Posts Tagged With: American West

The Legend of Black Bart

Born Charles Boles, Black Bart was known for being a skinny, short and bald, man. To enhance his qualities he took on a supernatural look. He wore a long white linen duster over his clothes, and a flour sack with cutout eye holes over his derby-topped head. Never owning a horse, he walked to his crimes, carrying a shotgun so old and rusty that it wouldn’t shoot. In fact, the weapon was never loaded. Black Bart always worked alone, although he would frequently create decoy gunmen for back-up, placing wooden sticks on boulders to stimulate their rifles. Bart’s strategy was deceptively simple psychology. He would wait at a dangerous bend in the road where the stage was forced to creep along slowly. At just the right moment, he emerged as an apparition in the deepening twilight.  As a gentleman bandit he plagued the stage lines of Wells Fargo and Company for over eight years during the 1870s and 80s. He relied on his quick feet for getaways, melting ghost-like into the brush. His deep, and hollow voice and polite confident manner added to this ghostly effect. Demonstrating a squeamish sense of humor, he frequently left a poem handwritten on foolscap paper in the emptied strongbox, which infuriated Wells Fargo officials. The two most often quoted of these Poems were;

First at the scene of the August 3, 1877, holdup on a stage traveling from Point Arena to Duncan’s Mills it Read:

I’ve labored long and heard for bread
For honor and for riches
But on my corns too long you’ve tread
You fine-haired sons of bitches.
—Black Bart, 1877  The  P O 8

The second verse was left at the site of his July 25, 1878, holdup of a stage traveling from Quincy to Oroville. It read:

Here I lay me down to sleep
To await the coming morrow
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat
And everlasting sorrow

Let come what will, I’ll try it on
My condition can’t be worse
And if there’s money in that box
‘Tis money in my purse.
—Black Bart The  P O 8

The Legend begins in late 1849, when Boles and two of his brothers, David and James, took part in the California Gold Rush. They began mining in the North Fork of the American River in California. Boles mined for only a year before returning home in 1852. He soon made a second trip to the California goldfields, accompanied by his brother David and another brother, Robert. Soon after their arrival tragedy struck and both David and Robert became ill and died in California. After mining for two more years Boles then moved to Illinois, changing the spelling of his surname to Bowles and marrying Mary Elizabeth Johnson. They had four children. By 1860, the couple had made their home in Decatur, Illinois.

The American Civil War began in April 1861. Bowles enlisted in Decatur as a private in Company B, 116th Illinois Regiment, on August 13, 1862. He proved to be a good soldier, rising to the rank of first sergeant within a year. He took part in numerous battles and campaigns, including the Battle of Vicksburg, where he was seriously wounded, and Sherman’s March to the Sea. On June 7, 1865, he was discharged in Washington, D.C., and returned home to Illinois. He had received brevet commissions as both second lieutenant and first lieutenant. After the long years of war, a quiet life of farming held little appeal to Bowles, and he yearned for adventure.
By 1867, he was prospecting again in Idaho and Montana. Little is known of him during this time, but in a letter to his wife in August 1871 he mentioned an unpleasant incident involving some Wells, Fargo & Company employees and vowed to extract revenge. He then stopped writing, and after a time his wife assumed he was dead, which is thought to have been the beginning of his criminal career. Over the next eight years Bowles was known for nearly 30 robberies in Oregon and Northern California, taking the names Black Bart, Charles Bolton, C.E. Bolton and Charley to his friends.

Bart was a Gentleman robber, on his first robbery in Calaveras County one of the passengers was so frightened she tossed out her purse. Bart returned the purse to the Woman and saying “Madam, I do not wish your money, in respect I honor only the good office of Wells Fargo.”

Bart’s list of crimes date from 1875 to 1883 to his capture:

1. July 26, 1875, Calaveras County: Robs stage en route to Milton, four miles from Copperopolis. Taken: $160 in gold notes and contents of a U.S. Mail pouch.

2. Dec. 28, 1875, Yuba County: North San Juan to Marysville stage. Taken: Unknown.

3. June 2, 1876, Siskiyou County: Nighttime robbery on the Roseburg, Oregon, to Yreka, California, route. Taken: $80 plus mail sack contents.

4. Aug. 3, 1877, Sonoma County: Between Fort Ross and Duncan Mills, on Russian River. Taken: $300 in gold coins and a $305 check. Poem: First poem.

5. July 25, 1878, Butte County: Quincy to Oroville stage. Taken: $379 in coins, $200 diamond ring, $25 watch and mail sack cash. Poem: Second poem.

6. July 30, 1878, Plumas County: LaPorte to Oroville stage. Taken: $50 in gold, a silver watch and mail sack cash.

7. Oct. 2, 1878, Mendocino County: Cahto to Ukiah stage. Taken: $40, a watch and money from mail sacks.

8. Oct. 3, 1878, Mendocino County: Covelo to Ukiah stage. Taken: Unknown.

9. June 21, 1879, Butte County: Stage from Forbestown to Oroville. Taken: Unknown.

10. Oct. 25, 1879, Shasta County: Nighttime robbery on the Roseburg, Oregon, to Yreka-Redding, California, stage. Taken: Undisclosed sum from Wells Fargo and $1,400 from mail pouches.

11. Oct. 27, 1879, Shasta County: Alturas to Redding stage. Taken: Unknown.

12. July 22, 1880, Sonoma County: Point Arena to Duncan Mills stage. Taken: Undisclosed sum. Whether robber was Black Bart remains a point of contention.

13. Sept. 1, 1880, Shasta County: Weaverville to Redding stage. Taken: A little more than $100.

14. Sept. 16, 1880, Jackson Cty. OR: Second nighttime robbery of Roseburg, Oregon, to Yreka, California, stage, occurring one mile north of state line. Taken: Approximately $1,000.

15. Sept. 23, 1880, Jackson Cty. OR: Roseburg, Oregon, to Yreka, California, stage, robbed three miles north of border. Taken: Nearly $1,000 and mail sack.

16. Nov. 20, 1880, Siskiyou County: Roseburg, Oregon, to Redding, California, stage, south of state line. Taken: Unknown.

17. Aug. 31, 1881, Siskiyou County: Final robbery of Roseburg, Oregon, to Yreka, California, stage. Taken: Unknown.

18. Oct. 8, 1881, Shasta County: Midnight robbery of Yreka to Redding stage, near Bass Hill. Taken: $60.

19. Oct. 11, 1881, Shasta County: Alturas to Redding stage stops at Montgomery Creek for harness repair and is robbed again. Taken: Unknown.

20. Dec. 15, 1881, Yuba Count: Downieville to Marysville stage. Taken: Wells Fargo reports “small loss.”

21. Dec. 27, 1881, Nevada County: North San Juan to Smartsville stage. Taken: Wells Fargo reports “small loss.”

22. Jan. 26, 1882, Mendocino Cty.: Ukiah to Cloverdale stage. Taken: Unknown.

23. June 14, 1882, Mendocino Cty: Willits to Ukiah stage. Taken: Estimated $300 and mail sack contents.

24. July 13, 1882, Plumas County: Shotgun blasts foil Black Bart at LaPorte to Oroville stage. (A buckshot pellet creases the robber’s forehead, leaving a deep scar.)

25. Sept. 17, 1882, Shasta County: Second robbery of Yreka to Redding stage at Bass Hill. Taken: Thirty-five cents.

26. Nov. 23, 1882, Sonoma County: Lakeport to Cloverdale stage. Taken: $475 and several mail sacks.

27. April 12, 1883, Sonoma County: Lakeport to Cloverdale stage robbed again. Taken: $32.50 and mail sack contents.

28. June 23, 1883, Amador County: Stage from Jackson to Ione. Taken: $750 and mail sack contents.

29. Nov. 3, 1883, Calaveras County: Sonora to Milton stage is stopped at site of first Black Bart holdup in 1875. Taken: Possibly $4,764.

The last holdup took place on November 3rd, 1883, at the site, fittingly enough, of his first holdup, on Funk Hill, just southeast of the present town of Copperopolis.  Black Bart, who had only a few run-ins with armed messengers, was ill prepared for his chance encounter with a hunter, 19-year-old Jimmy Rolleri. Armed with a Henry rifle for his deer hunt, Rolleri had been dropped off on the way up Funk Hill by Sonora-Milton stage driver Reason McConnell, who continued up the incline. Near the top, Black Bart, lying in wait, made his move. At gunpoint, he ordered McConnell to unhitch the horses and continue up the hill while Black Bart went to work on the Wells Fargo box bolted to the floor of the coach. While proceeding with the horses, McConnell spotted Rolleri and signaled to him. Once McConnell informed Rolleri of the situation, the hunter handed over his rifle. McConnell fired twice at Black Bart, missing him both times. Rolleri took the rifle and fired, winging Black Bart in the hand. The gentleman bandit fled, he left behind several personal items, including a pair of eyeglasses, food, and a handkerchief with a laundry mark F.X.O.7. Wells Fargo Detective James B. Hume trailed Black Bart since his stage coach robberies began (who allegedly looked enough like Bart to be a twin brother, mustache included)  found these several personal items at the scene. Using all the evidence, statements, and eyewitness accounts on Black Bart he and Wells Fargo detective Henry Nicholson Morse contacted every laundry in San Francisco, seeking the one that used the mark. After visiting nearly 90 laundry operators, they finally traced the mark to Ferguson & Bigg’s California Laundry on Bush Street. They were able to identify the handkerchief as belonging to none other than Black Bart, who lived in a modest boarding house.

It should be noted that there is a manuscript written some 20 years after the robbery by stage driver Reason McConnell in which McConnell says that he fired all four shots at Bowles. The first was a misfire, he thought the second or third shot hit Bowles, and he knew that the fourth one hit him. Bowles only had the wound to his hand, and if the other shots hit his clothing, Bart was unaware of it.

Bart described himself as a “mining engineer” and made frequent “business trips” that happened to coincide with the Wells Fargo robberies. After initially denying he was Black Bart, Bowles eventually admitted that he had robbed several Wells Fargo stages but confessed only to the crimes committed before 1879. It is widely believed that Bowles mistakenly believed that the statute of limitations had expired on these robberies. When booked, he gave his name as T.Z. Spalding. When the police examined his possessions they found a Bible, a gift from his wife, inscribed with his real name.

The police report following his arrest stated that Black Bart was “a person of great endurance. Exhibited genuine wit under most trying circumstances, and was extremely proper and polite in behavior. Eschews profanity.”

Wells Fargo pressed charges only on the final robbery. Under the name T.Z. Spalding, Black Bart was convicted and sentenced to six years in San Quentin Prison, but his stay was shortened to four years for good behavior. When he was released in January 1888, his health had clearly deteriorated owing to his time in prison. He had visibly aged, his eyesight was failing, and he had gone deaf in one ear. Reporters swarmed around him when he was released and asked if he was going to rob any more stagecoaches. “No, gentlemen,” he replied, smiling, “I’m through with crime.” Another reporter asked if he would write more poetry. Bowles laughed and said, “Now, didn’t you hear me say that I am through with crime?”

Black Bart’s end is in keeping with the way the romantics of his day would have wanted it. Charles Bowles never returned to his wife, Mary, in Hannibal, Missouri, after his release from prison. However, he did write to her after his release. In one of the letters he said he was tired of being shadowed by Wells Fargo, felt demoralized, and wanted to get away from everybody. In February 1888 Black Bart left the Nevada House and vanished. Hume said Wells Fargo tracked him to the Palace Hotel in Visalia. The hotel owner said a man answering the description of Bart checked in and then disappeared. The last time the outlaw was seen was February 28, 1888.

On November 14, 1888, another Wells Fargo stage was robbed by a masked highwayman. The lone bandit left a verse that read:

So here I’ve stood while wind and rain
Have set the trees a-sobbin,
And risked my life for that d***ed box,

That wasn’t worth the robbin.

Detective Hume was called to examine the note. After comparing it with the handwriting of genuine Black Bart poetry from the past, he declared the new holdup was the work of a copycat criminal. There were rumors that Wells Fargo had paid off the aging bandit and sent him away to keep him from robbing their stages. However, Wells Fargo denied this. Some believe that Bowles moved to New York City and lived quietly for the rest of his life, dying there in 1917, though this was never confirmed. Others believe the unlikely tale that the former poet bandit with failing eyesight had gone to the wilds of Montana or perhaps Nevada for another try at making a fortune.

Nevertheless, the vanishing of Black Bart is a mystery, a legend that looms over the west, like a gentle mist across the sky. Undoubtedly the way Black Bart would have wanted it.

Categories: Civil War, History, Legend Series, Western, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Western ePulp’s the modern pulp magazine, What……..?

Posted by: Ritchie White @shotgunborivers

Pulp magazines were originally published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. Magazines printed on higher quality paper were called “glossies” or “slicks”. In their first decades, pulps were most often priced at ten cents per magazine, while competing slicks were 25 cents apiece. Pulps were the successor to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are best remembered for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art.

Western Story Magazine was a pulp magazine published by Street & Smith, which ran from 1919 to 1949.It was the first of numerous pulp magazines devoted to Western fiction. In its heyday Western Story Magazine was one of the most successful pulp magazines; in 1921 the magazine was selling over half a million copies each issue.

Western Story Magazine began when Street & Smith executive Henry Ralston decided to convert one of the company’s nickel weeklies, New Buffalo Bill Weekly, into a pulp.  Ralston installed Frank Blackwell as editor of the new magazine. The magazine attracted a number of famous Western authors, including Charles Alden Seltzer, H. Bedford-Jones, Stewart Edward White, W. Ryerson Johnson and William MacLeod Raine. The November 25th, 1920 issue was the first issue to carry the work of Max Brand (writing under the pseudonym George Owen Baxter). Brand’s work would dominate the magazine in the next decade; he would write dozens of stories for Western Story Magazine both under his own name and several pseudonyms. Western Story Magazine was also prominent in publishing material by women writers, including B. M. Bower and Cherry Wilson.

In the 1930s, the publication’s roster of authors expanded to include Walt Coburn, William Colt MacDonald and W. C. Tuttle, while noted pulp illustrator Walter M. Baumhofer contributed several covers.

In the late 1930s, Blackwell was succeeded as editor by John Burr, who edited the magazine until it ceased publication in 1949.  to read more about the original western pulps visit The western Story on pulpmags.org.

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A new chapter in the western pulps has arrived in ePulps, Well what in tarnation is an ePulp?

Well,I’ll tell ya, as explained on Rope and Wire  an ePulp is a western magazine in the style of the old western pulps like, Ace-High, Cowboy Stories or Zane Grey Western Magazine, however in electronic format. Since 2011 Rope and Wire has published four wonderful ePulps. They have the same great covers as the old pulps once did, and new stories come alive once again in each one to tell the traditional style stories of the old west, the danger, suspense, intrigue and deception as they do in Christopher Scott’s Rope and Wire’s Western Short Stories

What does the future hold for ePulp’s, will they continue to make a comeback? I know I plan on reading them, and after doing some research, I may attempt to even write one.

What are thoughts and comments on the ePulp?  Will you read them?

Categories: Western, Western Authors, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dime Novels-The history of the Western

As a western writer, I have been looking back at our history, even before Zane Grey, and Louis L’Amour. What was the first western? and where did we begin?

Personally I would have to say we got our start as many genres did from the Dime Novel era, from 1860 to 1895 the dime novel served as Americas first paperback, and From gun-slinging heroes to mysteries, the dime novel is notably the beginning of genre fiction. This ideology of the dime novel was particularly apparent in Westerns, in which the heroes always won and the villains were always brutally punished.

Some scholars ahttps://i0.wp.com/www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/images/189.1.jpgrgue that dime novel westerns appealed most to young, and working-class men – The mythic West of the cowboy as a place where class boundaries were marked in the industrializing East and the Midwest did not prevail.

Dime novelists helped to popularize the cowboy myth, but as Richard Slotkin notes, he had earlier precedents in American literature – tales about Davy Crockett and Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales.

The cowboy figure arose out of long literary tradition of frontiersmen that informed his character. Richard Slotkin, in Regeneration through Violence, demonstrates the beginnings of the American myth by carefully tracing the early figure, focusing on the influences of John Filson’s creation of Daniel Boone in 1784 and, building on Filson, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Leatherstocking Tales (1823) (importance also noted in Milton 7-9, 84-87).

Interpretation of the dime novel western actually embodies a world in which the values and practices of the pre-industrial order are given renewed life: a place in which machines still stand in gardens and where everyone is a worker.

As Americans began to mourn the “closing of the frontier,” they simultaneously began to celebrate the cowboy, who quickly became the hero of the mythic West.

It may have been the emergence of modern America, with its urbanization and industrialization, that sparked an additional interest among its people for a past that was more direct, more simple, more easily understood

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The nation had, some held, grown too fast, had lost something in that process; and now there was a yearning to return to that fast-disappearing life, as we know the Cowboy was not always regarded as an American hero. In fact, as late as the 1880s, the were regarded as violent and uncontrollable.

However the Dime Novel was a way to revisit the frontier, and by reading you could simply slip yourself bac

k into a simpler way of life. Today as western authors we spend our time praising the outlaws, and making them hero’s, as well as creating new one’s. We write what the west was about, and bring forth the tales of Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Jesse James, and others, but without the Dime Novel, I think we wouldn’t have the western’s we write today, without the creation of the Dime Novel.

 

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Secession in the States, Lincoln Vs. Obama

Alongside the Old West, I love History, especially American History from the 1700’s to early 1900’s. Four, major war’s were fought on American soil, The Revolutionary War; The War of 1812; The Civil War and the American Indian Wars.

There are many reasons why we fought the Civil War, however two major causes come to mind, the Secession, and the election of Abraham Lincoln. I am Looking back at this information for my newest installment to the Laramie Taylor Series, as it is about the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, a battle fought in Missouri. While looking back, I can’t help but notice the similarities in present day. Today the country is separated again, economically challenged and after the reelection of Barack Obama there are 44 states that have filed secession petitions with the “We the People” program on the White House website. Containing 841,903 signatures, and asking to secede from the Union.

A threshold of 25,000 signatures must be met within 30 days for petitions to be reviewed. The Obama administration explains, “If a petition meets the signature threshold, it will be reviewed by the Administration and we will issue a response.”

With Texas in the lead having 114,969,  a half dozen other states have also made the 25,000 mark, and others are gaining.That is a whole new meaning to history repeats itself, and I am a firm believer of that. My question is will it come to pass a separate state? Will the South rise again? Will the Confederate states of America be reborn? Will Obama Administration begin listening to the nations people? Will they even comply and look at the petitions as they have stated? We all know how the government states they will do something and completely do another. Or will they invade our own country and cause the 2nd American Civil War? and most importantly should those of us that have signed the petition worry? Questions fill my mind second after second when I think about it. As a military man I have duty to god and country, however, my duty begins first with my home, and my family, they will be protected long before I stand for the Union. Does that make me a traitor? in my firm belief our government is to mixed up, and certainly not the one I fought for, and it is my declaration to fight for just cause, fight for my freedom, and for my constitution, which those in power are stripping away, with that it is my hypothesis that I am not of any kind a traitor, I am a man that believes in freedom, and will fight for it until the end.

What I want to know is will you all do the same? Will you fight for freedom, or follow a socialistic, power hungry government because you feel there is nothing left you can do? Will you stand for just cause, and for your families? Will you fight a Civil War, if it comes to pass?

As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”

Here’s a list of states where residents have filed secession petitions in recent days: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, ConnecticutDelaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Categories: Civil War, Current Events, Laramie Taylor Series, Western, Western Authors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Heroes and Antiheroes in Westerns (Guest Post By Mathew Pizzolato)

We all have our heroes, some mystical, others superheroes, but me it was the outlaws and lawmen of the Old West. As an adult I still have those heroes, and in having them it fuels me to write at my best. Today as Matthew Pizzolato launches his book release  for Outlaw, he stops by to tell us who his heroes are, and compares heroes to anti-heroes in westerns. Welcome Matthew, thanks for dropping by.

“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.”
Ernest Hemingway

Western Author Matthew Pizzolato

I think that every child needs to have direction in life, something to emulate and admire and to strive to be.  Quite frankly, everyone needs heroes.  As a young man, I found my heroes by reading Westerns.

Mostly, I read Louis L’Amour but I partook of many others, from Max Brand and Zane Gray to Loren Estleman and Elmore Leonard and everything in between.  If it was a Western, I read it or watched it on the screen.  My heroes were Louis L’Amour, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and the characters they portrayed.

The earlier Westerns told stories of right and wrong and the heroes of the genre lived by a black and white code of good and evil.  There was no middle ground, and there is nothing wrong with that kind of story.  In fact, I prefer them because it’s what I grew up reading.

However, beginning mostly with the films of Clint Eastwood, a new type of character was introduced into the Western, the antihero.

While there are still similarities to the Western hero of old, there are some vast differences.  Antiheroes are flawed characters.  They are not perfect and don’t pretend to be, but they still possess heroic qualities.

Like the hero, the antihero possesses honor and loyalty, but may on occasion step outside moral boundaries that a hero cannot.  Sometimes their integrity may be called into question, but there is always a line that the antihero will not cross.

It is that aspect that opens areas of new storytelling for writers because instead of the moral unequivocalness of telling stories in black and white, the gray areas of morality can be explored.  I think that if writers want to create fresh and exciting material for readers, it’s going to be in that gray area and not rehashing the same stories that have already been told.

That is what I have tried to do with Wesley Quaid, the antihero protagonist of Outlaw.  He is a bank robber who has killed plenty of men and done some things he’s not proud of, but he is still a man of honor and loyalty.

Heroes provide examples of the kind of people we should strive to be even though we might not be able to.  As humans, we are inherently flawed and so perhaps we can identify more with the antihero.

Perhaps in the future, we should mix a fair amount of antiheroes into our Westerns.  We still need heroes to emulate because as humans we have to be able to strive toward something, but part of the joy of reading is the escapism it provides, so we need characters that we can identify with also.

Outlaw Book Link on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GDDGU8

BIO:

Matthew Pizzolato is a member of Western Fictioneers. His fiction has been published in various online and print magazines. He writes a weekly NASCAR column for Insider Racing News and can be contacted via his personal website:

http://www.matthew-pizzolato.com.

Contact Links:

http://www.facebook.com/authormatthewpizzolato

https://twitter.com/mattpizzolato

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5837035.Matthew_Pizzolato

OUTLAW Book Description:

The outlaw Wesley Quaid wants to put the past behind him and start his life anew in another place where no one has ever heard of him.  When a mysterious woman he once knew resurfaces, Wesley discovers that a man can’t run from his past anymore than he can run from the kind of man he has become.

To view or purchase Outlaw today visit Amazon.com.

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Sharing the Code of the West

I am sharing the Code of the west that I live by o Matt Pizzolato’s Blog today. Stop by and see why I live by the Code of the West.

Although no written rules ever existed, the pioneers and settlers who went west found one common ground, how they lived their lives from day to day. With little or no laws in the west for a man to follow, they were forced to make their own set of guidelines, a code of the west, as it was first called in Zane Grey’s 1934 novel The Code of the West……..Read More at The Western Wordslinger.

 

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, Rodeo, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Trails Until We Meet Again

This concludes our week long blogathon in honor of the National Day of the Cowboy, and I want to say that it went rather well.

I personally want to thank Steven Law, Ken Farmer, Larry Payne, J.R. Sanders, J.J. Devine, D.B. Jackson, Tyler Brentmore, Mathew Pizzolato, and Phil Dunlap for participating in this weeks Blogathon. We topped over 600 visits this week to honor the National Day of the Cowboy.

I would also like to thank Bethany Braley the founder of National Day of the Cowboy organization,for adding us to the calendar of events, and supporting our purpose as Western Authors, and look forward to helping her get New York, as one of the states to make it official as a day we can celebrate to honor the National Day of the Cowboy.

I also want to thank everyone who stopped by here, and on facebook to read each blog, it was wonderful to have you here on my site, and hope that you will continue to visit from time to time.

The free Ebook giveaway is still up for grabs, so feel free to get your comments in, due to the fact the comments were not at large as I had hoped. I plan on snagging some of the likes and comments from facebook as well. All contest winners will be announced on Sunday, 10 winners will be chosen on Saturday, and 10 on Sunday. Mathew Pizzolato is also running an Ebook giveaway, where he will announce his winners as well. So stay tuned to see if you are a winner. If you have been chosen I will need an email, and an Ebook format, so that I can send the books out Monday Morning, as I ride on over to Kathy Pooler’s Blog krpooler.com to share the heart of a cowboy, which begins a week long book tour.

For blog tour information log onto https://shotgunborivers.com/book-tour/. All the blogs, and websites that I will be featured on will be posted there throughout the weekend, as well as throughout the week. I will be sharing about my second self-published book Rodeo Dayz, a book of short stories, in which nine rodeo contestants share their experience in the rodeo, and a short history in NY that dates back to the early 1950’s, co-written by Donnie Baxter, Leo Martin, and Wayne Martin. I will also be promoting my brand new Ebook Series The Adventures of Laramie Taylor, Laramie’s Code, and Laramie’s War. These Ebooks are about Laramie Taylor’s life before Laramie’s Thunder, The Collins Crew.

I want to also announce our first sponsor in the National Day of the Cowboy blogathon, and book tour Leo and Jen Martin at the Double M Tack shop, and Double M Haunted Hayrides, the home of Scary Harry, an ghostly cowboy that haunts Terror Town with his bandits protecting the gold they stole, before the town demised some time ago. Thank You Jen and Leo for letting me advertise the National Day of the Cowboy blogathon, and the Read ’em Cowboy Barnes and Noble bookfair certificates.

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The National Day of the Cowboy: An American Heritage

Today being our last guest post for the National Day of the Cowboy, I had  to save this Cowboy, for the end. J.R. Sanders is not only a western author, but he is one of many that are tied in deep in efforts to get Congress to recognize the National Day of the Cowboy throughout the United States. J.R. also hosts a Read em’ Cowboy event, which is geared towards the children. Children’s authors will do readings and other activities with kids, and a cowboy/cowgirl costume contest for the youngsters.  Along with the authors, there is live cowboy music, rodeo queens, an art display, living historians, roping demonstration, raffles, cowboy vittles in the B&N cafe, and more. Below a youngster participates in this wonderful event.

Read ’em Cowboy Participant

Thank you J.R. for all of the hard work that you put into the National Day of the Cowboy, and the American Heritage of the American Cowboy. Welcome.

There’s no other cultural or historical symbol as uniquely American as the cowboy.  In fact, if the U.S.A. could have only one symbol with which to define itself, there’s probably nothing that would represent us better.  All the things the cowboy stands for – freedom, independence, honor, hard work, pride, loyalty, patriotism – are all things that our country also stands for – or ought to, anyway.  So it makes perfect sense that there should be a day officially set aside to encourage every American to recognize and pay tribute to a vital part of our national heritage and identity.  To me, the question’s not really “Why should there be a National Day of the Cowboy?”; it’s “Why hasn’t there been one all along?”  (I mean, there’s a National Pie Day, for crying out loud – not that I have anything against pie).

Bethany Braley and the National Day of the Cowboy organization have been working tirelessly for several years now to get the day recognized permanently by the Federal government, as well as by individual states, and 2012 has been a landmark year in their efforts.  Earlier this year Wyoming became the first state to pass the NDOC resolution in perpetuity.  They were followed just last month by – wait for it – California.  Eight other states have either passed one-year resolutions or issued proclamations (Texas passed a two-year resolution) naming the fourth Saturday in July the National Day of the Cowboy.  Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.  NDOC continues its lobbying, with the eventual goal of getting the U.S. Congress to pass a permanent resolution.  It’s an uphill battle, but NDOC and its hardy crew of volunteers are a committed bunch.

And ultimately, what NDOC is doing is what we are all doing in various ways – trying to preserve a cherished history and tradition, and a

fans of these various pursuits, we’re all in this battle together.  We all support one another’s efforts.  If nobody ever read Western books, nobody would write them.  If nobody went to Western music events, nobody would play Western music.  If nobody watched Western movies and TV shows, nobody would produce them.  Yet people do read Westerns, and so people write them.  People do go to cowboy concerts, and buy CDs, and there are some fine Western performers carrying on their rich musical tradition.  No matter how many times Hollywood suits, or book publishers, have proclaimed the death of the Western, the Western refuses to ride into the sunset.  There’s a pretty simple and clear message in that.  There’s something in the American makeup that strongly identifies, even in this ultra-modern high-tech age, with our Western heritage, and those core values that it represents.  That’s what keeps the writers writing and the readers reading.  It’s why we do what we do, and why we love it so.

J.R. Sanders

Bio:

J. R. Sanders is a native of Newton, Kansas, one of the original “wild and wooly” cowtowns.   His deep interest in Old West history dates back to childhood visits with his family to the Dalton Gang hideout, Abilene, and Dodge City.  J.R. has written feature articles for a variety of publications, among them Law & Order and Wild West.  His children’s book, The Littlest Wrangler, was released by Moonlight Mesa Associates in June, 2010, and has been adopted for use in the educational programs at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  His next book, Some Gave All: Forgotten Old West Lawmen Who Died with Their Boots On, is due to be published by Moonlight Mesa Associates in 2013.

J.R. is a member of the Western Writers of America, Western Fictioneers and the Wild West History Association.  He lives in Southern California with his wife, Rose, and dog, Monte.

To read J.R.’s Book The Littlest Wrangler visit his  Website at: www.jrsanders.com

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Code of the West: A Cowboy’s Law

Larry Payne

We are nearing the end of the National Day of the Cowboy blogathon,  and I thought I it was fitting to include the Code of the West.  Joining us today sharing that Code is, Larry Payne, A new found western author of the Ride The Savage Lands. Welcome Larry and thank you for stopping by for this weeks blogathon.

The Code Of The West

John Wayne once said, “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”

Back in the day, when men were working on settling the west, a lack of written law made it necessary to make some of their own, rules of behavior, if you will. This “Code Of The West” was a gentleman’s agreement, of sorts, as rules to live by. They were never written, but always respected. They might break every written law of the territory or government, but took pride in upholding their code.

The Code

* Don’t inquire into a person’s past. Take the measure of a man for what he is today.
• Never steal another man’s horse. A horse thief pays with his life.
• Defend yourself whenever necessary.
• Look out for your own.
• Remove your guns before sitting at the dining table.
• Never order anything weaker than whiskey.
• Don’t make a threat without expecting the consequences.
• Never pass anyone on the trail without saying “Howdy”.
• When approaching someone from behind, give a loud greeting before you get into shooting range.
• Don’t wave at a man on a horse, as it might spook the horse. A nod is the proper greeting.
• After you pass someone on the trail, don’t look back at him. It implies you don’t trust him.
• Riding another man’s horse without permission is nearly as bas as making love to his wife. Never even bother another man’s horse.
• Always fill your whiskey glass to the brim.
• A cowboy doesn’t talk much, he saves his breath for breathing.
• No matter how weary and hungry you are after a long day in the saddle, always tend to your horse’s needs before your own and get your horse some feed before you eat.
• Cuss all you want, but only around men, horses and cows.
• Complain about the cooking and you become the cook.
• Always drink your whiskey with your gun hand to show your friendly intentions.
• Do not practice ingratitude.
• A cowboy is pleasant even when out of sorts. Complaining is what quitters do. Cowboys hate quitters.
• Always be courageous. Cowards aren’t tolerated in any outfit worth its salt.
• A cowboy always helps someone in need, even a stranger or an enemy.
• Never try on another man’s hat.
• Be hospitable to strangers. Anyone who wanders in, including an enemy, is welcome at the dinner table. Same was true for anyone who joined the cowboys on the range.
• Give your enemy a fighting chance.
• Never wake another man by shaking or touching him. He might wake suddenly and shoot you.
• Real cowboys are modest. A braggert is not tolerated.
• Be there fro a friend when he needs you.
• Drinking on duty is grounds for instant dismissal and blacklisting.
• A cowboy is loyal to his brand, to his friends and those he rides with.
• Never shoot an unarmed or unwarned enemy. This was also known as “the rattlesnake code”. Always warn before you strike. But, it could be ignored if you were being stalked.
• Never shoot a woman no matter what.
• Consideration for others is central to the code.
• Respect the land and the environment by not smoking in hazardous fire areas, disfiguring rocks, trees, or other natural areas.
• Honesty is absolute. Your word is your bond. A handshake is more binding than a contract.
• Live by the Golden Rule.

The National Day Of The Cowboy is long overdue.  Men that helped a scarred nation recover from a war that pitted brother against brother and father against son. From moving thousands of cattle along the trails from The Chisholm to the Oregon, to exploring unknown ranges for the railroads, they opened up a new land from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. And through my stories I salute the men, and sometimes women, who braved a harsh and brutal environment in their quest for a better life for themselves and those who would follow.

   The National Day Of The Cowboy, a fitting way to say…”Thanks fer getting’ ‘er done, boys.”

Ride the Savage Land

Bio: Larry Payne grew up in East Chicago, IN and now resides in Apache Junction, AZ with his wife, Susan, and their two cats, Molly and Emily.
He is a US Navy veteran where he served as a Hospital Corpsman and is employed at Banner Heart Hospital, in Mesa, AZ, as a Cardiac Monitor Technician.
His novella, Ride The Savage Land, will be published as an e-book by Wild Child Publishing. The release date is yet to be determined.

You can find out more about Larry’s short stories on his Amazon author page: Author Central

Larry’s website: http://larrypayne.jimdo.com
Larry’s Blog: http://larrypayneauthor.blogspot.com
Tweet him: @LarryPayne
Visit Him On Facebook: Facebook

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Symbol of America: The Cowboy

While in my travels of searching for western authors to assist me in celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy, I stumbled onto a gentleman that surely knows his way around a western, not only in writing them, but starring in them as well. I would like to give a good warm welcome to Ken Farmer, or “Deputy Kyle” as in the 1983 film Silverado. Welcome Ken.

Ken Farmer

The Cowboy is just as important to our nation’s heritage as the pilgrims, the revolution and the civil war.  In fact, in many parts of the world, the Old West Cowboy IS the symbol of America. Having been born in the early ‘40s, I grew up with westerns. First the Saturday double feature matinee where we waited for the Durango Kid, Red Ryder, Hoppy serials or The Three Mesquiteers, Tim Holt, Johnny Mack Brown, Gene and Roy movies. Then later on in the ‘50s, there was that little box we called the TV. Yep, grew up with the Cowboy. Didn’t realize at the time, that those movies and TV shows were actually Hollywood’s glamorized version of the Old West.

It wasn’t until I started doing research for writing screenplays that I learned about the “real” Old West—that there weren’t tied-down gun rigs or shoot-outs in the street at high noon. Oh, sure there were gunfighters, bounty hunters mostly who would just as soon shoot you in the back as not or guns for hire. Most gunfights took place at a distance. The dime novels had a great deal to do with the Old West myths, like Wyatt Earp, who, according to actual records and newspaper accounts (excluding his own versions), never killed anyone. Did a lot of pistol-whipping, though. Carried his gun in a leather-lined pocket in his coat, not in a holster. Again, so much for Hollowood.

Deputy US Marshall James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok got a lot of dime novel play that spiced up his reputation, but there was a Deputy US Marshall in the late 1800s that far out-shown Hickok as a lawman. He killed twice as many men in the line of duty as “Wild Bill”, served over 3,000 felony warrants, was never wounded even though he had his hat shot off, his reins shot in two, his gun belt shot off and a button shot off the front of his vest. He served over 32 years as a Deputy US Marshal and is still considered to this day to be the best Deputy US Marshal in the long and storied history of the Marshal’s Service. The reason he didn’t have the notoriety at the time was…he was black. He was a former slave and the first black Deputy US Marshal appointed west of the Mississippi. His name was Bass Reeves.

My writing partner, Buck Stienke and I decided that Bass would be the focus of our first deviation from our modern-day military action series novels about the Black Eagle Force we had been writing. After three Black Eagle Force novels, we decided to do an accurate historical fiction western adapted from a screen play I had written back in the ‘80s called the Tumbleweed Wagon. We elected to title the novel, The Nations.

The synopsis is as follows:

THE NATIONS also known as “Indian Territory”, “Robber’s Roost” and “No-Man’s Land”, was regarded in the latter part

The Nations

of the 19th century as the bloodiest and most dangerous place in the world.  It was a refuge for outlaws men from all over the North American continent. There were only 200 Deputy US Marshals made up of whites, blacks and Indian to police the vast area of 74,000 square miles under Federal Judge Issac C. Parker, known as the hanging judge. The Nations is based on actual cases and is crammed full of excitement, suspense and the everyday humor that develops between men as they live and fight and sometimes die together. From the action and dialogue, the guns, wardrobe and historical authenticity, The Nations paints a story of the Old West  as it really was.

It is the year 1885. A notorious band of outlaws, known as the “Larson Gang”, has been terrorizing Arkansas, Missouri and the Nations for years. When they kill five Deputy Marshals while rescuing Ben Larson, the vicious younger brother of the leader Wes Larson—it is too much for Judge Parker. He orders an all-out concerted effort to capture the Larson Gang and bring them to justice. “If  they will not respect the law; then by God we will make them fear it.”

Black Marshal Bass Reeves, the first black marshal west of the Mississippi, and white Marshals Jack McGann, Tobe Bassett and John L. Patrick recapture the youngest member of the gang, Ben Larson, a true sociopath. Along with two Indian Police, known as Lighthorse, the lawmen begin the treacherous journey to Fort Smith with their prisoners—Preacher Budlow, a gospel quoting, whiskey running and somewhat demented old scalawag, Jed Neal, a tough, but honorable black man mistakenly accused of killing a cowboy on the trail, and Ben—shackled to the bed of the Tumbleweed Wagon.

In the small town of Checotah, the Marshals encounter the Larson gang unexpectedly. A wild gun battle ensues and when the smoke clears, all of the outlaws are dead, except Ben, who does indeed get to Fort Smith to stand trial under Judge Parker.

“It is not the severity of the punishment that is the deterrent… but the certainty of it.” – Judge Issac C. Parker.

The Nations will be released 20 July, look for it. You can order signed copies from Ken & Buck for $14.95 at

http://blackeagleforce.com/buy_now/Do we believe there should be a National Day of the Cowboy? Absolutely! Nothing is more “American” than the Cowboy. ‘Nuff said.

Short Bios of Ken Farmer and Buck Stienke.

Ken Farmer, served in the Marine Corps and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University. Ken has been a professional actor/director/writer for over forty years with memorable roles in Silverado, Friday Night Lights and The Newton Boys, wrote and directed Rockabilly Baby. He was also the OC an VO spokesman for Wolf Brand Chili for over eight years and participated in the Ben Johnson Pro-Celebrity Rodeos until Ben’s death in ‘96.

            Buck Stienke is a former fighter pilot and retired captain from Delta Airlines. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he was also executive producer for the award-winning film Rockabilly Baby and co-author of five novels with Ken Farmer.

http://www.facebook.com/TheNationsNovel

http://www.blackeagleforce.com

Categories: Cowboy Code, Current Events, NDOC, Western, Writing, Writing Technique | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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