West of Hell's Fringe: Crime, Criminals, and the Federal Peace Officer in Oklahoma Territory, 1889 - 1907 (Paperback)

West of Hell's Fringe: Crime, Criminals, and the Federal Peace Officer in Oklahoma Territory, 1889 - 1907 Cover Image
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When the remaining Indian lands of Old Oklahoma were made available for settlement in a series of openings beginning in 1889, thousands of people flocked to the region to try for a homestead. It was a grand chance for a new life. Unfortunately, ahead of, with, and after the homeseekers came the dregs of human society: those who would steal, kill-do anything to avoid working for even the necessities of life. Most of these outlaws operated across the imaginary border between Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory-called Hell's Fringe by the early U.S. deputy marshals. At first the felons eluded pursuers by fleeing across Hell's Fringe into Indian Territory, where Oklahoma lawmen were forbidden to set foot. Not so the federal marshals. They could and did cross the border, sometimes deputizing territorial lawmen as federal officers and taking them along. Glenn Shirley has written the definitive account of outlawry in Oklahoma Territory from the Run of '89 to statehood in 1907, putting down myths and deflating the romanticism that made heroes out of barbarians. His is the story of brave men who put their lives on the line every time they rode-because most of their quarry would rather die than surrender, and many of them did die, sometimes taking a lawman or two with them. It's the story of the Doolin and Dalton gangs, of outlaws like Dynamite Dick, Arkansas Tom, and Zip Wyatt, and of their female counterparts such as Tom King (Flora Quick), Cattle Annie, and Little Breeches. If you're looking for Robin Hoods, you won't find them here. But you will find something much better: Glenn Shirley's saga of the determined men who brought an orderly system of freedom and justice to one of America's last frontiers. Glenn Shirley, wrote hundreds of articles for anthologies, journals, and magazines. He is the author of many books including Temple Houston: Lawyer with a Gun, Belle Starr and Her Times, and Shotgun for Hire: The Story of "Deacon" Jim Miller, Killer of Pat Garrett, all published by the University of Oklahoma Press. "Shirley is a meticulous researcher and he knows well the literature of Oklahoma outlaws. Historical scholarship is updated on nearly a score of notorious characters, including Bill Doolin, the Daltons, Tulsa Jack, Arkansas Tom, Bob and Bill Christian, Al and Frank Jennings, Cattle Annie and Little Breeches....Descriptions of land runs and characterizations of settlers are excellent. The politics of territorial law enforcement and the problem of dishonesty among officers receive attention....Social history, how life actually was on one of our last frontiers, abounds....This is an important book, long overdue." -Arizona and the West "It is, without doubt, the best work to date on a complex subject. Lavishly illustrated and easy to read, the book is a must for anyone wanting a rousing good-and highly professional-work of Western history." -Journal of the West "This is a fine book, the best available on crime, criminals, and the federal peace officer in Oklahoma Territory from 1889 to 1907. It is well documented, written in an inviting style, and it should receive deserved attention from those interested in the authentic story of law and order in the American West." -Southwestern Historical Quarterly. "Well-chosen photos and illustrations accentuate this substantial work, which will probably remain the standard treatment for many years." -Western Historical Quarterly.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780806122649
ISBN-10: 0806122641
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Publication Date: April 15th, 1978
Pages: 512
Language: English