From Guns to Gavels: How Justice Grew Up in the Outlaw West

Overview

When a thirteen-year-old boy strikes out on his own in 1885, leaving his Civil War–ravaged Mississippi homeland for the wild Red River borderland between North Texas and Indian Territory, the American West is a land beyond the reach of the law. Crime thrives in the absence of law officers, courtrooms, judges, and jails. Vigilante justice, the posse, and the hangman’s noose fill the void. But by the time the young man—now a veteran outlaw—dies by the gun in 1929 after a tempestuous career, the Old West has been ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (12) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $18.35   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

When a thirteen-year-old boy strikes out on his own in 1885, leaving his Civil War–ravaged Mississippi homeland for the wild Red River borderland between North Texas and Indian Territory, the American West is a land beyond the reach of the law. Crime thrives in the absence of law officers, courtrooms, judges, and jails. Vigilante justice, the posse, and the hangman’s noose fill the void. But by the time the young man—now a veteran outlaw—dies by the gun in 1929 after a tempestuous career, the Old West has been largely tamed, its official legal systems firmly in place. In this companion volume to Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier, veteran defense attorney and prosecutor Bill Neal takes readers from Mississippi to the frontiers of West Texas, Indian Territory, New Mexico Territory, and finally the frozen Montana wilderness through a series of linked, true-life tales of crimes and trials. Tracing the struggles of incipient criminal justice in the Southwest through an engaging progression of outlaws and lawmen, plus a host of colorful frontier trial lawyers and judges, Neal reveals how law and society matured together. Virtually an anecdotal textbook, From Guns to Gavels follows a bloody trail from the Wild West through the decade after World War I, when the gavel-wielding, black-robed Judge Blackstone at last gained ascendancy over "Judge Winchester” and "Judge Lynch.”

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780896726376
  • Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Neal practiced criminal law in West Texas for forty years: twenty as a prosecutor and twenty as a defense attorney. His first book, Getting Away with Murder on the Texas Frontier: Notorious Killings and Celebrated Trials (TTUP, 2006), was named Book of the Year by the National Association for Outlaw and Lawmen History, received the Rupert N. Richardson Award for the best book on West Texas history from the West Texas Historical Association, and was a finalist for both the Violet Crown Award from the Writers’ League of Texas and the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. Neal and his wife, Gayla, live in Abilene, Texas.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Illustrations

Maps

Introduction 5

Ch. 1 Duels of the Lawmen: The Volatile Motley County War and the Outlaw Sheriff 10

Ch. 2 Wichita Falls Justice: Judge Lynch Presiding 64

Ch. 3 High Noon in Paducah: "I Kilt Him Purty ... Real Purty" 108

Ch. 4 The Return of Hill Loftis - as Tom Ross: Leaving His Outlaw Past Behind? 169

Ch. 5 Bloody Sunday in Seminole: The Storm Breaks 214

Ch. 6 The End of a Long and Winding Trail: But the Enigma of Tom Ross Remains 246

Ch. 7 From Guns to Gavels: Judge Blackstone Ascends 269

Afterthoughts - The Rule of Law: An Ongoing Battle 279

Chronology 283

Notes 291

Bibliography 333

Index 349

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)