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Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?

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BILLY THE KID


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Goose Gander 10 Apr 07 - 10:37 AM
Scoville 10 Apr 07 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,meself 10 Apr 07 - 11:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Apr 07 - 12:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Apr 07 - 02:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Apr 07 - 02:27 PM
Goose Gander 10 Apr 07 - 03:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Apr 07 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 10 Apr 07 - 03:55 PM
frogprince 10 Apr 07 - 04:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Apr 07 - 04:55 PM
Rex 17 May 07 - 12:04 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 17 May 07 - 02:22 PM
Abby Sale 18 May 07 - 12:57 PM
RangerSteve 18 May 07 - 01:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 May 07 - 07:08 AM
GUEST 19 May 07 - 12:52 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 May 07 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Secret Member 21 May 07 - 03:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Jul 10 - 03:41 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 10:37 AM

Here's a short article about Michael Wallis' biography Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride.

Outlaw Billy


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Scoville
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 10:51 AM

Key words being "popular" and "imagination".

I have to take it for granted that none of these much-romanticized outlaws were undiluted evil, but they were thugs. Ever read about the Earps? Gangsters, pure and simple. I'm sure they all did nice things for people once in awhile, when they were really riding high, but I've yet to encounter a single one of them about whom the Robin Hood rumors could be convincingly substantiated.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 11:00 AM

Any time I've encountered one of them, I've had to hoof it all the way back to town in my long-johns. Unless I've encountered them IN town, in which case I've usually had to do a little dance while they fired bullets around my feet.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 12:12 PM

A bit harsh on the Earps. Casey Terfertiller's biography, I think, hints at a young man from a decent family out of his depth with the politicking of the time and trying to work in law enforcement in difficult circumstances.

I've heard opinions totally contrary to that - but I should be interested on what you have based your opinions.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 02:06 PM

Thread 99554 went into his history in some detail. It should be read before posting in a new thread continues.

Billy the Kid

Anyone seriously interested in the Lincoln County War and the role of Billy in that debacle between mercantile freebooters and the English entrepreneur John Tunstall and businessman and rancher Alexander McSween (Both killed by the Dolan-Riley gang and their supporters in the affair) should read William A. Keleher, 1957, "Violence in Lincoln County," University of New Mexico Press.

Much of what is said about Billy has been influenced by the colorful but partly fictional account written many years ago by Burns. Billy had worked and fought for Tunstall and McSween. His verified kills, except for one and possibly two, were all made during or as a result of the 'War'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 02:27 PM

quite a good site about Billy

http://www.aboutbillythekid.com/


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 03:13 PM

Sorry, missed that thread as I don't usually check BS threads. Maybe this one could be moved over there for the sake of keeping this discussion all in one place?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 03:43 PM

A well-organized site, much that is interesting. It contains some hearsay, making for a good story, but it doesn't drift too far from the happenings of Billy's life. Its principal failing is in the story of the mercantile machinations of Dolan's group and the takeover of Tunstall's operation, but the compiler recognizes most readers don't care about the Lincoln County War and the corruption in Santa Fe and elsewhere in the Territory- their interest has been captured by Billy and they want to hear about his exploits, not the background for them.

The book by Keleher, a prominent attorney as well as historian, is heavy reading at times- it contains much of court records and affdavits and statements made by participants and victims of the 'War,' contemporary newspaper accounts, etc. It remains, however, the best source of information.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 03:55 PM

Slightly off the subject, but is the " fast draw" scenario a Hollywood invention or is it an historical fact.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: frogprince
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 04:32 PM

I think it would be fair to say that the "fast draw" was a real element in a very few instances, blown way up in scale by hollywood. Probably Hickock and a few others were really noted in their time for their draw speed. If surviving lore is worth anything, John Wesley Hardin may have been as fast as, or faster, than, anyone else in his day. As to Billy, the lore I've heard is that he was very fast on the draw, but couldn't hit the broad side of barn at any distance if trying to draw and shoot fast.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 04:55 PM

An interesting book- 437 items about Billy, many annotated. From the Police Gazette of 1881 to the 1950's.
J. C. Dykes, 1952, "Billy the Kid," The Bibliography of a Legend, Univ. New Mexico Press.

Fast draw- John Slaughter of the Texas Rangers is often mentioned.

Now there are fast draw clubs everywhere. The record is close to 20/100 of a second for an accurate draw and shot.
See http://westernshows.netfirms.com/fastdraw.htm


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Rex
Date: 17 May 07 - 12:04 PM

I will humbly add that if you can, go visit the Albuquerque Museum. They have an astounding collection of artifacts, original photographs and letters directly relating to Billy the Kid. How about the 1871 Colt that Pat Garrett used to shoot Billy the Kid for starters? And the knife the Kid was carrying at the time? There's also a whole other gallery of the folklore, books, movies on the subject. Its an exhibit drawn from private collections that won't be seen again. It runs through July 22.

http://www.cabq.gov/museum/BillytheKidOpeningDay-TheAlbuquerqueMuseum-CityofAlbuquerque.html

We just had the opening events this past weekend. I was there as Pat Garrett. Whoop!

Rex


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 May 07 - 02:22 PM

"As to Billy, the lore I've heard is that he was very fast on the draw, but couldn't hit the broad side of barn at any distance if trying to draw and shoot fast."

Could anyone?

As I understand it, the Colt Peacemaker offered little chance of hitting a man sized target at much over 15 - 20 feet. Earp's custom built Buntline specials with their long barrels would have been more accurate, but not much.

It has been suggested that the vast majority of gunfights took place at arms length, in which case speed would be all important.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppres
From: Abby Sale
Date: 18 May 07 - 12:57 PM

Wildly off-topic but still---

Since tomorrow is Lady Astor's birthday - May 19, 1879 (d1964), I'm reminded of Anzio. As we all know, the first USian to land was James Arness. The water depth was unknown and as the tallest in the landing fleet, he earned his pay as a sounding line. Somewhat later he obtained (and holds) the record of tallest actor to ever play a lead role in movies or TV. (Which he did for another record of 20 years.)

Aside from that, Arness was a champion quick-draw competitor - you have to be able to hit things to win those.

frogprince's "I think it would be fair to say that the "fast draw" was a real element in a very few instances" jibes with most of what I've heard, though. Maybe even too generous - a very few superstars might have been both fast and accurate but ability to hit things was much more useful.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 18 May 07 - 01:57 PM

The fast draw exists, but the idea of shooting from the hip, without aiming, and still hitting your target is pure Hollywood.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 May 07 - 07:08 AM

I'm oppressed - where is he when you need him? Some friend!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppres
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 07 - 12:52 PM

Has anybody commenting on gunfights actually fired a pistol? Then you'll know that aim and a cool head is what counts. the reason a two-handed grip evolved is because the rifiling (grooves) in the weapon's barrel cause the pistol to spin when fired, and most shots fired in haste go wild. Point at your target, hold your wrist (and your breath), and squeeze the trigger. Hard to do if someone is pointing (or shooting!) a gun at you. But you will kill your target.

"According to Wyatt Earp, it was an axiom among gunfighters that the man who won a shoot-out was the man who took his time."
-- "The Gunfighters", p. 39, Time-Life, New York, 1974.

Finally, RangerSteve, in a desperate situation you may "shoot from the hip" by holding the weapon in both hands, snug against your belly and "aiming" with your body. But this is a military combat maneuver usued when the action is hot and you don't have time to properly aim.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 May 07 - 09:10 AM

"Myth Busters" had some interesting stuff about handguns, and quick draws.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: GUEST,Secret Member
Date: 21 May 07 - 03:11 AM

Don(Wyziwyg)T - As I understand it, the Colt Peacemaker offered little chance of hitting a man sized target at much over 15 - 20 feet. Earp's custom built Buntline specials with their long barrels would have been more accurate, but not much.

I am a poor pistol shot but using an original Army Remington (1858), at 20yards I can place 10 shots in a group which can be covered with one hand. The 'Peacemaker' was much more accurate than this and no doubt the shooter was.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Billy the Kid - friend of the oppressed?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 03:41 PM

Interest in Billy Bonney (Billy the Kid) has increased in New Mexico in the past few months. Governor Bill Richardson is considering issuing a pardon, something that Territorial Governor Lew Wallace promised Billy but never granted. Some other members of the group associated with Billy in the Lincoln County War did receive pardons.

The other event is the visit by members of the English Tunstall family to New Mexico in search of more information about the murder of Billy's employer, John H. Tunstall, in the Lincoln County 'War', by the Dolan-Riley gang.
Rancher and business man, Alexander McSween, was also killed by
the Dolan-Riley gang.
A member of the Tunstall family, searching for the grave of the murdered John, had a grave exhumed, but the body apparently was that of McSween, identified by remains of his red beard.

Billy's exploits began as he sought to avenge the killing of Tunstall, who had become a father-figure to him, and his friend, Alexander McSween, in the 'War'. He killed a couple of Dolan supporters.
In his escape from the Lincoln County jail, he killed Pat Brady, who had been one of the gang supporting the Dolans.
Tons of fiction have been written about Billy, some masquerading as 'history'.

Pat Garrett's grandchildren are firmly opposed to a pardon, fearing it would reflect on Garrett, a sheriff at the time he shot Billy. Garrett himself was later shot and killed in a land dispute.
The Tunstalls are neutral on the subject of a pardon, since it would stir up more emotion.

The Santa Fe New Mexican, July 30, 2010, "Richardson Considers Pardon for Billy the Kid."


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