Badge and Buckshot: Lawlessness in Old California

Front Cover
University of Oklahoma Press, 1993 - History - 352 pages
1 Review

Badge and Buckshot is a comprehensive book at many of the once-famous peace officers and outlaws of Old California. Told here for the first time are the true stories of Ben Thorn, the iron-willed but scandal-plagued sheriff of Calaveras County; John C. Boggs, the fast-shooting nemesis of the Tom Bell and Rattlesnake Dick gangs; Ben and Dudley Johnson, the notorious “Tulare Twins”; Kid Thompson, whose train-robbing exploits took place just blocks from present-day Los Angeles film and television studios; and Coates-Frost feud, California’s bloodiest vendetta, which endured more than twenty years and left fourteen men dead. Here, too, are the first complete accounts of Captain Ingram’s Rangers, the band of Confederate guerrillas who raided stagecoaches in California during the Civil War; Steve Venard, the soft-spoken lawman who killed three outlaws in a single gunfight; and the legendary Bill Miner, whose career of banditry spanned almost half a century.

 The product of more than ten years of painstaking research, Badge and Buckshot recounts one of the forgotten sagas of the Old West, an action-packed tale of shoot-outs, stage holdups, manhunts, and lynchings. At the same time, through extensive use of pioneer newspaper files, court records, and previously unpublished illustrations, it shatters old myths and demonstrates the overall effectiveness of the criminal justice system in Old California. For authentic Americana, Badge and Buckshot is not to be missed.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Fascinating history of California's early days! I inherited this book from my father's estate and began reading because it contains a story about "Doc" Standley" (who was my great-great grandfather) "The Iron Man of Mendocino." That got me hooked on the rip-roaring tales of hold-ups, shootouts, horseback chases, grizzly characters and other scenes of the wild wooly West. If you enjoy the true tales of the Gold Rush days, this book is for you.  

Contents

THE LAWMEN
11
Boggs
15
George H Shinn
29
Ed Steinegal
35
Steve Venard
41
Newspaper headlines announcing Venards capture of
51
Sheriff Ben K Thorn
59
Ben K Thorns badge
68
Southern Pacific Train No 20
180
Alva Johnson
189
Kid Thompson 1897
196
Ben Johnson
202
Frank J Morgan dead
210
Newspaper headline announcing the killing of the Gates boys
225
Bess Whiteman
232
The CoatesFrost Feud
241

Wells Fargo Detective Jim Hume
79
Doc Standley
89
George Gaunce
97
John Schneider
106
Isador Padillo
112
Sheriff Tom Cunningham and deputies 1899
120
THE OUTLAWS
131
Tom Poole
135
Al Glasby
143
Sheriff John H Adams
151
Bill Miner 1864
160
Bill Miner 1881
169
Little Lake 1890s
244
Willits 1888
253
George Gibson
261
The Modoc Lynching
266
Calvin and Mary Hall
268
The main bridge near Lookout scene of four lynchings
277
Modoc County men 1904
287
For Further Reading
292
Bibliography
313
Index
321
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

A San Francisco attorney, John Boessenecker has authored six books and numerous magazine articles on crime and law enforcement in the Old West.

Bibliographic information