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Culture & Literature
Wild West

Wild West April 2020

Wild West Magazine presents the great American frontier from its beginnings to today. America’s western frontier has been a vital part of the country’s myths and reality, from the earliest exploration beyond the territory of the first colonies, to the wide expanses of the western prairies and deserts. Experience the old west and cowboys and Indians from top historical writers. Wild West brings to life the fascinating history, lore and culture of the great American frontier.

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United States
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
the lawman & real lawmen

More often than not when I do my enjoyable duty and read about Old West marshals, sheriffs and the like, it triggers a tune from my distant Western TV–watching past that sticks in my head even more than an infectious children’s song from my recent baseball TV–watching past. “Baby Shark” was the rallying cry of the Washington Nationals during the 2019 baseball season. Yes, that catchy number nearly did a number on a curmudgeon like me, but all was forgiven when the Nats defied all odds and went on to win their first World Series. Thankfully, when fall turned to winter, “Baby Shark” stopped ringing in my ears, but the theme from Lawman (1958–1962) is a song for all seasons that keeps echoing in this ancient editor’s brain nearly 60…

1 min.
visit our website for online extras

WildWestMag.com Gunfights of the Arizona Rangers Bill O’Neal reveals the Ranger organization the Arizona Territorial Legislature created in 1901, more than a decade after the 1890 U.S. census had pronounced the frontier closed. For seven years the Arizona Rangers rode across the territory pursuing cattle rustlers and horse thieves and shooting it out with desperadoes in saloons, dusty streets and desolate badlands. Rick Hill’s Bronzes In the late 1990s the Pennsylvania-born California transplant took a structural design class and rendered his first sculpture. “I stumbled on my inner self and walked out of the class a changed individual,” he recalled. He now sculpts Indians, cowboys, elk, beaver, bear, horses, cattle, etc. Extended Interview With Brenden Rensink “This is a perfect example of America deflecting guilt for their own mistreatment of native peoples by highlighting Mexico’s mistreatment…

4 min.
davy crockett

I really enjoyed Paul Hutton’s Crockett article [“‘We Now Shot Them Like Dogs’”] in the December 2019 Wild West. As usual, I was not only entertained but also educated. For instance, Crockett actually got closer to being at the Battle of New Orleans than I had thought. Also, nice to see credit to John Coffee. Unfortunately, he is often dismissed as merely being the prototype for Disney’s bumbling Major Norton. Also, the brief mention of General James Wilkinson grabbed my attention. It continues to amaze me how his name keeps appearing in early American history and how this shadowy character got away with so much for so along. Finally, I love the fact of Crockett’s honesty and character being well described. As for the treatment of the Creeks, Crockett made…

11 min.
10 wannabe billy the kids operating in the old west

1 John William “Billy the Kid” Chadburn: Eager to make his reputation as a fearsome desperado, he christened himself with this nickname (see related feature stories beginning on P. 50 and P. 56). 2 William Floyd “Billy the Kid” Claiborne: One of two outlaw “Cowboys” who fled the Oct. 26, 1881, gunfight near the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, Claiborne co-opted the “Kid” moniker soon after its originator was killed in New Mexico Territory on July 14, 1881. 3 “Billy the Kid” LeRoy: LeRoy (real name Arthur Pond) was a Colorado stagecoach bandit whom dime novelists conflated with William Bonney/Henry McCarty. The Colorado “Kid” also met an outlaw’s fate—strung up by a lynch mob in Del Norte six weeks before the New Mexico Territory “Kid” was shot by Sheriff Pat Garrett. 4…

3 min.
events of the west

101 Ranch ▲ The 101 Ranch Collectors Association celebrates the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch and its long-running 101 Ranch Wild West show at the Kay County Fairgrounds Event Center in Blackwell, Okla., March 27–28. Artifacts on display include the chaps of the legendary Bill Pickett, the riding skirt of Lucille Mulhall (above), mementos from Tom Mix’s career, firearms and original cowboy gear. The roots of the globe-trotting 101 Ranch Wild West date from 1905 when Joe, Zack and George Miller staged a local show they called “Oklahoma Gala Day.” Email goldspur101@gmail.com for more information. Levi Strauss ▼ The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco presents “Levi Strauss: A History of American Style” Feb. 13–Aug. 9. The exhibition will feature more than 150 items, including vintage apparel, advertising materials and ephemera related to the…

3 min.
people of the borderlands

North American tribal people have dealt with the complex issue of cross-border migration since the mid-19th century, negotiating boundaries set by treaties between the United States and Mexico to the south and Canada to the north. The Yaquis of northern Sonora crossed into what became Arizona in search of freedom from persecution as well as economic opportunity. When Mexican policy and practice enslaved and deported the Yaquis from their home regions, many crossed into the United States as refugees. On the northern border Crees crossed from Canada into U.S. territories, particularly Montana. They established camps but retained their nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle, repeatedly crossing the border, which they referred to as the Medicine Line. After the 1885 North-West Rebellion, their desire to be in the United States took on new meaning,…