Monday, August 28, 2023

Democrats Danced When President Lincoln Was Assassinated

In 1854, Americans witnessed a historical first when they saw the creation of the anti-slavery Republican Party. What made the Republican Party different from other anti-slavery political organizations that have been around for many years is that no one could have imagined that a president could have been elected on an anti-slavery platform. That was huge at the time. 

Democrats in the South broke away from the Union after Lincoln was elected. Those in the North, especially the Copperhead Democrats who ran many of the Northern newspapers, wanted to keep African slavery intact. They even fought to split the nation in two and allow slavery to remain in the South. 

During the Civil War, the Northern newspapers run by Copperhead Democrats of the time were really no different than what CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and other Democrat-controlled media disseminate what they call the truth today. They hated Lincoln back in the day in the very same way that Democrats hate Trump today. And yes, they ruthlessly attacked and vilified Lincoln at every opportunity. 

That is not a myth, nor is it an exaggeration. Copperhead Democrat editors conducted smear campaigns against Lincoln, spread horrible rumors and straight-out lies about the president, incited violence against Lincoln's policies, called for Lincoln's impeachment, and even called for Lincoln's assassination. Yes, it wasn't really much different than what took place while President Donald Trump was in office.

President Abraham Lincoln was the first president to ever run and hold that office as a member of the Republican Party. He was also the first president to be assassinated. His killer was a Southern Democrat, an actor, a man who is said to have been influenced to carry out his deadly plot to kill the president by Copperhead Democrats who ran many of the Northern newspapers during the Civil War. 

While I've talked about firsts in American history and how Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865, was a first in American history, another first in our history has to do with the vile reaction of Democrats after President Lincoln's assassination. The fact is that Democrats actually praised John Wilkes Booth for shooting President Lincoln. So yes, while some did mourn after the assassination of the president -- others who hated Lincoln actually lauded his assassin. 

In fact, it was reported at the time that some supporters of John Wilkes Booth "publicly danced in the streets and rejoiced at the assassination of President Lincoln."

Political hatred is nothing new in American History. There have always been haters. And yes, my friends, on April 15th, 1865, a lot of them were Democrats who danced when they found out President Lincoln was shot to death. 

While most in the North conveyed what can only be considered "profound grief" at the news that Lincoln was killed by an assassin, it might be a surprise to many that President Abraham Lincoln was considered a "tyrant." One newspaper wrote at the time that he was "a tyrant who needed to be killed."

Instead of being seen as he would later as "the great emancipator" and the man who worked tirelessly to preserve the Union, Copperhead Democrats in the North echoed the sentiment of their brothers and sisters in the South, who wrote about how Lincoln "deserved a tyrant's death." 

In Texas, The Galveston News printed, "In the plentitude of his power and arrogance he was struck down, and is so ushered into eternity, with innumerable crimes and sins to answer for."

While it's understandable to expect such things coming out of Southern Democrats, one Copperhead Democrat in Massachusetts was reportedly so gleeful to hear of Lincoln being murdered that he horrified his neighbors by shouting, "They've shot Abe Lincoln! He's dead, and I'm glad he's dead." 

If you think it was only Democrats who universally enjoyed the news of Lincoln's assassination, George W. Julian, who was a Republican congressman from Indiana at the time, what we today would call a RINO, a "Republican In Name Only," is known to have said, "Lincoln's death is a God-send."
And yes, if you're wondering, there were even those in the Union Army who celebrated that Lincoln was shot. Probably one of the most noteworthy was a soldier by the name of James Walker, who was a member of the 8th California Infantry. The 8th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during the Civil War. It was a unit that was raised late in the war, actually in the last year of the war. 

The 8th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry had its headquarters located initially at Alcatraz Island and spent almost all of its existence serving in posts around San Francisco Bay, the California Gold Country, and later in Washington Territory and Oregon. 

Upon hearing the news, James Walker allowed his hidden sentiments to rise to the occasion. In front of his Union Army comrades, he declared that Lincoln was a "Yankee son of a bitch who ought to have been killed long ago." Believe it or not, Walked was arrested, given an immediate court-martial, and sentenced to death by firing squad. He was very fortunate that an appeals court later commuted his sentence. 

Of course, he wasn't the only person in the Union Army to voice his glee that his Commander-in-Chief was shot. Believe it or not, it's recorded that military officials dishonorably discharged dozens of enlisted men right after Lincoln's assassination for voicing their joy at hearing the sad news. One was a Michigan soldier stationed in Lincoln’s hometown. He was heard shouting, "The man who killed Lincoln did a good thing."

But really, let's be frank here, it shouldn't be surprising that some people celebrated Lincoln's death just as they celebrate that President Trump's home was raided or that President Trump was indicted for doing what many others have done. 

President Lincoln became a martyr to freedom and nationalism alike. Yes, like Trump, Lincoln was a champion of nationalism. He held the nation together through the worst years that our nation has ever faced. While many issues caused the Civil War, and it was not just the issue of slavery, President Lincoln's opponents were Democrats who would have rather the United States dissolve itself than lose their precious Antebellum life. A lifestyle of slave ownership and wealth that they fight to keep today.

Tom Correa

Friday, August 25, 2023

Tucker Carlson's Interview Of President Donald Trump On August 23, 2023

I'm providing the interview above for a few reasons. First and foremost, I support President Trump. I like what President Trump did for us when he was President. And, because of that, I want to provide my readers with what I consider is a very substantive interview. 

Second, as sad as it is, there are people today who still believe the lies that the Democrats accused President Trump of doing. Those lies have been proven to have been nothing less than an attempted Coup De Tat to unseat an American President. They were lies used to attack our President, an innocent man, and put him through two Impeachment Trials over things we now know did not happen. 

In fact, the people on the Left, including those people working within our government, who were part of the criminal hoax that led to the Impeachment Trials of President Trump, committed criminal acts that they have not yet been held accountable for carrying out. To me, that is something that our nation needs to see happen. 

As for comments attacking Tucker Carlson's interview with President Trump, I refuse to allow such maliciousness, such nastiness, to be posted here. Frankly, I see that sort of out-and-out nastiness as just a way to distract people from focusing on what's being said in the interview. And really, I'm not going to allow such diversions on here.  

There are horrible people on the Left who use distractions like attacking Tucker Carlson to take the focus off of the subject that we should be focused on. Besides the Left's ploy of redirecting the focus, on here hate speech is something that gets flagged in the comment section. And when it gets flagged, I won't override it to allow it on here. 
If you sent a comment and don't see it posted. It was flagged and was stopped.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Been There, Roped That

A Cowboy Poem by Benny Bence

I been to that ranch and I roped that cow and what I tell ya is true. 
I've had every horse with 'bout every name from Red to Fred to Blue. 

I've watched near every Western and I've drank near every beer. 
And I'm willing to fight with all my might the man who calls me queer. 

I've been to France, I've been to Spain, I've been to Mexico. 
I've roped in the day, I've roped in the night, and I've wrangled up in Idaho. 

I've been to Texas and the Alamo and I've lived many a life. 
I've loved me many a woman, but I only have one wife. 

I have three lovely daughters and one outstanding son. 
Why heck, by the time he was just thirteen, I gave him his very first gun. 

I've been on TV with Johnny and Dave and I've been on NBC. 
I missed my chance at the Golden Girls, but that don't bother me. 

I've shook the hand of ol' John Wayne and Robert Mitchum too. 
And Hell no, I won't take offense if ya call me buckaroo. 

I've been in many a bar fight and I damn sure won them all. 
And I can still challenge any man when trouble comes to call. 

My old belt buckle and Stetson hat are part of who I am. 
And the wrinkles I got on my face, they came from not giving a damn. 

I like Marty Robbins and love my wife, and that, buckaroo, is true. 
And as long as you are nice to me, then friend I'll be nice to you. 

I've done all this and plenty more and folks I ain't no liar. 
But if one of you still thinks I'm wrong, you can set my pants on fire!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Oliver Anthony - Rich Men North Of Richmond

Oliver Anthony is a former factory worker who is getting a lot of attention because of his song, "Rich Men North of Richmond."

His song is about how hard it is for regular Americans to struggle while others are getting rich. He sings about the toil and the heartache of overworked and over-taxed working-class Americans. He sings about how Americans recognize how the rich want to control our lives. He sings about the greed and power and the privilege of the wealthy. He sings a song that's resonating with millions of Americans. 

Oliver Anthony, "Rich Men of Richmond" Lyrics:

I've been sellin' my soul, workin' all day / Overtime hours for bullshit pay / So I can sit out here and waste my life away / Drag back home and drown my troubles away.

It's a damn shame what the world's gotten to / For people like me and people like you / Wish I could just wake up and it not be true / But it is, oh, it is.

Livin' in the new world / With an old soul / These rich men north of Richmond / Lord knows they all just wanna have total control / Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do / And they don't think you know, but I know that you do / 'Cause your dollar ain't shit and it's taxed to no end / 'Cause of rich men north of Richmond.

I wish politicians would look out for miners / And not just minors on an island somewhere / Lord, we got folks in the street, ain't got nothin' to eat / And the obese milkin' welfare.

Well, God, if you're 5-foot-3 and you're 300 pounds / Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds / Young men are puttin' themselves six feet in the ground / 'Cause all this damn country does is keep on kickin' them down.

I've been sellin' my soul, workin' all day / Overtime hours for bullshit pay.

What does he hope for his song? According to him, "The universal thing I see is no matter how much effort Americans put into whatever it is they're doing, they can't quite get ahead because the dollar's not worth enough, they are being over-taxed. I want to be a voice for those people, and not just them, but humans in general." 

The amount of taxes taken from working Americans to pay for things that Americans really should not be paying for is substantial.

For example, over-taxation of Americans goes to pay, according to Congressional sources, "Dead, duplicate, and disqualified Food Stamp recipients get billions of dollars each year. Also, billions of dollars in food stamp payments have been used for everything from Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell, to beer, soda, and condoms."

While politicians will not admit how serious the problem is, it's a fact that the Federal Government wastes billions of taxpayer dollars every year.

"The government has just lost, as if you dropped it on the sidewalk, trillions and trillions of dollars over the last few decades. That is money that was stolen from hardworking Americans to just simply get wasted," said Richard Stern, a budget and spending expert from The Heritage Foundation. 

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., claims "billions more are being wasted every year — from spending $1.7 billion maintaining empty government buildings to accidentally spending $28 million on forest green camouflage uniforms to be used in the deserts of Afghanistan."

And let's not forget, the Democrats pushed through their "Green New Deal" disguised as an "Infrastructure Bill." By itself, and not including other spending bills that Congress passes, it will require historic tax increases of more than $2.75 Trillion in taxpayer dollars. 

Those are taxpayer dollars that will be collected from already overtaxed Americans -- to frivolously spend on pet projects and scams like "Climate Change" and of course Biden, Democrats, and Ukraine. 

Of course, the biggest insult of all is that the "Rich Men North of Richmond" are the politicians in Washington D.C. -- and those slimy people don't give a damn that Americans are over-taxed or struggling to make ends meet. The fact is, they could care less. 

In fact, they don't care if we cry about it, or in the case of Oliver Anthony sing about it. They know there's nothing we can do about it. It's a damn shame. But the fact is it's a rigged game and the crooks are in charge.   

Tom Correa

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Real Cowboy Tales: Bein’ A Cowboy

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Historian 

For those of you who would like to hear what it's really like to be a Cowboy, I thought I would write down a few stories of my life.

This story relays to my time on one of the ranches back in the late '90s and early 2000s called the Cobra, which is a fairly small outfit of a little over 60,000 acres of mountainous very rough country that could kill you and your horse if you weren’t careful. 

The Cobra is located in an area called Klondike Arizona, not much there but a small general store with the post office located within it, and from what I hear it’s now gone.

This area only consisted of cattle ranches at that time which is located about 58 miles of dirt road from either Wilcox or Safford Arizona. Because of the distance on the old rocky dirt road we only went to town about every two weeks and sometimes only once a month to get supplies and maybe have a drink or two or three and sometimes more at one of the local beer joints. We took advantage of goin’ to town.

My pard Jeff whom I had worked with on other outfits took over the Cobra as ranch manager and he asked me to join him and being we were best of friends I never even gave it a second thought. This outfit had been only taken care of by an old couple who just watched over the place and it had been let go for quite a while with the state threatening to pull the leases.

Now the next thing to understand is this outfit was a purebred longhorn ranch and many of them hadn’t seen people in probably three years being up in the rough mountain pastures. These longhorns were wild, mean, and fast. We wore out two horses a day at times rounding these critters up and pushing them down to the ranch area. 

You had to push these cattle like buffalo, slow and easy only guiding them as best you could. when some would brake away you just let them go as not to lose the main body and came back later to gather them once more. You didn’t use your rope much on these critters but if you did you had to heal them because if you headed them you might not get your rope back for a while and sometimes they would turn and come up your rope a hooking with those double twist horns trying to gut your horse and you also.

I remember one time I was working with one-eyed Luke and yes he had only one eye. Jeff and Roddy roped this big cow by the head and heal, and sucked it to the ground while we had to brand it. 

This cow hadn’t seen people in lord knows how long and I guessed this cow to be about three years old. Well, when we finished I went to pull the head rope but hadn’t quite cleared the horns when Luke pulled the foot rope, this onery bitch came up before I could get out of the way and hit me, goring me slightly in the left leg and threw me what felt like ten feet in the air and maybe fifteen feet away before hitting the ground. I jumped up quick because that bitch was coming fast but I got to the side of the pen and clambered up to the top real quick. After that, I looked at old Luke and said “Next time look at me with your good eye”

There is much more to tell about when it came to a few of the guys getting hurt, and a few were hurt pretty badly but I do not wish to get into that part. Every day the dangers were there, if not because of the terrain, horse wrecks, or shale cliffs it was those wild ass longhorns themselves. 

Anyway, maybe this little insight I am giving you can give you a slight idea of what it’s like to be a working Cowboy.

Terry McGahey

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Captain Jack Was Put To Sleep

About a week ago, I came home to find that one of our horses was in a bad way. He was a horse that I called Captain Jack. When I walked up to him, I knelt down next to him and listened. He lay there and moaned and groaned in agony. 

The old guy was suffering so much, but had to I try to get him on his feet. And I did twice. Each time it was only for a few seconds. Finally, he was too weak and in pain to move. And no, I don't blame him for refusing to get up. He was in deep trouble, and I knew what he needed me to do. Be merciful.

Back in January of 2013, I wrote a story about getting Captain Jack. I wrote about how it was over a year after losing my bay horse Murphy that I finally decided to look for another riding horse. I wanted to get back in the saddle. 

I was told about this horse that one of the local cowboys owned - and was looking to sell. The cowboy was getting ready to move to Wyoming and was selling his horses that weren't making the trip with him. I met him and he told me about a horse that he called "Captain Jack." So why call him Captain Jack? They called him Captain Jack Sparrow the pirate because he was blind in his left eye. One eye was good but the other was blind. And frankly, the cowboy who owned him got him like that so he didn't know how Jack lost his eye.  

That cowboy was looking for a buyer who would give Jack a good home. He already knew that I have a few horses, and he knew that I'd give Jack a good home if I bought him. 

Jack was a stout strong well-muscled Quarter Horse. Jack was built very strong and beefy, wide chest, and straight legs, with an all-around good temperament. That cowboy assured me that Jack was a good riding horse for trail riding and for moving cows. But, he also was honest enough to tell me that Jack was a lousy rope horse. I found out later that that was only half-true. He wasn't a great rope horse, but he wasn't bad when you worked with him. His problem roping had to do with his having only his right eye. 

I started thinking about where he'd end up if I didn't buy him. And yes, as is the case these days, I knew really well that a lot of horses are looking for good homes. Also as is the case today, more and more owners are having to get rid of their horses simply because of how expensive horse can be to keep. 

Because people can't keep them, mostly because of the cost of boarding or the price of feed or both, a lot of horses are ending up in shelters, animal control, and rescue operations. So okay, maybe times haven't changed that much at all.

My wife and I have taken in a few horses who might have ended up in horrible situations. They are horses just looking for homes. All they want is a place where they can live out their days. They eat and seem happy. 

As I said back in 2013, when looking back on how I got my boy Murphy, and the miserable condition he was in when I bought him, he was surely a rescue horse. In Murphy's case, because he was too much horse for the owner and she couldn't ride him, she stopped feeding him on a regular basis to save money. Imagine that if you would. You buy a horse and then realize that he's too much to handle, so you starve him and let his hooves go to ruin.

My first impression of Captain Jack was that he was built like the old-style classic American Quarter Horses of years gone by. The American Quarter Horse has seen a lot of changes over the years. Some say breeders have introduced too much Thoroughbred blood into the breed. 

The American Quarter Horse is the most popular horse breed in the entire world. Quarters Horses have the ability to outdistance other horse breeds in races of a quarter mile or less. Some folks have clocked them at speeds of up to 55 mph. Breeders intermingle Thoroughbred bloodlines with the American Quarter Horse breed to create some of the best racing horses in history. Besides now having issues with health and soundness, another problem with trying to breed more speed into modern Quarter Horse bloodlines is that they are breeding down the size and structure of the American Quarter Horse. 

The classic American Quarter Horse of yesteryear had a compact body that was well-suited to the intricate and speedy maneuvers required in reining, cutting, barrel racing, and calf roping. They were big, strong, sturdy-looking, and had a bulldog-style build with lots of muscle, thick bones, and good feet for working cows, gatherings, and trail riding.

The classic American Quarter Horse is said to have a small, short, refined head with a straight profile, and a strong, well-muscled body, featuring a broad chest and large powerful rounded hindquarters. Quarter Horses should not be tall and leggy and sleek like Thoroughbreds. But instead, lower to the ground at about 15 hands tall.

Captain Jack was definitely a stocky type of classic Quarter Horse. He was a stocky, tough, all-purpose cow horse. He had alert ears and a blaze that crossed his face from his good right eye to his muzzle, sort of diagonal down his face. Because of the blaze going diagonally down his face, at times, he looked as though his head was tilted when it wasn't.

His chest was wide and broad, forelegs are set wide apart. At about 15 hands, he was not tall. He had a straight profile, a short back, and a very strong well-muscled body. In fact, his shoulder muscles caught my eye the first time that I saw him. As for his disposition, he had a good disposition and was all in all pretty gentle. Where some horses can be a pain in the rump because they're either too skittish or pushy, Captain Jack has always calm and easy to be around.

It was always interesting how he has learned to compensate pretty well without his left eye. God has given us two eyes for a reason. The reason is to see things better in stereo so to say, which enables us to have better depth perception and such. Of course, it was always sort of amusing to see the other horse go to his blindside to steal his hay. 

Jack was basically a Quarter Horse who looked and acted like what Quarter Horses used to be. And yes, in his case, like the greater percentage of Quarter Horses out there, he was a sorrel. I really liked the way he was built, and his disposition was great. 

When I first rode Jack, he stood calm and easy the whole time I saddled him. I was a little surprised that he didn't take in air like Murphy used to do when I would cinch him up on the first go. Jack took my bit and bridle easy enough and wasn't head-shy. These were all really good signs.

After I had him saddled, I climbed aboard and asked my wife how he looked? Knowing that I was talking about what happened when I climbed atop our 16.2 hands Thoroughbred and his hind end buckled on the first try, and on the second try just stood there with his legs shaking, she laughed and said Jack was just standing on three legs. Yes, he was so calm and at ease that he had one leg lifted cocked, and relaxed. It was as if indicating that he'd have no problem packing me at all.

After that, I rode him around the round pen. I was looking for his movement and sense of direction. Besides making sure he could carry me since I'm definitely on the heavy side, more than anything else I wanted to see if he had problems turning in the direction of his bad eye. I wanted to see if his not having one eye would be a hindrance of some sort. I'm happy to report that it wasn't.

I was very happy to buy Captain Jack. And yes, he was a little ornery with the other horses while they establish the new pecking order. Of course, I let nature take its course and let them work things out. It wasn't long before everything settled down and Jack elected himself boss. 

So how old was he? Well, when I bought him, I was told he was 9 years old. Later, I found out that he was much older than that. And while I really missed not riding and I wanted to get back in the saddle, I'm happy to say that Jack served to help me fill that yearning. And yes, all in all, even while just having one eye, he was a great riding horse. At least he was while I could still ride. 

As for working cows, I really don't know how "cowy" he was because I had to stop doing gatherings and pennings not too long after bringing him home. And no, I'm sure he didn't mind accepting a life of luxury and ease. All he really had to do was boss around the other horses and wait for me to come out and talk with him, groom him, and spoil him a little. As for finding him a pirate's "eye patch" for his bad eye? I never did. 

Over the last couple of months or so, he took ill and started losing a lot of weight. It's so hard to keep weight on some older horses and I did everything that I could to put the weight back on him. My wife and I both thought he was looking a lot better about a few days before his end. Then he took a turn for the worse and it was not something that I really thought would happen. 

Let me be as straight with you as I can about this. I have never met anyone who enjoys putting their horse down. To me, it's the absolutely worse duty that a horse owner has. And frankly, I really don't think horse owners even like thinking about having to put a horse to sleep. 

Sadly, though, whether we call it "putting them to sleep" or "putting them down," it's something that all horse owners may have to do. And while I've had to put down other horses, certainly more than I've ever wanted to, putting Jack down was one of the hardest things that I've had to do as an owner. 

It's just a fact of life that a lot of horses don't die from natural causes. Putting a horse down over a serious injury or an illness that cannot be treated is tough. And yes, I've heard of owners putting a horse down because they reached old age and their condition had deteriorated to such an extent that they simply no longer had an acceptable quality of life. 

And of course, no horse should have to go through unnecessary pain or distress when putting them down can prevent your horse from suffering. Having to put your horse to sleep is never an easy decision to make. Yes, take it from me, it can be very upsetting for you as an owner to do what you know needs to be done -- even when you know it is the right thing to do. 

When I got home, I found him on the ground in so much pain. I refused to believe he was unable to stand. But soon, I stopped trying. Old Captain Jack had run out his string. And yes, I needed to be merciful and do what was right. So I did what was needed. 

For me, I see my only saving grace, the thing that helps me understand that things like this happen to those of us who give horses good homes, is my knowing that I did give Jack a good home for his last years. Like many horses that would have ended up in who knows where, maybe even a Killers Auction, he deserved a good home. And really, he had one here. It was a place where he could wait for me to come out and talk with him, brush him, and spoil him a little. 

Tom Correa

Monday, August 7, 2023

It's Time To Be An American First

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Historian

One of the problems I see going on in this country today besides the radical and special interest groups is the American people themselves. People today, as in yesteryears, with much of our population, they have a tendency to refer to themselves by their ethnic background first such as African American, Irish American, Mexican American, Ukrainian American, and so on and so forth.

We the people of this country need to call ourselves Americans first with the ethnic background second. We need to all become Americans first which may start to bring us together somewhat instead of divided as we are now. 

When claiming ethnicity in front of "American," it automatically divides us from other ethnic groups, which believe it or not adds to the division of people in this country.

For example, I heard a friend of mine once say he was from Ukraine because he is of Ukrainian descent. In reality, he was born in this country and his folks were from Ukraine. He is an American with Ukrainian blood. It really hurts my heart to hear people use their blood background first rather than second.

I don’t know how much it may help to heal what's happened to our great nation. But folks should start being Americans first, then maybe we could find a way to start coming back together as a country.

Friday, August 4, 2023


William J Howard- on his 97th Birthday

as told by Capt. W J Howard

The San Francisco Chronicle, April 28, 1907

Despite the fact that more than eighty years measure his age, Capt. W. J Howard recently made the long trip from Mariposa County to Berkeley alone in a covered wagon. He left his large holding in Mariposa to make an extended visit with son, Royal T Howard, of South Berkeley. The Captain has an extremely interesting history that should appeal to every resident of California, because of the fact that he is the sole survivor of the California Rangers, the famous troop which in the early days succeeded in brining peace to the newly discovered gold county and law to the new State. With the years all the members of the Rangers have passed away and Capt. Howard has reached his twilight days.

The captain is enjoying a peaceful old age. He tells his children and his children's children of the many adventures he has met, but has given up looking for them. He has adapted himself to most of the modern appliances, but there are several things he finds it difficult to take up. One of them is the railroad. As long as he can make his way on horseback or in a wagon, he will have nothing to do with the steam cars.


Howard was breveted captain in the Mexican war. He was one of the twenty men appointed in 1853 by Gov. Bigler to suppress the lawlessness then rife. These men, later known as the California Rangers, were selected by a special act of the legislature empowering the governor to appoint this civil guard. It was at this time that the famous bandit, Joaquin Murietta, was terrorizing the southern pat of the State, and things had come to such a pass that it became absolutely necessary that Murietta be captured. A reward of $3,00 was offered for the body of the Mexican desperado.

Murietta, as Capt. Howard tells the story, had become the leader of a band which stopped at nothing. Several murders were charged again him; he was accused of horse stealing and other serious offenses in the category of crime were chalked up against him. Of the twenty men who were appointed to hunt down the outlaw, Harry Love was chosen as Captain.

At the time of the gold excitement the Mexicans, who had flocked in large numbers, worked with a small bowl. The Americans came with their cradles and later with their sluice boxes, and long toms and commenced hydraulicing. When the Mexican saw that they were being beaten in the race for wealth they became jealous and envious and finally showed their displeasure with murder. It became so serious that it was unsafe for Americans to leave their tents and cabins. Out of this friction emerged Murietta, the greatest bandit of early California days. His depredations became such that it was necessary to organize a well armed and brave body of men to hunt him down.


All this the captain tells in a hearty, pioneer fashion. "The rangers started out in May, 1853," to quote Howard. "We had order to ransack every nook from Marysville to Los Angeles to find Murietta. At the same time we were to look for two other men, Joaquin Corillo and Joaquin Vallanzuela. These were also desperate men, and we were taking no chances with any of them.

"On July 1 we received word that Murietta had stolen horses in Los Angeles. A plan was formed whereby the company was divided, one section shirting the coast and the other going through Fort Tejon. When we arrived a Los Angeles we found that Murietta had left. We also received definite information that he had fifteen men in his band. Stocked with his knowledge, we started back through Fort Tejon. We ascertained from the Indians, who had sold them food and buckskins, what route the had taken, and two days later we came upon the outlaw's camp.

"The camp was situated in a little cup of a valley , and we had the desperadoes surrounded before they were aware of their danger. A battle took place, which resulted in the total rout of the bandits, thirteen being killed and two taken prisoners. You see, we had this bad gang on the hip, and, although they put up a good fight, we put up a better one and came out ahead.


"The fierce Murietta himself was killed. When the fighting was at its height , Murietta jumped upon his horse and attempted to escape. One of the rangers, John White by name, and fine, brave fellow, gave chase and opened fire upon the bandit, wounding him and bringing him to bay. He then commenced parleying with him, and it was at this juncture that the rest of us approached. We saw the two men in consultation, and, fearing that Joaquin would do White an injury, we opened fire and killed the bandit. It would have been avoided, but there are men who are too eager and will make trouble.

"It was finally decided that in order to show the government that the notorious robber was dead it would be necessary to have proof of his identity. In order to do this Murietta's head was cut off. One of the prisoners was asked who his companion had been, and he refused to answer. One of the rangers, I don't remember which, held the head before the captured bandit and threatened to decapitate him if he would not tell. The Mexican made a proud gesture, threw up his head, and informed him he could cut away.

The threat was not carried out, however, and the prisoner was tied to a horse and we started on our return journey with him. We also made fast our other prisoner. One of these, the one who had so boldly defied us, we were destined to lose. Just before we come to a slough where passing was dangerous, we loosened the thongs which held him, and when we came to a place in the slough a little deeper than in the other portions he threw himself from the horse. 

He plunged in to the water and sank rapidly to the bottom, not more than six feet deep, where he clung to the tulle's. George Chase was an expert swimmer, and tried to save the man, but the Mexican held fast and met his death in this manner. We voted him a brave man.


The other prisoner we took to Fresno, which in the early days was known as Millerton. Two weeks later he was hanged. For all this time he was hand-cuffed to me. He told me that he was not a bandit, but had been captured by Murietta. I believed he told the truth, but justice was swift in those days, and the Mexican's story was not generally believed. When we came to Millerton we had the head of Murietta placed in alcohol by Dr. Leach. Later it was identified, and we received our reward. 

We also brought back with us the hand of the infamous desperado, Three-fingered Jack, which was also put in alcohol. Three-fingered Jack put up a great fight, and was shot three times, at least twice fatally, before he finally succumbed. He fired his gun after he ahd been shot through the heart.

"Some time later the head of Murietta was taken to San Francisco, where it was placed on exhibition. It cost the curious twenty-five cents apiece to see the sight. Afterward it was taken to New York City, where it was again exhibited. In later years it was in Robinson's Museum, in San Francisco. At the time of the late fire it was lost and it is not known now what has become of it."

"Although our band had several close calls, there were not fatalities. We were in organization three months after this, at the end of which time peace was restored. We received $150 a month for our services. Never since did the Mexicans resort to any desperate acts of violence. We had succeeded in bringing them within the pale of the law.


"I would like to say a word concerning the wife of Murietta. It has been said that she was mistreated by the Americans, and that it was for this reason that Murietta became a bandit. I know that these stories are false. I had the best of opportunities for knowing the woman because for a considerable time she lived near me when I was camped down close to Hornitos. She was an extremely beautiful woman and was known as "Queen:" on account of her beauty and regal ways. At one time she bet me ten bottles of champagne, which was then extremely dear, that she was a better marksman than I. A soda water bottle was placed at sixty yards. I had no trouble in winning the wager, having always been proficient with a riffle. Not being a drinking man, I thanked her and refused the wine.

"There have also been a great number of stories told of Murietta which are not true. For example, he was never tied to a tree and whipped by the miners. Bancroft's history covering this period is in error. I would like to show up these errors, but I'm getting on in years now and don't think I will ever put the true facts in print. I am a much better man with a rifle that I am with a pen."

The captain has completed most of the manuscript of a book dealing with the stirring times in which he had taken part, but in a recent fire this labor of a long period was destroyed. He believes he will not rewrite it.


Capt. Howard was born in Virginia August 26, 1826. In spite of his extreme age, he is hale and hearty. He has lived an outdoor life always. Since 1849 he has lived in California. Before he became a Ranger he fought the Indians and met with many adventures while thus employed. He has served several terms in the State legislature, has held county offices, and for years has been successfully a farmer.

Capt. Howard's life has been a series of adventure. In the many years that he has been a resident of California he has met with his fill of happenings, and if he should put the thrilling chain of events in which he played a part in their order in a book he would supply the reading public not only with an interesting volume, but of historical and instructive value. Conditions have changed since Capt. Howard helped to subdue the lawlessness of the early '50's in this State. 

Today there is a new order of things, and a change which leaves no room for the rejuvenation of the old days when a gun was law and a rope in the willing hands of the vigilantes was used to enforce order. It was in these days that Capt. Howard was a competent actor, and was recognized as such by the men of his time. He was intrusted with many dangerous missions, often held the life of a man in his hand, and never took advantage of an unequal combat.

It was while Capt. Howard was holding the position of Sheriff at different times in Mariposa County that he showed anew what he could do as a peace officer. He was responsible for the deserts of many criminals and cleared up more than one mystery of murder and robbery. And all the time he held that office he never mistreated a prisoner. Kindness was his principle and with this he did more than has ever been done by force.


Captain Howard has the following to say concerning his first adventure with the Indians: "in the year 1859 I owned the Buena Vista ranch, about four miles southwest of the town of Hornitos, on Burn's Creek, and in December of that year I had a large number of horses and mules stolen by the Indians. As soon as I discovered my loss I organized a party of twenty men and, after striking a trail of the despredators, we followed it as far as the Mormon Bar, where we met Maj. James Burney, who, in command of a body of volunteers, was out after the Indians also.

"We at once joined forces, and with Maj. Burney in command our force of over sixty men with James D. Savage as guide, resumed the trail. On the Second day out, Savage made report that the village was not very far off as he had heard the Indians singing.

"When we received the order to charge the enemy, we did so with a rush, scattering the Indians in all directions, but they soon rallied and as many of them were armed with old Spanish riles, they commenced to make warm work for us. Suddenly it occurred to me that I could charge to better advantage from behind a tree, and acting on this impulse I sought the shelter of a large pine. 

Evidently the same thought had occurred to the others , as I found that Maj. Burney and John Sylvester were already in possession. However, the tree was large and we made it a point to stay close together.
"The first of our men to fall was Lieut. E. Skeqane, then Bill Little, who was shot in three different places. A little later Charles Houston got a bullet through his neck and Dick Tilasan had his nose shot away.


"Then to make matters worse (for me) I met with what I felt sure was a mortal wound. I exposed myself a little too much, and an Indian took a pot shot at me, which tore away the whole side of my face (at least I thought so), and toppled me over. Burney and Sylvester quickly pulled me back behind our friendly shelter where with hands pressed tightly over my mutilated face, I told them of the serious nature of the wound and called attention to the blood that was trickling through my fingers.

"They pulled my hands down to see how badly I was hurt, and then they burst in to a hearty laugh. 'Why', they said 'you are not hurt at all, you are only crying,' and to my intense relief I found this to be true. The heavy ball from the Indain's gun had scaled off a large piece of bark from our tree, and this had struck me in the face with such force that it stunned me, and brought the tears to my eyes."


The following list was the personnel of the Rangers, as given by Capt. Howard: Harry Love, captain, was killed in Santa Cruz in a feud; Gen. B. Edward Conner died in San Francisco; William Burns, died in Stockton; Charles Bludworth, killed Snelling, Merced County, Thomas T Howard, died in Galveston; W. J. Henderson, died in Fresno; John White, killed at Fort Tejon; William Campbell, died at Kings River; Edward Campbell, died at Kings River; Augusta Black, killed in the civil war; Dr. Hollister, died in San Jose; Robert McMasters, died in Sacramento; George Evans, died in Santa Cruz; John Nutall, killed at Nicaragua; George Nutall, died in Stockton; Nicholas Ashmore, killed at Salt Lake; James Norton, killed at Salt Lake; Ned Van Buren, killed in Contra Costa County, George Chase, drowned in the Fresno River, and Capt. W. J. Howard, living.

Transcribed by C. Feroben

I found this published online in the Mariposa County Family Chronicles, and it appears here as it did in The San Francisco Chronicle in 1907. I have not corrected the spelling or punctuation.  

The following link will take you to the in-depth book The Last of the California Rangers written by author Jill Crosely-Batts in 1928. It is an excellent read.

Tom Correa