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Popular portrayals have long depicted the American frontier of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a "Wild West" marked by violence. This compelling volume by Marilynn Johnson explores the question of how violent the West truly was and what conditions made violence likely to occur. By examining the case studies of the Johnson County range war in Wyoming and the Ludlow Massacre during the southern Colorado coal strike, Johnson demonstrates that western violence in this period was a product of the transformation of the West from a rugged frontier to a capitalist market. The introduction provides an overview of the range and mining wars that plagued the region and the specific cases the book examines. The primary sources collected by Johnson including newspaper reports, industrialists' accounts, union documents, and personal memoirs offer a vivid portrait of tensions surrounding land use, industrial development, labor, and race and ethnicity that fueled violence and ultimately contributed to western development. An epilogue looks at how these events have been remembered and how popular culture has helped keep the mystique of the Wild West alive. Document headnotes, two chronologies, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, and an index enrich student exploration of this often-misunderstood part of American history.
Marilynn S. Johnson (Ph.D., New York University) is a professor of history and chair of the history department at Boston College. Dr. Johnson’s research interests center on urban, immigration, and western history. Her most recent book, Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City (Beacon Press, 2003) explored the history of police brutality from the mid-nineteenth to late 20th century. Her previous book, The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II, (University of California Press, 1993) won the Sierra Prize from the Western Association of Women’s Historians. Currently, she is working on a history of new immigrants in Boston from 1965 to the present.
Table of Contents
Foreword Preface PART ONE: INTRODUCTION: The American West: A Violent Land? The Range Wars The Johnson County War The Mining Wars The Colorado Coal Strike The Taming of the West PART II: THE DOCUMENTS The Johnson County War
- Walter Baron Von Richthofen, Cattle Raising on the Plains of North America, 1885
- Emerson Hough, The Rustler, 1897
- Frank M. Canton, Frontier Trails, 1930
- Oscar "Jack" Flagg, The Waterloo of the Barons, 1892
- Cheyenne Sun, Two Notorious Characters Hanged for Cattle Stealing, 1889
- John H. Fales, Neither of them ever stole a cow, 1955
- John Clay, My Life on the Range, 1924
- Asa Shinn Mercer, The Banditti of the Plains, 1894
- Sam Clover, Riding with the Regulators, 1892
- Oscar "Jack" Flagg, The Siege at the TA Ranch, 1892
- Editorial, Cheyenne Daily Leader, 1892
- Editorial, Cheyenne Daily Sun, 1892
- F.A. Meredith, The Wyoming Cattle War, 1892
- Officers of the Ninth Cavalry, The Suggs Affair, 1892
- Asa Shinn Mercer, The Trial of the Invaders, 1894
- Anonymous, The Invasion Song, 1890s
The Colorado Coal Strike
- United Mine Workers of America, District 15, Strike Resolutions, 1913
- George West, U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations, Report on the Colorado Strike, 1915
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr., The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company and the Colorado Strike, 1913
- United Mine Workers of America, TheGovernor and the Coal Operators, 1914
- Colorado State Federation of Labor, Militarism in Colorado, 1914
- Mother Jones, In Rockefeller’s Prisons, 1925
- Rocky Mountain News and United Mine Workers Journal, The January 22nd Riot, 1914
- Colorado Adjutant General, Report on Battle of Ludlow, 1914
- Mary O’Neal, Those Damn Foreigners, 1971
- Pearl Jolly, Under Fire in the Ludlow Tent Colony, 1914
- William Snyder, Affidavit Given to the Commission on Industrial Relations, 1914
- Godfrey Irwin, The Killing of Louis Tikas, 1914
- John Sloan, The Aftermath of Ludlow, 1914
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Labor and Capital—Partners, 1916