Wednesday, November 30, 2016

California To Tax Cow Farts And Bullshit

In an Associated Press report published November 29th, 2016, California Democrats in our capital here in Sacramento are again showing the world how truly ignorant they are.

Back when I traveled around the country on work, I was always amazed at how most people from the other 48 states saw California. They viewed Californians as being easily fooled, extremely gullible, disconnected with reality, dreamers with their heads planted in the sand. And yes, that's putting it mildly.

For a while, I figured that was because of the 1960s anti-War protests -- that sort of thing. Then I started noticing that most who don't like California, or people from here, were not even around back then. To put it bluntly, in my travels I found a great number of people who saw California as a sewer of anti-American hate for a myriad of reasons. 

I remember being in rural Wisconsin. Yes in as friendly a town as one can find in rural America. It was a small town located in beautiful Manitowoc County in East Central Wisconsin. They had a quiet and relaxed atmosphere to the town and the folks there were extremely friendly. I remember how it was beautiful farm country with Milwaukee, Green Bay, and the Fox River Valley fairly nearby. 

A woman there told me California has the reputation that it has because people from California are just so different from the rest of the country. She felt people from California act arrogant, or better than others. She felt that people from the West Coast hate America in general. If not hate, certainly don't appreciate being American.

I explained that there are many of us who live in California that love America. I also mentioned that a lot of folks out here who have children really do try to raise their children right. And yes, I told her that there are a lot of small business owners in California who, like others are the nation, are struggling to make it in spite of having the state's burdensome over-regulation. 

Point is, knowing how people outside of California see this state, I'm pretty sure they must be laughing at the Californians who are now attacking dairy cows in an effort to place more regulations on farmers? All to fight "Global Warming"?

Global Warming, also known as Climate Change, is indeed a hoax, but that hasn't stopped California Democrats from now attacking dairy cows. So yes, it's things like that that make us the laughing stock of the rest of the nation.

I can hear my friends now, "There goes those California wackos again! Now they're going after cow farts and bullshit!"

Even though Global Warming has been proven to be a hoax, California, the nation's leading agricultural state, is now targeting greenhouse gases produced by dairy cows and other livestock. Yes, while I think it's crazy as all get out, the State of California is taking its fight against Global Warming to the farmers and their cows.

Despite strong opposition from farmers, California Gov. Jerry "Moon Beam" Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills.

Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Methane is released when cows belch, fart, and make manure. And while the European crazies in nations there tax beef and other red meats to combat the hoax called Climate Change, California is on upping them by going after cow farts and bullshit!

Of course Al Gore said the oceans would rise 20 feet by 2013 due to the earth's ice melting, but that hasn't happened and everyone but the boobs in the California state capital know its all just a hoax. Even the fraud-masters at the United Nations had to admit that when in 2013 they reported that 533,000 more square miles of ocean covered with ice than in 2012. And yes since the ice increase has repeated itself for the last four years, now scientists are speculating on another mini-Ice Age.

Of course, in 2007, the Liberal Mainstream Media reported that Global Warming caused by humans would leave the Arctic ice-free by the summer by 2013 -- or certainly 2014. But remember, by then there was the publication of UN Climate Change report which found that Global Warming data had been fixed. 

Yes, falsified. "Climategate," as it was called in 2009, was a United Nations scandal that exposed the fact that key UN data involving man-made climate change was manipulated, changed, falsified, fixed. 

In 2009, the public discovered emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit exposing how scientists who have been enormously influential in promoting the concept of man-made climate change actually attempted to "cook the books" to obtain results that served their narrative that the planet was heating at a dangerous trend due to higher levels of carbon dioxide.

Friends, hoaxes are usually perpetrated out of greed, criminal activity, or self-promotion to steal money. And those who know that Climate Change is a hoax have been doing just that. After all, the Climate Change hoax has been proven to stifle business, increase unemployment, steal more money of hard working people in the form of increased taxes, and making a great number of Liberals extremely wealthy. 

There is no limit to the things that are now blamed on the Climate Change hoax, all to steal more money from taxpayers. The government does not want to simply advise and recommend to help others, but to over-regulate and tax. 

According to the Liberal regulation enthusiests at the California Air Resources Board, they say livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. They say beef and dairy production accounting for the bulk of it, according to a 2013 United Nations report. 

Yes, they are taking data from the United Nations which is not to be trusted simply because their data has already been debunked. But seriously, they don't care about that. They'll use whatever means necessary to raise more money for the state.

So now since California is the nation's largest milk-producing state, state regulators have created new laws targeting dairies and livestock operations. Of course, the state doesn't care that dairy farmers say the new regulations will drive up costs when they're already struggling with five years of drought, low milk prices, and rising labor costs. They also don't care that farmers are also concerned about a newly signed law that will boost overtime pay for farm workers. All costs that may determine if a farmer stays in business or not.

"We're continuing to lose dairies. Dairies are moving out of state to places where these costs don't exist," said Paul Sousa, director of environmental services for Western United Dairymen. "The dairy industry could be forced to move production to states and countries with fewer regulations, leading to higher emissions globally." 

Interesting isn't it how the state of California is mirroring the actions of the Federal government under Obama. Yes, that's the same thing that's been going on around the country with the Fed's EPA chasing businesses out of the country. The EPA is forcing many businesses to relocate to foriegn countries that do not have unreasonable regulations.

Rob Vandenheuvel, general manager for the Milk Producers Council said something that many California farmers are saying, "We think it's very foolish for the state of California to be taking this position. A single state like California is not going to make a meaningful impact on the climate."

Regulators are looking for ways to reduce so-called enteric emissions — methane produced by bovine digestive systems. That could eventually mean the State of California will demand changes to what cattle eat. Sounds a lot like a Communist state doesn't it?

Of course, the State says their target is dairy manure. They say manure accounts for about a quarter of the state's methane emissions. And now, State of California regulators want more farmers to reduce emissions with methane "digesters." These are supposed to capture methane from manure in large storage tanks and convert the gas into electricity. No shit! 

The State of California, which is billions of dollars in debt from over-spending on all sorts of Liberal scams including diverting water from farmers during a draught, has set aside $50 million to help dairies set up digesters. But as usual the State of California is demanding that farmers meet their demands, even though there are not nearly enough digesters to equip the California's roughly 1,500 dairies. So now, California will be adding more of a financial burden onto dairy farmers through fines for lack of compliance and forcing them to buy the mandated digesters.

New Hope Dairy, which has 1,500 cows in Sacramento County, installed a $4 million methane digester in 2013. They could do it thanks to state grants, yes taxpayer funds, and a partnership with California Biogas LLC which is taxpayer subsidized. California Biogas LLC operates the system to generate renewable power for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Co-owner Arlin Van Groningen, a third-generation farmer, says he couldn't afford one if he had to buy and run it himself. Van Groningen said of the new law, "The bottom line is it's going to negatively impact the economics of the California dairy industry. In the dairy business, the margins are so slim that something like this will force us out of state."

State officials say they're committed to making sure the new regulations work for farmers and the environment, but they are only concerned about pleasing environmentalists and other Liberal politicians. 

And while California politicians make California look bad in the eyes of the rest of the nation, the bottom line is that California's cap-and-trade program will not advance the goals of cleaner air and water, or lower supposed global greenhouse gas emissions. It will only hurt California farmers and attack our economy. 

And frankly, since more businesses are leaving California because of over-regulation, why punish those who are staying and trying to survive here? Punishing farmers only reminds people just how uncaring and ignorant California politicians really are. They are too ignorant to admit when they are wrong, and too uncaring if family farms go under because of their actions.

Shame on them. But really, they don't care about how they hurt people.

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Great Organizations Doing Great Works -- Part Two

The Gary Sinise Foundation

The Gary Sinise Foundation serves our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. They do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate,
inspire, strengthen, and build communities.

The The experiences of war leave an indelible impact on our servicemen and women. As they return to civilian life, the physical, emotional and psychological challenges they face are often difficult. As citizens, supporting the heroes of our nation is a responsibility each of us must carry. The Gary Sinise Foundation works to ensure the sacrifices of America’s defenders and their families are never forgotten.

In 2012, the Gary Sinise Foundation began building specially adapted smart homes for America’s severely wounded veterans through its partner program. Each home features automated amenities to ease the daily challenges these heroes face. In 2013, the Gary Sinise Foundation expanded these efforts by establishing its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program.

For more than a decade, Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band have toured the globe in support of our troops. As a part of the Foundation, the band is raising spirits and awareness for military and first responder causes worldwide.

Through its Invincible Spirit Festivals, the Gary Sinise Foundation is boosting the morale at military medical centers across the country. These daylong celebrations provide a respite from the rigors of rehabilitation for the hospital’s patients, staff, and families. The Relief & Resiliency Outreach program is providing complete support to those recovering from trauma, injury and loss during times of urgent need. The Foundation is also providing financial support and training to America’s firefighters, police departments and EMTs through its First Responders Outreach program.

Additionally, the Gary Sinise Foundation is showing appreciation through Serving Heroes, a program providing hearty, classic American meals to our defenders across the country. The Arts & Entertainment Outreach program now includes the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Each theatre provides dinner and a performance to local veterans free of charge.

In 2015, the Gary Sinise Foundation launched Soaring Valor with The National WWII Museum. The program provides WWII veterans a chance to visit the museum and documents their first-hand accounts of the war for future generations.

Please take the time to donate by clicking:

The Fisher House Foundation

Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. 

The Fisher Houses are 5,000 to 16,800 square-foot homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs, where families can stay while a loved one is receiving treatment. 

Additionally, the Foundation ensures that families of service men and women wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan are not burdened with unnecessary expense during a time of crisis.
  • Families served: More than 27,000 in 2015
  • Daily capacity: 950 families
  • Families served: More than 277,000 since inception
  • Number of lodging days offered: Over 7 million
  • 7,000 students have received $11,000,000 in scholarship awards
  • Over 63,000 airline tickets provided by Hero Miles to service members and their families, worth nearly $100 million
To donate to The Fisher House Foundation, please click:
Fisher House Donations

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude is leading the way with how the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
St. Jude has spent more than half a century finding cures and saving children, and their groundbreaking research has helped push the survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20% in 1962 to more than 80% today.

You can make a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at:

Great Organizations Doing Great Works -- Part One

Feeding America

Last fiscal year, Feeding America sourced 3.6 billion meals through our network. $1 helps Feeding America provide 11 meals to the more than 48 million people in the U.S. who struggle with hunger enabling them to access the adequate nutritious food they need to feed their families.

1 in 7 Americans face hunger. This means that likely, someone you know may not be getting enough to eat. Your neighbors, children’s classmates or even your friends could be food insecure.

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief organization serving all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. Our mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of 200 member food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

Annually, the Feeding America network provides food assistance to more than 46 million people facing hunger in the United States. That includes 15 million American children and nearly 5.4 million seniors, while also educating the public about hunger and advocates for public policies that positively impact hungry Americans.

While hunger hurts everyone, its effects can be particularly harmful to children. 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger. Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important for establishing a good foundation that has implications for a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity. 

As members of society, we all pay a price for child hunger, as the health of our nation’s children and productivity impacts our entire economy.

While it is Feeding America’s mission to solve hunger and feed more people, we also know that to truly solve hunger, we must address its root causes and help people achieve long-term food security. When families struggle with hunger, they often struggle to meet other basic needs as well – such as healthcare, housing and employment.

Feeding America aims to leverage our network of 200 food banks across the nation and their provision of food to provide for people holistically, by connecting them with multisector resources to help them meet their other basic needs as well. In this way, Feeding America hopes to help people facing hunger build a pathway out of food insecurity and into a bright and stable future.

The rates of hunger in our nation are holding steady at all-time highs. If we don’t address the issue, those numbers could rise – even if they continue to hold steady, this has detrimental implications for the future health and prosperity of our entire nation.

While there are many ways to help Feeding America, financial support is one of the most efficient ways you can support Feeding America’s work to solve our nation’s hunger problem. 

Here are a few examples of what your donation can help Feeding America accomplish:
  • $1 helps provide 11 meals to people in need
  • 1 meal is equivalent to $0.09
  • $1 helps provide 10 pounds of produce
  • $1 helps provide 14 pounds of food
  • $1 helps provide $23 worth of groceries (wholesale value)
You can donate to Feeding America and beating hunger here at home by clicking: Feeding America Donations
Make-A-Wish Foundation of America

Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. 

Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. 

With the help of generous donors and more than 28,000 volunteers, they have granted more than 270,000 wishes since its inception in 1980. Visit Make-A-

To make a donation to Make a Wish, please click: Make A Wish Donations

American Center for Law and Justice

Specializing in constitutional law, the ACLJ is dedicated to the concept that freedom and democracy are God-given inalienable rights that must be protected.

Specializing in constitutional law, the ACLJ is dedicated to the concept that freedom and democracy are God-given inalienable rights that must be protected. 

The organization provides legal services at no charge for those who are persecuted in their efforts to spread the gospel. The American Center for Law and Justice is dedicated to the promotion of pro-liberty, pro-life, and pro-family causes. The organization defends religious liberties, human life, and the family in litigation cases all across the country. 

The ACLJ cooperates with other organizations that are committed to a similar mission, and ACLJ serves the public through educational efforts regarding First Amendment and religious freedom issues as well as other pro-family and pro-life concerns. 

As a not-for-profit organization that does not charge for its legal services, the ACLJ is dependent upon God and the resources He provides through the time, talent and gifts of people who share similar concerns over the erosion of religious and civil liberties.

To make a donation to an organization fighting for our freedom and liberty, please click: ACLJ Donations

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bat Masterson -- Let's Answer Your Questions -- Part One

For a long time now, readers have written to ask why I haven't written about Bat Masterson.

My answer to this question is that there's so much information to get through regarding Bat Masterson that it's almost impossible to write a short article about him and do him justice.

Since many of you have written to ask questions about Bat Masterson, let's go ahead and address some of your questions, starting with the easiest first.

Where was Bat really born?

A reader asked me this because she had been told that Bat was born in Illinois like Wyatt Earp. Well, Bat was actually born in Henryville, Quebec, Canada. Yes, he was Canadian. But there are sources that tell us that he was born in Iroquois County, Illinois and that he was an American. That is false, he was born in Canada.

His father was Thomas Masterson who was born in Canada of Irish descent, and his mother was Catherine McGurk Masterson. She is said to have been born in Ireland. And yes, in a family of seven children, Bat was the second child of five brothers and two sisters.

When was Bat Masterson born?

There is a disagreement over the day and year of his birth. There seems to be an agreement that he was born in November, but not the day or year. Yes, that seems to be up for grabs. There are a number of sources that list his birth date as November 26th, 1853. But there are also sources that put his date of birth on November 24th, 1855, and even 1856. His gravestone says 1854.

Just to show you how some people can't agree on this small issue, the folks who run a website that finds graves list his birth date as "Nov. 26, 1853." But, they provide a picture of his headstone that clearly says "1854 - 1921".  So for me, I believe Bat was born in 1854. Day and month are unknown.

Did Bat Masterson ever work as a lawman under Wyatt Earp?

Another error when reading about Bat Masterson is thinking that he worked for Wyatt Earp in Dodge City. Some sources say he did, but these are the same sources that push the lie that Wyatt Earp was City Marshal of Dodge just because Earp said so during his testimony after the gunfight near the O.K. Corral. The fact is Wyatt Earp was the Assistant City Marshal at one point, but never the City Marshal of Dodge.

Earp said that he was Dodge City's City Marshal a number of times. He also said and that Bat and his brothers Ed and James all worked for him at one point. Well, that was never the case. And actually, none of the Masterson brothers ever worked under Wyatt Earp. They did work with Wyatt Earp as a fellow officer on the Dodge City force, but not under him.

Did Bat Masterson order a pistol from Colt written on a piece of hotel stationery?

Well, yes. Maintained in the Colt Manufacturing Company archives is a letter from Bat Masterson ordering a new revolver. Yes, it was written on July 30th, 1885, on the stationery of the Opera House Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas.

His impromptu letter to Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company reads:

"Please send me one of your nickel-plated short .45 Calibre revolvers, it is for my own use, and for that reason I would like to have a little Extra pains taken with it. I am willing to pay Extra for Extra work. Make it very easy on trigger and have the front sight a little higher and thicker than the ordinary pistol of this kind, put on a gutta percha handle and send it as soon as possible. Have the barrel about the same length as the Ejector rod is. Truly Yours, W.B. Masterson."

Bat Masterson had the 1885 .45 caliber Colt Single-Action Army (SAA) revolver custom-made with a specially-made hammer that was exceptionally fast on release. The front sight was also a little taller and thicker than on the ordinary model. The "gutta percha" handles preferred by Masterson consisted of a tough plastic substance from the latex of several Malaysian trees which resembles rubber. This was his personal preference.

And by the way, since Colt maintains even the smallest of records such as this, don't you think they would have archived and maintained the supposed order for a number of so-called "Buntline Specials"? And since they don't, don't you think that that's just more evidence that the Buntline never existed. I do.

Did Bat Masterson sell Colt's from pawnshops as his own?

A reader wrote to say that he had heard a friend say that Masterson used to buy Colt Peacemakers from pawn shops and sell them to unsuspected "suckers" as the ones used in his gunfights. Did it really take place?

Well, that story has to do with his living in New York City. He immediately found himself a "celebrity" of sorts. That is after being arrested when he first got there.

When he arrived in New York City in 1902, he was immediately arrested for conducting a crooked faro game and carrying a concealed weapon. The crooked gaming charges were dismissed and he was fined $10 for carrying the gun. It was after the charges were dropped that he decided to stay on in New York for a while simply because he liked all the attention.

Soon after arriving, his bowler and 1890s sack suit fashion disappeared. And yes, so was the case with his mustache and his pistol. Even his cane was hardly seen, with the exception of when an old injury flared up. Yes, for all practical intense and purposes, Bat Masterson became the quintessential New Yorker. And as seen above, he dressed like everyone else there looking just like an Eastern "dude".

He gambled of course, but also worked as a referee and at a race track. And yes, later he became a sports reporter writing for The New York Morning Telegraph. Besides sporting events, it's said he was known in gambling circles, in high society, and at Broadway theaters and restaurants. That and his "legend" as an Old West gunfighter made him quite the New York celebrity.

As with celebrities today, he would be mobbed by admiring tourists who read about the hundreds of men he outdrew and the scores of Indians that he killed all in one afternoon. And yes, according to reports, periodically there was someone who would come to him wanting to buy one of his revolvers as a "souvenir."

The story goes that he would oblige them by going to a pawnshop and buying a cheap Peacemaker. When he found out that people were disappointed that his pistol didn't have "notches" cut into its grip for all the men that he killed, it's said that he would cut a few notches in the grips before selling the gun as a souvenir. And yes, reports say that he was known to have done that at least half a dozen times or more.

If, just if, you think that he was the only one to cash in on what Dime-Novelists wrote, please remember that Jessie James' mother sold rocks from Jessie James' grave. Yes, to visitors looking for souvenirs. And yes, James' mother would replenish his grave almost every day with a new buck of rocks from the river.

And since we're talking about people making money off of a reputation, infamous or not, remember that after Wyatt's death, Josie Earp was said to have sold a number of guns she said all belonged to him. I read one account that said she sold more than a dozen pistols that she supposedly said: "Wyatt carried on a daily basis." I think she and others who profited from their notoriety probably laughed all the way to the bank.

Did Bat Masterson do celebrity endorsements in New York?

One of the more interesting questions that I've been asked about Bat Masterson has to do with his being a "celebrity" in New York. Actually, a few of my readers have asked if "celebrities" in the 1800s and early 1900s did endorsements like celebrities do today? And frankly, the short answer to that is -- yes they did.

Believe it or not, from cigarettes to soap to guns, there were actually many "celebrities" back then who did in fact lend their names to do product endorsements. Yes, they got paid to be in an ad.

Above is the ad that Bat Materson did for Savage Arms around 1908. As for Bat Masterson, as you can see, he lent his name to the above advertisement for Savage Arms. With this ad, we can see that he was in at least one advertisement that we know of.

So yes, he did hire out and lent his name to do advertising like many celebrities today. And frankly, I'm sure he got paid well to do it. But friends, Masterson was probably approached to lend his name to endorse Savage Arms in the same way that the great Buffalo Bill Cody and American detective William J. Burns were. Both of them also lent their names to Savage Arms ads prior to World War I.

Now as for the Number One question being asked, let's talk about Bat's name and how he got it.

As for his name, there's a belief as to why he was called "Bat" that is just wrong. And actually, the real reason is maybe too simple for people to accept. Some refuse to see facts as they are because the story doesn't match the myth.

Yes, there are a number of folks out there who are trying to pass off the story of his use of his cane to club lawbreakers as the reason for his famous nickname. Yes, we can find a number of sources that all say basically the same thing as what this one source wrote:

"In his first gunfight, which took place in Sweetwater, Texas, he killed his opponent but sustained a pelvis injury which necessitated utilizing a cane for the rest of his life, gaining him the moniker 'Bat' as he often used it on future antagonists."

Was he called "Bat" because of the Sweetwater Shootout?

The gunfight being referred to is the famous "Sweetwater Shootout" in Sweetwater, Texas. It took place on the night of January 24th, 1876, in the Lady Gay Saloon in Sweetwater, Texas. The town is now known as the town of Mobeetie. And yes, it was over a dance hall gal by the name of Mollie Brennan.

For more on that gunfight, please go to Bat Masterson -- The Sweetwater Shootout

There are folks who say it was as a result of the wound he sustained that night. Yes, some folks believe that that's where his nickname "Bat" came from. And while it is true that Bat Masterson's wound was very severe and needed the assistance of a cane while recuperating and even later, some spread the myth that he used his cane as a club to "bat" outlaws and other lawbreakers over the head.

Of course, the problem with the notion that that is why Bat Masterson was called "Bat," is that he was called by the nickname Bat long before he ever arrived in Sweetwater or ever met Corporal King and Mollie Brennan. So no, he did not use his cane as a club to tame the West.

He was called "Bat" for a very good reason, but that ain't it!

The truth is that he was the second oldest among his 3 brothers and two. His formal name, his baptized name, his given name, was Bartholomew. Now, imagine if you would, all of his much younger brothers and sisters trying to say "Bartholomew." Yep, it's just not going to happen. Subsequently, his siblings called him "Bat."

While I know that doesn't sound as cool as the whole getting shot in the groin and using your cane to bat badmen over the head story, that's where it comes from.

Bartholomew Masterson grew up as "Bat" to his brothers and sisters, and apparently, he hated the name his parents gave him. He hated being called "Bartholomew" so much that he actually changed his name later and started calling himself William Barclay Masterson.

Friends, my older brother, my brother who recently passed away, hated his first name. He hated his first name growing up. And later when he was in the Navy, he simply started going by his middle name. But frankly, that didn't matter to me and my younger brothers and sisters. We never called our older brother anything other than what we were brought up calling him. That's just the way it is with siblings.

For Bat Masterson, he was in the exact same situation as my older brother. His siblings called him "Bat" which was short for Bartholomew, and would never stop doing that. Yes, no matter how many times he changed his name. As I said, that's just how siblings are.

So yes, that's part of why I believe that Bat was called "Bat". It was because his brothers called him "Bat." Bat even said so himself in a roundabout way. He was reportedly asked once about his name and stated that he didn't start using Bat on a regular basis, with everyone other than his family until he started hunting buffalo with his brothers. They called him Bat and people picked it up from them. And frankly, that makes sense because we know that his siblings called him "Bat" short for Bartholomew.

We know that they always called their brother "Bat" even after he later swapped Bartholomew for William. Since he came West with his brothers Ed and James, who always called him "Bat," most folks around them simply picked it up from them.

Just as the way life is today, we hear someone calling someone by a name and we assume that's his or her name. After people on the frontier kept hearing his brothers refer to him as "Bat," they figured that that was his name and they called him the same.

We should also remember that people during the time had nicknames and even aliases of one sort or another for all sorts of reasons. Along with people having nicknames and aliases, in the Old West, a person's business was their own. It was considered impolite to even ask a person where they were from, nevertheless why their name was what it was.

William Brocius was called Curly Bill, and not too many know why he was called "Curly." Some say it was his curly hair, others say he was a "curly wolf" which was slang at the time meaning a "tough character." John Wilson Vermillion was known as "Texas Jack," and people called him "Texas Jack" even though he was from Virginia.

Richard Barter was known as Rattlesnake Dick, and it's said most didn't even know his last name. William Blake was known as "Tulsa Jack" yet he was from Kansas. Roy Daugherty was known as "Arkansas Tom Jones" yet he was from Missouri. Of course, the ultimate in aliases was that which Charles Boles took for himself. He took his handle Black Bart out of a comic strip in a Sacramento, California, newspaper.

So all in all, the basic rule of thumb was that if one was okay with being called "Rattlesnake Dick," "Texas Jack," "Tulsa Jack," "Curly Bill," "Arkansas Tom," or even "Bat Masterson," then that was totally acceptable to folks. No reason was needed nor necessary. And frankly, people knew better than to ask because it wasn't any of their business.

As with most of us, we all know people who are called something other than their formal name. Whether it's referring to someone as Bob instead of Robert, or Bill instead of William, it's very common to use an informal way of addressing people. Now, if you think that people would wonder why call him "Bat" if they knew his name as William, most folks called him "Bat" simply because they saw that it was acceptable to him.

It is sort of like a lot of us who have had nicknames for either our names or something we may have done, sometimes they just stick -- and others just pick it up from our friends and families.

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

Tom Correa

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I'm Thankful For A Lifetime Of Huge

Dear Friends, Happy Thanksgiving.

My wife is sitting in our living room watching a Christmas movie on the Hallmark Chanel, and I just walked in from feeding our horses. We have a few horses. And for right now, since there has been a sever weather warning issued, they are undercover in our barn.

Our barn is not huge. I've never had the funds for anything huge in my life. I've always been content with what I've built and worked for. And frankly, I thought about that walking back to our house tonight. I looked at our small barn, really just a little more than a large stable instead of a barn. And I looked at the chewed boards still not replaced. I looked at each horse munching away.

I looked and shock my head in disbelief. You see, though I've never had a lot of funds, I found that I was wrong when I was thinking that I haven't had anything huge. Frankly, I've had a lifetime of huge.

Moving over to sit in a wooden chair near our fire pit. I sat for a few minutes under tonight's starry sky with the crisp wind shaking the trees, and smiled at all I have. And no, I'm not talking about having horses, a piece of property in the hill country, or a barn that my dad, and I and my brothers and my nephews built.

I'm talking about my wonderful wife, her parents and my mom, my brothers and sisters, my many nieces and nephews and their wonderful children. Yes, I'm talking about God's blessings.

I lost my older brother earlier this month, and I'm fine now with him being out of pain. I feel blessed. Yes, I feel thankful to God that we were able to become closer over the last 15 years. While the pain is there, I understand that us becoming close friends and not merely brothers was something that God said was about time. And while, I'm thankful for my things, I'm truly grateful to God for giving me the time with my brother that he did.

And since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I thank God for filling my life with blessings that I never thought possible. Blessings that I never thought I was worthy of.

I thank God everyday that I have the wife that I do. For me, she is my best friend, my companion, my rock, my soul, my strength when I can't find it, my sanity in a world that makes me nuts at times.

Dear Lord, I sometimes wonder how she puts up with me and my eccentricities. Yes, my love of history and the past, my past, our past, the Old West, the similarities of the Cowboy Code to my Marine Ethos. Yes, my belief that American Cowboys and U.S. Marines share core values of honor, courage, and commitment. A belief that means living a life where integrity, loyalty, honor, selflessness, and courage is one's guide.

Yes, she puts up with my belief that fairness can be real and people need to work to be good. And yes, I love good deeds and good people, great parents and needy horses. And I will always help a neighbor, especially if he and she has already tried to help themself.

And frankly, it is no wonder that she became a Master Gardener.  Patients and nurturing is obviously her strong suit. Yes, she would have been a great farmer simply because she loves the land and nurtures that which she plants. And whether it's her vegetable garden or the flowers and such that she plants at our front door, she digs the earth, adds what's needed and waits for favorable results. Yes indeed, I thank God everyday that I have the wife that I do.

So while I'm thankful to God for my mom's good health, and while I'm thankful that the rest of my family is not giving in and fighting to keep the devil at bay, I thank God that my friends are good and tough and real.

I'm thankful for the friendships that have come my way, the camaraderie of my brother and sister Vets at our American Legion Post, the fondness I have for my wonderful neighbors, this good place called Glencoe where I call home.

My wife told me this tonight, it is something she has on a piece of art, it reads, "The secret to having it all is believing that you already do."

Yes, she's right. Looking around at what I've weathered, both the trails and trials, both the heartache and the love. And yes, I'm thankful to God for my having a lifetime of huge blessings.

I pray that Gods grants you and yours huge blessings.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bat Masterson -- The Sweetwater Shootout

What would become known as the Sweetwater Shootout took place on the night of January 24th, 1876, in the Lady Gay Saloon in Sweetwater, Texas. The town which is now known as the town of Mobeetie. And yes, it was over a dance hall gal by the name of Mollie Brennan.

As with most gunfights, the Sweetwater Shootout was pretty quick. And like most gunfights, it was a down and dirty affair where only three shots were fired at fairly close range.

Of course, that is fairly common, very normal, for most gunfights even today. And while that's not saying that rolling gunfights didn't happen, such as the Battle at the Plaza in Dodge City where parties actually ran out of ammo, the Sweetwater Shootout was like most in that it took no time at all.

It involved a soldier known as Melvin A. King a woman named Mollie Brennan, and of course the now famous Bat Masterson. And though he really would become a legend in his own time, at that point he was just starting to build his reputation.

Before going on to what took place, let's address the drunken hothead also known as Sergeant King. Why King is called "Sergeant" by some is a question that I can't find a satisfactory answer for. That's especially true considering he was actually only a Corporal and was not a Sergeant. Records show that cavalry soldier Corporal Melvin A. King was part of the then-4th Cavalry, Company H, stationed at Fort Elliot, Texas.

While I have not been able to find a plausible reason for King being called a "Sergeant" instead of his actual rank, one speculation for the discrepancy about his rank is that when the story was being passed around someone simply mistakenly started calling him "Sergeant King' and it stuck. But frankly, I really don't think anyone really knows for certain why he wasn't called by his actual rank.

And as for his name, Melvin A. King, well that appears bogus as well. Granted that it wasn't out of the ordinary for people to change their names back then, especially if they had a sorted past, maybe running from the law, or simply wanting a fresh start.

In the Old West, and even into the early-20th Century, there were many with checkered pasts who joined the military under false names. While I don't know if this was the situation with Melvin A. King or not, his real name was actually Anthony Cook.

As for Mollie Brennan, in 1872, she was in Ellsworth, Kansas, where she married a saloon keeper named Joe Brennan. By 1873, she apparently became involved with her husband's brother. And when he fled town after a shooting incident where the law was involved, she followed him to Texas. She arrived in Sweetwater, and soon enough she worked as a dance hall girl at Charlie Norton's establishment.

On the night of January 24, 1876, Bat Masterson joined a poker game at the Lady Gay Saloon there in Sweetwater. Charlie Norton's dance hall girls had the night off and were at the Lady Gay as well. 

Bat's poker game also involved Harry Fleming, Jim Duffy and Corporal Melvin A. King. Witnesses stated later that King left the Lady Gay very drunk and angry.
Then near midnight, Masterson, Mollie, and Charlie Norton left the Lady Gay and walked over to Norton's dance hall. 

It's said that Bat and Mollie were talking when Corporal King, still drunk and angry as all get out, knocked on the door. Bat got up to answer it, and at that moment King burst in the door with a revolver in his hand. 

King didn't wait or say a word, he simply cut loose with two shots. One struck Bat in the lower abdomen, the other round struck Mollie killing her instantly.

It's said a moment after Bat was hit with the first shot, Mollie threw herself between the men. Whether she did it to protect Bat or simply get out of the way, no one really knows. We do know that different sources say she either threw herself or jumped between King and Masterson in an effort to save Bat's life.

Of course there are some who say since Mollie Brennan was a dance hall girl, a gal rumored to be a prostitute, and known to be King's "girlfriend," that she may have thought that she could stop King from finishing off Masterson and simply got in the way. Either way, accident or not, King's second shot killed her.

So King's first bullet struck Bat in the groin actually knocked him to the floor. Then when he pulled off another round to finish Masterson off, King instead shoots Mollie.

Because that second round hit Mollie, Bat has the time to collect himself and draw his own gun. He fires a single shot that strikes King in the heart. Yes, Bat ends up killing King with a single shot while wounded on the floor. And friends, that's quite a feat considering he was shot, bleeding, and in massive pain.

That was Bat Masterson's first shootout. He would go on to use a firearm five more times in his life before settling down as a New York sports writer. But there is something else about the Sweetwater Shootout, something that goes to the myth and legend of Bat Masterson.

Many folks believe that it was because of the Sweetwater Shootout that Bat Masterson started to be called "Bat." They say it was as a result of the wound he sustained that night. Yes, some folks believe that that's where his nickname "Bat" came from.

While it is true that Bat Masterson's wound was very sever and needed the assistance of a cane while recuperating and even later, some spread the myth that he used used his cane as a club to "bat" outlaws and other lawbreakers over the head. Fact is, he did not use his cane as a club to tame the West.

Of course the problem with the notion that that is why Bat Masterson was called "Bat," is that he was called by the nickname Bat long before he ever arrived in Sweetwater or ever met Corporal King and Mollie Brennan.

Tom Correa

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Wives of Virgil, Wyatt, and Morgan Earp

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Old West Historian

After my article on Nellie Cashman, I have decided to do a short series about women who lived in the Old West.

Louisa Houston Earp, who was married to Morgan Earp in Montana sometime between 1871 and 1877, was born on January 24th, 1855, in Wisconsin and was supposedly the granddaughter of Sam Houston of Texas fame. Before Lou, as she was known, met Morgan, she and her sister Kate were both Harvey girls.

Fred Harvey opened a chain of hotels and restaurants along the railroad lines, which became known as Harvey Houses. In order to become a "Harvey Girl," the women had to have at least an 8th-grade education, good moral character, good manners, and be neat as well as articulate. Not only did Louisa have all of those qualities about her, but she was also a very pretty woman who didn't hurt either.

Just as always, Hollywood rarely gets anything correct. In the movie Tombstone, Louisa Earp went to Morgan's side in Hatches saloon after he was shot and killed. In reality, Louisa was staying with Morgan Earp's mother and father in Colton, California, at the time Morgan was killed. He felt that she would be safer with his folks than being in Tombstone.

After Morgan's death, Louisa stayed in Southern California, where, in 1885, she re-married a longshoreman in Long Beach by the name of Gustav Peters. This marriage only lasted about four years because Louisa died on June 12th, 1894, of Nephritis and Diarrhea.

Nephritis is a medical term for inflamed kidneys, and if not treated, it leads to complete kidney failure. It was said about Lou by people who knew her that Morgan was the true love of her life and that she actually died of a broken heart -- if one can believe that.

Celia Ann "Mattie" Blaylock, Wyatt Earp's common-law wife, was born in January of 1850 in Monroe Township, Johnson County, Iowa, not far from Fairfax, Iowa. Being raised on her very strict parents' farm, Celia or Celie, as she was known by her nickname, wanted nothing to do with farm life, and with her younger sister, Sarah ran away in 1868.

It's not known how the two survived during that time, but both were excellent seamstresses and could have made their living at that trade. At some point within a year, Sarah decided that it was too hard trying to survive on her own and went home to her parents.

It was sometime after her sister left that Celia chose the alias of "Mattie." This was most likely to conceal her real name and identity.

The first known record of Mattie was of a picture taken in Fort Scott in 1871, and court records show she had adopted prostitution as her profession in 1872. Mattie met Wyatt Earp in Fort Scott and again later in Dodge City somewhere between 1871 and 1873.

During Wyatt and Mattie's early time together, she continued plying her trade as a prostitute. In the 1878 United States Census, she was listed as Wyatt's wife but no record of a legal marriage between the two ever existed.

Mattie became afflicted with severe headaches, which today would be known as migraines. And by the time she and Wyatt arrived in Tombstone, Mattie was addicted to Laudanum, which was a very strong opiate pain killer of that time period.

Following the murder of Morgan Earp in March of 1882, Wyatt, along with his youngest brother Warren as well as other posse members, began their vendetta ride searching out Morgan's killers. Mattie left Tombstone with the other Earp family members and headed to Colton, California, to the home of their parents.

Mattie waited to hear from Wyatt, but she never did. Basically, Wyatt had abandoned her with his folks, and after the vendetta ride ended, he headed into New Mexico and on to Colorado while all the time planning to head up to San Francisco to be with Josephine Marcus.

Mattie left Colton and went to Pinal City, Arizona, where she had planned once again to ply her trade of prostitution, but when she arrived, the silver boom town had mostly played out, and the bulk of the population had moved on, making it hard for her to make a living.

Mattie died of a lethal dose of Laudanum mixed with alcohol on July 3rd, 1888. Her death was ruled a suicide, but it is possible that it was an accidental overdose because no suicide note was found. If Mattie would have wanted Wyatt to feel guilty for her death like the movie Tombstone presented, she would have defiantly left a suicide note.

Josephine Sara Marcus, Wyatt Earp's last common-law wife, was born in 1860 in New York, but the family moved shortly afterward to San Francisco, California, in 1868. Josephine attended dance school somewhere between the ages of 7 or 8 and decided to run away from home around the age of 14.

Records show that she may have reached Prescott, Arizona Territory, as early as 1874 as well as Tip Top, Arizona Territory, that same year under the name of Sadie Mansfield, working as a prostitute in the area from 1874 to 1876. She became ill and returned home to San Francisco, possibly in 1876.

Josephine's life is very sketchy between the years of 1874 to 1880, but the records of Tombstone, later on, had also shown the name of Sadie Mansfield, and the two were very similar in many ways, making it a high probability that Sadie and Josephine were one and the same.

Josie, as she was known, joined the Pauline Markham Theater Company around the age of 19 in 1879. And while in the Arizona Territory, she fell in love with Johnnie Behan, who was the Cochise County Sheriff. He resided in Tombstone.

Behan had promised to marry her, but he never did, so she became known as his common-law wife. Sometime between 1880 and 1881, Josie left Behan for Wyatt Earp even though Wyatt was still with Mattie, his common-law wife.

After the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Josie returned to San Francisco in 1882, where she was met by Wyatt in the fall of that same year. Wyatt and Josie stayed together until Wyatt's death in 1929. They were together for 46 years.

Once again, Hollywood gets it wrong in the movie Tombstone. In the movie, Josie came to Tombstone with an entertainment troupe and put on a show at the Birdcage Theater. This is not possible because the Birdcage Theater did not open until December 26th, 1881, two months after the gunfight at the OK Corral had taken place.

Alvira "Allie" Packingham Sullivan Earp, or Allie as she was known, was born to John and Mary Louise Sullivan on January 1st, 1849, in Florence, Nebraska Territory, which is now part of Omaha. She was the middle child of nine children.

The Sullivan family witnessed the Mormon Migration while living in Florence at the same time Brigham Young was there.

The family moved to Omaha just before Allie's father went off to fight in the Civil War in 1861, and shortly after that, her mother died. Allie's father, John Sullivan, could not be reached, so Allie and her siblings were divided up among various families in Omaha. Allie lived with the McGath family, where she was treated as nothing more than an indentured servant, so she ran away living with various other families in the area.

In 1873, Allie was working as a waitress in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she met Virgil Earp. From there, in 1879, the couple traveled to Prescott, Arizona Territory, where Virgil was appointed Deputy United States Marshal on November 27th, 1879. And after only one month, they went to Tombstone.

In retaliation for the O.K. Corral shootout, Virgil was badly wounded on December 28th, 1882, losing the use of his left arm, with Allie staying by his side almost constantly. After Morgan Earp was murdered by an ambush on March 18th, 1882, Allie, along with the rest of the Earp family, escorted Morgan's body, departing Tucson on March 20th, only two days after Morgan's death, to the home of the Earp seniors in Colton, California.

Allie was with Virgil as he became a peace officer in Colton, and up until the time he became the city marshal in Gold Field, Nevada, where he contracted phenomena and died in 1905. Allie Passed away on her birthday, January 1st, 1947, at the ripe old age of 98 years.

We all know the story of the Earp brothers while they were in Tombstone, but the story of their wives is just as interesting but in a different way. These women lived a hard life even before meeting the Earp brothers and lived a hard, heartbreaking life after becoming the wives of these men.

In this day and age, we can't even imagine the hardships of the women who did whatever it took just to survive back then. Make no mistake, the majority of western women during that time period were a hardy lot.

About the author:

Terry McGahey is a writer and Old West historian.

This once working cowboy is best known for his fight against the City of Tombstone and their historic City Ordinance Number 9, America's most famous gun-control law.

He was instrumental in finally getting Tombstone City Ordinance Number 9 repealed and having Tombstone fall in line with the state of Arizona.

If you care to read how he fought Tombstone's City Hall and won, please click:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

By Voting -- I Protested

If you know a Clinton supporter who is rioting, burning cars and buildings, or attacking law enforcement officers, please explain to them that We The People have had our protest -- and we won!

It's true! As part of We The People, I protested recently. In fact, a great number of us protested. It was such a protest that many are now calling it a revolution. And fact is, they are right! It was a revolution to make America great again. And yes, we won!

What was I protesting against? 

Well, I protested against Obama and his ilk, Obama's executive orders, ObamaCare, the Clinton political machine, over-regulation, over-taxation, Socialism, Communism, government over-reach, the lies and the fraud and the waste and more.

I protested against Democrats and RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) who consistently attack our sacred Bill of Rights, especially the 2nd Amendment which grants us the right to self-protection. I protested against our Federal government bowing to the will of the United Nations. I protested against United Nations Agenda 21 and the corruption in the UN which supports attacks on Israel.

I protested against Obama looking the American people in the eye time and time again and knowingly lying to us about everything under the sun. Including, how he lied to the American people about why 4 Americans were allowed to die in Benghazi, Libya, and Hillary Clinton's role in allowing those Americans to die when U.S. Marines were only an hour away.

Yes indeed, I protested against the blatant abuse of power by Obama and this administration, their continuous criminal conduct. I protested against the double-standard taking place in America these days, the fact that we don't need a two-tier justice system where the rich and politically connected don't have to answer for their unethical conduct while average Americans are harassed and harangued by the government for crimes not committed.

I protested against a government which fines and imprisons men and women in our military for doing far less than what presidential candidate Hillary Clinton admitted to doing. And yes, I protested against a government run by the Democrat Party. A government where the Democrat Party tells our so-called representatives how to govern. A government which failed to listen to the people and only acts in its own self interest and above the rule of law.

And yes, I protested against the Liberal Mainstream Media. I protested against their nonexistent integrity, no impartiality, their pure partisanship and hate for Conservatives.

Yes, I protested against CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and taxpayer funded NPR,all which have been shown to be controlled by the Democrat Party. All just a giant propaganda machine a hundred times larger than Pravda which was the official news agency of the Soviet Union's Communist Party.

I protested against the evils of Political Correctness, Liberal indoctrination in our schools, Leftist teachers, government attacks on Christmas, and their fervent persecution of Christians.

I protested against not allowing Christian prayer in schools, yet allowing Muslim religious rites to be taught in schools. I protested against a government which attacks Christian bakers for not baking a cake for someone who violates their belief, yet allowing Muslims to refuse to bake a cake for a Jew.

Yes, I protested against the double standard that persecutes the rites and practices, the age old traditions of Christians, a religion that makes up over 80% of the American population, while giving preference to Muslims which make up less than 1% of our population.

I protested against allowing Syrian Muslims into the United States when they have absolutely no desire to assimilate or adhere to the Constitution of the United States. Time and time again, Muslim religious leaders have come forth to say they will not live under our Constitution. Their reasoning is that the Koran, and Sharia Laws, supersedes, yes trumps, our Constitution.

I protested against this and the fact that they want to come here with violent intentions. Violent intentions such as the killing of gays and those who refuse to convert to Islam. I protested against Democrats and RINO (Republicans In Name Only) who see the Muslim threat as exaggerated and want more Muslims to be allowed in.

I protested against the IRS using their power to audit political opponents, and I protested the EPA acting as a dictatorial agency putting businesses out of business. I protested against the Climate Change hoax, the contamination of rivers by the very people who fine and imprison others for doing far less, and the killing of an innocent rancher protesting in Oregon.

I protested against a government that uses unreasonable regulations and restriction to attack ranchers and farmers, and manufacturers, yet allows produce and meats and other goods to come into our nation from nations that uses banned pesticides and human waste as fertilizer. Yes, nations that use slave labor and political prisoners to manufacture goods to be sold here.

What? You didn't see me on a street threatening to assassinate president-elect Donald Trump? You didn't see me beat and kill supporters of Donald Trump? You didn't see me do the things that many Clinton protesters are doing?

There is a reason that you didn't see my mugshot on the news. I protested by voting for Donald Trump and the Republican Party. I protest by standing in line and filling out a ballot. I protested by making my voice heard in the way that American protests should take place.

No, I did not go out into the streets and burn cars and attack law enforcement officers. The irony of course is that those who are doing that, are actually burning and looting in Blue cities and counties.

Yes, they are actually protesting and attacking others who voted for Hillary Clinton and the Democrat Party. But of course, besides Blue folks rioting and attacking people in Blue cities and counties, there is another irony to all of the anti-Trump protests going on.

Unlike me and the millions who voted our protest, and in fact achieved our goal of putting Donald Trump in the White House, it has been reported that the vast majority of anti-Trump protesters, yes those ignorant vile individuals who hate all for the sack of hating, actually didn't bother getting off their lead asses and vote for the person that are supposedly so passionate about now. 

While they should have voted to make their voices heard as adults exercising their right to choose our new leader, the vile bastards that are now protesting -- are now doing so like children. Yes, the Democrat protesters out there right now are nothing more than whiny out of control children no different than those brats everyone has seen in grocery stores. They throw themselves on the floor and have a temper tantrum because they can't get their way.

And yes, the last bit of irony is that they are throwing a tantrum and angry at the results which they helped creating by not voting. Fact is, if they want to be angry at something, instead of being angry at our election system, they should be angry at each other for not voting.

Friends, if you want to try to educate them, forget it. Many of these petulant children are ultra-Liberal University students. And because they are who they are, and since they are being lectured by professors who hate America while reaping the rewards of living in America, these students think they know it all.

Subsequently, they can't be helped because they will never understand how my protest achieved something or value while their's will not.

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

Tom Correa

Friday, November 11, 2016

William Mason -- Unknown Genius, Gunsmith, Inventor

Dear Friends,

Every once in a while, I'll find someone who really needs to be talked about. And as my regular readers already know, I talk a lot about the real Old West and those who have contributed significantly to our history. And yes, as most of you know, I like talking about people who are not very well known. Yes, the unsung heroes, lawmen, great inventors, the pioneers who have taken a back seat to the more glamorized individuals made famous in Dime Novels, and later Hollywood.

As for great American gunsmiths and inventors, most folks know the story behind the partnership of Smith & Wesson and the genius of John Moses Browning. And of course, most know about Samuel Colt and how, in 1836, he patented the first revolver mechanism that led to the widespread use of revolvers.

Most know the story about how Colt came up with the idea for the revolver while at sea. Most know how he was inspired by the capstan, which had a ratchet and pawl mechanism on it, a version of which was used in his guns to rotate the cylinder. And of course, we know of his great design which is the 1873 Colt Single Action Army.

But wait, Samuel Colt died on January 10th, 1862. So how did he invent the 1873 Colt Peacemaker? Well, he didn't. That distinction goes to the man that I want to talk about here. Yes, the man that I'm about to talk about actually created some of the most iconic guns and firearm innovations in the history of firearms. Yet very sadly, he's almost completely unknown.

His name is William Mason, and he was born on January 30th, 1837, in Oswego, New York. He died on July 17th, 1913, in Worcester, Massachusetts. Yes, he died at 76 years of age. And by the way, he was still involved in making guns when he passed on.

So who was William Mason, you ask?

Well, he was a pattern-maker, a mechanical engineer, in fact one of the founding members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was a gunsmith, a gun designer, a machinist. He was an inventor who worked for Remington Arms, Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, and Winchester Repeating Arms Company throughout the mid to late 1800s and the very early days of the 20th century.

While some say he started out with Colt, he actually started our his career as a gunsmith and inventor as an apprentice pattern-maker with Remington Arms. It was there that he started working in the gun business. And yes, it was there that he made a name for himself in the firearms industry.

The Swing-Out Cylinder

While at Remington Arms, he received U.S. patent 51,117, on November 21st, 1865. This was the patent for a swing-out cylinder used today for easy loading and the star ejector mechanism to eject spent cartridge cases in revolvers.

As most of us know, the most modern method of loading and unloading a revolver is by means of the swing out cylinder. So if you've ever wondered who designed and patented the swing-out cylinder and the star ejector mechanism that we all use to eject spent cartridge cases from modern revolvers, that inventor was William Mason.

In 1866, he left Remington Arms to work for Colt as the Superintendent of their armory. As I stated before. Samuel Colt died on January 10th, 1862. So yes, it had been over four years by the time William Mason went to work for Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company. And with his talents and genius, Colt Manufacturing Company would reap the rewards of hiring William Mason.

In fact, among other great innovations, because of William Mason, Colt Manufacturing Company would be the first firearms manufacturer to produce a revolver with a swing-out cylinder. That pistol was the 1889 Colt which we will talk about later.

The Richards-Mason Conversion

It's said that because Colt was legally bound by the Rollin White patent #12,648 of, April 3, 1855, and not wanting to pay a royalty fee to Smith & Wesson, Colt could not begin development of bored-through revolver cylinders for metallic cartridge use until April 4, 1869. But once the Rollin White patent expired, along with gunsmith Charles Brinckerhoff Richards, William Mason patented designs to convert percussion revolvers into rear-loading metallic cartridge revolvers. Those converted revolvers are identified as the "Richards-Mason conversion".

While an early form of centerfire ammunition, without a percussion cap, was invented between 1808 and 1812 by Jean Samuel Pauly. The first fully integrated centerfire ammunition was invented by the Frenchman Clement Pottet in 1829. However, Pottet would not perfect his design until 1855.

The conversion of percussion revolvers to fire self-contained metallic cartridges was taking place before the Civil War, 1861 to 1865. Then because troops discovered the advantages of the cartridge over loose powder and ball or paper cartridges, the development of centerfire ammunition really took off after the war.

At the time the concept of a metallic cartridge became widely accepted simply because of their reliability in all types of weather, they could be carried without having to worry about the integrity of the cartridge, and of course the ease and speed of reloading compared to loose powder, loose balls, and paper cartridges. 

In the early days of westward expansion, you needed your pistol or rifle or shotgun to fire when you needed it to fire. Many a pioneer reported damp powder, and hard to find balls. And yes, paper cartridges were fragile and rough handling left you with a ball and powder in the bottom of your cartridge box!

Early Colt conversions were based on the patent by Elisha Root. These conversions, while a marvel in engineering, were not very reliable or popular and the metallic cartridge was loaded into the front of the cylinder in much the same manner as the older percussion revolvers the conversions were based on.

In 1871, Richards was given a patent for converting the popular Colt 1860 Army revolver to fire metallic cartridges. Richards' patent used a rimmed metallic cartridge that loaded into the rear of the cylinder. It was William Mason who was given a patent for his conversion of the Colt revolver that was simpler than the Richards' patent.

After working on these conversions, Mason began work on Colt's first metallic cartridge revolvers in 1871. The Colt Model 1871-72 "Open Top" revolver was the third such pistol, following the .41 caliber House Pistol and the .22 caliber seven-shot Open Top. 

The Open Top .44 was a completely new design and the parts would not interchange with the older percussion pistols. Mason moved the rear sight to the rear of the barrel as opposed to the hammer or the breechblock of the earlier efforts.

The caliber was .44 Henry and it was submitted to the US Army for testing in 1872. The Army rejected the pistol. But they stated that they would accept a resubmitted pistol with a more powerful caliber in a stronger frame. 

The 1873 Colt Single Action Army  

For the redesign of what would become the 1873 Colt Single Action Army, Colt turned to its best two engineers -- William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards. Colt knew both had made valuable contributions to the company by developing a number of revolvers and black powder conversions.

Tasked with the demand for more knockdown power and a more robust frame, Charles Richards worked on a new cartridge while William Mason redesigned the frame to incorporate a top strap which was already in use by Remington and other gun makers on their revolvers. Mason also placed the rear sight on the rear of the frame.

While the first prototype was chambered in .44 rimfire, the revised version utilized the newly designed caliber known as the .45 Colt. At the time, the .45 Colt cartridge was, as is today, a centerfire design. But the original .45 Colt cartridge contained charges of up to 40 grains of black powder and a 255-grain blunt round nosed bullet.  Yes, there you have the knockdown power which has became legendary.

The result of Mason and Richards' work was a revolver that was chosen by the Army in 1872. The first order was shipped in the summer of 1873. The first order was for 8000 revolvers. Yes, with that the legendary 1873 Colt Single Action Army revolver, also known as the Colt Peacemaker, was born. 

Also referred to as the "New Model Army Metallic Cartridge Revolving Pistol," production began in 1873 with the very first Single Action Army revolvers.

As for a bit of trivia, though thought lost after its production, 1873 Colt Single Action Army with the Serial Number 1 was found in a barn in Nashua, New Hampshire in the early 1900s. And though the Colt Colt Single Action Army has been offered in over 30 different calibers and various barrel lengths over the years, the pistol with Serial Number 1 was chambered in .45 Colt.

The Colt Single Action Army revolver, along with the 1870 and 1875 Smith & Wesson Model 3 "Schofield" revolver, replaced the Colt 1860 Army Percussion revolver. While it's said that the Colt quickly gained favor over the S&W and remained the primary US military sidearm until 1892, that was due to the anemic round of the S7W Model 3. Fact is, those issued the Model 3 preferred the loading and unloading of the Model 3 over the Colt Single Action Army.

Combining the Single Action Army with the potent knockdown power of the .45 Colt, and it is no wonder that 12,500 Colt Single Action Army revolvers chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge had been sold by the end of 1874.

Colt's 1874 "The New Line"

After the success of the Colt Single Action Army and Colt's conversion of existing percussion revolvers to Richards-Mason conversions, William Mason went on to design Colt's smallest revolvers "The New Line" in 1874. 

"The New Line" of 1874
There were 5 variants of Colt's smallest revolver "The New Line" of 1874, each differed in size and caliber, but all using a breechblock designed by Mason. And yes, to answer the question if this was Colt's attempt to get into the pocket pistol business dominated by Smith & Wesson and others? Yes it was. 

Colt 1877 "Lightning"

While it is said that Colt had first developed the concept of a "double-action" revolver as early as 1857 and a patent was filed, it was never built by Colt. Fact is, double-action revolvers were being made in Europe for many years before Colt patented his concept of a double-action. 

Some want to give credit to British gun maker Robert Adams for his 1851 double-action design. Robert Adams, who was a manager for a London based gun manufacturer called George & John Deane, invented a revolver where pulling the trigger cocked the hammer, rotated the chamber and then released the hammer, all with a single trigger pull. His double-action pistol was a cap and ball percussion revolver.

While percussion caps were developed in the 1820s, pinfire metallic cartridges were invented by French gun maker Casimir Lefaucheux in the 1830s. And while I hate disputing history books, I was recently introduced to a double-action revolver that pre-dates the 1851 Adams double-action pistol. 

It is a Schilling double-action revolver. The double-action pistol was designed by Prussian gun maker Valentin Christian Schilling. It was a pinfire manufactured in 1849 in Suhl, Prussia. Yes, there were double-action revolvers as early as 1849. 

As for Colt, by the mid-1870s, they were feeling increased competition from their British rival, Webley & Scott. So Colt had Mason design a double-action revolver for them in 1877. 

Colt 1877 Lightning
That pistol became the Colt M1877 double-action pistol. The Colt M1877 was manufactured by Colt's Patent Fire Arms from January 1877 to 1909 for a total of 166,849 revolvers. The Model 1877 was offered in three calibers, which lent them three unofficial names, the "Lightning", the "Thunderer", and the "Rainmaker". 

The biggest difference between the models was the caliber of the cartridge which they were chambered for. The "Lightning" was chambered in .38 Long Colt. The "Thunderer" was chambered in .41 Colt. Both models had a six-round capacity. The "Rainmaker" was offered in .32 Colt.

So yes, the M1877 was designed by one of the inventors of the M1873 Colt Single Action Army, William Mason. It was Colt's first attempt at manufacturing a double-action revolver. While the Model 1877 was not the first double-action revolver made, it was the first successful American-made double-action cartridge revolver.

Following this, William Mason again teamed up with Richards to produce a larger framed version of the Colt Lightning, the Colt Model 1878 Frontier. And while some may think he only worked on revolvers, he is also responsible for designing a hammerless double-barrel shotgun for Colt.

Colt's hammerless double-barrel shotgun

In fact, Colt introduced a hammerless double-barrel shotgun designed by William Mason, and covered by a number of his patents in 1881 and 1882. Besides the internal hammers, his design also incorporated double triggers and a sliding thumb safety on the tang.

His design can be found in the Colt Model 1883 double hammerless shotguns. And yes, the Model 1883 Shotgun was one of Colt's finest products and was produced.

Below is a Colt ad introducing their hammerless double.

The 1889 Colt 

William Mason's final design for Colt was the Colt Model 1889. Even though Mason left Colt in 1882, his collaboration with Carl J. Ehbets for a revolver with a swing-out cylinder ended up with the M1889 being produced 7 years after Mason left Colt to go to work for Winchester.

Winchester Model 1886 rifle

When Mason went to work for the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1882. And while he was originally hired to design a revolver to compete with Colt's revolvers, Mason eventually made working prototypes of many of John Moses Browning's designs.

The Winchester Model 1886 was a lever-action rifle designed by John Browning to handle some of the more powerful cartridges of the period. William Mason was assigned to the Model 1886 and is said that he contributed to it by making some improvements to Browning's original design.

A year earlier, in 1885, he became the Master Mechanic at Winchester and held that position until his death in 1913. 

William Mason was an inaugural member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. And while we celebrate American gun makers like Colt and Browning, Smith & Wesson, over the course of his life William Mason patented 125 inventions for firearms, ammunition, firearm manufacturing machinery, steam pumps and power looms.

Winchester historian Mary Jo Ignoffo called William Mason, "one of the most significant designers of the nineteenth century". Yet sadly, he is largely unknown for his contribution to America's firearms industry. 

For his lifetime of work, for his 125 inventions, for giving to America some of our nation's most iconic firearms, I salute him! 

Tom Correa