Great Stagecoach Robberies of the Old West

Overview

In a time and place teeming with miners desperate to strike it rich in the gold rush, the slow-moving stagecoach filled with other men's fortunes was often a temptation too great to resist. The treasure-laden express box quickly became a favorite target among road agents, making stagecoach robbery an enduring part of the mythology of the Old West.
William Brazleton was bold enough to elude authorities - for a time, anyway - by reversing the direction of his steed's horseshoes. ...

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Overview

In a time and place teeming with miners desperate to strike it rich in the gold rush, the slow-moving stagecoach filled with other men's fortunes was often a temptation too great to resist. The treasure-laden express box quickly became a favorite target among road agents, making stagecoach robbery an enduring part of the mythology of the Old West.
William Brazleton was bold enough to elude authorities - for a time, anyway - by reversing the direction of his steed's horseshoes. Arizona's "petticoat bandit" Pearl Hart liked to rob her stagecoaches with a polite and ladylike .38 caliber revolver. And the last stagecoach robber on the frontier was practically caught red-handed - his bloody palm print being the first used as evidence in a U.S. criminal prosecution.
Great Stagecoach Robberies of the Old West tells the stories of hauls too large, murders too cold-blooded, and bandits too eccentric to fade into obscurity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
In 1856 Thomas J. Hodges, who would become infamous by his alias Tom Bell—the first man to rob a stagecoach, under circumstances that would have made lying improbable and of no purpose, disclosed that he was just twenty-six years old. He had been a bar room brawler in his earlier days, and in one affray had his nose crushed so badly that it was nearly flat with his face except for a small protrusion that had a deep dent in the tip. This made his appearance decidedly repulsive, very distinctive, and gave him the appearance of being much older than his years.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762741274
  • Publisher: Falcon Press Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/1/2006
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 815,034
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

R. Michael Wilson has been researching the Old West for fifteen years, following a quarter century as a law enforcement officer. His particular interest is crime, and none are more thrilling than stagecoach robberies. He has published one book on the subject in Arizona, and four more on other aspects of crime on the frontier. His research philosophy is "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
 
 

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Read an Excerpt

Stagecoach drivers were known by many sobriquets, including Knight or Knight of the Lash, Whip, Sagebrush Navigator, or Jehu, the last being reserved for a driver who drove at a very fast pace, sometimes seeming reckless to his passengers; but no stage driver kept his job for long if his recklessness endangered his passengers. Drivers were a hardy lot representing a cross section of the nation's citizens. Many chewed, smoked, or cussed mercilessly, but others were kind and gentle, especially with the ladies who rode on their coaches. The stagecoach driver was captain of his vessel. He commanded all who boarded and was often admired, usually respected, and always appreciated. Not every man could handle the ribbons of a four-up or six-up through any weather on every type of frontier road, so the stagecoach driver was quite a peculiar person even by western standards. Many times it was only the iron will and bravado of the driver which brought the coach through bad weather, across swollen rivers, over treacherous roads, with poor stock, while surviving attacks by highwaymen or Indians. One of the most notable Jehus in Nevada was "Baldy" Green. After Green was robbed on June 10, 1868 Virginia City's Territorial Enterprise observed, "Baldy Green is exceedingly unlucky, as the road agents appear to have singled him out as their special man to halt and plunder, and they always come at him with shotguns."

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The First Stagecoach Robbery in the West; 2. Baldy Green—The Jehu; 3. Robbery at Point Nine; 4. Stephan Venard; 5. The Innocents; 6. The Boise Bandits; 7. The Showdown; 8. The Man Who Swallowed a Wagon Wheel; 9. The Iron-Clad Stagecoach; 10. A Sharp Nevada Road Agent; 11. A Texas Badman in Colorado; 12. A Lynchin' Bee; 13. Robbery at Spearfish; 14. Arizona's Petticoat Bandit; 15. Gold at the End of the Rainbow; 16. The Last Stagecoach Robbery in the West; Bibliography

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