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BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid

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BILLY THE KID


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Big Al Whittle 03 Mar 07 - 02:00 PM
Jean(eanjay) 03 Mar 07 - 02:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Mar 07 - 02:11 PM
Ebbie 03 Mar 07 - 02:15 PM
Jean(eanjay) 03 Mar 07 - 02:41 PM
Becca72 03 Mar 07 - 02:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 03 Mar 07 - 03:01 PM
gnu 03 Mar 07 - 03:28 PM
Bill D 03 Mar 07 - 03:29 PM
Jean(eanjay) 03 Mar 07 - 03:38 PM
Jean(eanjay) 03 Mar 07 - 03:39 PM
frogprince 03 Mar 07 - 03:50 PM
Jean(eanjay) 03 Mar 07 - 03:56 PM
bubblyrat 03 Mar 07 - 03:57 PM
pdq 03 Mar 07 - 04:29 PM
Peace 03 Mar 07 - 04:37 PM
Bee 03 Mar 07 - 04:44 PM
Rapparee 03 Mar 07 - 04:47 PM
Peace 03 Mar 07 - 04:50 PM
Rapparee 03 Mar 07 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,John O'L 03 Mar 07 - 10:05 PM
pdq 03 Mar 07 - 10:25 PM
Rapparee 03 Mar 07 - 10:31 PM
Mr Happy 03 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM
Peace 03 Mar 07 - 10:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Mar 07 - 11:02 PM
Amos 03 Mar 07 - 11:03 PM
Rapparee 03 Mar 07 - 11:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Mar 07 - 12:39 AM
catspaw49 04 Mar 07 - 01:09 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Mar 07 - 05:21 AM
bubblyrat 04 Mar 07 - 06:04 AM
Jean(eanjay) 04 Mar 07 - 06:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Mar 07 - 07:38 AM
Jean(eanjay) 04 Mar 07 - 07:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Mar 07 - 08:30 AM
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Big Al Whittle 04 Mar 07 - 10:55 AM
Amos 04 Mar 07 - 12:41 PM
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Subject: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 02:00 PM

There have been two programmes on English TV, in the last two nights on the business of Billy the Kid being granted a posthumous pardon.

I bet some of the three thousand folk on death row in America are a bit jealous of all the informed representation and debate going on about Billy's case.

I've been reading about William H Bonney since I was a kid. What   do people in An merica think - should he get a pardon? One of the first legends they told me about was the one about him having killed a man for every year of life - (not counting Injuns and Mexicans, as I remember).

Sounds like a bit of a bad lot to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 02:06 PM

I'm not in America, I'm in the Uk. I've missed these programmes so I don't know the reasons put forward for him getting a posthumous pardon. You've got me interested now so I'll be reading up about him. If he does get one you'd assume that there must be loads of other people who would also qualify.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 02:11 PM

You missed something there - all these professors in cowboy hats....they repeat the BBC one, late Monday nights I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 02:15 PM

As a people, we Americans are a conflicted lot. Some of the baddest asses we eventually take to our collective bosoms; admiring songs are written about these desperadoes and sung with gusto... This has been true of Billy the Kid, of The James Boys, The Younger Brothers, Bonnie and Clyde, practically every outlaw that survived for a time.

I expect a song about Jeffrey Dahmer any time now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 02:41 PM

Weelittledrummer - thanks for that, I will be watching it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Becca72
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 02:48 PM

I admit I don't know too much about ole Billy Boy...but I would be curious to know the reasoning behind the pardons. If he truly was guilty of killing all those people (injuns and mexicans included) then no, he should not be pardoned. That doesn't mean his story can't be romanticized, though...


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 03:01 PM

watch out for the cowboy hats - more colourful than David Starkie!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: gnu
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 03:28 PM

Can't see it. He was a muderous bastard. The coward did everyone a favour, no matter in the back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 03:29 PM

Bonney was a mean, ignorant thug.....I can't imagine who would be concerned about getting him ANY sort of posthumous pardon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 03:38 PM

Bill D - who was Bonney? Are you talking about Bonnie and Clyde because Bonnie was female?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 03:39 PM

Bill D - sorry; I've just realised it was his surname!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: frogprince
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 03:50 PM

1. The "twenty-one men" thing is almost certainly a wild exageration. More like half a dozen, tops.
2. He was at best a gun-for-hire who killed a couple of law officers in a jail escape, and I don't get why anyone would stump for a pardon for him. Yeah, Maybe next we should pardon Bonnie and Clyde. After all, they were just victims of hard times in the depression, and no one read them their rights before shooting them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 03:56 PM

Billy Bonney - no wonder he had problems! Apologies now to anyone reading this with the same name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: bubblyrat
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 03:57 PM

In essence, for those that missed it, the story goes something like this------ Billy the Kid, or William Bonney, is an orphan & a drifter in Arizona. He rustles Cattle & horses ( as you do ). He is constantly being bullied and shoved around.He shoots the town bully who is trying to strangle him.In jail (or gaol) he is offered a job by devious English rancher ,Mr Tunstall,who needs protection. Mr Tunstall is killed by a posse sent by corrupt local sheriff. Billy kills sheriff. Billy and some chums set about ridding area (Lincoln County) of arseholes ( Assholes ).Billy witnesses a murder in town, & is offered pardon by the Governor, who is the man who is writing a book,no THE book, called "Ben Hur " . ( You couldn"t make this up,could you ?? ) Billy testifies, the Governor reneges, and Billy is tried for killing sheriff.In gaol,(jail) , Billy overpowers guard, & kills him . Billy"s attitude by now is " Fuck it ! " so kills another guard (as you would) .Billy buggers off, but not far enough and is tracked down & killed by Pat Garrett.Billy has killed six people,and is now dead,aged just 21. Cue television "judges", including present-day governor of New Mexico,who cleverly manage to work out that Billy SHOULD have been pardoned for shooting the sheriff ( but not the one in the Bob Dylan song ) but NOT pardoned for shooting the jailers (gaolers ) (even though they were about to hang him for killing the sheriff that he SHOULD have been pardoned for)   ---is that clear ???


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: pdq
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 04:29 PM

...selected paragraphs from an article about Lew Wallace:


On April 29, 1881, New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace sat down in Santa Fe's Palace of the Governors and on official stationery wrote a two-page letter to his wife, Susan. She was back in their native Indiana awaiting the end of his tempestuous two-and-one-half-year tenure as the territory's presidentially appointed chief executive.
                                                               ~

The bearded, bespectacled Wallace--an ex-Civil War hero and renaissance man whose epic Biblical novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, partly written in Santa Fe, had just been published to worldwide attention--was rarin' to leave New Mexico. He had submitted his resignation and was waiting impatiently for the arrival of his successor, Lionel Sheldon.
                                                               ~

Wallace was a widely celebrated figure when he died in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1905 at age 77. His many books had earned him more in royalties than any American novelist before him. With maybe 1 million copies printed in several languages, Ben-Hur became an international household word a half-century before the 1959 Oscar-winning movie starring Charlton Heston.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Peace
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 04:37 PM

One pardons innocent people and those other folks who burp at the dinner table. One does not pardon snot-nosed kids who shoot people just for the hell of it. IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Bee
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 04:44 PM

Bubblyrat, awesome summary, and complete with translations!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 04:47 PM

First off, his name was probably not William Bonney but Henry McCarty. ("Hank The Kid" doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?) It approaches certainty that he didn't kill more than six or so people (as has been noted) and those during the so-called "Lincoln County War" (if you want REAL political shenanigans, check that one out). He had been promised a pardon by Lew Wallace, who reneged because Wallace just wanted out of New Mexico. McCarty was probably born in Indianapolis, possibly in New York City; his mother was widowed or divorced, moved to Kansas, remarried, was either widowed or divorced or deserted again, and moved to Texas.

Her son Henry was a cattle thief, shootist, and a generally bad seed. While it was no loss to the world when his acquaintance (not really a friend, but they did know each other) Pat Garrett shot him dead, McCarty HAD been promised a pardon.

Of course, it makes very little difference to him now....

He was just a poor boy tryin' to get a head
Poor Jeff, poor Jeff Dahmer
No friends and not enough to eat
Poor Jeff, poor Jeff Dahmer....

Somebody else finish this song I've just started about a kid livin' in Milwaukee who just wanted to have a ball.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Peace
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 04:50 PM

Of course, I don't think I'd pardon Dahmer for burping at the dinner table . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 05:05 PM

I was living in the Midwest when Dahmer did the things he did, and there was a LOT of dark humor created to help people cope. I agree with Peace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: GUEST,John O'L
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 10:05 PM

I assume from Bubblyrat's brief history that the pardon was offered in exchange for Billy testifying to what he saw.
Do you get let off a murder charge (or two at this stage) just by telling the truth?

There would seem to be more to this than meets the eye.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: pdq
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 10:25 PM

The answer to that question is, essentially, Yes.

This was the Wild West, folks. Nobody out here ever heard of that Marquis de Queensberry feller.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 10:31 PM

It's complicated, based mostly in politics. There's a pretty good summary of the story behind the Lincoln County War here.

And did murders get pardoned? Sometimes. Just like now. Mostly they were either convicted and hung or disappeared. The Wild West, just like today, is a VERY BIG place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_the_kid


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Peace
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 10:42 PM

Conservapedia says he turned to Jesus in the last few minutes of his life and thus was saved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 11:02 PM

Anyone seriously interested in the Lincoln County War in New Mexico, the murders of John Tunstall and Alexander McSween by the Dolan-Riley freebooters and their hired guns including Sheriff Brady, and the story of Billy (born Henry McCarty in NYC, later Henry Antrim, best known as William Bonney) should read "Violence in Lincoln County, 1869-1881," by William A. Keleher, Univ. New Mexico Press.

The war arose from a dispute over insurance money of Emil Fritz, a mercantilist. The murder of mercantilist-rancher John Tunstall started a chain reaction of murders. Col. N. A. M. Dudley marched U. S. troops into Lincoln County and for some reason (a payoff?) sided with the Dolan-Riley gang. Charges were brought against Dudley by Lew Wallace, and included the charge that the soldiers, assisted by a gang of armed outlaws, killed Alexander McSween and set fire to his ranch house. Dudley and a group of soldiers had previously entered Tunstall's store and plundered it of more than six thousand dollars of goods.
Some 150 witnesses were to testify against Dudley. The case dragged on---.

Billy Bonney's downfall really ensued from his employment by Tunstall, McSween (and John Chisum) and his loyalty to them; following the murders of Tunstall and McSween, his progression toward outlawry was inevitable.   

Billy was offered a full pardon by Gov. Lew Wallace for his testimony against the murderers of Houston Chapman, a lawyer who was trying to reform conditions in Lincoln County. Billy saw the killing (1879). The murderers escaped, and the pardon was never acted upon.

Later in 1879, several court cases arising out of the Lincoln County War were coming up. Billy, loosely guarded, was waiting again for pardon for killing Sheriff Brady, the murderer of Tunstall. The wait was protracted. Billy, tired of waiting, mounted a horse and rode away, while the guards watched but did not attempt to stop him.

Some contributors to this thread, knowing absolutely nothing about Billy Bonney or the conflicts, in the courts as well as in killing and arson, that led to the Lincoln County War and court cases that lasted for years, parrot nonsense or invent their own fictions.

Lew Wallace was a successful novelist, but hopeless as an administrator; a ditherer who seldom took action.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Amos
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 11:03 PM

The summary above completely omits the Lincoln County Wars, or his first killing by penknife of a blacksmith who offended his mother when he was a youth.

If his name was NOT Wm Bonney, it is still the name he was known best as, aside from the Billy the Kid. Perhaps it was a nom de plume adopted when he fled from the scene of his first murder.

Here's a version of his story.

But pardoning a man who was guilty and who is also dead long since strikes me as ridiculous. In recognition of what? All the revenue he brought in on account of Pat Garrets "kill and tell" book about him?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Mar 07 - 11:07 PM

He did indeed, Peace. After asking "Quien es?" and being shot by Pat Garrett, his next words were "JESUS H. CHRIST!! What the...?" and then made a lengthy confession (in Latin, the only language God knew at that time), promised to live a better life in the future, repented of all his sins, gave all of his worldly goods to the poor, and entered a monastery, where he died in 1998. He voted Republican in every election, too.

Most people don't know these things, and they're kinda secret. So don't tell anybody, okay?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 12:39 AM

The fictions continue.
The first man Billy killed was F. P. Cahill, at Ft. Grant (Pima Co.,AZ), 1877. According to the Tucson Citizen (copied in the Grant County Herald), Cahill (before he died the next day) said he had some trouble with Antrim (Billy) and bad words were exchanged. The coroner's jury found that the shooting was unjustifiable and that "Henry Antrin, alias Kid, is guilty thereof."
Billy went to Georgetown (near Silver City, NM) where he met John P. Kinney, later an opponent in the Lincoln County War. It was at this time that Henry Antrim adopted the alias of William H. Bonney (Keleher, Violence in Lincoln County, p. 311). In 1878, the Grant County Herald ran a squib which read "'Kid' Antrim's real name is W. H. McCarty."

The killing of Brady (see previous post) finally came to trial in 1881, at Mesilla. The case of the "Territory of New Mexico vs. John Middleton, Hendry Brown, William Bonney, alias Kid, alias William Antrim," charged the defendants with the murder of William Brady at Lincoln in 1878. The Judge, Warren H. Bristol, had been a friend of Brady's and a Dolan-Riley partisan. Two attorneys were appointed to defend Billy. These lawyers submitted their written defense to Judge Bristol, who refused to submit it to the jury, but gave them nine pages of his own handwritten instructions. Billy was found guilty of murder in the first degree.

Billy said, in an interview with the Mesilla News, April 15, "Well, I had intended at one time not to say a word in my own behalf because persons would say, "Oh, he lied." Feelings were still running high in New Mexico. ...If mob law is going to rule, better dismiss judge and sheriff and let all take chances alike.. I expect to be lynched in going to Lincoln. Advise persons never to engage in a killing."
"Considering the active part Governor Wallace took on our side and the friendly relations that existed between him and me, and the promise he made me, I think he ought to pardon me. Dont know that he will do it. When I was arrested for that murder he let me out and gave me the freedom of the town, and let me go about with my arms. When I got ready to leave Lincoln in June, 1879, I left. I think it hard that I should be the only one to suffer the extreme penalty of the law."
May 13, 1881 was set as the day for the hanging, at Lincoln. Governor Wallace had signed the death warrant April 30. But on April 28, Bonney killed his guards, Bell and Ollinger, and escaped.

Another fiction about Billy was that he was illiterate. A number of his letters survive. This is one he wrote on April 15, 1881, from jail in Mesilla, probably his last, to Edgar Caypless, an attorney in Santa Fe who had acted for him: "I would have written before this but could get no paper. My United States case was thrown out of court and I was rushed to trial on my Territorial charge. Was convicted of murder in the first degree and I am to be hanged on the 13th day of May. Mr. A. J. Fountain was appointed to defend me and has done the best he could for me. He is willing to carry the case further if I can raise the money to bear his expense. The mare (Billy's horse) is about all I can depend on at present, we hope you will settle the case right away and give him the money you get for her. If you do not settle the matter with Scott Moore and have to go to court about it, either give him the mare or sell her at auction and give him the money. I know you will do the best you can for me in this. I shall be taken to Lincoln tomorrow. Please write, and direct care of Garrett, sheriff. Excuse bad writing. I have my handcuffs on. I remain as ever, Yours respectfully, W. H. Bonney."


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 01:09 AM

Why? There is and was enough against him that most of his acts were not in the least questionable as to what they were. And we should pardon him huh?

Let's talk about Sam Sheppard. Acquitted in his second trial and proven through DNA not to have been wife Marilyn's killer. The State of Ohio won't even admit they fucked up; Cuyahoga Countyhas named their forensics building after the coroner whose outright lies and fabrications put Sam away to begin with. No justice for Sam even with the latest in scientific evidence.

And someone wants to pardon a thug like BtK?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 05:21 AM

well from the letters quoted, he doesn't express himself like a thug.

And if he he was unjustly treated, then I think it should be set right.

You got the same sort of arguments about the shellshock victims who were executed for cowardice in World War One. And people who say we shouldn't apopogise to Africa for slavery.

The proof of the fact that we haven't taken into our hearts the need for trying to get things right in future, is that fact that we still treat traumatised war heroes of the gulf war like shit - and racism is always raising its ugly head.

The first step in cleaning out the Augean stables of the legal system would probably be to admit, we've been getting it wrong for a hell of a long time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: bubblyrat
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 06:04 AM

Sorry to go "off thread" a bit , BUT :
When the French apologise for the Norman Invasion of 1066--
When the Italians apologise for the depradations wrought upon us by Julius Caesar et al :
When the Spanish apologise for sending an Armada against us :
When Norway apologises for the rape & pillage of Northern England :
When the Japanese apologise for murdering thousands of British prisoners of war by beating & starving them to death :
When the Americans apologise for preventing Britain & France from regaining control of the Suez Canal ( Which the French built in the first place, but the US didn"t care about that !! ) :
   Then it might be appropriate to suggest some sort of regret about slavery, but until then, there are more important things to worry about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 06:46 AM

I didn't know much about him until this thread - it's very interesting. Normally it is the family of a dead person who fight for a pardon. Who is it in this case?


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 07:38 AM

the thing is bubblyrat, these are wogs - we should lead by example, if we want them to be as nice as us.

the prime movers in the case for Billy's pardon seem to be the Governor of New Mexico and a load of academics (David Starkie types -only wearing cowboy hats) from the history departments of various universities. Like Starkie, they seem well engrossed in the past.


Makes you wonder why Starkie hasn't pushed for a pardon for Ann Boleyn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 07:41 AM

I can't wait to see these cowboy hats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 08:30 AM

Bottom line

My guess is that the Governor would like to sanitise one of his state's chief tourist attractions.

I think one can detect a glint of mischief in the eyes of the academics, who think its a jolly good wheeze!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 10:26 AM

Well, I want complete pardons for the following as well. (If you don't know who they are, look 'em up!)

Jack Slade
John "Doc" Holliday
"Bloody" Bill Anderson
Jesse Woodson James
Sam Bass
Clay Allison
Jim Miller
King Fisher
Black Jack Ketchum
Luke Short
Jim Courtright
Bass Outlaw
John Wesley Hardin
John Ringo
Dave Mather
Print Olive
All the Dalton boys
John D. Lee
Henry Plummer
Charles E. Boles
Crazy Horse
The Cherokee Kid

and a whole bunch of others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 10:55 AM

You need a state governor on your side....


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Amos
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 12:41 PM

Rapaire has needed some form of governor to control his state for quite a long time....



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: jimlad9
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 12:43 PM

Please pardon the thread creep I am now about to inflict on you dear reader but a previous thread just mentioned Bonnie a Clyde ( real bad buggers). They were shot to pieces by a relative of mine Capt Frank Hamer of the Texas Rangers. It was said at the time that he got a bit confused at the scene of the ambush and instead of shouting "Surrender!!" which he should have done he shouted "Fire!". I am not proud of the fact of course because us Hamers are not known for their fair play. Capt Hamer was later put in charge of supervision of the election in 1948 at which Lyndon B Johnson was elected under very dubious circumstances.
So there's nothing new in the US voting system is there??.

As for William Bonney he got what he deserved.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 12:49 PM

But you can't say that about "Bear River" Tom Smith! (Of course, he WAS one of the best lawman in the Old West and he really deserved better than to be shot and then beheaded because his helper was a coward....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 03:03 PM

New Mexico has a large tourist industry, but very little interest is generated by Lincoln County history.
Lincoln is a forgotten town of one street with a few adobe houses. The old Lincoln County courthouse still stands (where Billy broke out and killed the guards Ollinger and Bell), with a small museum. Only a few people interested in the "Old West" visit.
There are no tour buses and tourism as a whole ignores the place.
There are no gas stations, no stores, and no place to stay.

Carrizozo is now the County seat of Lincoln County, a dull place with about 1100 people, over 50% Hispanic and Mexican with incomes well below the national average. Its main claim to fame is proximity to the White Sands Missile Range.

Fort Stanton, where the Navajos were taken by Carson and the army, is close by.
It used to receive visits from Japanese-Americans who had been interned there during WW2. Germans also were interned there. Once there was a tuberculosis hospital. Quarters and barracks, and the Laundresses area, from the 1850's, are still there along with more recent buildings, but the hospital and many other buildings have been torn down. Nearest accommodation is at Ruidoso.

Efforts to pardon Billy postumously have surfaced through the years, beginning with the offer by Governor Lew Wallace in 1878. All other surviving participants in the Lincoln County War never served time. Only Billy was prosecuted by vengeful allies of the Dolan-Riley crowd.

The list by Rapaire is a most peculiar one; to mention just one, Crazy Horse has been honored on U. S. postage stamps and I remember being taught his military actions in the course I took on Military Science and Tactics at military school. Geronimo, who also fought to preserve Indian rights, has been similarly honored. Kit Carson, Indian killer and bigot, should be on that list. Some were deserving of their hanging, but others are there because of unpopularity with some contemporaries, and in the case of Billy, a judge seeking revenge for the killing of his friend Brady, a murderer.
Emmett Dalton, who survived 23 gunshot wounds and a stint in prison, ended up in California where he became wealthy in real estate.
John Ringo was mostly noted as a leader of the anti-Earp crowd. He is listed as a suicide, but he probably was murdered by Earp supporters. And so on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 06:09 PM

This is an important post because it underscores the penchant many have for glorifying outlaws and murderers such as Jesse James, The Daltons, Pretty Boy Floyd and of course Billy the Kid.

It's become part of our legacy that these dubious "heroes" receive a special status whereas the real heroes of our culture never receive their due. Unfortunately, here in the US, we have a gun culture that supports this kind of thing.

I would prefer attention be paid to the real heroes, Ghandi, Cindy Sheehan, Wallenberg, MLK, The Curies, Charles Darwin, Kagawa, Gallileo, Einstein and others today who attempt to make the human condition more bearable and less sanguinary.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Peace
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 06:23 PM

Good point, Frank.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 06:32 PM

true what you say Frank, I remember the week of the Hitler hoax diaries - Hitler diaries took up the whole of the Sunday Times.

Someone was reviewing the publishing of the diaries of John Keats in the same issue - it got two minute columns of about half an inch each.

I believe Billy the Kid also got a ballet written about him by the guy who did Appalachian Spring. Still you can't muzzle creativity - it has to take its own course.

In Tombstone, Johnny Ringo was shot by Val Kilmer - who played Billy the Kid in another film.

A grand falloon, as they say in Cats Cradle!


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 06:39 PM

I agree, Frank. McCarty/Antrim/Bonney was a thug, Holliday was a very dangerous murderer, the Earps played both sides of the law, and all the rest in my list were, at one time or another, "outlawed" for various things (which is why I included Crazy Horse, whom I greatly respect).

Why we hold these people in high esteem, and yet rarely hear of others of that time and place -- Tom Smith, Elfego Baca, and others -- who upheld the law and not necessarily with bullets. I can only lay this at the door of a) hack dime writers like Ned Buntline, and b) the movies and TV, which have glorified violence and the violent.

I can far better understand Joaquin Muiretta than I can justify Billy the Kid...and I needn't approve of either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Scoville
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 07:50 PM

The Earps were thugs, too, with badges.   Somewhere I've got an autobiography by Virgil Earp's common-law wife and even she thought they were thugs. She was gentle about it, but she clearly didn't trust them the length of her nose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Midchuck
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 08:14 PM

I agree, Frank. McCarty/Antrim/Bonney was a thug, Holliday was a very dangerous murderer, the Earps played both sides of the law, and all the rest in my list were, at one time or another, "outlawed" for various things (which is why I included Crazy Horse, whom I greatly respect).

Why we hold these people in high esteem, and yet rarely hear of others of that time and place -- Tom Smith, Elfego Baca, and others -- who upheld the law and not necessarily with bullets. I can only lay this at the door of a) hack dime writers like Ned Buntline, and b) the movies and TV, which have glorified violence and the violent.


So do you suppose the historical Arthur or Artos or whoever wasn't a thug, crown or now crown? Or Charlemagne the same?

How come other countries get to have a body of heroic myth, and we don't, just because we haven't been around so long? Not fair!

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 08:56 PM

Elfego Baca, a notorious womanizer, masterminded a jail break for a Mexican revolutionary general, killed an opponent (Celestino Otero)in cold blood and destroyed his wife in court, and intimidated juries, specializing in getting murderers acquitted. Not a man I would call a hero. Disney bears the blame for much of the legend, along with Baca's self-aggrandizing claims and a book ghost-written by Kyle Crichton.

As amply shown in this thread, people believe the legend and dismiss facts because they never read history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: lennice
Date: 04 Mar 07 - 09:15 PM

Howdy ya'll from the scene of the crime (sort of),

First of all, I agree that this is a bunch of political nonsense (including academic politics) and doesn't deserve (and never did) much attention, and whoever made of list of who should be apologizing left out some real biggies, top of my personal list being the US government and all the European nations for what they did to the folks who were here before they arrived. Having said it's not worth the bother, I'm going to bother because it is practically the stuff my baptismal waters were made of and I enjoy the subject.

I believe I can speak with a bit of authority having been raised in the west by a grampa who knew Geronimo (no, he wasn't boosting) and was one heck of an historian, I lived in Sante Fe, spent long hours in the Western History Collection at the U of OK (where most primary resources on western history now reside), studied western history at OU for years, and my father was raised by his grandmother, the sister of the aforementioned Lew Wallace. (If anybody who knows me is trying to count on their fingers, my parents were nearly 40 when I was born, all my grandparents were born in the 1880's.)


Most of what has been posted here is hearsay and myth - thank you Q for pointing that out and providing a few verfiable facts. (There were others, but I don't remember who.) Most people haven't a clue what the "wild west" was really like, mostly because there are few varifiable facts in our favorite myths. As has been pointed out, between Buntline and the pennydreadfuls and the completely fanciful "my own true story"'s by folks like Pat Garrett, there was no solid truth, not even at the time. Tall tales weren't just a popular form of entertainment, just staying alive required a great deal of lying. Who made up the cast of characters of the old west? People who left the comfy North and South, usually because they had to. One of the few rules people stuck to was, "you don't ask questions" - especially   "who are you" and "where did you come from."

Not only did Doc H work both sides of the law, so did the Earps and everybody else - THEY ALL DID. All the so-called "lawmen" slid back and forth from one side to the other of the badge, including and especially while they were wearing it. There literally was no rule of law as we know it (or used to before Reagan). 98% of the times we think of as the "wild west" were while the places in question were not States, i.e., no constitution and no constitutional rights. Lew Wallace was Governor of New Mexico TERRITORY, not state. Any order that existed was imposed by people with the power of shear physical force and/or the power of money. My own grampa (the other one) was a Texas Ranger for about 5 minutes. At some point he made the history books because he was sent to the Cimarron Strip (the part of what is now Oklahoma that was just north of what was then Indian Territory) to close down a saloon that was selling booze to Indians - the problem was they had to cross the Cimarron River on what was essentially a wide board to get the booze and a lot of them drowned on the way back. Grampa settled the matter by (illegally) opening a competing saloon on the south side of the river and thus founding the town of Keystone, of which he was the sheriff. This is a typical example of how the "lawmakers" got their badges. It's also typical of how the myths grow - I read what I told you in a history book. Grampa told me nothing and Daddy told me what a fine upstanding lawman he was, and several tales to back that up. Nobody every told me why the whole family were such dedicated teetotalers. Like everything about the west, you have to decide which story suits you by reading between the lines.

I am no apologist for Uncle Lew (I won't even try to apologize for "Ben Hur"), but he wasn't all that bad an administrator considering the situation. After all, in some circles he is best known as the judge of the famous Andersonville prison trials (civil war, topic: war crimes). The governorship of NM Terr. was a political and temporary one. The place was a political mess and a lawless mess and no one person could have straighted it out even if they tried, and Uncle Lew didn't try very hard. (and he was indeed writing "Ben Hur" at that time.)

The topic of the Lincoln County Wars is extremely complicated, and even a good precis (and someone gave us a really good one) can't begin to give a good picture of what was happening. Anyone who says Billy the Kid was just a snivelly kid who enjoyed killing people doesn't know what they are talking about. He THOUGHT he was on the side of justice in the Lincoln County wars. He also shot a deputy in cold blood to make his famous escape, and that particularly cold-blooded, gruesome and slightly humerous business, along with the fact that he was the only one of the "wars" who received any kind of punishment, probably birthed the myth, helped along by Pat Garrett with his own mythological autobiography. By the way, Uncle Lew may have signed the clemancy paper, but he also hired Pat to kill the kid (on behalf of the political and monied folks). See what I mean? William Bonney who may have been born Henry was just another violent person in a violent place and time full of people with shaky morals and lots of names - some frightened, some greedy, some angy, some desperate, most all of the above.

I know that sounds like a summing up, but it's just my POV (highly informed tho it is, she says modestly), and I don't want to kill this thread by lecturing - it's fun! I would especially like to know just what stories the folks across the pond have heard, and how they view the good ol' Amurrrican West.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 12:19 AM

I'm with Q and lennice.
New Mexico and much of the American West in the late 1800s was akin to Europe in the middle ages : A place where common folks were hard as nails, and sheriffs, marshalls, trail bosses, and cattle regulators were just the toughest of the bunch. Towns like Tombstone, Mesilla, and Dodge City were outposts in what was pretty much a lawless land, and your sheriff was just the toughest son of a bitch you could find, who got his pay through what we would call a "protection racket" today.
Power was usually counted in cattle, and rustling was a way of life. So was shooting rustlers. And the Lincoln County Range War was just that, a power struggle in a lawless little town. Billy threw his lot in with Tunstall and ended up on the losing side. Like a lot of other poor young men in the West, Billy was a cowboy, and pretty much expendable in the eyes of the people who held power in New Mexico. The fact that he went down hard and took some people who were trying to kill him along with him is what made him different than scores of other young saddle tramps, and what eventually made a legend out of him.
He was no murdering psychopath, if you look at the men he killed and the reasons why he killed them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: lennice
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 02:51 AM

Well, lonesome, at least no more a murdering psychopath than the rest of them, including my dear old grampa (the texas ranger, not the one who raised me). grin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 05:45 AM

I think what gives Billy some of his enduring appeal must be his solitariness.

He had no tribe like Crazy Horse, or political allegiance like Bloody Bill Anderson to sustain him. Even the Earps, who reputedly left Dodge because 'the snap' was going out of the place with encroaching civiliastion can be seen as part of something greater. Casey Terfertiller seems to trace the schism of Republican and Democrat philosophy to the OK Corral.

Billy, I think, will always be symbolise as Kerouac put it; a time in America when all kinds of freedom was there for everybody.


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: jimlad9
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 05:47 AM

Hold on a while Lonesome mate,my forebears ( no relation to Goldilocks and the Three Bears)
were in this part of the North of England in 1401 long before Frau Windsor/Saxe/Coburg/Gotha and her family and we were not then or not now 'as hard as nails'. We are 'softies',I ask for a General Anaesthetic before I have a 'flu jab.

Jim Hamer


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Subject: RE: BS: Pardon for Billy the Kid
From: Den
Date: 05 Mar 07 - 02:49 PM

Is it true that Billy's mother hailed from County Antrim in N. Ireland and that's where the Antrim pseudonym came from?


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