Law west of Fort Smith: a history of frontier justice in the Indian Territory, 1834-1896

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H. Holt, 1957 - History - 333 pages
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Centering on the career of "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker, this book is "a startling reminder of what really went on in the Old West."-The New YorkerFor twenty-one years, from 1875 to 1896, Isaac C. Parker, Judge of the U.S. Court of the Western District of Arkansas, was the law west of Fort Smith, holding exclusive jurisdiction over 74,000 square miles and 60,000 people in Arkansas and Indian Territory. In this colorful yet carefully researched account of the "Hanging Judge," Glenn Shirley also traces the careers of such famous criminals as the Daltons, Belle Starr, the Buck gang, and Cole Younger; records the processes of the court; and tells how the district's 200 deputy marshals worked against overwhelming odds to bring justice and order. The appendix includes a chronology of the 79 hangings ordered by Parker; a list of commutations and pardons, reversals and acquittals, and bonds fortefied; and two of the Judge's famous charges to the jury, in themselves notable documents of legal history. Glenn Shirley, who has written widely on western law and outlaws, is also the author of Pawnee Bill: A Biography of Major Gordon W. Lillie and the editor of Buckskin Joe: The Memoirs of Edward Jonathan Hoyt."This is far the best and most readable book on Judge Parker and his hanging court."- Stanley Vestal, Daily Oklahoman"A startling reminder of what really went on in the Old West before the dime novel and Hollywood turned it into a kind of primrose path." -New Yorker"This book is top-quality and exciting history engagingly told."-New York Times Book Review

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About the author (1957)

Historian GLENN SHIRLEY was the author of more than twenty books and eight-hundred short stories and articles, having written about such frontier figures as Belle Starr, Pawnee Bill, Temple Houston, and Heck Thomas. The recipient of several writing awards, he lived in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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