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Whiskey River Ranger: The Old West Life of Baz Outlaw

Description: Captain Frank Jones, a famed nineteenth-century Texas Ranger, said of his company’s top sergeant, Baz Outlaw (1854-1894), “A man of unusual courage and coolness and in a close place is worth two or three ordinary men.” Another old-time Texas Ranger declared that Baz Outlaw “was one of the worst and most dangerous” because “he never knew what fear was.” But not all thought so highly of him. In Whiskey River Ranger, Bob Alexander tells for the first time the full story of this troubled Texas Ranger and his losing battle with alcoholism. In his career Baz Outlaw wore a badge as a Texas Ranger and also as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. He could be a fearless and crackerjack lawman, as well as an unmanageable manic. Although Baz Outlaw’s badge-wearing career was sometimes heroically creditable, at other times his self-induced nightmarish imbroglios teased and tested Texas Ranger management’s resoluteness. Baz Outlaw’s true-life story is jam-packed with fellows owning well-known names, including Texas Rangers, city marshals, sheriffs, and steely-eyed mean-spirited miscreants. Baz Outlaw’s tale is complete with horseback chases, explosive train robberies, vigilante justice (or injustice), nighttime ambushes and bushwhacking, and episodes of scorching six-shooter finality. Baz met his end in a brothel brawl at the hands of John Selman, the same gunfighter who killed John Wesley Hardin.
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Date: April 2016
Creator: Alexander, Bob
Partner: UNT Press

The Notorious Luke Short: Sporting Man of the Wild West

Description: Luke Short perfected his skills as a gambler in locations that included Leadville, Tombstone, Dodge City, and Fort Worth. In 1883, in what became known as the "Dodge City War," he banded together with Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and others to protect his ownership interests in the Long Branch Saloon—an event commemorated by the famous "Dodge City Peace Commission" photograph. During his lifetime, Luke Short became one of the best known sporting men in the United States, and one of the wealthiest. The irony is that Luke Short is best remembered for being the winning gunfighter in two of the most celebrated showdowns in Old West history: the shootout with Charlie Storms in Tombstone, Arizona, and the showdown against Jim Courtright in Fort Worth, Texas. He would have hated that. The contents include: -The cowboy by birth -- Tall tales and short facts -- The gambler by choice -- Get out of Dodge! -- A plain statement & shots from Short -- The Dodge City peace commission -- The White Elephant in Panther City -- Sporting men of Fort Worth -- Dead man in a shooting gallery -- Mrs. Luke Short -- The war on the gambling fraternity -- State of Texas vs. Luke Short -- The sport of kings and a palace royal -- The main event -- Luke Short -- prize fight promoter -- The last gunfight -- Chicago -- Game over.
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Date: June 2015
Creator: DeMattos, Jack & Parsons, Chuck
Partner: UNT Press

Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy

Description: Authors Bob Alexander and Donaly E. Brice grappled with several issues when deciding how to relate a general history of the Texas Rangers. Should emphasis be placed on their frontier defense against Indians, or focus more on their role as guardians of the peace and statewide law enforcers? What about the tumultuous Mexican Revolution period, 1910-1920? And how to deal with myths and legends such as One Riot, One Ranger? Texas Rangers: Lives, Legend, and Legacy is the authors’ answer to these questions, a one-volume history of the Texas Rangers. The authors begin with the earliest Rangers in the pre-Republic years in 1823 and take the story up through the Republic, Mexican War, and Civil War. Then, with the advent of the Frontier Battalion, the authors focus in detail on each company A through F, relating what was happening within each company concurrently. Thereafter, Alexander and Brice tell the famous episodes of the Rangers that forged their legend, and bring the story up through the twentieth century to the present day in the final chapters.
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Date: July 2017
Creator: Alexander, Bob & Brice, Donaly E.
Partner: UNT Press

Backwoods to Border

Description: Book about folklore in Texas, including folk songs, ghost stories, Mexican animal tales, anecdotes about lawyers, folklore about Texas plants, riddles and miscellaneous legends. The index begins on page 225.
Date: 1943
Creator: Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964
Partner: UNT Press

Backwoods to Border

Description: Book about folklore in Texas, including folk songs, ghost stories, Mexican animal tales, anecdotes about lawyers, folklore about Texas plants, riddles and miscellaneous legends. The index begins on page 225.
Date: 2017
Creator: Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964
Partner: UNT Press

Life of the Marlows: a True Story of Frontier Life of Early Days

Description: The story of the five Marlow brothers and their tribulations in late nineteenth-century Texas is the stuff of Old West legend (and served to inspire the John Wayne movie, The Sons of Katie Elder). Violent, full of intrigue, with characters of amazing heroism and deplorable cowardice, their story was first related by William Rathmell in Life of the Marlows, a little book published in 1892, shortly after the events it described in Young County, Texas. It told how Boone, the most reckless of the brothers, shot and killed a popular sheriff and escaped, only to be murdered later by bounty hunters. The other four brothers, arrested as accessories and jailed, made a daring break from confinement but were recaptured. Once back in their cells, they were forced to fight off a mob intent on lynching them. Later, shackled together, the Marlows were placed on wagons by officers late at night, bound for another town, but they were ambushed by angry citizens. In the resulting battle two of the brothers were shot and killed, the other two severely wounded, and three mob members died. The surviving brothers eventually were exonerated, but members of the mob that had attacked them were prosecuted in cases that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The original 1892 edition and expanded reprint of 1931 are both quite scarce. Later writers drew upon Rathmell’s account when telling the story of the Marlows, but all accounts were slanted sympathetically toward them, given the same bias by Rathmell. Now Robert K. DeArment, a noted historian of outlaws and lawmen of the West, has sifted through the evidence and presents herein an objective, annotated edition of Life of the Marlows , which contains extensive clarifying and corrective footnotes and an index. Now the complete story can be ...
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Date: September 15, 2004
Creator: Rathmell, William
Partner: UNT Press

Interpreters with Lewis and Clark: the Story of Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau

Description: When interpreter Toussaint Charbonneau, a French Canadian fur trader living among the Hidatsas, and his Shoshone Indian wife, Sacagawea, joined the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804, they headed into country largely unknown to them, as it was to Thomas Jefferson's hand-picked explorers. There is little doubt as to the importance of Sacagawea's presence on the journey. She has become a near-legendary figure for her role as interpreter, guide, and "token of peace." Toussaint, however, has been maligned in both fiction and nonfiction alike—Lewis himself called him “a man of no peculiar merit.” W. Dale Nelson offers a frank and honest portrayal of Toussaint, suggesting his character has perhaps been judged too harshly. He was indeed valuable as an interpreter and no doubt helpful with his knowledge of the Indian tribes the group encountered. For example, Toussaint proved his worth in negotiations with the Shoshones for much-needed horses, and with his experience as a fur trader, he always seemed to strike a better bargain than his companions. During the expedition Sacagawea gave birth to a son, Jean Baptiste. With her death in 1812, Clark assumed custody of her son and Toussaint returned to his life on the upper Missouri. Surviving his wife by almost three decades, Toussaint worked under Clark (then Superintendent of Indian Affairs in St. Louis) as an interpreter for government officials, explorers, artists, and visiting dignitaries. Jean Baptiste traveled the Rocky Mountains as a mountain man, was a scout during the Mexican American War, and served as mayor and judge for the San Luis Rey Mission.
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Date: August 15, 2003
Creator: Nelson, W. Dale
Partner: UNT Press

The Deadliest Outlaws: the Ketchum Gang and the Wild Bunch

Description: After Tom Ketchum had been sentenced to death for attempting to hold up a railway train, his attorneys argued that the penalty was “cruel and unusual” for the offense charged. The appeal failed and he became the first individual—and the last—ever to be executed for a crime of this sort. He was hanged in 1901; in a macabre ending to his life of crime, his head was torn away by the rope as he fell from the gallows. Tom Ketchum was born in 1863 on a farm near the fringe of the Texas frontier. At the age of nine, he found himself an orphan and was raised by his older brothers. In his mid-twenties he left home for the life of an itinerant trail driver and ranch hand. He returned to Texas, murdered a man, and fled. Soon afterwards, he and his brother Sam killed two men in New Mexico. A year later, he and two other former cowboys robbed a train in Texas. The career of the Ketchum Gang was under way. In their day, these men were the most daring of their kind, and the most feared. They were accused of crimes that were not theirs, but their proven record is long and lurid. Their downfall was brought about by what one editor called “the magic of the telephone and telegraph,” by quarrels between themselves, and by their reckless defiance of ever-mounting odds. Jeffrey Burton has been researching the story of the Ketchum Gang and related outlaws for more than forty years. He has mined unpublished sources, family records, personal reminiscences, trial transcripts and other court papers, official correspondence and reports, census returns, and contemporary newspapers to sort fact from fiction and provide the definitive truth about Ketchum and numerous other outlaws, including Will Carver, Ben Kilpatrick, and ...
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Date: August 15, 2009
Creator: Burton, Jeffrey
Partner: UNT Press

He Rode with Butch and Sundance: The Story of Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan

Description: Pinned down by a posse, the wounded outlaw’s companions urged him to escape through the gulch. “Don’t wait for me,” he replied, “I’m all in and might as well end it right here.” Placing his revolver to his right temple, he pulled the trigger for the last time, thus ending the life of the notorious “Kid Curry” of the Wild Bunch. It is long past time for the publication of a well-researched, definitive biography of the infamous western outlaw Harvey Alexander Logan, better known by his alias Kid Curry. In Wyoming he became involved in rustling and eventually graduated to bank and train robbing as a member—and soon leader—of the Wild Bunch. The core members of the gang came to be Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, George “Flatnose” Currie, Elzy Lay, Ben “the Tall Texan” Kilpatrick, Will Carver, and Kid Curry. Kid Curry has been portrayed as a cold-blooded killer, without any compassion or conscience and possessed of limited intelligence. Curry indeed was a dangerous man with a violent temperament, which was aggravated by alcoholic drink. However, Smokov shows that Curry’s record of kills is highly exaggerated, and that he was not the blood-thirsty killer as many have claimed. Mark Smokov has researched extensively in areas significant to Curry’s story and corrects the many false statements that have been written about him in the past. Curry was a cunning outlaw who planned and executed robberies on par with anything Butch Cassidy is reported to have pulled off. Smokov contends that Curry was the actual train robbing leader of the Wild Bunch—there is no concrete evidence that Cassidy ever robbed a train. He also presents new evidence that is virtually conclusive in resolving whether or not Curry was the “unknown bandit” who was killed after robbing a train near Parachute, Colorado, ...
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Date: August 15, 2012
Creator: Smokov, Mark T.
Partner: UNT Press

Ordered West: The Civil War Exploits of Charles A. Curtis

Description: Accounts of Charles Curtis, who served in the 5th United States Infantry on the New Mexico and Arizona frontier. This is edited version version of serial installments (originally published in newspapers from 1877-1880) with the addition of biographical information and some historical context, as well as some reorganization to read chronologically and some normalization of language and spelling. Index starts on page 561.
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Date: June 2017
Creator: Gaff, Alan D. & Gaff, Donald H.
Partner: UNT Press