Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hints on Purchase of Riding Horses (1901)

A horse should be rejected for any one really bad fault. The greatest strength of a horse is limited by his worst point.

Horses are often bought because they possess one or more very good points. This is a wrong principle in buying. The selection of horses should begin by rejection for bad points. 

Bad points are of course, in a great measure, a question of degree. Discretion is needed in rejecting as well as buying.

In measuring a horse or judging of his height and size by sight, take care that he stands on a level with yourself. Dealers generally stand a horse, if under-sized, on higher ground, or is over-sized on lower ground that the intending purchaser.

Want of a fair amount of breeding should be an absolute bar.

Reject a horse with a:

Big coarse head
A small sunken eye. (They are generally obstinate and sulky).
A colour light of the sort.
With a long slack back. (It will not carry weight).
With a hollow back. (The formation is weak).
With flat sides. (They will not do work or look well).
With a slack loin. (Undue length between the last ribs and hind quarters. They are often bad feeders and will run up light with work).
With a light loin. (Want of breadth over the loins. They run up light with work.)
With scraggy hips. (They never do credit to feeding particularly if also slack in the loins).
With a bad girth. (Light through the heart. This formation will always cause trouble in saddling).
With a thick or short neck.

Unless it has a good rein. (With a clumsy neck the head is in consequence badly set on. Without a good rein a horse will never break well, or be pleasant to ride.)

Reject a horse with very low withers. The saddle will be apt to work forwards, and the 'rein' will probably be deficient, and the leverage for the muscles of the forehand is defective. A slug always a nuisance.

To see the above points stand on the side and form your opinion before the horse moves off.

Reject a horse with a narrow or shallow chest. (There is not sufficient capacity for the Lungs.)

With forelegs very, close together. (This and the former defect generally go together.)

To see these points stand in front.

Whose forelegs are not straight. (They will not stand wear).

Stand behind the horse as he walks away from you, and you will be able to notice these defects, if they exist.

Which is light below the knee, especially if light immediately below the knee. The conformation is essentially weak.

With long, or with short or with upright pasterns. (Long pasterns are subject to sprains. Short or upright pasterns make a horse unpleasant to ride, and on account of extra concussion are apt to cause ossific deposits).

With toes turned in of out. The twist generally occurs at the Fetlock. Toes turned out are more objectionable that toes turned in. (When toes are turned out, the fetlocks are generally turned in, and animals so formed are very apt to cut or brush. Both, however, are weak formations).

Whose hind legs are too far behind. Good propelling power will be wanting, and disease as a result may be expected in the hocks.

Which goes either very wide or very close behind.

With very straight or very bent hocks. (The former causes undue concussion, the latter are apt to give way).

Which is 'split up', (Show much daylight between his thighs. Propelling power comes from behind, and must deficient in horses without due muscular development between the thighs.

With flat feet or over-large feet, also with very small feet. Medium sizes are the best.

With one foot smaller than another.

A goose rump is not objectionable as mechanical formation, but it is ugly.

Action must be light, easy, free, and straight. Reject a horse that crosses his legs in walking or trotting. He will be unsafe. Freedom, power to move easily along, is the great point.

A good walk is absolutely essential. Reject a horse that does not walk well; he is never a pleasant ride. If a horse walks well, he will probably trot well; but a horse may trot well without walking well.

To ascertain whether the action is true and straight, stand behind the horse as he walks and trots away from you. You cannot ascertain this important point be standing on the side.

Never omit to stand behind a horse as he walks away.

A good sloping shoulder is an important item in a riding horse, but bad action may co-exist with a good shoulder; and vice versa, good free action may co-exist with a somewhat straight shoulder.

Reject a horse, which is straight in the shoulder and long from the point of the shoulder to the upper part of the forearm. This formation places forelegs too much under the horse, and makes him unsafe to ride.

You may have a plain horse, even if all the above very apparent defects are absent, but you will, at least, have a serviceable one if in addition found sound on veterinary examination.

Having first of all kept clear of all absolute defects such as the above, then select your horses for the presence of good, serviceable, and handsome points, and easy, free, graceful carriage.

But, I repeat, begin by rejection for any one positively bad defect. The greatest strength of a chain is limited by the strength of its weakest link.

In purchasing Horses, it is a great point not to lose time. If you see any one radical defect, reject the Horse at once. The Dealer will, of course, try and persuade you to do otherwise, and will call your attention to some very good point or points in the really defective animal.

Do not lose time. A dealer, if you are a stranger to him, will probably bring out and try and palm off on you his inferior horses. But if you are quick in seeing bad points, and at once reject defective animals, he will soon find it necessary to show you his best horse.

Conclusion

We shall conclude these remarks by observing that neither frame nor constitution is of much use without good condition. This latter great essential can only be obtained by food grooming, careful and regular feeding on the best forage, strong and regular exercise, fresh wholesome air in the stables, and general good management.

-- end of article.

From Horses and Stables by British Lt. Gen, Sir F Fitzwygram, 1901
Published by Longmans, Green, and Co. 
39 Paternoster Row, London, New York and Bombay 

Editor's Note:

I find this interesting in so far as giving us a glimpse into what some people were looking for when buying a horse back at the dawn of the 20th century. In many respects, not much different than folks today.

This was re-printed here exactly as published in 1901. 

Tom Correa

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fake Graves in Tombstone's Boothill


Dear Friends,

A reader has me laughing. What has me laughing so much is how my reader worded his letter. He states, "Hello Tom, since you don't care who you offend in your blog, and because you seem to enjoy pissing people off, I want to know if the graves makers in Tombstone's Boothill cemetery are fakes?" 

And no, he doesn't stop there. But instead of going into the rest of it, I will simply say that he thinks that I purposely set out to "aggravate and insult" my readers with "horseshit about the Old West." Imagine that. 

But that's OK, I've gotten worse mail and comments. Besides, since I don't know if he was merely being funny, or maybe sarcastic, or if he really is serious, let's talk about a few "Fake Graves" in Tombstone's Boot Hill cemetery.  Yes indeed, there are a few, not many, fake graves there.

As most know, the name "Boot Hill" or "Boothill" had been used for a lot of graveyards throughout the West. The name "Boothill" was used to symbolize those buried there who had "died with their boots on." That term is supposed to mean someone who died an unexpected death such as in a gunfight.

The term "Boothill" was used by a lot of Dime Novelists. Also, newspapers of the times used it a great deal before Hollywood picked it up and ran with it. Tombstone wanted to capitalize on its newly created Hollywood fame in the 1930s. So as a way to attract tourists, there are a few graves that are faked. For example:

Lester Moore has a very famous epitaph which states, "Here lies Lester Moore, Four slugs from a .44, No Les No more." Lester Moore himself was supposed to have been a Wells, Fargo & Co. station agent in the border town of Naco. He was supposedly in a gunfight with Hank Dunstan over a package that was mishandled.

The problem with the Lester Moore tale is that no one can find proof that there was ever anyone named Lester Moore who was killed in Pima County, or in Cochise County when it broke off of Pima in 1881. And as for his supposed killer Hank Dunstan, there's no evidence of such a person who is said to have also died in the supposed shootout.

Another fake grave marker is that of "Fiderico Doran". His real name was Federico Duran. He's said to have been killed by Sheriff John Slaughter after the Agua Zarca train robbery in 1888. The problem is that Sheriff Slaughter had nothing to do with Duran's death.

Frederico Duran and Jack Taylor, who was Duran's partner and fellow train robber, were actually executed by a Mexican firing squad in Guaymas, Mexico, in December of 1889. So while there's a grave marker in Tombstone's Boothill said to be where Duran is buried, Duran is actually buried in Mexico.

George Johnson's marker has the epitaph, "Here lies George Johnson, hanged by mistake 1882. He was right we were wrong. But we strung him up and now he's gone."

There is one story that goes George Johnson was hanged for being in possession of a stolen horse. Supposedly he bought it not knowing it was stolen. When found, he was hanged. Another story is that this is a fake grave marker for the tourists who visit there.

While I couldn't find a picture of it, there is a fake grave in Tombstone's Boot Hill that's supposed to be where Thomas Harper rests. He has a marker there. Harper's story is sort of interesting in that it goes to the old saying that "you just can't trust some folks."

He arrived in Tombstone in 1879. He was said to be a known thief and killer who was an associate of the Clanton gang. In September of 1880, while in Huachuca, Tom Harper agreed to collect a $10 debt which was owed to John Talliday. Instead of turning the money over to Talliday, Harper instead kept it and spent it. Not surprisingly John Talliday became angry and demanded his money. Harper is said to have shot and killed Talliday in the Huachuca Mountains.

Harper was tried and convicted of Talliday's murder, and he was sentenced to hang. He was executed on July 8th, 1881, in Tucson. While there is a marker in Tombstone's Boothill where he is said to be buried, he's actually buried in Tucson.

John Heath's marker is there, but it's a fake. He was accused of being the ring leader of the robbery that turned into the Bisbee Massacre that took place on December 8th, 1883. His grave marker is right there near the grave markers of the other five killers who participated in that massacre.

John Heath was arrested, tried, and convicted of a compromised charge of manslaughter. Judge Pinney sentencing him to life in Yuma Territorial Prison.

Heath may or may not have thought he'd see parole sooner or later, but who knows. As for about 150 men in Cochise County, they were not satisfied with him only being convicted of manslaughter and saw his getting paroled sooner or later a very real possibility.

Of course those men were angered even more with their knowing that Heath was awaiting an appeal of his conviction on a technicality. They knew that an appeal may have set Heath free to walk and get away with it.

So on February 22nd, 1884, those 150 or so men broke into the Cochise County jail which was located at the bottom of the Tombstone Courthouse. After disarming the jailers, those very angry citizens, which many have called a "lynch mob," took Heath at gunpoint from the jail. They actually left his five accomplices in jail. They had been convicted and were awaiting a hangman's rope in March.

It's said that the citizens were exiting the jail with Heath when Cochise County Sheriff Jerome L. Ward attempted to intervene. The citizens pushed him aside and took Heath down Toughnut Street. They lynched him from a telegraph pole at the corner of First and Toughnut Streets.

His last words were, "Boys, you are hanging an innocent man, and you will find it out before those other men are hung. I have one favor to ask. That you will not mutilate my body by shooting into it after I am hung." 

The citizens agreed, and then blindfolded him. They placed a noose around his neck and then a few citizens hoisted Heath by rope until he was suspended beneath the top of that telegraph pole. Heath is said to have slowly strangled and he fought death. It's said when his body finally stopped twisting and jerking, that someone placed a placard on the telegraph pole which said: 

JOHN HEITH
Was hanged to this pole by the
CITIZENS OF COCHISE COUNTY
for participating in the Bisbee massacre
as a proved accessory
AT 8:00 A.M., FEBRUARY 22, 1884
(Washington’s Birthday)
ADVANCE ARIZONA!

The Cochise County Coroner was Dr. George E. Goodfellow, who is said to have witnessed the hanging. When he filled out the paperwork on Heath's death, he reflected the sentiment of the town when he ruled that Heath died from "Emphysema of the lungs which might have been, and probably was, caused by strangulation, self-inflicted or otherwise, as in accordance with the medical evidence." 

So now, while there is a grave marker for John Heath in the Tombstone Boothill Graveyard today, there is no body under that pile of rocks. Fact is his body was returned to his estranged wife in Terrell, Texas. He is actually buried there in Terrell, Texas, at its Oakland Cemetery.

As I said earlier, because of the sudden popularity of Tombstone in the early 1930s because of Hollywood, the people responsible for the city of Tombstone renamed the Old City Cemetery to "Boothill Graveyard." It was done in an effort to please tourists who wanted to visit "Boothill".  Some of the graves have been faked all for the sake of tourism.

Tom Correa

Monday, November 13, 2017

Rural Life In 1870s Oregon

The postcard above shows a man and wife with part of their herd in southern Oregon in the 1870s.
During the Great Depression, the Federal government started the Federal Writers' Project. It was part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was part of President Roosevelt's New Deal program. The Federal Writers' Project was a government project to fund written works and to support writers during the Great Depression. It was one of a group of New Deal programs that funded the arts. The Federal Writers' Project fell under Federal Project Number One. That program was set-up to help employ artists, musicians, actors, writers.

The Federal Writers' Project was authorized to employ writers, but was not limited to writers, editors, historians, researchers, and art critics. They also employed archaeologists, geologists, and cartographers. In total, more than 6,000 American writers of some capacity were employed by the Federal Writers' Project. One notable writer who was employed by that government program was John Steinbeck who later wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row.

In each state, The Federal Writers' Project organized a staff of editors and researchers. The editors were usually more educated than the researchers. The larger part of the staff was the researchers. All of the researchers, the field-workers, were unemployed locals. Many of them had not even completed high school. It should be noted that most of those working for the Federal Writers' Project were fairly young and from working-class backgrounds.

The goal of the Federal Writers' Project, as was all of the WPA/New Deal programs, was to get Americans working. In the case of the Federal Writers' Project, they were very successful at chronicling the lives of Americans. 

One American whose live was chronicled is Miss Nettie Spencer. She grew up in rural Oregon in the 1870s. Resolved herself to never marry and became a grade school teacher. She enjoyed traveling, which included a trip to India. 

The excerpt below is part of her interview that was conducted by a Federal researcher in 1938. It is published in American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940, Subject: Rural Life in the 1870s. It is what she recalled of growing up as a young women in rural America in the 1870s.

Please note that I have printed the excerpt without editing it at all. Her interview took place in her kitchen which the interviewer said she used as a living room. It started during the afternoon of December 14th, 1938. It resumed the next morning, and ended hours later that same day. 

The interviewer noted that her house was a "large old, somewhat shabby building of the last century." He went on to describe her kitchen as " the kitchen, which serves as her living room most of the time, is stacked with clippings that have interested her, as well as books, pictures, and documents, and all of the twine, wrapping paper, etc, that a single women of her years can collect." 

During her interview, she said that her parents got married in 1859 and that she was born soon after that. But, not surprising, she refused to give the exact date of her birth or who old she was. Imagine that. 

Here is what she told the interviewer in 1938:   

". . . All of our shoes were made by a man who came around every so often and took our foot measurements with broomstraws, which he broke off and tagged for the foot length of each member of the family. The width didn't make any difference and you could wear either shoe on either foot; for a long time, too, for the shoes wore well. Mother carded her own wool and washed it with soap she made herself. She even made her own lye from wood ashes, and when she got the cloth finished she made her own dye. Black was made from burnt logs and brown from the bulls of black walnuts. I think she got her green from copper, and peach leaves made the yellow. The red dye was made from leaves she bought. The dresses were very full and lasted entirely too long. . . . One of the things I remember most as a little girl were the bundle peddlers who came around. They had bundles made up and you bought them as they were for a set price. I remember that some sold for as high as $150. In these bundles more all sorts of wonderful things that you didn't get in the country very often; fancy shawls and printed goods; silks and such other luxuries. It was a great day when the family bought a bundle.

Our food was pretty plain most of the time and we didn't have any salads like they do now. The menu for a fine dinner would be: Chicken stew with dumplings, mashed potatoes, peach preserves, biscuits, and hominy. We raised carrots for the stock but we never thought of eating them. . . . We didn't have any jars to put up preserves in, like they do now, but we used earthen crooks instead. The fruit to be preserved was boiled with brown sugar -- we never saw white sugar and when we did we used it as candy -- and then put in the jars which were covered with cloth that was then coated with beeswax. Another good cover was a hog bladder -- they were the best. Sometimes we had molasses pulls and once in a great while we would have some real striped, candy. That was a treat[!?]

Most of our medicine was homemade too . . . There wasn't much social life on the farm and I didn't pay any attention to it until I was older and moved into Salem and Corvallis. The churches didn't have any young peoples . . . organizations and they were dead serious with everything. Sermons lasted for hours and you could [smell?] the hell fire in them. We never had church suppers or the like until way past my time. The only social thing about the church was the camp meetings. That was where most of the courting was done. When a boy would get old enough for a wife the father would let him use the horse and buggy for a trip to the camp meeting to get him a wife. . . .

Most of these people came to church on foot over the muddy roads. The ones who came by wagon used a hay-rack, and mother and father sat in a chair at the front while the children were churned about in the straw strewn in the wagon bed. . . .

After a long service "meeting" was out, and neighbors had a grand hand-shaking party, and then families often invited other families to dinner. This crude church, located where Alfred Station now is on the Southern Pacific Railway, a few miles north of Harrisburg, which then was a small village, was the only public gathering place, except perhaps on the Fourth of July, when families went on mass, with shiny new shoes to Corvallis, to "the Celebration". . . .

The games played were: ante over, crack the whip, base, hide and seek, tag, ring around the rosie. . . .

The big event of the year was the Fourth of July. Everyone in the countryside got together on that day for the only time in the year. The new babies were shown off, and the new brides who would be exhibiting babies next year. Everyone would load their wagons with all the food they could haul and come to town early in the morning. On our first big Fourth at Corvallis mother made two hundred gooseberry pies. You can see what an event it was. There would be floats in the morning and the one that got the [girls?] eye was the Goddess of Liberty. She was supposed to be the most wholesome and prettiest girl in the countryside [md] if she wasn't she had friends who thought she was. But the rest of us weren't always in agreement on that. She rode on a hay-rack and wore a white gown. Sometimes the driver wore an Uncle Sam hat and striped pants. All along the sides of the hay-rack were little girls who represented the states of the union. The smallest was always Rhode Island. . . .

Just before lunch - and we'd always hold lunch up for an hour - some Senator or lawyer would speak. These speeches always had one pattern. First the speaker would challenge England to a fight and [berate?] the King and say that he was a skunk. This was known as twisting the lion's tail. Then the next theme was that any one could find freedom and liberty on our shores. The speaker would invite those who were heavy laden in other lands to come to us and find peace. The speeches were pretty fiery and by that time the men who drank got into fights and called each other Englishmen. In the afternoon we had what we called the 'plug uglies' [md] funny floats sad clowns who took off on the political subjects of the day. There would be some music and then the families would start gathering together to go home. There were cows waiting to be milked and the stock to be fed and so there was no night life. The Fourth was the day of the year that really counted then. Christmas wasn't much; a Church tree or something, but no one twisted the lion's tail. . . ."

-- end of excerpt. 

Sadly for the Federal Writers' Project, some of it's writer's politics got in its way. Sources indicate that some of them were active in Left-wing politics. There were even those suspected of being Communist and Socialist. At the time, that was a real taboo, and it didn't sit well with some who were questioning the political goals, if any, of the Federal Writers' Project

Their works were supposed to be non-bias and free of politics, but some of there works were not. Because of that fact, a lot of their works became suspect and soon much of it was strongly opposed in state legislators as well as the United States Congress. As a result, during most of its time, the Federal Writers' Project was hit with constant criticism. 

In particular, a great deal of harsh criticism came from Congress and their House Un-American Activities Committee. Since the program depended on Congress for its funding, it was not a surprise when Congress cut off all funding for the Federal Writers' Project in 1939. In 1940, when its funding completely ran out, some states attempted to sponsor the program but that didn't last and it ultimately died off completely in 1943.

Common sense tells us that rural Americans in the 19th century were more self-sufficient than we are today. The reason that I say it's common sense is that most of us realize that the folks back then simply did not have the goods, services, and modern conveniences that we have today. Even by the independent self-reliant standards of today's rural America, folks like myself and others who live here in rural areas are hardly as self-sustaining as they were back in the day. In many way, that's simply because it was a simpler life. Harder, but simpler. 

Tom Correa


Friday, November 10, 2017

The Taos Revolt, 1847

In August of 1846, the New Mexico territory was under Mexican rule when it was surrendered over to American military forces under General Stephen Watts Kearny.

Today, General Kearny is remembered for his commitment to duty and significant contributions during the Mexican-American War. General Stephen  Kearny should not be confused with his nephew Philip Kearny who was a Union General during the Civil War.

His nephew Major General Philip Kearny is probably best known for his action during the Battle of Williamsburg during the Civil War. At Williamsburg, before leading his men into battle, he yelled, "I'm a one-armed Jersey son-of-a-gun, follow me!" Then General Kearny led the charge with his sword in his hand, with his reins in his teeth. He is noted for urging his men forward, saying, "Don't worry, men, they'll all be firing at me!" 

The other thing about Major General Philip Kearny that's very memorable is the way he died. On September 1st, 1862, during the Battle of Chantilly, General Kearny is said to have decided to investigate what was believed to be a gap in the Union lines. Though he was warned by a subordinate of the risk that he'd be taking, he responded, "The Rebel bullet that can kill me has not yet been molded." 

Well that was fine until he came into contact with a large body of Confederate soldiers who may have molded that minie ball that morning. When the Confederates figured out that they captured a Union  General, they demanded that he surrender. Instead of surrendering, he turned his horse toward his lines and tried to escape. General Kearny had an interesting way of riding a horse, it was more like a jockey with his butt in the air. So yes, some Confederate soldiers must have thought it funny to shoot a Yankee General in the butt. Records say that minie ball entered one butt cheek and came out his shoulder. It killed him instantly. 

As for his uncle, General Stephen Watts Kearny received the surrender of the New Mexico territory by Mexican Viceroy Manuel Armijo at the Battle of Santa Fe. Believe it or not, it wasn't much of a battle. In fact it's said to have taken place without a single shot being fired. 

It's true. the Battle of Santa Fe took place near Santa Fe, New Mexico, which was the capital of the Mexican Province of New Mexico. The "battle" lasted from August 8th through the 15th, 1846. No shots, none at all, were fired during the capturing of Santa Fe.

Before getting to New Mexico, General Stephen W. Kearny's orders were to secure the New Mexico territory and Alta California (Northern California). To do that, he moved his 1,700 man Army of the West southwest from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and into New Mexico. 

On August 9th in Santa Fe, Governor Manuel Armijo set up a defensive position in Apache Canyon which is about 10 miles southeast of Santa Fe. But on August 14th, before Kearny's Army ever arrived, the Mexican governor Armijo decided not to fight. General Kearny and his men arrived on August 15th and entered Santa Fe. He then claimed the New Mexico Territory for the United States. All without a single shot being fired. 

As military governor of the territory, Kearny establish offices including appointing the first American New Mexico territorial governor there. So when General Kearny left Santa Fe with his forces headed to take California from Mexico and wrap up the Mexican-American War, he left Colonel Sterling Price in command of U.S. forces in New Mexico and Charles Bent in charge as the first American New Mexico territorial governor.

Many New Mexicans were not happy about Armijo's surrender. There were even rumors that he had been bribed by Americans before Kearny's Army ever came near Santa Fe. And really, it wasn't long after the surrender that many New Mexicans resented the treatment they were receiving by the American troops. 

While the American troops certainly threw insults at the local residents, how they were being treated by American troops was just salt in a bigger wound. Fact is, they were really angry over fears that the titles to their lands, all of course issued by the Mexican government, would not be recognized by the United States government. Some of those titles were Spanish land grants, some were handed down over generations. The idea that they could lose their lands to Americans was a smoldering powder keg when General Kearny departed for California. 

Soon, the New Mexicans plotted a what was called a "Christmas" uprising. Of course that was put to a halt when the American authorities there discovered the planned revolt. And though that was the case, that didn't stop the conspirators from planning their uprising for a later date. In the meanwhile, the New Mexican residents of Santa Fe prepared by enlisting the help of Pueblo Indians who also wanted the Americans out.

It was pre-dawn on the morning of January 19th, 1847, when the killings started. It was then that the attacks began in what would become known as the "Taos Revolt" in present-day Taos, New Mexico. The attackers were led by a murderous psychopath, a Pueblo Indian by the name of Tomas Romero, who was also known as Tomasito (Little Thomas). The other leader was a Hispanic New Mexican by the name of Pablo Montoya. They attacked, killed, and mutilated their victims.

Some sources claim that Tomas Romero was in command. In fact, he was known to call himself "the alcalde." As for Pablo Montoya, some sources say that he was commanding the rebels during the Taos Revolt. Believe it or not, he was known to call himself "the Santa Ana of the North." Yes, big egos indeed. 

On January 14th, 1847, newly appointed Governor Bent traveled to his home in Taos without a military escort since he didn't expect what would take place.

A few days later, on the morning of January 20th, Romano and Montoya led a group of Hispanic New Mexicans and Pueblo Indians to the home of Governor Charles Bent. Bent was no stranger to that area. In fact, he had been a fur trader with his younger brother William, and a partner Ceran St. Vrain right there since 1828. His office may have been in Santa Fe, but he and his family maintained a residence that also acted as a trading post in Taos.

Once there, the attackers broke down the door. Once inside they shot and killed Bent and his brother-in-law Pablo Jaramillo, newly appointed Taos Sheriff Stephen Lee, Judge Cornelio Vigil, circuit attorney J.W. Leal, and nineteen-year-old Narciso Beaubien. All were scalped while still alive.

A number of sources report that Tomas Romero scalped Bent right in front of his family while the Governor lay dying. But there are other sources that say Bent's wife Ignacia and their children, as well as the wives and children of their friends Kit Carson and Thomas Boggs escaped while the Pueblo Indians were busy killing and mutilating the men. The escaped by digging through the adobe walls of their house to escape into the house next door. As they were making their escape, Ignacia and the others could hear the screams of the men as they were being scalped alive.

Scalping is defined as "the act of cutting or tearing a part of the human scalp, with hair attached, from the head of an enemy as a trophy." While there is a myth that has been promoted that Native American tribes learned scalping from Europeans, that is not the truth at all. In fact, historian Mark van de Logt has written, "Although military historians tend to reserve the concept of 'total war' for conflicts between modern industrial nations, the term nevertheless most closely approaches the state of affairs between the Pawnees, the Sioux, and the Cheyennes. Noncombatants were legitimate targets. Indeed, the taking of a scalp of a woman or child was considered honorable because it signified that the scalp taker had dared to enter the very heart of the enemy's territory."

Many Native American tribes routinely scalped their enemies long before Europeans ever stepped foot on North American soil. In fact, some theorize that Native Americans may have brought the practice of scalping, like their knowledge of building tepees, with them when they arrived in North American after leaving Siberia thousands of years ago. 

To prove that tribes scalped and mutilated their enemies long before the arrival of Europeans, all we have to do is look at the approximately 500 or so bodies at The Crow Creek Massacre site. Of those found there near Chamberlain, South Dakota, it is believed that 90 percent of the skulls there clearly show evidence of scalpings and other mutilation. That sad event took place around 1325. Yes, long before Columbus found the Bahamas.  

As for Tomas Romero, just scalping a dying man wasn't enough. Romero is said to have leaned over Governor Bent as he was taking his last breath and "raked a bowstring over his scalp, pulling away his gray hair in a glistening sheath." It is said that it "cut as cleanly with the tight cord as it would have with a knife". 

Romero was a killer beyond words as he led his band to repeat his grizzly act several times over. All of the  victims were the newly appointed American officials, as well as anyone who was seen as being a part of the U.S. territorial government. All were tortured alive before being killed. All were the targets of what became known as "insurrectionists" during the "Taos Revolt". 

Colonel Price would later write, "It appeared to be the object of the insurrectionists to put to death every man who had accepted office under the American government."

On the second day of the revolt, January 20th, about 500 Hispanic New Mexicans and Pueblo Indians attacked Simeon Turley's mill in Arroyo Hondo which is about 12 miles from Taos. Before the attack started, Charles Autobees, who was an employee at the mill, saw the attackers coming. It's said that he jumped on a horse and rode to Santa Fe for help. One of the defenders left to defend the mill was his younger half-brother Tom Tobin.

During the fight the ensued, there were 8 Americans, all mountain men and trappers there to defend against the attack. By the end of the first day, only two of the Americans survived. They were mountain men John David Albert and Tom Tobin. Actually, the attack had turned into a siege and the mountain men were hanging on as long as they could. But as night fell, the men knew that those alive were either going to die there or leave then to tell others what took place.

Albert and Tobin were told to escape since they were the only two left who were still capable of leaving. To cover their escape, the remaining others, all wounded and dying, held off the attackers into the night as Albert and Tobin escaped alive. The two actually escaped that night by going in separate directions to throw off their attackers.

It is said that Albert walked over 160 miles in three days to Pueblo, Colorado. That was through snow and blizzard like conditions with no coat as he was only able to escape with his rifle and shooting bag. He found a trading post and people who took him in. As for Tom Tobin, it's said that he made it the 80 miles to Santa Fe before finding safety. Their determination to stay alive against all odds is what true legends are made of. Today, what happened at that mill is known as the Arroyo Hondo Massacre.

On the same day of the Arroyo Hondo attack, a group of Hispanic New Mexicans and Pueblo Indians scalped and killed 8 American merchants traders who were passing through Mora, New Mexico. The group of eight American merchants were on their way to Missouri. Mora is said to have been little more than a village when the unlucky Americans found themselves in a deathtrap.

While this was going on, U.S. Army Capt. Hendley was informed of the revolt while he was in command of the grazing detachment along the Pecos River. He entered Las Bagas with his 250 men and immediately took possession of the town. He actually declared Martial Law in the town because he saw an angry mob of insurgents gathering.

On January 21st, U.S. Army Col. Price whose headquarters was in Santa Fe led his unit of 300 troops to Taos to put down the rebellion. His unit included 65 volunteers as well as a few Hispanic New Mexicans. On their way, his force engaged and beat back a force of some 1,500 Hispanics and Pueblo Indians at Santa Cruz de la CaƱada and at Embudo Pass. 

In each case, the insurgents retreated. They headed to Taos where they took refuge in a Catholic church because of its thick adobe walls. When the American Army engaged the insurgents at the church, they used a field cannon to breach its walls. They then fired directly into the interior of the church to inflict as many casualties as possible. All toll, Colonel Price's unit is said to have killed about 200 insurgents. His unit pursued the insurgents and were soon fighting at close quarters hand-to-hand combat. In all they captured close to 500 more after the fight. And as for the number of American troops killed, believe it or not only 7 American soldiers were killed in action during that battle.

On January 22nd is when Capt. Hendley learned about what took place in the village of Mora. He was informed that insurgents had a force of about 200 in Mora. So he headed to Mora with 80 troops since he needed to leave the rest behind and maintain things in Las Bagas.

Two days later, on January 24th, Capt. Hendley and his troops arrive in Mora. He finds "a body of Mexicans under arms, prepared to defend the town." Then almost immediately he and his men come under attacked by Mexicans. The shots are coming from windows and loop-holes of the houses, so he deploys his man to go house to house to flush out the attackers. 

During the fighting, he and his men were pursuing the insurgents into an old fort when Capt. Hendley was shot and killed. Because of overwhelming enemy forces laying blistering fire on them, Capt. Hendley's second in command pulled all of the troops back to safety to regroup.
The second battle in the village of Mora took place on February 1st when Capt. Morin and his men returned and destroyed the village. Capt. Morin with a force of 200 troops returned to Mora armed with two howitzers. 

Capt. Morin setup his two howitzers and soon began an artillery barrage on the make-shift fort that was constructed by the Hispanics and Indians. After the barrage, Capt. Morin attacked with the full force of his unit. 

In no time most of the New Mexicans gave up and ran. As they were searching for more insurgents, small skirmished took place as the American troops pushed out what remaining insurgents there were.  Soon the remaining insurgents were either captured or had fled into the mountains. 

Observing that the instigators were getting away, Capt. Morin then directed a small portion of his troops to pursue the fleeing Hispanics. And knowing that Mora was being used as base of operations, he ordered his troops to completely destroy Mora. So with that, Capt. Morin's troops, those who were not tasked with chasing down the insurgents, actually set fire and burned the village's surrounding crops. After the crops, the village of Mora was burned down as well. As for the villagers, they left and fled to the mountains. Those residents would later return to Mora and rebuilt their village.

Some say that Capt. Morin was seeking revenge for the killing of Capt. Hendley and the others just a week earlier. Some say he was making sure there was no food or safe haven for the insurgents to come back to. 

No American troops were killed or wounded during the second battle at Mora. But that wasn't the same for the Mexican and Indian insurgents, they had several of their people killed and wounded. And besides the dead and wounded, seventeen of them were captured and held as prisoners.  

The very next day after what took place in Mora, American officials ordered the execution of some of the prisoners in the plaza in Taos in what was called a "drumhead court-martial." A "drumhead court-martial" is a court-martial that's held in the field. It is arranged quickly in an effort to hear urgent charges of offences committed on the battlefield, in action, and in clear violation of the rules of war. The term is said to have originated when a drumhead was used as an improvised table. Some say the the term comes from using a drumhead as an altar or as a gathering point for issuing orders. One of those who was hanged that day was Pablo Montoya who referred to himself as "the Santa Ana of the North." 

After that, Col. Price arranged for a military court to try the remaining prisoners under civil law in Taos. Imagine this if you would, Col. Price appoints Joab Houghton, who was a close friend of Charles Bent, and Charles H. Beaubien, who was the father of 19 year old Narcisse Beaubien who was killed and scalped when it all started at the Governor's home. Houghton and Beaubien are the judges who will render a penalty if the jury says they are guilty. 

George Bent, the late Governor’ brother, was elected jury foreman. And the jury itself consisted of several friends of the Bent family, as well as Lucien Maxwell who was a brother-in-law of young Narcisse Beaubien.

 Col. Price justified his selection by saying that both men had previously been appointed as judges to the New Mexico Territory Superior Court by the late Governor Bent in August of the previous year.

The court was in session for fifteen days. The jury was out for an hour or so when they returned with a verdicts. They found 15 men guilty of murder and treason, and the judges sentenced them to hang. And on April 9th, American troops carry out the sentence by hanging six of the convicted insurgents in the Taos plaza. Two weeks later, American troops hang five more prisoners guilty of murder. All toll, American troops at least 28 insurgents convicted of murder or treason. 

As for the revolt in New Mexico, it's said that it didn't end with Taos. In fact, New Mexican insurgents fought against American troops three more times over the next few months. It was only after American forces dominated in the field that New Mexicans and Pueblo Indians decided to end their revolt.

As for Tomas Romero? He was turned over to the American troops as part of a surrender arrangement following a battle. The Pueblo Indians agreed to turn him over, and he was jailed in Taos. Then on February 8th, an American soldier, Private John Fitzgerald of Cook County, Illinois, entered the jail. He pulled out his pistol and shot Romero dead.

Private John Fitzgerald was arrested and locked up in what was described as "a windowless room." During the night, he was given fire wood to keep a fire going. He got so much fire wood that he was able to pile it so that he could get through the ceiling and escape.

Believe it or not, Fitzgerald is said to have returned to barracks and his unit. Once there, he got supplies and then headed north until he got to Colorado. There he supposedly met up with Ceran St. Vrain and Lewis Garrard. After that, he simply disappears.

The U.S. Army did issue Private Fitzgerald a Dishonorable Discharge, though that really didn't matter since no one ever saw him again. As for bringing him in for murdering the butcher Tomas Romero? All in all, no attempt was ever made to find him nor bring him in for what he did.

It's just my opinion, but I'm thinking that they never went after him simply because they wanted to do it themselves and Fitzgerald simply beat them to it. Besides, how can anyone in good conscience try a a man for killing someone who really deserved killing?

That's how I see it.

Tom Correa


Monday, November 6, 2017

The Left's Negative Influence


Dear Friends,

If folks don't think the Left's screwed up ideology is influence America in a bad way, it's everywhere these days.

The verdict handed down against U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, who in 2009 deserted while stationed in Afghanistan, is a perfect example of the Left's influence ideology taking place within the U.S. Army today. Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.  His punishment, if you want to call it that, is a $10,000 fine, reduced in rank to E-1, and a Dishonorably Discharge. He received absolutely no prison time, even though he got 8 soldiers killed and others crippled for life.

Bergdahl walked out of a North Carolina courtroom after he pleaded guilty to endangering other soldiers. Eight of those soldiers were killed and other soldiers were left crippled because of Bergdahl.

According to the Left, Bergdahl being part of the Taliban, they say "held by" the Taliban, for five years is punishment enough.  The Left wants to say that he "unwittingly feel into the clutches of the Taliban."  But the facts are that he deserted to join the Taliban and his story of being captured and not killed by the Taliban doesn't hold water.

Prosecutors had requested a 14-year prison term.  Bergdahl's defense team had demanded no prison time. His defense team won and the deserter was sent on his way scott free.

Referring to how President Obama traded a number of high level Taliban terrorists held in GITMO for Bergdahl, Capt. Nina Banks, who was one of Bergdahl's defense attorneys, said it wouldn't be justice to rescue Bergdahl  "only to place him in a cell" now.

Capt. Nina Banks went on to give her opinion of this case by saying that "Bergdahl has been punished enough ... Bergdahl paid a bitter price for the choices that he made."

He has paid a bitter price? But how about the price of those who he got killed? How about the families of those soldiers who lost loved ones, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died? And how about the soldiers, like Master Sergeant Mark Allen who suffered a head injury in July 2009 while looking for Bergdahl? That injury left Master Sergeant Mark Allen unable to speak or walk.

Military investigators found that Bergdahl simply walked away from his unit. They determined that Bergdahl planned and thought out what he had done. They found out that he had mailed his belongings back home to his parents before deserting. Furthermore, they found that Bergdahl sent an e-mail back to his parents saying that he was ashamed to be an American.

Other than those on the Left, Americans believe the Judge in this case only gave him a slap on the wrist. Many of us see Bergdahl's supposed punishment for what it is, a slap in the face of our military men and women.

Want another example of the Left's horrible influence in our society, here you go. 

The leaders of Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, the church that President George Washington himself attended, have decided that a plaque honoring the first president of the United States will be removed because our first President was a slave-owner. Imagine the insanity, the absolute stupidity, behind such a move.

The plague is a memorial marking the pew where George Washington sat with his family. The churches leaders have gotten on their knees and not pray to the Liberal God of Political Correctness. They have stopped being Christians who praise the righteous and forgive our many faults, and instead have not forsaken the Lord in favor of making sure they're getting in as many visitors and guests as possible.

Yes, it's my opinion that Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, is prostituting itself for the sake of making money. They are doing by making sure they have a stream of visitors and guests. They're doing this with the flimsiest of excuses as they say that the memorial to the Father of Our Nation makes some visitors and guests "feel unsafe or unwelcome."

In a press report, the church leaders are quoted as saying, "Some visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they receive an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques."

Instead of feeling an incredible sense of pride, instead of a sense of history, of the presence of greatness, of the brave man who risked everything to fight overwhelming odds to create our nation, Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, has decided to join the ranked of the Atheist and kiss the backsides of those with the Leftist political agenda of removing historical monuments in America!

In an all out effort to erase our history, the leaders of  Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, will also remove a memorial there which is dedicated to Gen. Robert E. Lee.

No, it doesn't matter to them if General Lee fought to protect Virginia. It means nothing to that group of Christian hypocrites that General Lee forfeit everything to do just that. It doesn't matter if General Lee had no slaves and was anti-slavery, or that he did not see the Civil War as a war about slavery.

Frankly, that group is no different than any other group of Leftist ingrates who have a limited knowledge of history. They are the same types of fools who want to make an addition to the Jefferson memorial in Washington, D.C..

In that case, there are people on the Left, notice I refrained from calling them Americans, who want to add the fact that President Thomas Jefferson was a slave-owner. But, do any of you reading this right now thing that anyone will make the notation that President Jefferson put a halt to the importation of slaves into the United States in 1806? From what I can see, they won't because the fact the President Jefferson inherited his slaves, and the fact that he stopped slave-traders from bringing slaves in the United States in 1806, does not further their Leftist political agenda. To those who want America to rip down our monuments and memorials find the truth inconvenient.

And how about this? Here's an example of the Left pushing its screwed up way of looking at things. This comes from a Bates College professor.

Just as a news person recently said that the White NFL players who refuse to kneel are actually White Supremacist, a professor at Bates College wrote an op-ed article for the Washington Post that slammed our Pledge of Allegiance as "An instrument of White Nationalism."

Among other tidbits of Leftist speak, Bates College professor Christopher Petrella stated that Francis Bellamy "tapped into the bigotry of the times for his inspiration in writing the pledge." 

He also stated "While the language contained in the pledge is not overtly nativist or xenophobic, the spirit that animated its creation was steeped in this sort of bigotry."  

And he goes on to say, "While defending pledge protests on free speech grounds is useful and necessary, it often draws attention away from the pledge’s political origins in nativism and white nationalism — roots that help us better understand the broader struggle for racial justice and full citizenship that drives these protests."

And by the way, have you ever wondered what the Left wants by attacking our National Anthem, our Pledge of Allegiance, our monuments, by Liberalizing our military?

I really believe their goal is to say that anything associated with our Founding Fathers, because some were slave-owners, is void of importance. They want people to see anything created by American patriots, including our Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States, as being null and void. Yes, their end-game is to destroy our American heritage, traditions, weaken our society, create chaos, division, discontent, and ultimately destroy the United States of America.

As for attending Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia? I wouldn't simply because they are showing their disrespect for our history. As for Bergdahl, his defense team, and the lenient Judge who saw fit to let him walk? I can only hope that karma pays them a visit to rectify this wrong. As for those of you who are sending your kid to Bates College? Well, I'd jack my kid out of there as soon as I could simply because you're paying for Liberal horseshit that amounts to nothing but venomous hate for America and us.

And by the way, the negative influences that I mention here are from only a fraction of what's taken place during the last few weeks. From the Left's support of ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, the mainstream media pushing a lie about President Trump and Russia which they cannot support, to Hollywood celebrities and Democrat politicians calling for the Trump's assassination, to RINOs like John McCain and others who openly hate Trump, I simply don't have enough room on my blog to list what the Left has done to spit in the face of America during this entire year.

That's just the way I see it. 

Tom Correa


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Horses -- Tips to Prepare For Winter


Dear Friends,

A long time reader has written to ask if everything is OK with me? She asks because I haven't been writing as much as I had been, and she thought that I must be ill. While that struck me as funny at first, I took a look at how many posts that I put out last month versus a few months ago, and found that she's right in that I haven't put out as many posts as I have in past months.

While I assure all of you that I'm not ill, it simply has everything to do with being busy in one way or another. Fact is that I haven't been posting as many posts as I would like to for a few reasons. First, as most of you already know, I volunteer a great deal at our local American Legion Post here is Glencoe. Second, I've been doing more and more research these days. I find myself doing research to update the information that I've collected just so I can give you folks accurate information. And lastly, I've been working to get my place ready for winter, specially my barn for my horses.

As most of us can tell, ready or not, fall is leaving and winter is almost here. So knowing this, I figure that you may want to know how I prepare for the cold weather ahead. 

While my "barn" is a little more than a semi-enclosed stables, there is a small list of things that I do to prepare for winter. Besides replacing boards that should be replaced from horses kicking them during their confinement last winter, this is what I do before everything is frozen and we're possible hit with snow. I have found that my doing these things helps me get through the worse when winter hits.

Water

First, it's all about preparing my water troughs for winter. While some folks use heated water sources during the winter, I don't. Instead, I position their water troughs in their stalls to keep them warm. Of course, as we all know sometimes "Plan A" doesn't work out. Since that's the case, I do have trough heaters on hand just in case a freeze gets so bad that my automatic watering system does freeze up.

I test my trough heaters before temperatures drop just to make sure any of my heaters are not working and needs replacing. It's not that hard a task and only takes a few minutes to find out if they're good or not. Of course, since there is the possibility that they make work when you checked them and not consistently in your water trough when you put them into use, it is important to monitor the water to make sure they are working as they should be.

Also just in case I do need my trough heaters, I make sure my power cords are good to go in good working condition. If an extension cord needs replacing, my recommendation is do it now when it's not freezing out. And please, take it from me when I say put them in a place where they can be easy to grab up if they're needed. For me, there's nothing so frustrating as needing an extension cord but I can't remember where I put them.

As for my automatic watering system, I always make a check of my automatic watering system by specifically checking their floats and rubber washer seals. Just as with my standby trough heaters, all ahead of time before things start to freeze. Besides my floats and such, I make sure my water pipes are wrapped. While I don't have the problem of having water hoses above ground to my barn, I used to make sure my hoses were in good condition before using them. I used to also allow a trickle of water to constantly flow though them in an effort to stop them from freezing. Since I still worry about pipes freezing, I still do that from a faucet outside of my barn.

Blankets

Next, let's talk about using horse blankets. A very long time ago, I learned the hard way that horses usually have adequate winter coats and really don’t need to be blanketed. Some owners make the mistake of thinking that a horse needs a blanket in the same way that they need a coat or jacket in the winter.

I've learned that some horses need blankets in some situations. Most likely the horses that need to be blanketed are those who have been recently clipped, or those who have had problems maintaining their weight because of their age or health problems. Of course some horse don't have the winter coat that others do and need to blanketed. So as with anything else, common sense dictates when to blanket your horse. 

If you do blanket your horse, take a look at your horse blankets now. Check for mud, mold, insects, where mice may have made a home when the blankets were stored. Also check the blankets straps to make sure they work, as well as rips and tears and holes. You may need to repair or replace your blankets. Remember, mud alone may rub your horse raw if it's not cleaned before use. And just as with your power cords and trough heaters, put them in a place where you'll have easy access to them. For me, I put mine in my tack room so they’ll be ready to go if need be.

Hay & Grain 

Now let's talk about hay. Fortunately I live just above the snowline here in California. So, all in all, I can get more hay fairly easily. But even though that's the case, that doesn't mean that I want to fight mud and/or a couple of feet of snow around my barn to bring in hay every month. That's why I believe in stocking up on hay. The key of course is to make sure you can keep it dry to prevent mold.

I'm a big believer in storing as much hay as I can where I can. I'm also a believer in storing more hay than I think I'll need. I find that having a lot of hay on hand gives me a sort of peace of mind. I like knowing that the weather can get as nasty as it wants and wouldn't have to make a hay run. And having more hay than I need is a benefit in another way, as I know that I'll able to feed my horses a little extra hay on those really cold days when they need it.

Stockpiling grains is no different than stockpiling hay. I believe it's smart to have extra in case a winter storm makes trips to the feed store a pain. As with hay, how much extra do you need?

I read where a good rule of thumb is to buy about 10 percent more than you think you'll need. While 10% may be the rule, I go higher than that. Besides, I also look at cost. I know that hay and grain are lowest in the summer months. So I save some money during the winter if I can stockpile as much as I can before winter prices go up.

Air Flow

While this really doesn't apply to barns, or stables, such as mine where it is very open in front, airflow in a barn during the winter is vital to the health of your horses. If there's too little ventilation, then airborne dust can accumulate quickly to unhealthy levels. For me, I've built solid wind-blocks and enclosures to shield my horses from bone-chilling winds. All while still giving my horses the ability to walk out of their enclosed stalls and into covered stall areas. Of course in barns that are totally enclosed, especially those in harsh winter environments, it is important to make your stable properly ventilated.

Winter weather can be tough on horse and horse owners. A little bit of preparation can be the key to your being able to have it easier during this time of year. Right now, I've been busy simply because I'm preparing so that I don't have to struggle with what comes up unexpectedly when the weather gets worse. Besides, my knowing that my property is ready for my horses is a comfort.

Tom Correa