Healy's West: The Life and Times of John J. Healy

Healy's West: The Life and Times of John J. Healy

by Gordon E. Tolton

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Through his incredibly varied fifty-year career, John J. Healy left an indelible mark on the Canadian and American west. At different points in his storied life, Healy was a soldier, a trapper, a prospector, a free trader, an explorer, a horse dealer, a scout, a lawman, a newspaper editor, a speculator, a merchant, a capitalist, a historian, and a politician. He defied classification while defining the lifestyle of a frontier adventurer and buccaneer capitalist in the late nineteenth century.

In Healy’s West, Gordon E. Tolton cuts through the mythology and controversy of this larger-than-life character, giving us the most complete and truly balanced account of Healy’s life ever published. From Irish famine to army saddle; from scouting on the Oregon Trail to digging for mountain gold in Idaho; from taking on powerful monopolies to trading with the Blackfoot; from political manoeuvring to hunting down rustlers behind a sheriff’s badge, Healy challenged life, nature, enemies and, governments head on—in print, in business, and in physical combat. An entertaining and critical portrayal of the west’s most charismatic figure, Healy’s West is a must-read for any history buff.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781927527665
Publisher: Heritage House
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Raised on a family farm near Taber, Alberta, Gordon E. Tolton is an amateur historian, re-enactor, author, and raconteur. While working in the agricultural, construction, and service industries, he volunteered for several heritage-related societies and historic sites and became immersed in history while learning the disciplines of writing, archiving, and museum practices. Gord was the history coordinator for the United Farmers of Alberta and has been associated with Fort Whoop-Up National Historic Site for over twenty-two years. His interests centre on the cross-border trade of the late 1800s, the 1885 North-West Rebellion, and the history of agriculture in Alberta. He is the author of four previous books, including Cowboy Cavalry and Prairie Warships. He lives in Coaldale, Alberta, with his wife, Rose.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Meeting 5

Introduction 7

Part I To See the Elephant 11

1 Wayfaring Stranger 13

3 Apprenticeship to a Dying Art 20

3 Oregon Trail 25

4 Mountain Gold 31

5 The River of No Return 40

6 To the States and Back 47

7 Bucking the Bay 53

8 From Roam to Home 63

9 Victims and Vindicators 69

10 Sun River Trading 76

11 Siege and Traekdown 84

Part II The Border Frontier 93

12 Border Enterprise 95

13 Profit and Adventure among the Blackfoot 106

14 Competitors and Comrades 116

15 The Dominion Strikes Back 129

16 Squeezed from His Own Market 139

17 A Year of Tumult 146

18 The Law of the Land 155

19 The Townsman 167

20 The Trail North 173

Part III Buccaneer Capitalist 177

11 Alaskan Epiphany 179

22 Dyea Politics 187

23 Man from Another World 196

24 Forty mile and Circle City 203

25 Fortune and Famine 209

26 Life in Boom Times 216

27 Ruminations and Treachery 222

28 Healy's Gilded Age 230

29 Across the Great Divide 241

Afterword 246

Acknowledgements 248

Endnotes 249

Bibliography 266

Index 279

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