Gunfighter in Gotham: Bat Masterson's New York City Years

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University of Oklahoma Press, Feb 14, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
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The legend of Bat Masterson as the heroic sheriff of Dodge City, Kansas, began in 1881 when an acquaintance duped a New YorkSun reporter into writing Masterson up as a man-killing gunfighter. That he later moved to New York City to write a widely followed sports column for eighteen years is one of history’s great ironies, as Robert K. DeArment relates in this engaging new book.

William Barclay “Bat” Masterson spent the first half of his adult life in the West, planting the seeds for his later legend as he moved from Texas to Kansas and then Colorado. In Denver his gambling habit and combative nature drew him to the still-developing sport of prizefighting. Masterson attended almost every important match in the United States from the 1880s to 1921, first as a professional gambler betting on the bouts, and later as a promoter and referee. Ultimately, Bat stumbled into writing about the sport.

In Gunfighter in Gotham, DeArment tells how Bat Masterson built a second career from a column in the New YorkMorning Telegraph. Bat’s articles not only covered sports but also reflected his outspoken opinions on war, crime, politics, and a changing society. As his renown as a boxing expert grew, his opinions were picked up by other newspaper editors and reprinted throughout the country and abroad. He counted President Theodore Roosevelt among his friends and readers.

This follow-up to DeArment’s definitive biography of the Old West legend narrates the final chapter of Masterson’s storied life. Far removed from the sweeping western plains and dusty cowtown streets of his younger days, Bat Masterson, in New York City, became “a ham reporter,” as he called himself, “a Broadway guy.”

 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Battling Masterson
8
The Women in His Life
32
Otto Reddy and Ki Yi
43
A Broadway Guy
56
The Lewis Brothers the Morning Telegraph and the Ham Reporter
68
A Badge for Our Homicidal Friend
79
Blunderbusses and Badges
87
When Hyphenates Hypocrisy and Hysteria Ruled the Roost
159
The Black Sox the Garden and Tex Rickard
167
Out of the Past
173
All Work and No Play
189
Slackers in Nonshootable Suits and the Rise of Jack Dempsey
201
The Battles of Maumee Bay and Boyles Thirty Acres
216
A Strangely Quiet Closing
231
Afterword
243

Gotham Feuds
98
Curmudgeon of the Clubs
110
The Snakes of New York The Trail of the Serpent
122
Jack Johnson White Hopes and White Slavery
134
Teddy Roosevelt and Politics Copperheads and Bull Mooses
148
Notes
249
Bibliography
269
Index
279
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Robert K. DeArment is a University of Toledo, Ohio, graduate whose field of interest is nineteenth-century American history with special emphasis on outlaws and law enforcement in the frontier West. He is the author of Bat Masterson: The Man and the Legend, published by the University of Oklahoma Press.