Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Hints on Purchase of Riding Horses in 1901

A horse should be rejected for any one really bad fault. The greatest strength of a horse is limited by his worst point. Horses are often bought because they possess one or more very good points. This is a wrong principle in buying. The selection of horses should begin by rejection for bad points. Bad points are of course, in a great measure, a question of degree. Discretion is needed in rejecting as well as buying.

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

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

Reject a horse with a:
  • Big coarse head
  • A small sunken eye. (They are generally obstinate and sulky).
  • A colour light of the sort.
  • With a long slack back. (It will not carry weight).
  • With a hollow back. (The formation is weak).
  • With flat sides. (They will not do work or look well).
  • With a slack loin. (Undue length between the last ribs and hind quarters. They are often bad feeders and will run up light with work).
  • With a light loin. (Want of breadth over the loins. They run up light with work.)
  • With scraggy hips. (They never do credit to feeding particularly if also slack in the loins).
  • With a bad girth. (Light through the heart. This formation will always cause trouble in saddling).
  • With a thick or short neck.
Unless it has a good rein. (With a clumsy neck the head is in consequence badly set on. Without a good rein a horse will never break well, or be pleasant to ride.)

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

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

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

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

To see these points stand in front. 

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

Stand behind the as he walks away from you, and you will be able to notice these defects, if they exist.
  • Which is light below the knee, especially if light immediately below the knee. The conformation is essentially weak.
  • With long, or with short or with upright pasterns. (Long pasterns are subject to sprains. Short or upright pasterns make a horse unpleasant to ride, and on account of extra concussion are apt to cause ossific deposits).
  • With toes turned in of out. The twist generally occurs at the Fetlock. Toes turned out are more objectionable that toes turned in. (When toes are turned out, the fetlocks are generally turned in, and animals so formed are very apt to cut or brush. Both, however, are weak formations).
  • Whose hind legs are too far behind. Good propelling power will be wanting, and disease as a result may be expected in the hocks.
  • Which goes either very wide or very close behind.
  • With very straight or very bent hocks. (The former causes undue concussion, the latter are apt to give way).
  • Which is 'split up', (Show much daylight between his thighs. Propelling power comes from behind, and must deficient in horses without due muscular development between the thighs.
  • With flat feet or over-large feet, also with very small feet. Medium sizes are the best.
  • With one foot smaller than another.
A goose rump is not objectionable as mechanical formation, but it is ugly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Having first of all kept clear of all absolute defects such as the above, then select your horses for the presence of good, serviceable, and handsome points, and easy, free, graceful carriage. But, I repeat, begin by rejection for any one positively bad defect. The greatest strength of a chain is limited by the strength of its weakest link.

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

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

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

-- end of the unedited article from Horses and Stables by Lieut. General Sir F Fitzwygram, BART
Published by Longmans, Green, and Co. 39 Paternoster Row, London, New York, and Bombay, 1901.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Life of Thomas Archer

While I've written about people like Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Wild Bill, here is a story about an American who I believe is a great deal more impressive than the three men I mentioned. His name is Thomas Archer. And since there's a good chance that you have never heard of him, I'm here to tell you about him. I hope you find him as interesting as I do.  

Thomas Archer was born near Louisville, Kentucky, on July 18, 1833. He was in Kentucky for less than a year when his parents E. B. and Eliza Allen Archer, moved their family to Missouri in 1834. At the age of 17, Thomas Archer moved out of the family home and left for Pittsfield, Illinois, where he lived for about three years before returning to Missouri. In 1857, Thomas arrived in Topeka, Kansas, and found a job in a brickyard. 

During the late 1850s, abolitionist John Brown was operating his part of the "underground railroad" moving escaped slaves to freedom in the North. The town of Topeka was one of the "stations" when the underground railroad was in operation, and Thomas Archer worked with John Brown to make it happen.

Our history as Americans shows that we give the government time to right things, but when they fail or are too slow to act -- Americans take action. This was the case when it came to abolishing slavery. While some folks think the "underground railroad" was started and ran by a relatively small handful of freed Black slaves, that's not true. What became known as the "underground railroad" was, in reality, a network of places run by mostly White Americans and a few escaped slaves who offered shelter and aid to fugitive slaves from the South.
While the exact dates of its existence are really unknown, it is believed that it may have been operated from the late 1790s into the Civil War's turbulent days. Quaker Abolitionists were the first to organize groups to actively assist escaped slaves. In fact, by the early 1800s, Quaker abolitionist Isaac T. Hopper set up a network in Philadelphia to help escaped slaves on the run. At the same time that was going on in the North, Quakers in the South, starting in North Carolina, organized abolitionist groups that laid out secret routes and stations for escaped slaves seeking shelter.

Later in 1816, like the Quakers, the African Methodist Episcopal Church organized a group to help fugitive slaves heading North. Also, Vigilance Committees were organized at the time with the mission of protecting fugitive slaves from bounty hunters in the North. Those Vigilante Committees later expanded their mission to include guiding escaped slaves on the run. Robert Purvis, an escaped slave who became a Philadelphia merchant, formed a Vigilance Committee there in 1838 to help other fugitive slaves.

In the South, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made capturing escaped slaves a fairly lucrative business. This gave rise to bounty hunters who sniffed out the hiding places of escaped slaves. Some of those hiding places were the homes of ordinary people, farmers, business owners, and ministers, known on the underground railroad as "conductors" and "stationmasters." 

Those folks guided the fugitive slaves to the next station in the chain of "stations." While some "stations" were private homes, they also included churches, schoolhouses, stores, warehouses, and other places where sympathetic people could hide them safely. Besides known as "stations" and "depots," those "safe places" were also known as "safe houses." 

Routes stretched west through Ohio to Indiana and Iowa, while other routes led escaped slaves to Pennsylvania and New England. Some led all the way to Canada, where Black people had the freedom to live where they wanted, sit on juries, run for public office, and, most importantly, avoid the American Fugitive Slave Laws as a result of the Fugitive Slave Acts. 

The first Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1793. It allowed local governments to apprehend and extradite escaped slaves from within the borders of free states. Those escaped slaves were sent back to their point of origin. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 setup punishment for anyone helping the fugitives. While there was an attempt by Northern states to try to over-rule the Fugitive Slave Act with what was called Personal Liberty Laws, the efforts by Northern states were struck down by the United States Supreme Court in 1842.

As for the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850? It was designed to strengthen the previous law, which Southern states saw as being inadequately enforced. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 created much harsher penalties for those assisting fugitive slaves. It also made Commissioners that sided with slave owners and led to some freed slaves being recaptured. 

Abolitionist John Brown was a conductor on the underground railroad. During that time, he established the League of Gileadites -- a group of devoted believers who helped fugitive slaves get to Canada. While John Brown was a fervent believer in eliminating slavery and did whatever was called for to help fugitive slaves, he is famously known for leading a raid on Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia. But frankly, Brown and his group did more than that to free slaves.

Thomas Archer became involved in the underground railway and was a companion to John Brown. In fact, Archer was with John Brown at the "Battle of the Spurs" near Holton, Kansas. What became known as the "Battle of the Spurs" is interesting for a few reasons, but mostly in regards to who has the deeper commitment. You'll see what I mean in a moment. 

What became known as the "Battle of the Spurs" took place about 7 miles north of Holton, Kansas, on January 31, 1859. At the "Battle of the Spurs," what took place was a pathetic display of cowardice by pro-slavery authorities there.

John Brown and his men, which included Thomas Archer, were escorting 11 escaped slaves. Some of the fugitive slaves were women and children. He had brought them from the Slave-state of Missouri and was heading to the Free-state of Iowa. At one point, Brown and his group faced a posse of U.S. Marshals and citizens. The Marshal's posse was hoping to cash in on the $3,000 reward offered for Brown's capture. 

Brown's group consisted of about 21, which included the 11 slaves. And among the slaves, more than half were women and children. Marshal John Wood, who led the posse, was hidden in a nearby stream crossing with his 35 deputies. And while this was going on, Freestaters heard about Brown being in trouble and gathered to march from Topeka to support him. 

Brown's group faced that Marshal's posse of reportedly 35 armed men. The pro-slavers were hungry to divide up that $3,000 reward money. Brown’s party was outnumbered two to one. But instead of surrendering, Brown led his party to charge straight toward the Marshal Wood's posse. Brown defiantly ordered his group to ford the creek. Brown and his group all reached Iowa unharmed.

A witness later recalled, "Scarcely had the foremost entered the water when the valiant marshal but mounted his horse and rode off in haste." Another witness said, "The closer we got to the ford, the farther they got from it." In response to Brown's advance, the Marshal's posse panicked and turned and ran for their lives. People hearing about what happened mocked the pro-slavery posse’s retreat, and a newspaperman dubbed what took place as the "Battle of the Spurs." 

During the incident, not a single shot was fired. So why is it called the Battle of the Spurs? It's because "Free-Staters labeled the confrontation the 'Battle of the Spurs,' in mocking reference to the pro-slavery posse fleeing on horseback." The battle received its name because the Marshal Wood's posse and Missouri citizens used their spurs to getaway. There is a historical marker located where it took place near Netawaka, Kansas, in Jackson County.

The inscription on that marker reads as follows: Just before Christmas, 1858, John Brown "liberated" eleven slaves in Missouri. He hid them in a covered wagon and circled north on the underground railway toward Nebraska and freedom. En route, a Negro baby was born. Late in January, they reached Albert Fuller's cabin on Straight creek, a mile and a half south of this marker. Here a Federal posse barred their way. Both sides sent for reinforcements. Help for Brown arrived first, Topeka abolitionists leaving in the midst of Sunday church. Declaring he would not be turned "from the path of the Lord," Brown, though still outnumbered, crossed the creek in spite of high water and the enemy entrenched on the other side. Demoralized by his audacity, the posse mounted and spurred away -- thus giving a name to the bloodless battle. This was Brown's exit from Kansas. In December 1859, he was hanged for his treasonable attack at Harper's Ferry. This sign marks the site of Eureka, a trading center on the Parallel Road which ran from Atchison to the Pike's Peak goldfields.

As for Thomas Archer, he continued being a part of Brown's group but was not there at Harper's Ferry, which took place from October 16th to the 18th, 1859. At Harper’s Ferry, Brown's mission was to capture arms at the Federal Armoury located there, to create an armed force. That force was to make its way into the South and free slaves by force of arms. Brown’s men were defeated, and Brown hanged for treason in 1859.

Archer kept working with the underground railroad after the federal authorities hanged John Brown for his Harper's Ferry Raid. And it wasn't long after the start of the Civil War that Archer joined the Fifth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. 

Then during the Battle of Pine Bluff on October 25, 1863, Archer received a wound to his the shoulder that would change his life. The Battle of Pine Bluff was a Civil War battle that was fought on October 25, 1863, in Jefferson County, Arkansas. 

It was there near the Jefferson County Courthouse, where the Union garrison under the command of Col. Powell Clayton successfully defended the town against attacks led by Confederate Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke. The Union victory ensured the safety of the garrison until the end of the war.

After the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas, Union forces occupied several towns along the Arkansas River. Confederate Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke decided to test the Union strength at the town of Pine Bluff. On October 25, 1863, at 8:00 a.m., when Gen. Marmaduke sent his cavalry, a force of 2,000, to attack the town from three sides. Their target was the Union post at Pine Bluff. 

Confederate Brig. Gen. Marmaduke believed the 550 Union cavalrymen and the Missouri militia, supported by 300 freedmen, commanded by Col. Powell Clayton would not stand a chance against such odds. In response to the attack, the Union troops barricaded themselves in the courthouse square. Using cotton-bales and wagons as barricades, and utilizing single cannon in such a position to command the adjacent streets, the smaller unit of Union troops held their position. 

After several attempts to take the square, including trying to set the county courthouse on fire, the Confederate forces withdrew and retreated to Princeton, Arkansas. It's said Gen. Marmaduke never got over the demoralizing defeat that day.

As for Archer, the result of his shoulder wound was the loss of the use of his right arm. But though that was the case, Archer remained in the Union Army until he was discharged on August 11, 1864. It was then that Archer returned to Topeka, Kansas, and became a Shawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy. I found it interesting that he was a County Deputy and a Constable in Topeka at the same time.

On August 3, 1866, The Topeka Tribune reported that a prisoner who was being guarded by Archer had escaped custody. The prisoner was Charles Gillison. And believe it or not, Gillison did not escape from jail but from this room in a boarding house. 

For me, I mark this story as learning something new every day. Why? Well, at the time, if a prisoner could afford it, it is said that a prisoner could rent a room and "hire a deputy" to guard him rather than spend time in jail. And no, I never heard of such a thing. 

As for Charles Gillison, it's said he took complete advantage of that option, rented a room on the second floor of what some describe as a boarding house with the only access down an outside stairway, and then he hired Deputy Thomas Archer to guard him. Imagine that! 

While Gillison was in his room, Thomas Archer positioned himself on a landing outside the rented room. It was while Archer was sitting there when Charles Gillison suddenly came running out the door, pushed past Archer, and then ran down the stairs. Once Gillison made it outside, there was no stopping him. He headed out of town, and no one in Topeka ever saw Charles Gillison again. Despite Thomas Archer's attempt to pursue him, Gillison was gone. 

The Topeka Tribune is said to have poked fun at Archer by reporting, "His guard was in a reclining posture on the stairway – the prisoner is a young, active and strong man and wholly unencumbered, while Mr. Archer was encumbered by a heavy revolver, heavy boots on his feet and a lame arm." 

Thomas Archer married Ruth Hard on September 26, 1867. Then in 1873, Thomas Archer ran for Shawnee County Sheriff but lost the election. He was a Deputy and Constable there for 12 years.  

He left law enforcement after he passed the bar exam and became a lawyer. Soon after that, he became a Jefferson County Judge. He was a Judge for the next 26 years before finally retiring. Even before retiring, he was known to contribute editorials to the local newspaper. 

After living a life that benefited all around him, Thomas Archer died in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 4th, 1913. He is buried in his beloved Topeka, right there at the Topeka Cemetery, Shawnee County, Kansas.

All in all, no one can deny, he had a fascinating life.

Tom Correa

Monday, September 7, 2020

Will We Need Vigilance Committees Soon?

We need to admit that Americans are being blackmailed. ANTIFA and BLM groups are using domestic terrorism as a weapon to blackmail America today. Their threats to burn our cities, loot, intimidate the innocent, assault the helpless, and murder those they please are nothing new regarding our history. We have had problems with such vermin before.

Frankly, I can't help but see many similarities between those groups and other terrorists and criminals in our history. For example, right after the Civil War, the Democratic Party created the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize and blackmail both freed slaves and Republican administrators in the South throughout Reconstruction. And please don't make the mistake of thinking the KKK was some sort of "Vigilante Group." They were not interested in prosecuting criminals. They were criminals. They were nothing less than a criminal domestic terrorist group supported by an American political party.

The KKK carried out their reign of terror as the militant arm of the Democratic Party. The same as ANTIFA and BLM are today.  Like ANTIFA and BLM today, the KKK waged war on anyone supporting the Republican Party, Black, and White.

Among their vicious tactics, the KKK especially targeted Blacks sympathetic to the Union and Republicans. Once learning which Black men and families were Union supporters, the KKK would torch their homes, destroy their farms and businesses, even set their churches afire. Besides burning the homes and destroying freed slaves' farms, the KKK beat and lynched whoever they pleased.

We should understand that the KKK had a mission. They surely wanted something out of it. The fact is, they used violence and intimidation to ensure freed slaves would not vote and remain subservient to former slave owners. The KKK also targeted Republican administrators, in the same way, to rid the South of Republicans since Republicans were there to assist the freed slaves into assimilating into American society.

While black men stood tall despite the threats, they were supported by White men like Republican President Ulysses S. Grant, who was a champion for Civil Rights for Blacks. Grant signed into law equal rights for Blacks and made it possible for Blacks to serve on juries and hold office. He also pushed for the Fifteenth Amendment's ratification, which says states can not disenfranchise Black Americans.

President Grant created the Justice Department just so his Attorney General would be able to prosecute the KKK. And it was Grant's Justice Department that led the fight to diminish the Klan's power by jailing its members on federal charges. It was President Grant who put through the first Anti-KKK federal legislation to stop their terrorist acts.

The Klan, Jim Crow laws, forced segregation were all attempts by the Democratic Party to disenfranchise Black voters and "keep Blacks in line." And for all of the terror groups like the KKK waged on them, Americans should take pride in knowing that their terrorist tactics did not win the day.

In fact, it was Americans of all colors who remained steadfast in the fight against the Klan, the Red Shirts, and the White League. It was Americans who showed the grit and resolve to refuse to bow to their vicious demands. They ultimately won against such terror.

Years before the Civil War and the later formation of the KKK, years before it was known as the "Barbary Coast," San Francisco's waterfront was known as "Sydney Town." The reason it was called "Sydney Town" had to do with the Sydney Ducks. The "Sydney Ducks" was not a political terrorist group like the Democratic Party created Klan. The Ducks were a gang of criminals from Australia.

They arrived in San Francisco because the British penal colonies in Australia thought it a good idea to ship their convicts to California when people worldwide arrived in California during the 1849 Gold Rush. It's said Australia ordered ship Captains to throw convicts overboard if they acted up in any way. And when they were dropped off in California, the convicts quickly took to mugging, murder, and extortion instead of doing the more challenging work of finding a job or digging for gold.

While the Sydney Ducks were not a political terrorist group like the Klan, they had something in common with the Klan -- they used arson to get what they wanted. But unlike the Klan that set fire to homes and businesses to intimidate Blacks on behalf of the Democratic Party, the Sydney Ducks used arson and the threat of fires to criminally extort money from their victims.  

The Ducks were known to extort money from merchants, saloons, and any other business they believed could meet their demands. Of course, they beat the owners, threatened families, and set fire to their business if they refused. Their intimidation worked, and people paid because everyone saw that the Ducks meant business. After all, no one wanted to see their business burned to the ground. It was common knowledge in San Francisco that the Sydney Ducks used arson to get what they wanted. Yes, very much like ANTIFA arsonists today.

People today might not know how much people in the Old West feared fires. It was actually a town's number one concern even before setting up organized law enforcement. As for the Ducks, arson was their weapon of choice for extortion. Arson was what they used to prove they were serious. In fact, the Ducks are believed responsible for the 1849 fire that devastated San Francisco.

They set fires, and no one really knows how many died in those fires as they spread through the city. They did so without thought or care for human life. Sound familiar, it should. Of course, there was a reason that the Ducks were blamed for the fires. That's what they did. Like ANTIFA today, everyone knew arson was their weapon of terror. And just as we know why there is an increase in crime today because of ANTIFA and BLM groups' rampage for more than 3 months, the rampant crime in San Francisco from 1849 to 1851 had to do with the criminal behavior of the Sydney Ducks.

Many arrived chasing the dream of getting rich during the California Gold Rush, yet only to reap failure. Many craftsmen who wanted to shed their trade in favor of going after gold soon found themselves working their trade to keep themselves fed. Indeed, many a ship in San Francisco Bay arrived to lose its crew to the goldfields. Of course, the other part of that story is that many a sailor returned to the sea. Many a seeker of gold and fortune found only despair and disappointment when learning gold wasn't just lying around for the taking.  

It's said the Sydney Ducks were criminals who took up to the criminal ways without finding such despair of the slim picking in the gold camps. It's believed the Ducks saw it easier to get rich through intimidation, violence, murder, and extortion. While some opened businesses to get the gold out of hard-working miners' pockets, the Ducks saw that as unnecessary. Instead, they robbed, killed, and burned down the city for gold.

As for following through on their threats to burn down the city? It is believed they started at least a half-dozen major downtown fires that leveled thousands of buildings between 1849 and 1851. All started by the Sydney Ducks as a way to get their victims to meet their demands.

If that does not sound like what is going on today, here's this. It is said that the Ducks lit a fire, especially picking those days when the wind blew downwind of Sydney Town, then they would loot the warehouses and businesses while others were busy fighting the fires.

The threat was real, and people knew it. They understood the ruthlessness, the fact that the Ducks didn't care who died in the fires. They intimidated business owners and city officials. Both paid the Ducks to ensure that their city wouldn't burn. Their lawlessness reached such a level that robbery, arson, and killings in San Francisco took place daily.

As for the law, they were simply too under-manned to search them out. Part of the problem with apprehending the Ducks is that they were part of a large proportion of foreign-born immigrants who had a history of looking at law enforcement and the authorities as oppressors. Though that was the case, the Sydney Ducks were criminals. Those Australian criminals were the dregs of society.

People came to believe that it would take a large force to deal with the Ducks. Certainly a party more extensive than what the county sheriff had on hand. Though brave and resourceful, the county sheriff was too limited to cure the situation.

But because the citizens had enough of what they saw as weak-kneed responses, political promises, and a corrupt city government either too afraid to take strong measures or seen as being run by incompetent officials, the citizens banded. Of course, some of the city fathers wanted to declare Martial Law and alert the militia to deal with the ongoing threat.

Using members from dozens of independent militia groups in San Francisco county, more than 700 citizens formed the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851. Among them were sailors, longshoremen, teamsters, wheelwrights, shipwrights, domestic servants, store owners, merchants, bartenders, saloon keepers, former soldiers, laborers of all types, and others. 

The Sydney Ducks were the reason for the formation of the Committee of Vigilance of 1851. After a few years, and the burning of their city more than a half-dozen times, the death and the destruction, San Francisco citizens were fed up with the promises to stop the chaos. The citizens acted and formed their vigilante committee.

While some think of vigilante groups as merely "a mob," that wasn't the case. Working parallel with the local law, the San Francisco Vigilance Committee turned over some of those they caught to the local authorities. Others were not so lucky. For example, there's a story about when a Sydney Duck was caught stealing a safe. It's said a dozen members of the newly formed Committee on Vigilance chased the Duck on foot and then by rowboats as the crook tried to row away.

The criminal was not merely taken to a tree and hanged, as would have happened in many gold camps and California's ranchlands where other Vigilance Committees were not so inclined to work within the law's confines. While most such groups were not unruly mobs but instead were organized and used such things as Miners Courts as the basis for their judicial system, not all Vigilance Groups were the same. One such group in Northern California tried a rustler on their way to a hanging tree. Another is known to have pronounced judgment fifteen minutes after catching a sluice box thief in the act. He was caught, tried, and tarred, and feathered within an hour. 

The Sydney Duck caught stealing the safe in San Francisco was accused and tried in a vigilante court where evidence was provided. He was actually afforded a defense lawyer who was a member of the vigilantes. His trial lasted five hours. He was hanged from the Mexican customs house in front of 1,000 citizens in Portsmouth Square. It's said that after the third hanging of Sydney Ducks, Australia looked like a much safer place for Ducks to apply their criminal ways. With that, Ducks were put on ships and shipped out of town. They left being warned that they would be shot on sight if found anywhere in California.

So how long did the Committee of Vigilance conduct their trials and hangings and conduct forced deportations of Ducks who, in many cases, were beaten before taken a board out-going ships? The citizens of San Francisco formed their Vigilance Committee, decimated the Sydney Ducks, and then disbanded in just 100 days.

Today, the threat of domestic terrorist groups like the KKK and the Sydney Ducks are still with us. There is no difference in what ANTIFA and BLM groups are doing today than what the KKK and the Sydney Ducks did years ago. They riot, loot, assault, murder, and promise to commit arson to get their way. They even threaten America, saying that they will keep it up if they don't get what they want in the November 2020 election. That's domestic terrorism and criminal extortion.

We should all understand that the riots, looting, the murders, and the burning of our cities are simply domestic terrorism to extort something from Americans. Just as those same crimes were used back in the day, it is being used today to achieve political and monetary extortion.

The Political Goal

Today, the Left's political goal is to institute Socialism and, ultimately, Communism. The riots and destruction is being done to eliminate a police presence. The coordinated riots and attacks we are watching take place in the Democratic Party-controlled cities across the country are being enabled because the Left knows that law enforcement is an impediment to getting what they want. The Left believes they can take over the city and state governments. But only if they can first defund and disband law enforcement agencies. Without the law, they feel they will be free to take over. They believe without the police, they can instill fear in the American people.

The rioting is also seen to keep Trump supporters from voting at their polls in November. Yes, no different than Democrats allowing the New Black Panthers to carry clubs outside voting polls to intimidate voters. ANTIFA and BLM believe they can serve the Democratic Party in the exact same way by making the polls appear too dangerous.

Let's Not Forget The Money! 

As for the Left's monetary goals for conducting these riots? This has to do with the money ANTIFA and BLM get out of all of this. To reward those creating chaos, the Left's loyal soldiers, those destroying cities with Democrat city officials' passive approval, are demanding money and property. To repay them, the Left has convinced their foolish followers that there will be trillions of dollars had in reparations for slavery. They are being promised that they will be paid. Their followers have been promised reparations for something no living person in the United States can say they were ever a part of.

And no, they don't want to stop there. The Left worship's Communism and promises that their massive school loans totaling billions of dollars will be absolved if Democrats are put in power. That's quite the incentive to riot after squandering their educations listening to Communist professors promising them they will not have to work or produce, just sit on their ass like good Communists. And there's more, the Left is telling their followers that others will support them, that others will surrender their property, that they will be fed and cared for, all as part of that Socialist / Communist Utopia they are promising.

Sounds Insane?

Yes, this sort of insanity propels the Left's followers to risk arrest and prosecution. But wait, Democrats in charge of those riotous cities are not charging all of the rioters. While some are being arrested and charged, others, including arsonists caught trying to set a building on fire while knowing people were still inside, are simply being released. That's what is taking place in the Democratic Party-controlled cities today. Rioters are not being prosecuted for breaking state laws.

It's an ongoing game of "catch and release" with no consequences for those breaking the law, including assaulting police officers and setting fires. According to my readers in the law enforcement community, that is exactly what is taking place since ANTIFA and BLM are protected by Democrat city officials. 

Imagine how frustrating that must be? I have friends in law enforcement who write to tell me that it's a terribly frustrating situation. I believe the reason most officers don't quit and simply walk away has to do with the fact that they are made of better stuff than those who run their cities.

So let's see if this sounds familiar to you regarding what's taking place today. The people breaking the law are doing so while making demands. They say they will continue unless their demands are met. They have threatened to burn down cities -- if we do not give them what they want. 

Does that sound like criminal blackmail? Let's remember that for months the media has been calling those people "peaceful protesters"? That fact, in itself, should tell us that the news media is not to be trusted.

As for the police? I can understand the frustration felt by the police. In fact, that's part of the frustration my readers are feeling. My readers want to know if it's time for citizens to take action, recall those mayors and governors, and organize to eliminate ANTIFA and the BLM criminals who are causing the problems. My readers want to know if they should organize to protect their families and communities, to ready themselves against what some see as a widening threat. Some want to see Old West justice used on the arsonists, looters, and those who would kill others simply because they can. 

Friends, you've heard me talk about this before. There were four primary reasons why vigilante groups appeared in the Old West. First, it was because the law was non-existent. Before there were organized law agencies in towns in the Old West, the townsfolk provided their own security in the form of "Citizens Watch Groups," also known as "Citizens Committees," which are also known as "Vigilante Committees" or "Vigilante Groups." Second, corrupt law enforcement. Vigilante groups formed when citizens found that lawmen were crooked.

In some cases, a crooked lawman's evidence was had when a lawman failed to arrest lawbreakers with who they were in cahoots. Third, corrupt courts. Failure to prosecute criminals because of a corrupt justice system's associations and biases was one reason citizens organized vigilante groups. And lastly, when citizens became so frustrated out of the belief that the justice system was simply too inept to do what was needed, citizens organized. 

In the last case, the lawmen and the courts were most likely doing their job. But because of procedural technicalities and evidentiary rules, or possibly dismissals for several reasons, including intimidated witnesses who were too scared to show up for the trial, some witnesses actually disappeared before the trial, citizen frustration grew into forming vigilante groups. 

The latter was the situation with Killer Jim Miller, who I've talked about before. He was a known assassin. He was known to use the system. Consequently, because of court technicalities, including witnesses who failed to testify out of fear of retribution from Miller, he kept being acquitted of his crimes. Finally, frustrated citizens had enough of Miller's witness intimidation and acquittals. They stormed the jail, removed him and a few others. Then the citizens hanged them all from the rafters of an old barn.
In almost all cases, no matter the actual reason, citizen frustration created vigilante groups. It makes me wonder when Citizens Committees will be formed in the cities experiencing riots, looting, violence, arson, and murder today?

If city mayors and state governors refuse to request federal troops to come in and stop the chaos, as has been done in more places than one can count throughout our history, are we ready to live with the consequences of what may take place? Why should Americans allow powerful politicians to neuter the police and let America drift further into a complete breakdown of law and order simply to serve some Leftist agenda of altering an election in their favor?

Is a second Civil War with Conservative against Liberal in a shooting war what some want? As most know, the riots and the arson that we see have everything to do with defeating Donald Trump in November. So what happens when the Left doesn't get their way in November? Is it a safe bet to say the riots and destruction will spread outside the cities? Is that really what the Left wants?

If the federal government fails to declare an insurrection and send in troops, it may be up to armed citizens to restore order. If such a complete breakdown of law and order is brought about, will we see frustrated citizens having to form Citizens Committees, also known as Vigilance Committees, to stop the carnage and the murder?

While I can only pray that the course of these events change for the better very soon, if citizens form Vigilance Committees to restore law and order -- we should all understand that it would not be the first time such a thing has had to be done.

Frankly, lawbreakers today might find things a lot different when dealing with a Citizens Committee who are not trained to observe due process rules. ANTIFA may find it a different world when dealing with citizens who don't see arsonists and murderers as being entitled to fair treatment through the normal judicial system. Yes, in the same way, Killer Jim Miller must have found his world change when Vigilantes threw a rope over a beam in an old barn and hanged him.

Tom Correa