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"Long George" Francis: Gentleman Outlaw of Montana

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Feared and hated by a few who held that he was an outlaw, "Long George" Francis was the rumored leader of a major gang of cattle and horse thieves and, supposedly, the head of a ring of bootleggers and hijackers. Still, others considered him a Robin Hood of the West-a folk hero the likes of Jesse James, Sam Bass, and Butch Cassidy. He waged wars against the rich and greedy while helping the poor-all without robbing a bank or shooting a soul. The truth about "Long George" is somewhere in between, as muddy as the ...

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Overview

Feared and hated by a few who held that he was an outlaw, "Long George" Francis was the rumored leader of a major gang of cattle and horse thieves and, supposedly, the head of a ring of bootleggers and hijackers. Still, others considered him a Robin Hood of the West-a folk hero the likes of Jesse James, Sam Bass, and Butch Cassidy. He waged wars against the rich and greedy while helping the poor-all without robbing a bank or shooting a soul. The truth about "Long George" is somewhere in between, as muddy as the Milk River itself, named such because it was the color of a cup of tea with a tablespoon of milk added.
Written by biographer and historian Gary A. Wilson, with an introduction by internationally known novelist and historian Dan Cushman, "Long George" Francis reveals the legend behind one of the American West's so-called romantic heroes of the cowboy-outlaw period. The events of his dramatic life and death produced an infamous persona undiminished by time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762739769
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary A. Wilson's previous books include Honky Tonk Town: Havre's Bootlegging Days and Outlaw Tales of Montana. Biographer, historian, and publisher, he has been researching the history of northern Montana since 1978. He is a founding board member of the Fort Assinniboine Preservation Association and is active in several local and regional tourist and historical organizations. He lives in Havre, Montana.

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Read an Excerpt

The cowboy knew that death was close. "What a way for a man of the outdoors to meet his end!" he reflected. And what of his family in Idaho? He hadn't seen them in six years! Too late now. Wait, were those footsteps and voices on the stairway? His heart leapt with hope. Then, "No, my mind is just playing tricks on me," he thought as he passed out.

"There he is!" a choked voice said, as two figures emerged from the smoke and flames. They half carried, half dragged the obvlivious cowboy down the narrow stairway, through the lobby and outside to the cheering crowd gathered on First Street. Within scant minutes, the flimsy wooden structure was completely engulfed in flames, the upper floor gone.

The fresh, cold winter air revived the cowboy after a few minutes, and turning to his rescuers with a grin on his soot-blackened face, he asked them, "Gotta Match? Got to have a smoke!"

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Table of Contents

(1) Foreward, by Dan Cushman (2) Northcentral Montana Map (3) Introduction (4) The Cowboy (5) The Land (6) The People (7) The Town (8) The Ranch (9) The Pardner (10) The Land Feuds (11) The Stampede Rodeos (12) The Trial (13) The Verdict (14) The Disappearance (15) The Death of George Francis (16) Mabee Goes South (17) Epilogue (18) Endnotes (19) Acknowlegments (20) Appendices (21) Bibliography

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