which is our nation's largest Roman Catholic church. In additon to his wife of 55 years and their nine children and dozens of grandchildren, other dignitaries at the service included Vice President Joe Biden, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 95-year-old retired Justice John Paul Stevens, the remaining eight Supreme Court Justices, members of Congress, several federal judges. and thousands of others.

One of Justice Scalia's sons, the Rev. Paul Scalia, a Catholic priest serving the diocese of Arlington, Virginia, led the service at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Never before had a funeral for a Supreme Court Justice been held at the Basilica.

Rev. Paul Scalia shared some personal moments about his father's life. He talked about his dad's faith, stating, "The deeper he went in his faith, the better public servant he was. God bless dad for his love of his family." And yes, at one point he said "God bless dad for his faith."  

Justice Clarence Thomas read from the New Testament. And no, there was no eulogy in a service which was free of partisan politics. Although, his son, 

Though President Obama and his wife Michelle were among the more than 6,000 people who paid their respects to Justice Scalia at the Supreme Court building on Friday, President Obama did not attend his funeral. Yes, to me, that was a classless act. 

White House spokesman Josh Earnest tried to excuse Obama's classless act to purposely not go to the Conservative Supreme Court Justice's funeral, saying that it was a "respectful arrangement" that took into account Obama's large security detail. Of course, he did not address how George W. Bush could attend a funeral with his security detail when he was president but Barack Hussein Obama couldn't? 

And yes, that leads us to other things that really don't make much senses. For example, this week Hookers in Nevada came out to say they support Hillary Clinton. Someone on the radio asked if it was a matter of Professional Courtesy? I believe they have so much in common. After all, the only question is price. 

Bernie Sanders being  a Socialist is not news. But frankly, what should be news is Sanders' being exposed as full blown Communist with actual ties to Communist organization sworn to work toward the overthrow of the United States,  Of course, it might matter, if only his supporters really understood what that really means? Which they don't! 

Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer of New York came out saying that Obama should nominate a replacement for Justice Scalia even if Obama only has 10 months left in office. This is a 180 degree turn around from what Schumer said in 2007 when he demanded that George W. Bush be banned from nominating a replacement Justice when he had a year and a half left in office. 

Hillary and Schumer and Obama are all on video opposing Justice Alito's nomination. Obama having the distinction of being the only president to oppose a Justice nominee and have to nominate a Justice later -- then ask that his nominee not be opposed.  

Yes, Hillary and Schumer and Obama, all attempted a filibuster against Justice nominee Samuel Alito. Yes, back in 2006, then-Senator Obama said that he "disagreed with the premise that a president’s nomination to the Supreme Court (or any federal court) should be confirmed just because he won an election."

Now, ten years later, Obama is singing a different tune. He now says that blocking judicial nominations isn’t how our system of government is supposed to work. As if Obama knows how our system works? This from a man who has circumvented our legislative process and instead has tried to "rule" as some sort of Dictator or King with edicts in the form of executive orders. 

Obama said that he would not make a recess appointment, but he would nominate somebody who would be "indisputably" qualified and whom "any fair-minded person -- even somebody who disagreed with my politics -- would say would serve with honor and integrity on the court."

This comes from a man who sees political gain where he can get it. This coming from a man who found time to meet and celebrate the "work" of a Hate Group known as Black Lives Matters. Yes, a Hate Group which advocates the killing of Cops and White Americans.

Frankly, Obama has no knowledge of what honor and integrity means. Obama doesn't have the class to put politics aside and attend a Supreme Court Justice's funeral. He is pathetic!

And frankly, it is a shame that Obama didn't have enough class to put aside politics and morn a great American who gave nearly 30 years of service to America. With this last classless act, the act of showing that 30 years of service as one of nine Supreme Court Justices means nothing just because Justice Scalia was a Conservative, Obama has proven himself to be such a very small man. Yes, Obama is a very very small man. 

Obama has shown himself to be just like the Black Lives Matters hate group's lowlifes which he whole heartily supports. He is just full of hate and bigotry. He is just a pathetic Democrat politician who has proven to America once and for all that he is indeed just a very small man.


After posting this late last night, I have been bombarded by hate mail from Liberals who love Obama and praise what he has done while in office. I have been called all sorts of names including of course a racist. 

One Obama supporter wrote to tell me that the world is full of many types of people, and that they don't always act as I would like them to act. And yes, she said that I should be more understanding about the ways of others. 

Allow me to make something very clear. While the world is indeed full of many types of people, Obama and any sitting President is EXPECTED to act in certain ways. Just as they need to be honest and be truthful, have honor and integrity, they also need to be bigger than what Obama has shown to be! 

If you have to ask why? Frankly, if that's the case and you who support Obama truly do not understand why any sitting President need to be bigger than petty politics -- then there is no way to explain to you why. 

But understand this, they need to be honest and truthful, have honor and integrity, and be bigger than what Obama has shown to be -- if for any other reason, to help set the right direction for our nation's moral compass. 

Like it or not, as a nation, we must demand that the President, whether it be a man or woman from either political party, should have enough class to put aside political differences and show up at the funeral of a Supreme Court Justice. We should not give Obama a pass because he's Black or a Democrat, but then demand that a Republican or a White man or woman must act in a different way.

The president owns his policies and actions. He or she can act wise or dumb, naive or worldly, for American interest or not, all they want. But, like it or not, there are things We The People have to demand in the ways our presidents act. We must demand that he properly salutes those in uniform, that he works in the interest of our nation, that he preforms his duties according to the Constitution with decorum in a dignified manner.

In other words, conduct and appearance which our nation can see is in good taste. It is about the appropriateness of behavior or conduct. It is about propriety. It is about the actions of our president which are required in polite behavior.

In this case, Obama has should his true colors, he has again acted in an undignified manner while presenting to our nation his hate, his bigotry, his disrespect for others not Black or Democrat. 

And yes, that's just the way I see it.
Tom Correa

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jack Slade -- Hanged For Being Too Mean

Joseph Alfred "Jack" Slade was a stagecoach and Pony Express superintendent. He was instrumental in the opening of the American West. And though some say that he was an Old West gunfighter, there is very little evidence to confirm that.

He was born on January 22nd, 1831 and was hanged on March 10th, 1864. Yes, Jack Slade was indeed hanged because the townsfolk of Virginia City, Montana, thought he was simply too darn mean and nasty -- and even worse when drunk.

He is the only man that I've ever heard of to be hanged and yet never broke a law. Instead, he was hanged for reasons of being too bad an hombre.

Below is what Western Historian, American Writer, Emerson Hough said about Jack Slade in his book The Story of the Outlaw. That book, one of 34, was first published by the Curtis Publishing Co. in 1905, and then published again by the Outing Publishing Company, New York, in 1907.

Joseph A. Slade
by Emerson Hough, 1907

One of the best-known desperadoes the West ever produced was Joseph A. Slade, agent of the Overland Stage Line on the mountain division, about 1860, and in charge of large responsibilities in a strip of country more than six hundred miles in extent, which possessed all the ingredients for trouble in plenty.

Slade lived, in the heyday of his career, just about the time when men from the East were beginning to write about the newly discovered life of the West.

Bret Harte had left his indelible stamp upon the literature of the land, and Mark Twain was soon to spread widely his impressions of life as seen in "Roughing It"; while countless newspaper men and book writers were edging out and getting hearsay stories of things known at first hand by a very few careful and conscientious writer.

The hearsay man engaged in discovering the West always dung to the regular lines of travel; and almost every one who passed across the mountains on the Overland stage line would hear stories about the desperate character of Slade. These stories grew by newspaper multiplication, until at length the man was owner of the reputation of a fiend, a ghoul, and a murderer. There was a wide difference between this and the truth. As a matter of fact, there were many worse desperadoes on the border.

Slade was born at Carlisle, Illinois, and served in the Mexican War in 1848. He appears to have gone into the Overland service in 1859. At once he plunged into the business of the stage line, and soon became a terror to the thieves and outlaws, several of whom he was the means of having shot or hung, although he himself was nothing of a man-hunter at the time; and indeed, in all his life he killed but one man-a case of a reputation beyond desert, and an instance of a reputation fostered by admiring but ignorant writers.

Slade was reported to have tied one of his enemies, Jules Beni, more commonly called Jules, to the stake, and to have tortured him for a day, shooting him to pieces bit by bit, and cutting off his ears, one of which he always afterward wore in his pocket as a souvenir. There was little foundation for this reputation beyond the fact that he did kill Jules, and did it after Jules had been captured and disarmed by other men.

But he had been threatened time and again by Jules, and was once shot and left for dead by the latter, who emptied a pistol and a shotgun at Slade, and left him lying with thirteen bullets and buckshot in his body. Jules thought he did not need to shoot Slade any more after that, and gave directions for his burial as soon as he should have died.

At that Slade rose on his elbow and promised Jules he would live and would wear one of his, Jules', ears on his watch chain; a threat which no doubt gave rise to a certain part of his ghastly reputation. Jules was hung for a while by the stage people, but was let down and released on promise of leaving the country never to return. He did not keep his promise, and it had been better for him if he had.

Jules Beni was a big Frenchman, one of that sort of early ranchers who were owners of small ranches and a limited number of cattle and horses -- just enough to act as a shield for thefts of livestock, and to offer encouragement to such thefts. Before long Jules was back at his old stamping-grounds, where he was looked on as something of a bully; and at once he renewed his threats against Slade.

Slade went to the officers of the military post at Laramie, the only kind of authority then in the land, which had no sort of courts or officers, and asked them what he should do. They told him to have Jules captured and then to kill him, else Jules would do the same for him. Slade sent four men out to the ranch where Jules was stopping, about twelve miles from Laramie, while he followed in the stagecoach. These men captured Jules at a ranch a little farther down the line, and left him prisoner at the stage station.

Here Slade found him in the corral, a prisoner, unarmed and at his mercy, and without hesitation he shot him, the ball striking him in the mouth. His victim fell and feigned death, but Slade -- who was always described as a good pistol shot -- saw that he was not killed, and told him he should have time to make his will if he desired.

There is color in the charge of deliberate cruelty, but perhaps rude warrant for the cruelty, under the circumstances of treachery in which Jules had pursued Slade. At least, some time elapsed while a man was running back and forward from the house to the corral with pen and ink and paper. Jules never signed his will.

When the last penful of ink came out to the corral, Jules was dead, shot through the head by Slade. This looks like cruelty of an unnecessary sort, and like taunting a helpless victim; but here the warrant for all the Slade sort of stories seems to end, and there is no evidence of his mutilating his victim, as was often described.

Slade went back to the officers of Fort Laramie, and they said he had done right and did not detain him. Nor did any of Jules' friends ever molest him. He returned to his work on the Overland.

After this he grew more turbulent, and was guilty of high-handed outrages and of a general disposition to run things wherever he went. The officers at Fort Halleck arrested him and refused to turn him over to the stage line unless the latter agreed to discharge him. This was done, and now Slade, out of work, began to be bad at heart. He took to drink and drifting, and so at last turned up at the Beaverhead diggings in 1863, not much different from many others of the bad folk to be found there.

Quiet enough when sober, Slade was a maniac in drink, and this latter became his habitual condition. Now and again he sobered up, and he always was a business man and animated by an ambition to get on in the world.

He worked here and there in different capacities, and at last settled on a ranch a dozen miles or so from Virginia City, Montana, where he lived with his wife, a robust, fine-looking woman of great courage and very considerable beauty, of whom he was passionately fond; although she lived almost alone in the remote cabin in the mountains, while Slade pursued his avocations, such as they were, in the settlements along Alder Gulch.

Slade now began to grow ugly and hard, and to exult in terrorizing the hard men of those hard towns. He would strike a man in the face while drinking with him, would rob his friends while playing cards, would ride into the saloons and break up the furniture, and destroy property with seeming exultation at his own maliciousness.

He was often arrested, warned, and fined; and sometimes he defied such officers as went after him and refused to be arrested. His whole conduct made him a menace to the peace of this little community, which was now endeavoring to become more decent, and he fell under the fatal scrutiny of the vigilantes, who concluded that the best thing to do was to hang Slade.

He had never killed anyone as yet, although he had abused many; but it was sure that he would kill someone if allowed to run on; and, moreover, it was humiliating to have one man trying to run the town and doing as he pleased. Slade was to learn what society means, and what the social compact means, as did many of these wild men who had been running as savages outside of and independent of the law.

Slade got wind of the deliberations of the committee, as well he might when six hundred men came down from Nevada Camp to Virginia City to help in the court of the miners, before which Slade was now to come.

It was the Nevada Camp Vigilantes who were most strongly of the belief that death and not banishment was the proper punishment for Slade. The leader of the marching men calmly told Slade that the Committee had decided to hang him; and, once the news was sure, Slade broke out into lamentations.

This was often the case with men who had been bullies and terrors. They weakened when in the hands of a stronger power. Slade crept about on his hands and knees, begging like a baby. "My God! My God!" he cried. "Must I die? Oh, my poor wife, my poor wife! My God, men, you can't mean that I'm to die!"

They did mean it, and neither his importunities nor those of his friends had avail. His life had been too rough and violent and was too full of menace to others. He had had his fair frontier chance and had misused it. Some wept at his prayers, but none relented.

In broad daylight, the procession moved down the street, and soon Slade was swinging from the beam of a corral gate, one more example of the truth that when man belongs to society he owes duty to society and else must suffer at its hands. This was the law.

Slade's wife was sent for and reached town soon after Slade's body was cut down and laid out. She loaded the vigilantes with imprecations, and showed the most heartbroken grief. The two had been very deeply attached. 'She was especially regretful that Slade had been hanged and not shot. He was worth a better death than that, she protested.

Slade's body was preserved in alcohol and kept out at the lone ranch cabin all that winter.

In the spring it was sent down to Salt Lake City and buried there. As that was a prominent point on the overland trail, the tourists did the rat. The saga of Slade as a bad man was widely disseminated.

-- end 1907 article by Emerson Hough.

Joseph Alfred "Jack" Slade, was born in Carlyle, Illinois, he was the son of Charles W. Slade and Mary Kain Slade. At the age of 16, young Jack went off to serve in the U.S. Army in the unit that occupied Santa Fe from 1847 to 1848 during the Mexican War. And yes, about 10 years later, he is said to have married Maria Virginia in 1857.

In the 1850s, Slade was a freighting teamster and a wagon master along the Overland Trail. After that he became a stagecoach driver in Texas in around the years 1857 and 1858.

He is said to have become a stagecoach division superintendent along the Central Overland route for Hockaday & Co. from 1858 to 1859, and its successors Jones, Russell & Co. in 1859, and then the Central Overland, California & Pike’s Peak Express Co. from 1859 to 1862. While with the Central Overland, he helped launch and operate the Pony Express from 1860 to 1861.

As holding the position of Superintendent, he enforced order and assured reliable cross-continental mail service, maintaining contact between the East and California during the moments leading up to the American Civil War.

It is true that while Division Superintendent in May 1859, he did shoot and kill Andrew Ferrin who was one of his subordinates. The reason, he felt Ferrin was hindering the progress of a freight train. 

At the time, shooting deaths of this kind in the West were rare and Jack Slade's reputation as a "gunfighter" spread rapidly across the country. Of course the shooting was ruled "self-defense."

In March 1860, Slade was ambushed and left for dead by Jules Beni who was indeed a corrupt station keeper at Julesburg, Colorado, whom Slade had fired. Then to the surprise of many, Slade survived the attack by Beni. In August 1861, Beni was killed by Slade's men after ignoring Slade's warning to stay out of his territory.

Slade's exploits spawned numerous legends, many of them false. His public image was not helped by the exaggerations of none other that famous tall tale writer Mark Twain in his story "Roughing It".

As with many of the exaggerated claims of people such as Billy The Kid, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Wild Bill, Slade's record as a vicious killer of up to 26 victims was pure exaggeration. Believe it or not, only one killing, that of Andrew Ferrin, is really verifiable fact. 

But as for his reputation as someone who you wanted to stay on his good side because of his horrible anger, that was something that is said to be true. And yes, his anger was only increased when combined with drinking too much. His legendary anger and his boozing were his downfall.

Both issues lead to his being fired by the Central Overland in November 1862. And yes, on March 10, 1864, during a drunken spree when he let his demons get the best of him in Virginia City, Montana, he was in fact lynched by local Vigilantes. They did in fact hang him for "disturbing the peace." 

Though he was buried in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 20, 1864, he was not forgotten. Fact is, like Wild Bill, Jack Slade was a legend in his own time. And yes, like Wild Bill, his legend also grew to exaggerated proportions after his death. 

But frankly, that Jack Slade became even bigger in death should not surprise anyone. He lived in a time where the hard to tame in fact tamed a wilderness. He was one of a rare breed of men who fought to do things that others didn't have the stones to do. And yes, while some say he was the devil incarnate, others saw him as a man who was in fact a force to be reckoned with if they didn't do the job he demanded. 

All in all, who knows what personal demons drove him to drink in excess -- or what fueled his rage? Whatever it was, it would forever be a mystery because of a group of vigilantes who decided that banishment would be too good for the threat they called Jack Slade. 

After posting this, a reader wrote to say: "The negative aspects of Slade are easy to find. But one winter the supplies for Virginia City were left on the banks of the Missouri by a steamboat captain who did not want to contend with the Blackfeet any more. Slade put together a supply train and went clear up to the Missouri, in winter, with marauding Indians to deal with, and brought the supplies back, effectively saving Virginia City from at least very hard times if not survival itself."

He's right. Yet those same people hanged him. And that is, to my way of thinking, a sad commentary on who they were.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Florida Sheriff: “My support of Open Carry goes even deeper”

Sheriff Wayne Ivey
by Sheriff Wayne Ivey

As each of us watches with astonishment at what is currently taking place across our country, we struggle to find solutions to reduce the potential for the next active shooter or violent crime that could take place in our own communities. 

Shootings and mass killings at churches, movie theaters, schools, malls, military bases, and even colleges have forever changed the game and have left Law Enforcement and law abiding citizens scrambling for an answer to prevent the next critical incident.

 While there are many opposing opinions, personal views and empirical data reflecting respective positions, there is only one undisputed fact: the best law enforcement agencies in the country have response times in minutes and bad people with evil intentions act in seconds.

Like each of you, I strongly support our Constitution and have unwavering support for the 2nd Amendment. There is no doubt that historians and legal minds often disagree on the intentions and interpretations of the 2nd Amendment, however, most will agree that the true essence of the 2nd Amendment was to allow people the right to bear arms to protect themselves.

While the Constitution lays the foundation for “the right to bear arms,” my support of Open Carry goes even deeper. Our jobs as Law Enforcement Officers is to prevent, investigate, and solve crimes while doing everything we can to legally protect our citizens.

We stress to our citizens every day the importance of making themselves, their homes, and their businesses “hard” targets so that criminals will not target them or their families. Violent criminals are opportunists, who look for an easy or “soft” target to victimize.

For decades Law Enforcement agencies have instructed citizens to put alarm signs out front of their homes and businesses to deter criminals. In fact, most agencies will even instruct citizens to prominently place an alarm sign at their location even if they don’t have an alarm. Why? Because we are trying to make their homes and businesses hard targets and not soft targets.

The same theory applies to open carry when we are trying to protect our citizens. I don’t want our citizens to have to defend an attack that could have easily been avoided had they been able to clearly demonstrate to a waiting criminal that they are a hard target and not a soft target.

 To emphasize this point, I ask you to consider that each and every day across our country we investigate robberies at restaurants, banks, drug stores, gas stations, convenience stores and homes, but what we don’t see are armed robberies at pawn shops and gun stores. The reason why is very simple—because criminals know what awaits them on the other side of the counter!

A historical survey performed by the University of Massachusetts and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice gives great credibility to the above philosophy and concept. The survey involved the interviews of over 1,800 violent inmates from 10 different states including Florida who were asked questions concerning target selection and how they picked their victims.

To this day it is still considered to be one of the most comprehensive studies conducted with criminals who gave first-hand accounts of what criminals consider when committing crimes. The study revealed the following:
  • 81% of interviewees agreed that a “smart criminal” will try to determine if a potential victim is armed.
  • 74% indicated that burglars avoided occupied dwellings because of fear of being shot.
  • 57% said that most criminals feared armed citizens more than the police.
  • 40% of the felons said that they have been deterred from committing a particular crime, because they believed that the potential victim was armed.
  • 57% of the felons who had used guns themselves said that they had encountered potential victims who were armed.
  • 34% of the criminal respondents said that they had been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed citizen.
Based on this government-funded research, it would appear that known armed citizens do represent a direct deterrent effect on crime. Our citizens deserve the right to demonstrate that they have the ability to protect themselves. At the very least they deserve the choice to reveal themselves as a hard target and not a soft target.

 I challenge you to find a single Law Enforcement Officer or Sheriff in our state that doesn’t believe that a criminal is less likely to target a victim whom they know is armed and prepared. If you know in your heart this is a true statement, then how can we as law enforcement leaders deny a citizen the right to demonstrate that they have the ability to protect themselves?

Lastly, there are 45 other states in our country that have “some” form of open carry. There is no question that “Open Carry” will eventually occur in Florida. The overall design and intent of HB 163 and SB 300 is to mandate the same statutory requirements, regulations, qualifications and restrictions that currently apply to the Florida Concealed Carry Permit such as safety training, weapon handling proficiency, background check, permitted areas of carry, and psychological well being.

I personally believe it is imperative that we as law enforcement leaders express a clear and convincing voice in the design and potential impact of this bill. By sitting at the table with the various groups that want to discuss this important issue, we can work together to draft legislation that is designed to protect our citizens, our protectors and our Constitutional Rights.

To simply stand idly by and say we either agree or disagree does absolutely no service for our employees and citizens. We as law enforcement leaders should be standing and proudly voicing our desire to ensure that all legislation meets the number one priority of government, to protect its citizens. By not only having a voice, but exercising that voice in the drafting of this bill, we can make sure we create positive laws that are in the best interest of our citizens and our Law Enforcement members.

-- end article. 

Editor's Note:

Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a Law Enforcement Officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.

Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft.

Also in 2012, the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.

Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. 

In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.

Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.

The above article was written on October 22nd, 2015. I posted it here because Sheriff Wayne Ivey makes a number of great points. While some do not agree with the views and opinions expressed by Sheriff Ivey, I do.

My thanks goes out to Sheriff Ivey for coming forward to give Americans sound advice.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.
Tom Correa
The American Cowboy Chronicles

Monday, February 15, 2016

Wild Longhorns

By Terry McGahey

Several years ago in the mid 90s a good friend of mine by the name of Jeff took over managing a ranch called the Cobra, near Klondike Arizona.

This ranch was literally about sixty miles of dirt road North West of Wilcox near the entrance of the Araviapa Canyon wilderness, and the headwaters of the Araviapa creek began there.

The ranch was first settled sometime around 1867 and we were told by the owner that at one time Tom Horn had either been working the ranch or had another one near by for a short period of time. I never knew which for sure although it is on record that Tom Horn did have a ranch in that area.

Jeff asked me if I could come out and help him with the place, so being my good friend I took the job. At that time the place had been let go for the most part for about five or six years other than a caretaker who watched over the place, and had about thirty head of longhorns who hung around not far from the ranch house because he would feed hay from the back of his pickup.

When I got there the place was a mess, the working pens were shabby, fences were down, and we had no idea how many cows were on the place. By the owners estimate, he thought maybe 150 head or so. He was about to loose his leases so we had to get that place straightened out.

The first several days was just figuring out the lay of the land from topographic maps. With the deeded property, state leases, and federal forest leases, Best I recollect, it covered about 53 thousand acres with all combined. Now understand, this was not flat land. There were some flat areas but just a few, the majority of this place was mountainous.

The place was also over run with critters such as rattlesnakes, Javelinas, coatimundis, mountain lions, and even a few black bears. Now those critters were natural to the area but they were around the houses and working pens so we had to thin them out.

Most people think that a javelina is from the pig family but in reality they are a peccary, basically they are from the rat family not pig. The coatimundis (pronounced coot-a-mundis), is kind of a strange looking creature. It's from the raccoon family with a long ringed tail, small ears, and a nose which comes to a point so to speak. They get into everything, and with very sharp claws they can kill your dogs.

Then of course, the rattlesnakes, which could vary from a few feet as youngsters up to approximately seven feet long. I don't remember how many of these critters we had to kill but it was many, we had no choice, I never believed in killing just to kill, but it had to be done.

Now that we were ready to start gathering cattle we found that with fences down, the neighboring ranches cattle were grazing on the outfit. We spent two or three days pushing them back onto their own property. When we met up with some of the other ranchers at the Klondike store we told them they needed to get their cattle off of the place.

A few days went by and they didn't do it, so we met them again and told them that if they didn't get them off we would start branding them ourselves. Jeff told them we would brand anything and everything on the place, even the javelinas. Needless to say, they came and got their cattle.

Once the fences were fixed it was time to start gathering cattle. We started up high on the forest leases pushing everything down to the lower pastures as we descended. We were gathering longhorns in some cases that had never been around people.

These things were wild, so you had to stay off of them similar to moving bison, and just push them in the direction you wanted them to go. These longhorns, some with double twist horns, would gut your horse and then gut you should they have the chance, they were truly wild, just like the days of the old cattle drives back in the 1800s when the cowboys had to dig them out of the brush, same thing.

Several of these unruly savages, some weighing in at 1600 pounds or more, would turn back on you and head right back up high, so we let them go and just kept moving what we could until we pushed them on down to the area of the pens, then start all over again doing the same thing the next day, sometimes wearing out two horses a day, they were like chasing deer. when you would come up to a wall of heavy brush and mesquite trees those cows would go down on their front knees and go right under all the trees and brush and they were gone.

After days like that we looked like someone had beat us with switches riding through a lot of the brush and trees where we could.

Once we had everything gathered after several weeks, the owners estimate of 150 or so had turned into almost 400 head. Next came several days of riding around and through these longhorns getting them use to us and the horses as to get them to calm down some.

Once that was done it was time to go to work. There were no squeeze chutes or calf tables on this outfit so we had to do it the old fashioned way, rope them by head and heal and stretch them out to brand, vaccinate, and then castrate the young bull calves.

For most of you who wouldn't know, back in the early days longhorns were considered game animals, even Teddy Roosevelt went on longhorn hunts. Longhorns were introduced to this country in the 1400s by the Spanish explorers, until that time cattle were not indigenous to North America.

Left behind, they turned wild and thrived with a nasty temper and a great cleverness which domesticated cattle cannot match. Even the Native American Indians found it easier to kill bison than wild longhorn cattle.

On the Cobra Ranch, the average cow ran anywhere between 1200 to 1400 pounds, the steers weighed about 1500 to 1600, and the bulls around 2000 pounds. There was one bull called King Cobra which was bred between a longhorn on the King Ranch in Texas and one from the Cobra Ranch. This bull weighed in at almost 2,400 pounds. He was a big boy and his temper could be just as big as he was.

The old steers we had gathered would lead everything else away from us making gathering a big chore. They would lead the cows to a fence that ran along side of the road then jump it with the cows following. Then we would have to ride down to the gate and push them back again.

That fence wasn't really needed because it was on the ranch property and down the road a bit was the cattle guard, so we decided to tear out that section. Funny, the next time they tried it, when they reached the point where the fence use to be, they were still jumping just like the fence was still there.

They were literally surprised when we rode up and turned them back. Once we were finally able to get rid of those steers at the sale barn in Wilcox, the cows settled down and worked much easier just like any other cow.

For some time by now, I had moved our travel trailer onto the ranch and my wife was with me. One day I spotted several buzzards flying in a circle so I told the wife that I would be back in a little while.

The other boys was in Safford getting supplies. I saddled up and rode to the spot and found one of the neighbors black face baldies dead, she was killed by a mountain lion. After I pulled out the ear tag so I could call the owner to give him the number I heard a noise in the tall brush.

Don't know how but the lion had missed the baby bull calf so I threw him up over the front of my saddle and took him back to the house, called the neighbor and he said, keep the calf.

By now my wife was tired of being out so far away from town, so I showed her how to mix up the calf manna and feed the calf from a bottle. That did make things better for her for a while, that calf became her baby. He followed her wherever she would go and even into the ranch house if she wasn't careful.

That helped her to last it out a little longer, but about a month after that she was ready to leave and I didn't blame her. I have worked several ranches in my life, but working the Cobra was an experience like none other.

It was just like stepping back one hundred years ago in many ways. Believe it or not, it was a great life.