California Desperadoes: Stories of Early California Outlaws in Their Own Words

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Quill Driver Books, 2000 - History - 257 pages
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“I shot him in the left temple; the gun dropped from his hands; he quivered one instant, and Andy McGinnis climbed the Golden Stairs....” This was Chris Evans speaking. Evans, the killer, train robber and fugitive, was describing the famous 1892 shootout at Young's cabin when he and his partner John Sontag ambushed and killed two members of a posse that was pursuing them.
In California Desperadoes, Evans and seven other early outlaws tell their own raw stories—tales of holdups, shootouts and desperate flights from the law.
Witness the cruel confessions of the ruthless gang of California bandits who murdered a whole family, men, women and children, in the opening days of the Gold Rush. Stand on the gallows with the notorious Jim Stuart as he is hanged by San Francisco vigilantes determined to retake their city from hordes of Australian convicts, robbers and killers.
The ill-starred adventures of Tom Bell, Tiburcio Vasquez and Charles Dorsey will hold you spellbound as the outlaws themselves take you along the dangerous trails they rode. And stage robbers Jim Smith and Dick Fellows will shock you with their own tales of the harrowing and sometimes hilarious antics of the California highwaymen of another day.
These are true stories told by true desperadoes and illustrated with many rare photographs.

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We had hard fighting
I have been most foully betrayed
We all had good guns pistols and knives
Theres nothing in stealing
I always avoided bloodshed
With a price on ones head
A bullet sped past my left eyebrow
Throw out the express box
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About the author (2000)

William B. Secrest, Jr. is a historian and the author of "California"" Disasters 1812-1899,"" Fresno County-The Pioneer Years,"" "and" A Portrait of Fresno,"""" "He lives in Fresno, California.

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