Reminiscences of a Ranger: Early Times in Southern California

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University of Oklahoma Press, Jan 1, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 528 pages
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Gunfights and general lawlessness were common in the frontier cities of the American West. Tombstone and Dodge City are legendary. But neither saw violence approaching that of Los Angeles in the 1850s.

In his Reminiscences of a Ranger, Horace Bell reports that "midnight raids and open day robbery and assassinations of defenseless or unsuspecting Americans were of almost daily occurrence" in southern California, a territory newly acquired from Mexico. To combat this lawlessness, in 1853 the citizens of Los Angeles formed a volunteer mounted police force known as the Los Angeles Rangers. Under the command of Captain Alexander Hope, the Rangers strove to keep the peace within the city, and they hunted down bandits and murderers in the surrounding region, including several connected with Joaquin Murrieta's band.

The life of a mounted ranger appealed to Horace Bell, a civilian who later became an attorney and ran a newspaper. As John Boessenecker says in the introduction to the book, Bell's memoir is a history of early Los Angeles, an essential and highly entertaining source for this period of the California Gold Rush. With a sharp eye for detail, Bell sketches numerous pioneers, politicians, military figures, and outlaws, and he vividly describes riots and shootouts in the city streets and campaigns against Indians and bandits.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1
1
Chapter 5
79
Chapter 6
91
Chapter 7
99
Chapter 8
111
Chapter 9
121
Chapter 10
133
Chapter 11
147
Chapter 22
267
Chapter 23
273
Chapter 24
281
Chapter 25
293
Chapter 26
307
Chapter 27
315
Chapter 28
323
Chapter 30
351

Chapter 12
155
Chapter 13
163
Chapter 14
173
Chapter 15
195
Chapter 16
205
Chapter 17
213
Chapter 18
231
Chapter 19
239
Chapter 20
247
Chapter 21
255
Chapter 31
367
Chapter 32
389
Chapter 33
401
Chapter 34
415
Chapter 35
429
Chapter 36
451
Chapter 37
471
Index
487
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Horace Bell first wrote of his experiences in the columns of his newspaper, The Porcupine , later expanded and published in 1881 as Reminiscences of a Ranger .

JOHN BOESSENECKER is a San Francisco attorney and historian. He is the author of Badge and Buckshot: Lawlessness in Old California and Lawman: The Life and Times of Harry Morse, 1835--1912, and he is coauthor of The Grey Fox: The True Story of Bill Miner, Last of the Old Time Bandits.

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