Friday, August 30, 2019

Sitting Bull’s Railway Speech

As I've talked about in a couple of other posts, the U.S. government defeated the Sioux. As a result, it took control of the Black Hills really no different than the Sioux Indians did when they defeated the Cheyenne Indians for that same land. The Sioux claimed the Black Hills were sacred lands. They claimed they were their traditional homeland, yet their actual traditional homelands were far to the East.

While some believe the Sioux Indians were originally a woodland Indian tribe of the upper Mississippi River in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, we know that before the mid-1600s, that the Sioux actually lived in the area around Lake Superior. They were hunter-gatherers. They fished using spears from canoes. They hunted deer, buffalo, and other game, including turkey, elk, and bear. They gathered wild rice, wild spinach, turnips, wild herbs, and whatever else they could find.

Continual warfare with other Indian tribes, especially the Ojibwa Indians and the Chippewa, and the French, eventually drove them south into Western Minnesota. While being forced out of their homeland, the tribe split into the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota Sioux tribes.

The Dakota Sioux, also known as the Isanti/Santee, consisted of four bands called the Sisseton, Wahpekute, Mdeakantonwon, and the Wahpeton. The Nakota Sioux, also known as the Ihanktown, consisted of three bands called the Yankton, the Upper Yankton, and the Lower Yankton. The Lakota Sioux consisted of seven bands, including the Oglala, Hunkpapa, Sicangu, Miniconjous, Sihasapa, Oohenumpa, and Itazipacola.

During the Sioux Wars, it was the Lakota Sioux who fought the U.S. Army. Wars between the United States and the Sioux had been taking place since 1862. Coincidentally, that was the same year that the Homestead Act was passed in an attempt to get more American settlers to go West.

If the year 1862 sounds significant, it should because the Homestead Act was enacted in 1862 during the Civil War. So yes, while fighting the Confederacy, the federal government passed the Homestead Act. I believe it was to discourage some Southerners from taking up arms against the Union.

The reason that I believe that that was the case has to do with the provisions of the Homestead Act. It stated that any adult citizen, or intended U.S. citizen, who had not picked up arms against the Union, could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land. The catch was that you had to be a citizen of the United States, not the Confederate States, come up with a minimal filing fee, and stick it out for 5 years of continuous residence on that land.

After 5 years of continuous residence on the land, the original filer was entitled to the property, free and clear. The title could also be acquired after only a 6-month residency, and trivial improvements provided the claimant paid the government $1.25 per acre.

To make it more enticing to Union troops to take up homesteading and possibly persuade Confederate troops to give a second thought to their decision to take up arms against the Union, after the Civil War, Union troops were able to deduct the time they had served from the residency requirements.

So think about that, if a Union soldier spent 4 years fighting in the Union Army from 1961 to 1865, he could have his homestead free and clear after only one year instead of five. If you're wondering how many laid down their arms or how did the Homestead Act affect enlistment, no, I have no idea if this enticement was enough to get some to lay down arms and others to stay the whole duration in uniform for the Union.

It should be noted that the Homestead Act was part of the Republican Party platform of 1860. It should also be noted that skin color was not a factor in claiming a homestead. What I mean by that is that Black Union troops and freed slaves were eligible to homestead. And, of course, the same offer of Union troops being able to deduct the time they had served from the residency requirements also applied to Black Union troops. Of the more than 500 million acres dispersed by the federal government between 1862 and 1904, more than 80 million acres went to homesteaders.

In 1874, gold was discovered in the Black Hills. The U.S. Army sent troops to try to ease problems with miners and adventurers flooding into the Black Hills, but that was really futile as gold called more and more settlers to the area. Of course, this all only inflamed tensions with the Sioux Indians. It wasn't too long before the Great Sioux War of 1876 started. Also known as the Black Hills War, it would last until 1877. During its time, the Black Hills War saw a series of battles take place.

On June 25 and 26, 1876, the Battle of the Little Bighorn took place. That two-day battle resulted in the largest defeat of U.S. forces in American history, and to merely say that it was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876 would be an understatement.

Known as the Battle of the Greasy Grass to the Lakota Sioux, it took place along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana Territory. It became known to Americans as "Custer's Last Stand."

The fight had been inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull. What took place was a battle of the combined forces of the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes, all versus the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry Regiment. It was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho.

The U.S. 7th Cavalry, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, who was formerly a brevetted Major General during the Civil War, and his total force of 700 soldiers suffered a loss of 268 dead and 55 wounded -- six of those wounded would die later from their wounds. Among those killed were four of Custer's Crow Indian scouts and two of his Arikara Indian scouts. A total of five of his twelve companies were completely annihilated. Custer himself, along with two of his brothers, and two other family members, were killed in that action.

The stunning defeat at the Battle of Little Big Horn had the American public screaming for vengeance as people were to annihilate the Sioux. While Sitting Bull's leadership inspired his people to a major victory that day, the federal government sent thousands of more soldiers to force the Sioux into ultimately surrendering. It's said Sitting Bull refused to surrender until 1881. By being the last to surrender, he certainly showed how much he wanted to keep up the fight.

On September 8th, 1883, Sioux leader Sitting Bull was an honored guest at a ceremony marking the completion of the Northern Pacific Railway. In attendance was former President Ulysses S. Grant, Secretary of State Henry Teller, the governors of every state that the railway connected, Northern Pacific Railroad president Henry Villard, other federal and state government officials, politicians, railroad barons, and workers, along with the U.S. Army. Besides the enlisted troops, a few high-ranking Army officers attended the event.

It should be noted that as a result of the Homestead Act, the discovery of gold, and the violation of treaties, by the mid-1870, there were about 5,000 American settlers living in the Black Hills. In 1880, that number was believed to be around 117,000 Americans living in that area. By the mid-1880s, the number of settlers had doubled to about 234,000. Knowing this, it's a safe bet to say that Sitting Bull was not happy with Americans or the federal government's policies when he arrived at the dedication ceremony.

Sioux leader Sitting Bull was not only in attendance but was there to say a few words to the audience. During that occasion, it's said that Sitting Bull seized the moment to give folks there an ear full of what he really thought of them.

When it was time for him to speak, the audience was surprised when the famous Indian warrior spoke in Lakota Sioux. Though fluent in English, he did not want to give his speech in English. Frankly, that was not very smart considering what took place.

Sitting Bull is reported to have looked directly at former President Ulysses S. Grant, Secretary of State Henry Teller, and the others there and said, "I hate all White people. You are thieves and liars. You have taken away our land and made us outcasts." And yes, he went on from there.

Supposedly, Sitting Bull went on to say why he hated White people but never mentioned how his people killed and slaughters other Indians tribes who felt the same way about him and his people. It was reported that he stopped talking now and then to smile at them before returning to his polite rant.

Of course, the audience applauded enthusiastically since they had no idea what he was saying. Remember, he chose to give his speech in Sioux and not in English. After their applause, believe it or not, Sitting Bull would bow back to them in return before going back to tell them how much he hated them. Yes, he would smile and bow, all while telling those in attendance that he hated White people.

The whole time that Sitting Bull was telling the audience how much he couldn't stand them, the Army officer who was his translator is said to have sat and remained silent. Some say that the Army officer kept his poker face intact the whole time that Sitting Bull spoke. Then, once Sitting Bull was done with what he had to say, the quick-thinking Army officer rose to his feet and said, "The Chief thanks everyone for being here, and that he looked forward to peace and prosperity with the White people."

At that moment, everyone rose, and Sitting Bull received a standing ovation.

Imagine that!

Since first posting this story, I have been inundated with emails telling me that "White people deserved his scorn. Native American tribes never did to other tribes what the Whites did to Indians."

OK, let's address that myth right here and now. First, in regards to my comment "Imagine that," it was not in reference to what Sitting Bull said but to what the Army officer interpreter came up with -- and the fact that the people applauded everything that Sitting Bull said without knowing what Sitting Bull really said.

As for Sitting Bull's moral outrage and his hating White peoples, and what Native American tribes did or did not do to other tribes compared to what the Whites did to Indians? While I don't blame him for hating the Whites since the Whites were a stronger military force and the Sioux were beaten, we should remember that the Sioux hated Whites in the exact same way as to how Pawnee Indians hated the Sioux.

For one thing, the Pawnee Indians were nearly wiped out by the Sioux at Massacre Canyon, which took place in Nebraska on August 5th, 1873. That massacre was one of the last of over a century of hostilities between the Pawnee and the Sioux, who had been fighting genocidal warfare from the early 1700s into the 1880s.

The Massacre Canyon massacre took place when a party of over 1,500 Sioux warriors attacked a small group of close to 200 Pawnees, mostly made up of women and children. The Pawnee were out on their annual end-of-summer buffalo hunt. The Sioux murdered at least 156 of the Pawnee that day. Almost all were women and children.

The Pawnee's hatred for the Sioux is justified since the Sioux mutilated all of the Pawnee women and children after they murdered them. But the Sioux didn't stop with murder and mutilation. The Sioux actually burned some of the women and children to death and tortured them while they were still alive.

So while it is nice and fine to say that Sitting Bull was justified in hating the Whites, we should really understand that his hate is more like hypocrisy since he certainly proved that no one, not Indian or White, has exclusivity to moral outrage for horrible deeds.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Why No Old West History Posts Lately

Dear Readers,

I recently received a short, very to the point, e-mail lately. My reader asked: "Why no Old West history lately? Why no posts, not articles, nothing new? I love your posts, what's happened?"

Well, to answer her email. Whenever I've run into a little writer's block over the last few years, I've been able to pull up a draft and finish it for you. Some posts being easier to finish than others, I've been able to do that pretty often over the years.

As for my political editorials, my opinion posts on today's political environment, current events, are a lot easier to put out simply because of the time involved to do them. I take an issue and rant about it. While over the years, you've made it clear that that's not what you really come here for, I have to admit that my political rants have served to be a stress reliever for me. I'm sure my wife can usually figure out that I've finished a political post by the way I've stopped cussing out Democrats.

As I said, I know that's not what you come here for. Yes, I do know that. In fact, I know that so well that I try not to offend my Old West history fans by actually keeping my political post off of my blog's Facebook page. It's true. Since I like that people are as interested in American history, specifically Old West history, I really try not to chase folks away by posting things other than that on my blog's Facebook page. The last thing that I want to do is make someone disinterested in visiting my blog's Facebook page over my political rants.

Besides, contrary to what I thought for the longest time, I'm finding out that American history, our love of the Old West, is not confined to only Conservatives. Yes, as surprising as it has been to me to learn, there are some folks on the other side of my political persuasion that enjoy learning about American history.

Why does that shock me so much? It does because I find that a lot of people on the Left are closed minded when it comes to studying history. I've found Conservative to be open minded to looking at the whole story of what took place and not only what fit some sort of agenda.

For example, when I wrote about how the Black Hills were not the centuries old lands of the Sioux Indians, and how they in fact conquered the Cheyenne for those lands, and how the Cheyenne conquered the Kiowa for those lands, and so on, I had self-proclaimed anti-American Leftist demanding that I take that information off the Internet. Some of those people called me all sorts of names, including "racist" of course. In contrast, on the other hand, in regards to the same article, I still have people writing me to say how they did not know about the change of hands regarding those lands. The Last Tribe to get the Black Hills

When I looked into the how and why regarding the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan, my research led me into finding out about the actual legacy of racism and segregation of the Democrat Party. I had no idea that they have always been who they are, and I was absolutely surprised to find out that their racist and anti-equal rights policies extended to both blacks and women. And no, it did not stop in the 1800s, or the early 1920s, or the 1960s when the Democrats in Congress fought against the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but extended well into the 1980s when the Democrats shot down the Equal Rights Amendment for women.

After I posted that four part series, some Democrats were crazed and as angry as can be. Some wrote to threaten me and my family. While I saw it as fascinating history, they saw it as a hit piece on the Democrat Party. Democrat Party Legacy of Racism & Segregation: Part One

Of course, my most popular article has been what I wrote in 2011 about the 9-11 Cross and what I've learned about Muslims since 9-11. As I state in that article, I knew little to nothing about Muslims prior to 9-11. Fact is, Muslims, who they are, what they want, their hate for others, hate for Christians and Jews, their want of Sharia Law, and their desire for world conquest, was nothing that I gave much thought. Frankly, other than Muslims at constant war with Jews, I didn't know much about who they are today. I certainly had no idea that they are as backwards as they are. The 9/11 Cross

As for my Old West history posts, my problems with my putting them out as often has to do with time and research. Because of what they are, they take a lot more research to get them right. And frankly, since I have a tendency to veer off course during an article, I like to make sure that the information that I think is relevant to a good story is accurate as well.

So now, as my reader asked, "Why no Old West history lately? Why no posts, not articles, nothing new? I love your posts, what's happened?" 

Well, there has been a number of things happening these days. Let me explain in no real order of the things that have been taking place to slow down my writing my blog. Besides finishing my first book which will be out in a couple of weeks, life has really gotten in the way of both my research and writing my blog.

I've made mention of some of my health problems, but never really precisely what's going on. So let me just say that I'm having problems since my family has a genetic predisposition to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). CHF is a chronic progressive condition that affects the pumping power of your heart muscles. While CHF is simply referred to most often as "heart failure," CHF specifically refers to the stage in which fluid builds up around the heart and causes it to pump inefficiently. It is a chronic condition in which the heart doesn't pump blood as well as it should.

It's signs and symptoms may include: 1) Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness, 2) Fatigue and weakness, 3) Very rapid weight gain from fluid retention, 4) Swelling in your legs, ankles and feet, 5) Rapid or irregular heartbeat, 6) Increased need to urinate at night, 7) Swelling of your abdomen, 8) Shortness of breath (dyspnea) when you exert yourself or when you lie down, 9) Sudden, severe shortness of breath, 10) Chest pain if your heart failure is caused by a heart attack, and 11) Reduced ability to exercise. Additional signs and symptoms that I haven't yet to experience are 1) Persistent cough or wheezing, and a 2) Lack of appetite and nausea.

What I'm having real problems with right now is how fatigue and weakness these days makes everything a chore. The rapid weight gain from fluid retention is what's responsible for swelling in my legs, ankles and feet. Along with a rapid or irregular heartbeat at times means that I'm having a reduced ability to exercise and a difficulty concentrating. My wife will tell you that I'm also having problems with decreased alertness long before these days.

How my life has changed because of this is pretty simply, I'm having a real problem with being tired all the time. I'm also gaining weight through fluid retention, and concentrating on things these days is getting tougher. Among other things, this makes it tough to write my blog or finish my book. Also, combine this with "writer's block" and my blog readership suffers.

What am I doing about this? Well, as for the CHF, I have a few medications that I'm taking, and believe it or not I'm trying to exercise more to reverse it's effects. The biggest catch 22 is my weight gain because I can't do as much these days -- mostly because I'm wiped out all the time. It's taking it's toll on my energy level.

While this is going on to make me feel exhausted, I still have my position at our local American Legion that I have to tend to. My horses and property needs my attention. I've also been busy with doing a lot of work around my place since my wife and I have been hard at work refinancing our home. Along with this, my wife has had medical problems as well.

On August 4th, I took her to Sutter-Amador Hospital in Jackson, about a half-hour from where I live here in California. She was diagnosed as having "possible" gallstone problems. Before leaving the emergency room, the treating physician told us to arrange a follow-up. The next day we called for a follow up appoint as we were instructed. The people at Sutter-Amador Hospital said that they could see her on August 29th. Yes, 25 days later. Image that.

Since my wife has medical coverage through me with the VA, we made an appointment with her doctor to see her on the 14th. So OK, it was still 10 days later -- but it was better than nothing. Besides, I decided that if she were in pain like the first time, then I'd rush her back to the ER at Sutter-Amador Hospital in Jackson again since it is the closest ER.

On August 14th, we went to her appointment at the VA Clinic in Modesto. We had to be there by 11 a.m., but a logging truck got in front of us and we ended up arriving 10 minutes late for her appointment. I figured the VA would refuse to see her since we were 10 minutes late, but I was surprised that they did. During her visit, the Chinese doctor who was attending to my wife seem to have a hard time understanding English and actually had to call a nurse in to help translate what was going on with my wife. Then they said that she needed to get to the VA Hospital in Palo Alto.

Because the people at the VA Clinic in Modesto said my wife needed to get to a VA emergency room, we drove the three hours to the VA Hospital in Palo Alto. We arrived at a little after 3 p.m., and by 5 p.m. the VA emergency room staff took her in to get an ultrasound exam. After that we waited. Even though they found gallstones, and suspected that one stone was in the duct leading to her large intestines and was responsible for creating the pain she was feeling, they refused to treat her.

Instead, the premier VA Hospital in Northern California, the VA Hospital in Palo Alto, decided to dump my wife's case to another hospital. Though she is supposedly covered by CHAMP VA because she's married to me, the VA there at Palo Alto refused to treat her and instead told me to take her to another hospital.

While what they did was a clear case of "patient dumping," they said they were sending her somewhere else because they didn't recognize her insurance. As far as they were concerned, she didn't have coverage and that weren't going to treat her no matter what condition she was in. Just so you know, in California, "patient dumping" is supposedly illegal. Patient dumping is the practice of hospitals and emergency services no treating patients who they see as unable to pay for treatment.

So at a little before 1 a.m., we left the VA Hospital in Palo Alto after being in their ER for almost 10 hours. Driving to the next hospital, my wife said to me, "If I were an Illegal Alien, they would have treated me and taken whatever insurance I have -- but I'm a citizen."

At about 3 a.m., we arrived at Stanford ValleyCare Hospital in Pleasanton -- a little over an hour away from the VA Palo Alto Hospital. The people at that hospital were 180 degrees different than the treatment at the VA in Modesto and Palo Alto emergency room. They immediately admitted my wife. While they had a bed for her, I refused to leave her and simply slept in a chair.

The next day, they ran tests, a number of doctors came in to talk about removing her gallbladder and that stone which may be in the duct leading to her intestines. By that afternoon, she went into surgery. Later on that day, after a few hour surgery, she returned to her room. She was out most of the day. Again that night, I refused to leave her and simply slept in a chair.

My wife was discharged on Friday afternoon after her surgeons came in to check on her. The people at Stanford ValleyCare Hospital in Pleasanton, California, are really top-notch folks. They are extremely professional, but also personable and caring. I want to take a minute here to thank Surgeons Dr. Andrew Lee who removed my wife's gallbladder and Dr. Christopher Enwisle who was the specialist to go in and get the stone blocking that duct to my wife's intestines. These two men are great surgeons and need to be complimented on their compassion and wonderful way with a patient like my wife who was very scared of what was taking place. They were certainly a comfort, truly Godsends.

Over the last week, she has been recuperating. And as for medical coverage for her, we are looking for coverage that will be honored. If we can help it, we will be relying a lot less on the VA for her coverage in the future. They simply don't care enough about family members of veterans.

As I told my wife after this was all said and done, I've been with the VA since 1995 and have had great care and lousy care in the past. While shoddy medial treatment for me is one thing, I don't want that for her.

So now, getting back to writing my blog and providing you with what I hope are interesting stories about the Old West. Now that things have settled down a lot and my first book will be out in a couple of weeks on Amazon, I'm hoping to get at least two stories out a week in the future. Yes, I'm hoping to have a new story posted for you at least twice a week. Writer's block or not, whether it's my questioning if Wyatt Earp really did kill Curly Bill, or whether it's about a group of Indians who were blamed for a massacre that they didn't commit, I need to finish those stories because I really believe that you will find them as interesting as I do.

Fact is, I have a lot of drafts of what I think are not widely known stories. It's just up to me to finish them and post them for you. I hope that I don't disappoint you.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Is The Democrat Party Embracing Vladimir Lenin's Communism?

If not, than why does the Democrat Party want to nationalize health care, and take 70 to 90% of our wages in taxes? Why does the Democrat Party’s insist on government over regulations designed to attack free-enterprise and slow economic progress? And really, why do they want to get rid of private ownership of property, and property rights?

These days the Democrats make no secret anymore about their desire to confiscate guns, and repeal the Bill of Rights — especially targeting the 2nd Amendment. Yes, all to keep the people unarmed against a totalitarian government. 

Under Communist Revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. His ideology was Communism, but he expanded it and soon Marxism became Marxist–Leninism. Vladimir Lenin said, "One man with a gun can control 100 without one." Democrats know that. 

As for today's policies of the Democrat Party? Much are based on the Communist doctrine of totalitarianism which go along with the United Nations’s Agenda 21 manifesto which wants a one world government under Communism.

As for the Democrat Party attacking Christians and supporting Atheism in America? Democrats have listened to Vladimir Lenin, when he said, "Communism includes the propaganda of Atheism."

The Democrats see hard times in America as their opportunity to divide the American people. During prosperous times in America, Democrats spread lies and deal in fear mongering to bring about uncertainty and a loss of faith in our nation's economy. Recently, during the best economic times in modern history for our nation, the Democrats and their media stooges are spreading uncertainty by spreading the word that we are headed for an economic recession -- even though that is purely conjecture and wishful thinking on the part of the Democrats. 

Is that all right out of the Marxist–Leninist playbook to divide and bring discontent to our people? To answer that question, ask Democrats why it is so important for them to control the media, and why they hate Fox News? Vladimir Lenin said, "The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses." This is what Democrats are hoping for.

As for the hate spewing from the Left, the Democrat Party, those who serve the Democrats in the mainstream media, are they adhering to what Lenin advised when that Communist leader said, "We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us." 

It appears that's what the Democrat Party is doing today. Yes, especially when we consider their constant animosity, antagonism, and open contempt for anyone who supports American values and embraces the promise of free-enterprise. Of course, the "oppressed" which the Democrat Party is fighting for today is actually wealthy college kids who see revolution and infecting pain on others as fun and exciting -- as is the case with ANTIFA which is the militant arm of the Democrat Party.

If the Democrat Party is not embracing Vladimir Lenin's ideology of Communism, if I'm wrong, then ask Democrat candidates running for the presidency to swear support of our Constitution, ALL of our Bill of Rights, condemn government take over of our rights including (for example) the state of Oregon where the state government there has deemed that rain belongs to the state and not the people. 

If not, ask Democrat candidates to celebrate America's First Principles and stop glorifying the Communist Doctrine that has failed and killed millions of people throughout the world. If they are not embracing Vladimir Lenin, ask the Democrat candidates out there to affirm that an armed citizenry is needed in Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, or China to stop the oppressive Communist governments there from enslaving their peoples?

And if a Democrat candidate for president refuses to answer such questions, ask your local Democrat politician if he or she would stop attacking our Capitalist system which is responsible for rising more people out of poverty than any other economic system. Since the Democrat Party is constantly attacking the benefits that Capitalism brings to the world while openly supporting total Socialism, ask them to explain why people who support Socialism apparently forget to mention that it leads to Communism and slavery? 

Democrats don't want you to be reminded of what Vladimir Lenin said, "The goal of Socialism is Communism." No, not while they embrace Vladimir Lenin's form of Communism. After all, wanting Communism is the Democrat Party's dirty little secret.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Haunted Northern California

Dear Friends,

Usually, around September, I start getting requests for stories dealing with ghosts. Yes, ghosts. Maybe it has to do with October and Halloween right around the corner, but it's been pretty constant for a few years now. About September, people want to know about haunted places in the Old West. My most recent letter is from a readers who wants to know about haunted Northern California.

This had me thinking about a relatively modern story of the World War II aircraft carrier the USS Hornet (CV-12), which is right now docked at the old Alameda Naval Air Station in the San Francisco Bay Area. That ship is supposedly the most haunted ship in the entire U.S. Navy. It saw a lot of action in its day. And today, well some say voices of Sailors and Marines are heard in the passage ways and even in the engine room.

The ship is today a floating museum piece. Of course there are areas where only volunteers and other authorized personnel can enter. When voices are heard in those areas of the ship, and they are thought to be lost visitors, visitors who've gone astray, volunteers are used to track the down and find them. In more occasions than not, no one can find the source of the voices. No one's there. The same goes for when a docent has to check out the sound of a compartment hatch closing and finds that nothing has been disturbed.

I was told the story of the sound of a hammer or wrench being hit on a bulkhead near the engine room. When investigated, the sound stops. The slow tapping on the bulkhead has been compared to an SOS. Some say it has to do with a Sailor who died in the engine room.

In the city of Oakland, some folks say the old city jail located on the top of its City Hall is haunted by both jailers and prisoners. Some tell stories of hearing the groans of tortured prisoners. 

In the city of Fremont, Mission San Jose is reported to be haunted by those who died tragically during a fire and as a result of the earthquakes that also damaged the mission. There are also stories of local Indians who were killed by the hands of Spaniards, both Priests and Soldier alike. Some say the souls of those Indians refuse to rest. Also, there is pioneer graveyard across from the Fremont Train Station that some say is active with the sights of unsettled souls.

In the town of Pleasanton, the Pleasanton Hotel was built in the 1850s and is said to be haunted. During its rich history, besides being a hotel and saloon back in the day, the hotel served as a impromptu courthouse and had a tunnel that led from it to the police station next door. When the hotel was no longer being used to hold court, there are stories of how the tunnel's entry to the police station was cut off. Some say that it was collapsed. Others say it may have been flood with water.

Then again, that may have only been a portion of it since it's believe that the abandoned tunnel may have been used as an opium den. Yes, right under the hotel just a just a few yards from the town's police station. I was once told that there were a number of dead Chinamen pulled out of that tunnel over the years. Most dead from overdoses and poisonings, others are said to have been Chinese women. Yes, prostitutes who may have killed themselves.

While San Francisco and Oakland's Chinatown has a number of haunted places where the ghost of Chinese prostitutes are said to show themselves now and then, so do other places where the Chinese made a start during the Gold Rush. Of course, as many already know, the cribs that made up many of the Chinetowns lasted for decades following their humble beginnings.

As for the Pleasanton Hotel, its bar has seen its share of shootings and killings over the years. Its said that even famed Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrietta made his way through there on more than a few occasions.

The famous Winchester Mystery House is located in the city of San Jose. It is supposedly haunted by the ghost of its eccentric builder, Sarah Winchester. She is said to have built the strange mansion to protect herself from the spirits of all of the Indians killed by her late husband's famous line of rifles.

The problem with that story is that Oliver Winchester was never an actual gunsmith like say Sam Colt or the team of Smith & Wesson. Actually, Winchester only got involved in gun manufacturing after becoming wealthy making shirts. I can't help but wonder if maybe the people who haunt the mansion are those who hated his line of shirts?

Over the mountain range in Santa Cruz County, The Brookdale Lodge in Brookdale is reportedly haunted by the spirit of Sarah Logan, the niece of the former owner, who drowned in what is now known as the Brook Room. Up the coast in San Mateo County, there's the Moss Beach Distillery in Moss Beach. The bar and restaurant overlook the ocean and is reported to be haunted by the spirit of a Blue Lady. Yes, a Blue Lady!

Just for the record, when I was in the Philippines in 1975, the locals talked about a White Lady who was a specter seen here and there. When I worked down South in Georgia and Louisiana off and on during the 1990s, I was told about a few White Ladies here and there. But in Moss Beach, their ghostly lady is blue. Not a dark Navy Blue, more a light blue. 

How do I know this? I remember hearing the story many years ago on a trip down the coast to Moss Beach. After hearing about the ghostly Blue Lady, I asked someone there if their Blue Lady was a dark Navy Blue, or if she was more a light blue? I will always remember how sincere the person was when he said that she was a light blue so that she can be seen.  

The woman who now haunts that place had supposedly died in the area awaiting her husband to come back from sea. The restaurant has been featured on a number of paranormal television shows where of course they report the accounts are true. Shocking as it might sound, one television show had props that helped reenact the experiences for guests. Can you say tourist draw?!

I have a friend who used to live up near Del Norte County. He told me about the Battery Point Lighthouse near Crescent City. It is reported haunted by a resident ghost that has been seen by six different people. And no, I don't know if it is the story about the Lighthouse Keeper who went mad and killed himself.

In the town of Tracy, the Banta Inn is reported to be haunted since the 1930s, including the sighting of the former owner of the inn, Tony Gallegos, who died of a heart attack in the building. There are also reports of poltergeist activity that happens in the bar.

Over in the town of Antioch, there is the Black Diamond Mines area where it has been reported to have had numerous accounts of paranormal activity. In fact, there is the story of the White Witch. Supposedly she was executed for being a witch after all of the kids in her care died of some strange illness. Another story for that area is that of Sarah Norton, who haunts the Rose Hill Cemetery after she was run over and crushed to death by her horse and carriage.

As most know, because of the 1849 California Gold Rush, people were crawling all over the Sierra Nevada Mountains looking for gold by the 1850s. In fact, it's said that the California Gold Country was the most populated place in the world for a little while. And while everyone was chasing their dream, back during the California Gold Rush, dreams were of gold.

Once it was found at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento, people from all over the world were convinced there was enough for everyone. But the fact is, only a few got rich. Many Easterners returned East with empty pockets and heartache. And I'm sure they were glad to get away from the toil and the blood. Because of murder, mayhem, suicide, and the like, there is no shortage of haunted places throughout California. While some are really well known, others are known only to locals who live in those areas.

Up at the north end of the California Gold Country is Placer County. Christine's room at The Richardson House in Truckee is said to be haunted by Christine Richardson. The ghost of a young woman has been reported as being seen standing by the room's window. No one really knows why she haunts. Some believe she was jilted and watches for her lost love. Other say she was a young woman who mourns the loss of her child.

Also, the Truckee area is where the Donner Party met their end. The Donner Party was a wagon train party headed to California. George Donner was the principle organizer of a California-bound wagon train from Springfield, Illinois. The Donner Party actually departed Missouri on the Oregon Trail in the spring of 1846. They were following behind many other pioneer wagon trains, all attempting to make the same overland trip.

The wagon train's were known to take between four and six months to get to California. The Donner Party lost precious time because they decided to follow a new route called the Hastings Cutoff. This was meant to bypass established trails and save time. Instead, it crossed some of the most desolate and rugged terrain imaginable. To make maters worse, they loss of cattle and other wagons. Because of infighting, the group splintered.

All of this resulted in them reaching Truckee Lake, which is now called Donner Lake, in early-November, they were trapped by an early heavy snowfall. They were snowbound in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the winter of 1846. With their food supplies low, by mid-December some of the group set out on foot to find help.

At the same time, rescuers from California attempted to reach the party. Sadly, the first relief party did not arrive until the middle of February of 1847. That was almost four months after the wagon train became trapped in the high mountains. Legend says they resorted to cannibalism to survive. Supposedly, the survivors ate those who died from sickness and starvation. Of the 87 members of the Donner Party, only 48 survived the ordeal.

Tamsen Donner was the wife of George Donner. When rescuers finally came, George was too weak from a gangrene infection of his arm. Of course he was also too starved to travel. Tamsen refused to be rescued and stayed with her husband. They both died, and Tamsen's body was never found. Some say she haunts Donner Lake. It's also said that guests who visit the Donner State Memorial Park have seen a "weird yellowish figure floating above the ground" there.

The National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City is reportedly haunted by spirits that have died during the night. The Stonehouse Brewery in Nevada City is reportedly haunted by Chinese immigrants that were killed in the tunnels underneath that property. Again, no telling if it was a situation where the tunnels were opium dens or cribs. 

I was told that the Del Oro Theatre in the town of Grass Valley is haunted. Its said to have "a few resident ghosts" there. The Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley has housed many famous residents including Mark Twain and three American Presidents.

The Holbrooke Hotel is also home to the famous suicide gambler, a man who slit his own throat and was found dead in a pool of blood. While it's real hard to believe that anyone is capable of cutting their own throat, his suicide letter can be found at the Doris Foley Library in Nevada City.

The Holbrooke Hotel's spooks don't stop with a gambler at the end of his string of luck, that hotel has plenty of spooky stuff taking place there. It has chairs moving across the floor, lights turning on and off, and voices lingering in the air, guests report hearing the sounds of little ghost children jumping on old mattress springs, as well as sighting the notable cowboy ghost who appears only from waist up and a Victorian-dressed maid who walks the halls of the Holbrooke.

Old Sacramento is reportedly haunted by victims of influenza, fire, and flooding. The other part of Sacramento that most folks don't know about is that it was actually more violent than Dodge City and Tombstone combined. The spirits of those who died during those gun battles are said to roam Old Sacramento.

The Cary House in Placerville is reported to have a haunt that dates back to the 1930's involving a lot of unexplained noises and phenomena. And yes, since the town was originally called Hangtown, they have had their share of sighting of convicts who were hung by Vigilantes.

Closer to my home over in Amador County, in the town of Ione where my Mom lives, there's a place simply known as "The Preston Castle" or "The Castle." It's real name is The Preston School of Industry. It was once a home for troubled youths. "The castle" had its share of deaths and suffering. Allegedly, the ghost of a caretaker who was bludgeoned to death by students still resides there.

When I visited the castle, I remember a few folks on the tour having an eerie feeling and feeling a cold presence of the lady who was the school's cook before being killed and put in a closet. Her body was found later after disappearing for a few days. It is said that she scratches the closet door to be let out. The boys who killed her were never found.

The National Hotel in the town of Jackson is another place that was built in the 1850s. It is reported to house some specters that have died on the hotel premises. Supposedly one is the ghost of a depressed miner who hung himself. Another is said to be a bartender who was shot in the hotel bar by a jealous husband.

In the town of San Andreas, they say a women who was jilted by her lover can be seen waiting outside the old library. People say she has waited there for him for more than a century. South of San Andreas in the town of Angles Camp, its said that famous writer Mark Twain has been seen once on the sidewalk downtown heading for a bar that he used to frequent when he was living there. He was actually a young reporter there. It's where he wrote his most famous yarn.

Of course, there are the ghosts of those who fought the tough Sierra Nevada Mountains to get to California by wagon train. Up on Highway 88 near Immigrant Pass, it's said that the crying of a baby has been heard by a few folks camping up near the summit. Some think that it may be the spirit of a child that may have died along the way and now sits in an unmarked grave up there somewhere.

Over on the other side up near the summit at the end of Highway 4 is the Lake Alpine Lodge. That place is said to be haunted by a couple who died when the top floor of the lodge collapsed in a massive snowstorm back in the 1920s. There's also the tale of a lady that haunts the lake. There are reports of sightings of that lady since she drowned in the lake and her body was never found. That was back in the 1950s, and both locals and summer visitors have said that she can be seen sitting on the rocks at the lake during the spring and summer months.

In the town of Sonora, the Tuolumne General Hospital is reportedly haunted by miners and patients who died from neglect. Neglect, you ask. Well, that's what legend says. But really, it was probably more a case of medical folks back then not knowing how to treat something that we today take for granted. For example, the flu. The influenza virus, what we all refer to simply as the "flu," of the 1830s affected 20 to 25 percent of the world's population. In reality, it killed more people than gunshots, accidents, most other ailments including cancers, and wars at the time. 

At the Yosemite Valley, in what is today the Yosemite National Park, there have been visitors who swear that they have seen the ghosts of Indians killed during the Mariposa Indian War. Some say they have heard the cries of the starving Ahwahnechee children -- those who were the victims of the Mariposa Battalion who burned the Ahwahnechee villages and took their food stores. Yes, to starve those Indians into submission.

In Calaveras County, we have our share of spooks who refuse to rest. The Hotel Léger in the town of Mokelumne Hill is reported to be haunted by the spirit of George Léger, the former owner of the hotel. His presence is most felt in the room that he died in. That would be Room 7 for those want to explore such things.

As for ghosts of those who have been shot in an Old West street, Mokelumne Hill was one of the most violent towns in the West. People took their life in their hands just crossing Main Street. That's why the people there dug a tunnel from the Hotel Léger that led to the other side of the street. It's believed some of the dead still haunt the town.

Yes, including those Chinese who were killed there as victims of the Tong War. No telling who was killed when one Chinese gang burned down a Chinese temple. As for the dead being restless, I'm sure race after death means very little. So no, there's no telling how many Chinese do not sleep.

As for news articles out of the Mokelumne Hill area, news of what was taking place back in the day, all talk about runaway wagons and teamsters who met their end, miners who fall down shafts that go hundreds of feet into the earth, loggers crushed, Indians found dead, and murders by those who wanted to get rich off someone else's hard work.

As for those who broke the law, it's said that justice was swift in most cases and the murderers were hanged. Sometimes those who broke the law got away with it and were never found. As for people getting away with murder, especially murdering travelers new to the gold camps, there were those who got away with it.

Back in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, a rancher whose property was near Mokelumne Hill was digging a post hole while putting in some fencing. Soon, he started pulling out pieces of a human skeleton. It wasn't long before he unearthed a human skull. After digging more and more, he reveled the bones of a number of people. Yes, more than just one or two skulls.

He immediately contacted the sheriff. The county authorities arrived on his property and went to work. The area of interest was expanded, and soon more bones and skulls were unearthed. More than a dozen bodies were found.

After examination of the bones, it was determined that the bones belonged to young travelers and miners who were all killed very violently during the California Gold Rush of the mid-1800s. All had been buried there for decades.

The rancher had no idea that such a thing existed on his land. Then local records where checked and it was reveled that his property was once the site of a gold mining camp, a small town, back in the 1850s. Along with human remains, authorities found clothing and shoes. The clothing and shoes both pointed to the period when the victims lived.

Also, they unearthed evidence pointing to the existence of a saloon at that spot. It was called a Fandango House. It was a sort of brothel, gambling place, dance hall, hotel, and store. All of the dead are believed to have stopped there. All were murdered for their goods and gold, then buried in a shallow mass grave.

Of the bones found, none were ever identified. Fact is, there was no way to identify the victims. It was a just a part of life to strike out on one's own. It's believed they left their families in the East and headed to California to get rich. Instead, they were murdered before ever reaching the gold fields in most cases.

Of course, after contact with their relations stopped, it's a safe bet to say that someone in their family may have suspected foul play. But then again, life was seen differently at the time. It was a given that the world was not a safe place and that death could come by a number of ways, including illness, drowning, getting kicked by a horse, and even food poisoning. Some today believe those who were murdered still wonder the hills and are seen at the rivers panning for gold.

Death and calamity follows man wherever he goes, that's just a part of life. Some say that there are those who still call out for air from the bottom of a collapsed mine shaft. Some say that the old Indian who froze to death along the trail up near Alabama Hill in Glencoe can still be seen now and then over a hundred years later.

There are those who say the screams of those horses where that runaway wagon wrecked near the middle fork of the Mokelumne River can still heard. Others say they hear the weeping of the woman who still searches for her husband who died when crushed falling timber back in the day.

If ghosts are those souls who met a violent end as a result of being beaten to death in a bar brawl, by being shot to death by a single bullet fired by some dry-gulcher intent on stealing another man's hard earn wages, or by way of getting trampled by a cattle stampede, there are those who believe that ghosts simply cannot find peace. Thus, they haunt. Thus, they are restless.

Of course, if you are a person who believes in ghost, you may wonder if they'll ever find peace since they haven't by now.

Tom Correa

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Mysterious Death of Annie Dorman 1897

Her death was reported in The Times of Philadelphia on October 6th, 1897. Her name was Annie Dorman. And the fact is, in a number of newspapers across the nation, her murder became national news.

Who was she? She was an American girl found dead with a whole lot of unanswered questions regarding her death. She was almost 18 years old, and was described as having a happy disposition. She lived with her older half-brother John, his wife Lizzie, and their children. She did so off and on since she was 13 years old. She worked for them as a maid and nanny taking care of their four children.

On the day of Annie's death, her sister-in-law Lizzie had supposedly left for Philadelphia. Annie's half-brother John was on the property, but was working outside at the barn located within a hundred yards of the house when she was killed. That's important to keep in mind. The barn where he was worked was a fairly short distance from the house where she was killed.

At noon, Annie was in the house watching the four children, and no one other than her and the children were there. A little after noon, it's believed Annie sent the three older children outside to play while she put the baby to sleep downstairs. After the baby was alseep, she tended to cleaning the house and doing chores.

At about 3:30 in the afternoon, her half-brother's hired hand who was working in the fields a few hundred yards away said that he heard four gunshots coming from the house. He said the first two shots seemed to be a minute or more apart, but the second two shots were fired in quick succession. And no, there is no mention as to why he didn't respond immediately after hearing the shots instead of apparently doing nothing and kept working.

To me, that sounds strange due to the fact that shots fired usually means something out of the ordinary is taking place. One would think, at the minimum, that hired hand's curiosity would have been alerted to make him drop what he was doing and go see why shots were coming from a place that they shouldn't be. But from what I gather, he didn't. As for why, who knows?

Strangely, almost an hour later at around 4:30 p.m., John was alerted to what took place in the house by one of his children. One of the older children went into the house and found their Aunt Annie. Then then located their father, John, who was in the barn working, and told him that she was dead.

John was supposedly completely unaware of the shots fired in his home, yet his farmhand in the fields further away heard the shot. Does that sound right to anyone?

In today's world, the world of 2019, someone wearing headphones while they are working, someone wearing hearing protection, someone working with a radio turned up so loud that they my drown out sounds coming from the outside of a building, that's not too hard to understand. But in 1897, there were none of that.

Besides, anyone reading this who has been raised or presently lives on a farm or ranch knows full well how quiet things are. On my property, my wife and I live in a house that is the equivilent to 2 football fields away from the main road at the entrance to our home, yet we can clearly hear a loud truck pass by or my horses in the front of our property. I can tell you when my neighbor a half mile away is target shooting. He can tell you when he hears me target shooting on my shooting range on the side of my garage. Gunshots are easy to hear in the silence of the country.

Supposedly John Dorman didn't hear anything until told what had taken place by on of his oldest children. It was then that he went to the house and found Annie in his bedroom shot dead. John called for the sheriff, who in turn called the coroner.

When the sheriff and coroner arrived at the Dorman farm, they found that Annie died of multiple gunshot wounds. One gunshot wound entered her by way of her jaw and another round entered her chest. It was later determined during the Coroner's Inquest that the round that struck her chest was the cause of death. It should be noted that two bullet holes were found in the ceiling. But also, there was a bullet hole in one of the walls. There was no evidence of what happened to the fourth round that was fired.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 10.10.1897
The coroner made notes stating that he found Annie’s clothing undisturbed. That is, except for her bodice, which was unbuttoned. A bodice is the close-fitting upper part of a dress that covered the chest and back above the waist. Edwardian era clothing hadn't change much from the Victorian era which called for modesty and covering. But, while that was the case, it was not usually for a woman to have such a fitted vest worn over a dress or blouse and unbuttoned in the September heat when she was alone.

While some may have attempted to make the fact that her bodice was unbuttoned sort of suspicious, the coroner's examination stated that she had not been sexually assaulted.

As the investigation into her death took shape, it appeared that there were more questions than actual answers. Because of that, some questioned if it was homicide or suicide. To support the notion that she killed herself, it was said that a revolver belonging to her family was found at Annie's side. As for the pistol, supposedly it sat loaded on a shelf in the bedroom for two years. Some say it couldn't have been the murder weapon since it was rusted and hadn't been fired for more than the two years that it was collecting dust on a shelf. 

The other thing that people started pointing at to support the notion that she claimed her own life was reports regarding her having been moody and falling into despair at times. So while she was seen as being "generally happy," people came forward to talk about her being "sensitive" and bouts of "gloomy periods."

The idea of her committing suicide had become more acceptable when it was found out that she had been having relationship problems with her boyfriend. This was coupled by the fact that it was known that she hated working for her half-brother’s family. In fact, it was reported many people witnessed her arguing with her sister-in-law over a number of issues. One report stated that their arguments actually turned physical at times. On one occasion, Lizzie choked Annie before chased her with a broom stick.

One newspaper theorized that it had to be suicide since "smaller details point to suicide." The small details that they saw as factors of suicide was the "fact that the dogs hadn’t barked, implying no stranger had entered the home. Or that the room was in nearly perfect order, and that no blood had been tracked through the bedroom or house."

Of course who can argue with such keen detective work as saying it must be suicide since a dog hadn't barked, or the scene of the crime was in perfect order with no blood tracked out of the room? Then again, I couldn't find anything that said if blood was even tracked at all, or if the dogs were there at all or with John at the barn. And as for a crime scene being in perfect order, it is believed that Annie's half-brother John Dorman cleaned up Annie's blood and burned her clothes before the evidence could really be investigated. Why did he do that?

As for the revolver, those who believed it was murder pointed out that the gun was an old model and extremely hard to cock. They also point out that no one knows if she was even familiar with firearms, or at least familiar enough to use on to kill herself. Another thing about the pistol, I couldn't find a mention as to whether the gun had been fired or if it was found with empty shells in its cylinder.

Then there's the idea that Annie could have used it to shoot herself twice after firing the other shots into the wall and ceiling. Remember, the farmhand heard four shots fired. If she shot herself, she had to have done so after firing the first two shots almost a minute apart. Then decide to shot herself in the jaw and then the chest? That sounds questionable to me.

So the basic question is pretty simple: After shooting herself in the jaw, would Annie have been able to shoot herself in the chest as well?

As for my trying to research how many times suicide victims shoot themselves twice. Yes, I did look it up. And believe it or not, as strange as it may sound, multiple gunshot suicides actually take place. From what I gather, there are cases where people have shot themselves more than once when trying to commit suicide. 

But, in most cases, it's "when a person commits suicide by inflicting multiple gunshots on oneself before becoming incapacitated." It's rare, but has been done. In fact, according to one source, a study of 138 gunshot suicides, 5 involved two shots to the head. Each of course had one thing in common, the first shot fired always missed the brain and they were not incapacitated enough to stop. In a suicide by firearm, immediate incapacitation is usually achieved by direct disruption to brain stem tissue.

While shooting yourself in the head is an almost sure fire a way of killing yourself, I was amazed to find out that someone by the name of Frank Stanford, he is described as having been a poet, used a pistol to put three bullets into his own heart in 1978. 

As for Annie Dorman, while there are those who really believed that she was able to shoot herself in the jaw and while in a massive amount of pain then shoot herself in the chest as well, all after firing shots into the ceiling and a wall.

At the Coroner's Inquest held on October 5, 1897, the coroner's jury didn't buy it. The coroner's jury gave a verdict that didn't surprise many. Their ruling simply stated that Annie had died of wounds "inflicted by some person or persons unknown."

Sadly though, even though murder had not been ruled out, the investigation into Annie’s death died due to a lack of evidence, funds, and manpower to pursue it. Because of that, the 1897 murder of Annie Dorman is still unsolved. And her murderer, he or she was never brought to justice.
Perhaps the closest that we will ever get to an explanation of Annie's death is the scenario proposed in an Philadelphia Inquirer editorial below, October 10th, 1897:

Roxanne Dorman was born in 1878. At the age of 18, she was found on the bedroom floor in a pool of blood after being killed on September 1st, 1897. She was found with two bullet holes and no answers. She was buried in Millsboro Cemetery, Millsboro, Sussex County, Delaware.

So why was the death of an unknown teenage girl big news even in the West in 1897, especially since she was killed in "the rural outskirts of Philadelphia"?

The answer to that question goes to the unanswered questions dealing with her death. Sensationalism being what it is, and nothing new even back in the day, there was the big question as to whether she was murdered or did she commit suicide?

There was speculation that she was not murdered and that it was a suicide. Yes, some there at the time actually considered it a possibility that a young girl was capable of committing suicide by shooting herself twice to get the job done. Frankly, I still don't believe it. And for those of you, who like me think the coroner's jury got it right, I agree. It's just too hard to believe that she shot up the room, shot herself in the jaw, and then shot herself in the chest all before anyone came a running to find out what was going on.

As for the unknown killer, or killers, I find it fishy that her half-brother John stated that he didn't hear gunshots coming from his house but his hired help did. And since he and his farmhand were supposedly the only two there since Lizzie supposedly left the farm earlier that day, and the children were outside when it happened, the list of suspects is a pretty short one.

Of course, though it was never officially solved, we can only hope that the person or persons who murdered Annie Dorman received their just rewards when it was their day to answer for such an act.

Tom Correa

Sunday, August 4, 2019

A Cowboy In Dodge City, 1882 -- Part Two

by Andy Adams, 1903

At Camp Supply, Flood received a letter from Lovell, requesting him to come on into Dodge ahead of the cattle. So after the first night's camp above the Cimarron, Flood caught up a favorite horse, informed the outfit that he was going to quit us for a few days, and designated Quince Forrest as the segundo during his absence.

"You have a wide, open country from here into Dodge," said he, when ready to start, "and I'll make inquiry for you daily from men coming in, or from the buckboard which carries the mail to Supply. I'll try to meet you at Mulberry Creek, which is about ten miles south of Dodge. I'll make that town to-night, and you ought to make the Mulberry in two days. You will see the smoke of passing trains to the north of the Arkansaw, from the first divide south of Mulberry. When you reach that creek, in case I don't meet you, hold the herd there and three or four of you can come on into town. But I'm almost certain to meet you," he called back as he rode away.

"Priest," said Quince, when our foreman had gone, "I reckon you didn't handle your herd to suit the old man when he left us that time at Buffalo Gap. But I think he used rare judgment this time in selecting a segundo. The only thing that frets me is, I'm afraid he'll meet us before we reach the Mulberry, and that won't give me any chance to go in ahead like a sure enough foreman. Fact is I have business there; I deposited a few months' wages at the Long Branch gambling house last year when I was in Dodge, and failed to take a receipt. I just want to drop in and make inquiry if they gave me credit, and if the account is drawing interest. I think it's all right, for the man I deposited it with was a clever fellow and asked me to have a drink with him just as I was leaving. Still, I'd like to step in and see him again."

Early in the afternoon of the second day after our foreman left us, we sighted the smoke of passing trains, though they were at least fifteen miles distant, and long before we reached the Mulberry, a livery rig came down the trail to meet us. To Forrest's chagrin, Flood, all dressed up and with a white collar on, was the driver, while on a back seat sat Don Lovell and another cowman by the name of McNulta. Every rascal of us gave old man Don the glad hand as they drove around the herd, while he, liberal and delighted as a bridegroom, passed out the cigars by the handful. The cattle were looking fine, which put the old man in high spirits, and he inquired of each of us if our health was good and if Flood had fed us well. They loitered around the herd the rest of the evening, until we threw off the trail to graze and camp for the night, when Lovell declared his intention of staying all night with the outfit.

While we were catching horses during the evening, Lovell came up to me where I was saddling my night horse, and recognizing me gave me news of my brother Bob. "I had a letter yesterday from him," he said, "written from Red Fork, which is just north of the Cimarron River over on the Chisholm route. He reports everything going along nicely, and I'm expecting him to show up here within a week. His herd are all beef steers, and are contracted for delivery at the Crow Indian Agency. He's not driving as fast as Flood, but we've got to have our beef for that delivery in better condition, as they have a new agent there this year, and he may be one of these knowing fellows. Sorry you couldn't see your brother, but if you have any word to send him, I'll deliver it."

I thanked him for the interest he had taken in me, and assured him that I had no news for Robert; but took advantage of the opportunity to inquire if our middle brother, Zack Quirk, was on the trail with any of his herds. Lovell knew him, but felt positive he was not with any of his outfits.

We had an easy night with the cattle. Lovell insisted on standing a guard, so he took Rod Wheat's horse and stood the first watch, and after returning to the wagon, he and McNulta, to our great interest, argued the merits of the different trails until near midnight. McNulta had two herds coming in on the Chisholm trail, while Lovell had two herds on the Western and only one on the Chisholm.

The next morning Forrest, who was again in charge, received orders to cross the Arkansaw River shortly after noon, and then let half the outfit come into town. The old trail crossed the river about a mile above the present town of Dodge City, Kansas, so when we changed horses at noon, the first and second guards caught up their top horses, ransacked their war bags, and donned their best toggery. We crossed the river about one o'clock in order to give the boys a good holiday, the stage of water making the river easily fordable. McCann, after dinner was over, drove down on the south side for the benefit of a bridge which spanned the river opposite the town. 

It was the first bridge he had been able to take advantage of in over a thousand miles of travel, and to-day he spurned the cattle ford as though he had never crossed at one. Once safely over the river, and with the understanding that the herd would camp for the night about six miles north on Duck Creek, six of our men quit us and rode for the town in a long gallop. Before the rig left us in the morning, McNulta, who was thoroughly familiar with Dodge, and an older man than Lovell, in a friendly and fatherly spirit, seeing that many of us were youngsters, had given us an earnest talk and plenty of good advice.

"I've been in Dodge every summer since '77," said the old cowman, "and I can give you boys some points. Dodge is one town where the average bad man of the West not only finds his equal, but finds himself badly handicapped. The buffalo hunters and range men have protested against the iron rule of Dodge's peace officers, and nearly every protest has cost human life. 

Don't ever get the impression that you can ride your horses into a saloon, or shoot out the lights in Dodge; it may go somewhere else, but it don't go there. So I want to warn you to behave yourselves. You can wear your six-shooters into town, but you'd better leave them at the first place you stop, hotel, livery, or business house. 

And when you leave town, call for your pistols, but don't ride out shooting; omit that. Most cowboys think it's an infringement on their rights to give up shooting in town, and if it is, it stands, for your six-shooters are no match for Winchesters and buckshot; and Dodge's officers are as game a set of men as ever faced danger."

Nearly a generation has passed since McNulta, the Texan cattle drover, gave our outfit this advice one June morning on the Mulberry, and in setting down this record, I have only to scan the roster of the peace officials of Dodge City to admit its correctness. 

Among the names that graced the official roster, during the brief span of the trail days, were the brothers Ed, Jim, and "Bat" Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Jack Bridges, "Doc" Holliday, Charles Bassett, William Tillman, "Shotgun" Collins, Joshua Webb, Mayor A.B. Webster, and "Mysterious" Dave Mather. The puppets of no romance ever written can compare with these officers in fearlessness. And let it be understood, there were plenty to protest against their rule; almost daily during the range season some equally fearless individual defied them.

"Throw up your hands and surrender," said an officer to a Texas cowboy, who had spurred an excitable horse until it was rearing and plunging in the street, leveling meanwhile a double-barreled shotgun at the horseman.

"Not to you, you white-livered s---- of a b----," was the instant reply, accompanied by a shot.

The officer staggered back mortally wounded, but recovered himself, and the next instant the cowboy reeled from his saddle, a load of buckshot through his breast.

After the boys left us for town, the remainder of us, belonging to the third and fourth guard, grazed the cattle forward leisurely during the afternoon. Through cattle herds were in sight both up and down the river on either side, and on crossing the Mulberry the day before, we learned that several herds were holding out as far south as that stream, while McNulta had reported over forty herds as having already passed northward on the trail. 

Dodge was the meeting point for buyers from every quarter. Often herds would sell at Dodge whose destination for delivery was beyond the Yellowstone in Montana. Herds frequently changed owners when the buyer never saw the cattle. A yearling was a yearling and a two year old was a two year old, and the seller's word, that they were "as good or better than the string I sold you last year," was sufficient. 

Cattle were classified as northern, central, and southern animals, and, except in case of severe drouth in the preceding years, were pretty nearly uniform in size throughout each section. The prairie section of the State left its indelible imprint on the cattle bred in the open country, while the coast, as well as the piney woods and black-jack sections, did the same, thus making classification easy.

McCann overtook us early in the evening, and, being an obliging fellow, was induced by Forrest to stand the first guard with Honeyman so as to make up the proper number of watches, though with only two men on guard at a time, for it was hardly possible that any of the others would return before daybreak. There was much to be seen in Dodge, and as losing a night's sleep on duty was considered nothing, in hilarious recreation sleep would be entirely forgotten. 

McCann had not forgotten us, but had smuggled out a quart bottle to cut the alkali in our drinking water. But a quart amongst eight of us was not dangerous, so the night passed without incident, though we felt a growing impatience to get into town. As we expected, about sunrise the next morning our men off on holiday rode into camp, having never closed an eye during the entire night. 

They brought word from Flood that the herd would only graze over to Saw Log Creek that day, so as to let the remainder of us have a day and night in town. Lovell would only advance half a month's wages--twenty-five dollars--to the man. It was ample for any personal needs, though we had nearly three months' wages due, and no one protested, for the old man was generally right in his decisions. 

According to their report the boys had had a hog-killing time, old man Don having been out with them all night. It seems that McNulta stood in well with a class of practical jokers which included the officials of the town, and whenever there was anything on the tapis, he always got the word for himself and friends. During breakfast Fox Quarternight told this incident of the evening.

"Some professor, a professor in the occult sciences I think he called himself, had written to the mayor to know what kind of a point Dodge would be for a lecture. The lecture was to be free, but he also intimated that he had a card or two on the side up his sleeve, by which he expected to graft onto some of the coin of the realm from the wayfaring man as well as the citizen. The mayor turned the letter over to Bat Masterson, the city marshal, who answered it, and invited the professor to come on, assuring him that he was deeply interested in the occult sciences, personally, and would take pleasure in securing him a hall and a date, besides announcing his coming through the papers.

"Well, he was billed to deliver his lecture last night. Those old long horns, McNulta and Lovell, got us in with the crowd, and while they didn't know exactly what was coming, they assured us that we couldn't afford to miss it. Well, at the appointed hour in the evening, the hall was packed, not over half being able to find seats. It is safe to say there were over five hundred men present, as it was announced for 'men only.' Every gambler in town was there, with a fair sprinkling of cowmen and our tribe. 

At the appointed hour, Masterson, as chairman, rapped for order, and in a neat little speech announced the object of the meeting. Bat mentioned the lack of interest in the West in the higher arts and sciences, and bespoke our careful attention to the subject under consideration for the evening. He said he felt it hardly necessary to urge the importance of good order, but if any one had come out of idle curiosity or bent on mischief, as chairman of the meeting and a peace officer of the city, he would certainly brook no interruption. After a few other appropriate remarks, he introduced the speaker as Dr. J. Graves-Brown, the noted scientist.

"The professor was an oily-tongued fellow, and led off on the prelude to his lecture, while the audience was as quiet as mice and as grave as owls. After he had spoken about five minutes and was getting warmed up to his subject, he made an assertion which sounded a little fishy, and some one back in the audience blurted out, 'That's a damned lie.' 

The speaker halted in his discourse and looked at Masterson, who arose, and, drawing two six-shooters, looked the audience over as if trying to locate the offender. Laying the guns down on the table, he informed the meeting that another interruption would cost the offender his life, if he had to follow him to the Rio Grande or the British possessions. He then asked the professor, as there would be no further interruptions, to proceed with his lecture. 

The professor hesitated about going on, when Masterson assured him that it was evident that his audience, with the exception of one skulking coyote, was deeply interested in the subject, but that no one man could interfere with the freedom of speech in Dodge as long as it was a free country and he was city marshal. After this little talk, the speaker braced up and launched out again on his lecture. When he was once more under good headway, he had occasion to relate an exhibition which he had witnessed while studying his profession in India. The incident related was a trifle rank for any one to swallow raw, when the same party who had interrupted before sang out, 'That's another damn lie.'

"Masterson came to his feet like a flash, a gun in each hand, saying, 'Stand up, you measly skunk, so I can see you.' Half a dozen men rose in different parts of the house and cut loose at him, and as they did so the lights went out and the room filled with smoke. Masterson was blazing away with two guns, which so lighted up the rostrum that we could see the professor crouching under the table. 

Of course they were using blank cartridges, but the audience raised the long yell and poured out through the windows and doors, and the lecture was over. A couple of police came in later, so McNulta said, escorted the professor to his room in the hotel, and quietly advised him that Dodge was hardly capable of appreciating anything so advanced as a lecture on the occult sciences."

Breakfast over, Honeyman ran in the remuda, and we caught the best horses in our mounts, on which to pay our respects to Dodge. Forrest detailed Rod Wheat to wrangle the horses, for we intended to take Honeyman with us. As it was only about six miles over to the Saw Log, Quince advised that they graze along Duck Creek until after dinner, and then graze over to the former stream during the afternoon. 

Before leaving, we rode over and looked out the trail after it left Duck, for it was quite possible that we might return during the night; and we requested McCann to hang out the lantern, elevated on the end of the wagon tongue, as a beacon. After taking our bearings, we reined southward over the divide to Dodge.

"The very first thing I do," said Quince Forrest, as we rode leisurely along, "after I get a shave and hair-cut and buy what few tricks I need, is to hunt up that gambler in the Long Branch, and ask him to take a drink with me--I took the parting one on him. Then I'll simply set in and win back every dollar I lost there last year. 

There's something in this northern air that I breathe in this morning that tells me that this is my lucky day. You other kids had better let the games alone and save your money to buy red silk handkerchiefs and soda water and such harmless jimcracks." The fact that The Rebel was ten years his senior never entered his mind as he gave us this fatherly advice, though to be sure the majority of us were his juniors in years.

On reaching Dodge, we rode up to the Wright House, where Flood met us and directed our cavalcade across the railroad to a livery stable, the proprietor of which was a friend of Lovell's. We unsaddled and turned our horses into a large corral, and while we were in the office of the livery, surrendering our artillery, Flood came in and handed each of us twenty-five dollars in gold, warning us that when that was gone no more would be advanced. 

On receipt of the money, we scattered like partridges before a gunner. Within an hour or two, we began to return to the stable by ones and twos, and were stowing into our saddle pockets our purchases, which ran from needles and thread to .45 cartridges, every mother's son reflecting the art of the barber, while John Officer had his blond mustaches blackened, waxed, and curled like a French dancing master. 

"If some of you boys will hold him," said Moss Strayhorn, commenting on Officer's appearance, "I'd like to take a good smell of him, just to see if he took oil up there where the end of his neck's haired over." 

As Officer already had several drinks comfortably stowed away under his belt, and stood up strong six feet two, none of us volunteered.

After packing away our plunder, we sauntered around town, drinking moderately, and visiting the various saloons and gambling houses. I clung to my bunkie, The Rebel, during the rounds, for I had learned to like him, and had confidence he would lead me into no indiscretions. 

At the Long Branch, we found Quince Forrest and Wyatt Roundtree playing the faro bank, the former keeping cases. They never recognized us, but were answering a great many questions, asked by the dealer and lookout, regarding the possible volume of the cattle drive that year. 

Down at another gambling house, The Rebel met Ben Thompson, a faro dealer not on duty and an old cavalry comrade, and the two cronied around for over an hour like long lost brothers, pledging anew their friendship over several social glasses, in which I was always included. There was no telling how long this reunion would have lasted, but happily for my sake, Lovell--who had been asleep all the morning--started out to round us up for dinner with him at the Wright House, which was at that day a famous hostelry, patronized almost exclusively by the Texas cowmen and cattle buyers.

We made the rounds of the gambling houses, looking for our crowd. We ran across three of the boys piking at a monte game, who came with us reluctantly; then, guided by Lovell, we started for the Long Branch, where we felt certain we would find Forrest and Roundtree, if they had any money left. Forrest was broke, which made him ready to come, and Roundtree, though quite a winner, out of deference to our employer's wishes, cashed in and joined us. 

Old man Don could hardly do enough for us; and before we could reach the Wright House, had lined us up against three different bars; and while I had confidence in my navigable capacity, I found they were coming just a little too fast and free, seeing I had scarcely drunk anything in three months but branch water. As we lined up at the Wright House bar for the final before dinner, The Rebel, who was standing next to me, entered a waiver and took a cigar, which I understood to be a hint, and I did likewise.

We had a splendid dinner. Our outfit, with McNulta, occupied a ten-chair table, while on the opposite side of the room was another large table, occupied principally by drovers who were waiting for their herds to arrive. Among those at the latter table, whom I now remember, was "Uncle" Henry Stevens, Jesse Ellison, "Lum" Slaughter, John Blocker, Ike Pryor, "Dun" Houston, and last but not least, Colonel "Shanghai" Pierce. The latter was possibly the most widely known cowman between the Rio Grande and the British possessions. He stood six feet four in his stockings, was gaunt and raw-boned, and the possessor of a voice which, even in ordinary conversation, could be distinctly heard across the street.

"No, I'll not ship any more cattle to your town," said Pierce to a cattle solicitor during the dinner, his voice in righteous indignation resounding like a foghorn through the dining-room, "until you adjust your yardage charges. Listen! I can go right up into the heart of your city and get a room for myself, with a nice clean bed in it, plenty of soap, water, and towels, and I can occupy that room for twenty-four hours for two bits. And your stockyards, away out in the suburbs, want to charge me twenty cents a head and let my steer stand out in the weather."

After dinner, all the boys, with the exception of Priest and myself, returned to the gambling houses as though anxious to work overtime. Before leaving the hotel, Forrest effected the loan of ten from Roundtree, and the two returned to the Long Branch, while the others as eagerly sought out a monte game. But I was fascinated with the conversation of these old cowmen, and sat around for several hours listening to their yarns and cattle talk.

"I was selling a thousand beef steers one time to some Yankee army contractors," Pierce was narrating to a circle of listeners, "and I got the idea that they were not up to snuff in receiving cattle out on the prairie. I was holding a herd of about three thousand, and they had agreed to take a running cut, which showed that they had the receiving agent fixed. Well, my foreman and I were counting the cattle as they came between us. But the steers were wild, long-legged coasters, and came through between us like scared wolves. I had lost the count several times, but guessed at them and started over, the cattle still coming like a whirlwind; and when I thought about nine hundred had passed us, I cut them off and sang out, 'Here they come and there they go; just an even thousand, by gatlins! What do you make it, Bill?'

" 'Just an even thousand, Colonel,' replied my foreman. Of course the contractors were counting at the same time, and I suppose didn't like to admit they couldn't count a thousand cattle where anybody else could, and never asked for a recount, but accepted and paid for them. They had hired an outfit, and held the cattle outside that night, but the next day, when they cut them into car lots and shipped them, they were a hundred and eighteen short. They wanted to come back on me to make them good, but, shucks! I wasn't responsible if their Jim Crow outfit lost the cattle."

Along early in the evening, Flood advised us boys to return to the herd with him, but all the crowd wanted to stay in town and see the sights. Lovell interceded in our behalf, and promised to see that we left town in good time to be in camp before the herd was ready to move the next morning. On this assurance, Flood saddled up and started for the Saw Log, having ample time to make the ride before dark. By this time most of the boys had worn off the wire edge for gambling and were comparing notes. 

Three of them were broke, but Quince Forrest had turned the tables and was over a clean hundred winner for the day. Those who had no money fortunately had good credit with those of us who had, for there was yet much to be seen, and in Dodge in '82 it took money to see the elephant. There were several variety theatres, a number of dance halls, and other resorts which, like the wicked, flourish best under darkness. 

After supper, just about dusk, we went over to the stable, caught our horses, saddled them, and tied them up for the night. We fully expected to leave town by ten o'clock, for it was a good twelve mile ride to the Saw Log. In making the rounds of the variety theatres and dance halls, we hung together. Lovell excused himself early in the evening, and at parting we assured him that the outfit would leave for camp before midnight. We were enjoying ourselves immensely over at the Lone Star dance hall, when an incident occurred in which we entirely neglected the good advice of McNulta, and had the sensation of hearing lead whistle and cry around our ears before we got away from town.

Quince Forrest was spending his winnings as well as drinking freely, and at the end of a quadrille gave vent to his hilarity in an old-fashioned Comanche yell. The bouncer of the dance hall of course had his eye on our crowd, and at the end of a change, took Quince to task. He was a surly brute, and instead of couching his request in appropriate language, threatened to throw him out of the house. Forrest stood like one absent-minded and took the abuse, for physically he was no match for the bouncer, who was armed, moreover, and wore an officer's star. 

I was dancing in the same set with a red-headed, freckled-faced girl, who clutched my arm and wished to know if my friend was armed. I assured her that he was not, or we would have had notice of it before the bouncer's invective was ended. At the conclusion of the dance, Quince and The Rebel passed out, giving the rest of us the word to remain as though nothing was wrong. In the course of half an hour, Priest returned and asked us to take our leave one at a time without attracting any attention, and meet at the stable. I remained until the last, and noticed The Rebel and the bouncer taking a drink together at the bar,--the former apparently in a most amiable mood. We passed out together shortly afterward, and found the other boys mounted and awaiting our return, it being now about midnight. 

It took but a moment to secure our guns, and once in the saddle, we rode through the town in the direction of the herd. On the outskirts of the town, we halted. "I'm going back to that dance hall," said Forrest, "and have one round at least with that whore-herder. No man who walks this old earth can insult me, as he did, not if he has a hundred stars on him. If any of you don't want to go along, ride right on to camp, but I'd like to have you all go. And when I take his measure, it will be the signal to the rest of you to put out the lights. All that's going, come on." There were no dissenters to the programme. I saw at a glance that my bunkie was heart and soul in the play, and took my cue and kept my mouth shut. We circled round the town to a vacant lot within a block of the rear of the dance hall. Honeyman was left to hold the horses; then, taking off our belts and hanging them on the pommels of our saddles, we secreted our six-shooters inside the waistbands of our trousers. The hall was still crowded with the revelers when we entered, a few at a time, Forrest and Priest being the last to arrive. Forrest had changed hats with The Rebel, who always wore a black one, and as the bouncer circulated around, Quince stepped squarely in front of him. There was no waste of words, but a gun-barrel flashed in the lamplight, and the bouncer, struck with the six-shooter, fell like a beef. Before the bewildered spectators could raise a hand, five six-shooters were turned into the ceiling. The lights went out at the first fire, and amidst the rush of men and the screaming of women, we reached the outside, and within a minute were in our saddles. All would have gone well had we returned by the same route and avoided the town; but after crossing the railroad track, anger and pride having not been properly satisfied, we must ride through the town.

On entering the main street, leading north and opposite the bridge on the river, somebody of our party in the rear turned his gun loose into the air. The Rebel and I were riding in the lead, and at the clattering of hoofs and shooting behind us, our horses started on the run, the shooting by this time having become general. At the second street crossing, I noticed a rope of fire belching from a Winchester in the doorway of a store building. There was no doubt in my mind but we were the object of the manipulator of that carbine, and as we reached the next cross street, a man kneeling in the shadow of a building opened fire on us with a six-shooter. Priest reined in his horse, and not having wasted cartridges in the open-air shooting, returned the compliment until he emptied his gun. By this time every officer in the town was throwing lead after us, some of which cried a little too close for comfort. When there was no longer any shooting on our flanks, we turned into a cross street and soon left the lead behind us. At the outskirts of the town we slowed up our horses and took it leisurely for a mile or so, when Quince Forrest halted us and said, "I'm going to drop out here and see if any one follows us. I want to be alone, so that if any officers try to follow us up, I can have it out with them."

As there was no time to lose in parleying, and as he had a good horse, we rode away and left him. On reaching camp, we secured a few hours' sleep, but the next morning, to our surprise, Forrest failed to appear. We explained the situation to Flood, who said if he did not show up by noon, he would go back and look for him. We all felt positive that he would not dare to go back to town; and if he was lost, as soon as the sun arose he would be able to get his bearings. While we were nooning about seven miles north of the Saw Log, some one noticed a buggy coming up the trail. As it came nearer we saw that there were two other occupants of the rig besides the driver. When it drew up old Quince, still wearing The Rebel's hat, stepped out of the rig, dragged out his saddle from under the seat, and invited his companions to dinner. They both declined, when Forrest, taking out his purse, handed a twenty-dollar gold piece to the driver with an oath. He then asked the other man what he owed him, but the latter very haughtily declined any recompense, and the conveyance drove away.

"I suppose you fellows don't know what all this means," said Quince, as he filled a plate and sat down in the shade of the wagon. "Well, that horse of mine got a bullet plugged into him last night as we were leaving town, and before I could get him to Duck Creek, he died on me. I carried my saddle and blankets until daylight, when I hid in a draw and waited for something to turn up. I thought some of you would come back and look for me sometime, for I knew you wouldn't understand it, when all of a sudden here comes this livery rig along with that drummer--going out to Jetmore, I believe he said. I explained what I wanted, but he decided that his business was more important than mine, and refused me. I referred the matter to Judge Colt, and the judge decided that it was more important that I overtake this herd. I'd have made him take pay, too, only he acted so mean about it."

After dinner, fearing arrest, Forrest took a horse and rode on ahead to the Solomon River. We were a glum outfit that afternoon, but after a good night's rest were again as fresh as daisies. When McCann started to get breakfast, he hung his coat on the end of the wagon rod, while he went for a bucket of water. During his absence, John Officer was noticed slipping something into Barney's coat pocket, and after breakfast when our cook went to his coat for his tobacco, he unearthed a lady's cambric handkerchief, nicely embroidered, and a silver mounted garter. He looked at the articles a moment, and, grasping the situation at a glance, ran his eye over the outfit for the culprit. But there was not a word or a smile. He walked over and threw the articles into the fire, remarking, "Good whiskey and bad women will be the ruin of you varmints yet."

-- from The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days, 1903

Some of these reports have to be taken with a grain of salt, while others are a lot more believable. Of course, with the interest in the "Old West" at the start of the 1900s, it takes a lot of research at times to find out what's fact and what's fiction. 

People did have a tendency of exaggerating what took place. 

Tom Correa