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Robbers, Rustlers and Rogues

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Profiles

  • Peter Mullins (1805 - 1889)
    Apparently convicted alongside his father of counterfeiting U.S., Mexican, and Spanish coins in Virginia in 1837. From the family history of Robert Lintott and Opal Mullins: (Extracts from Common...
  • Johnny Peters Ringo (1850 - 1882)
    American Outlaw John Peters "Johnny" Ringo became a legend of the Old West because of his alleged involvement in the gunfight at the OK Corral and his association with the Clanton Gang. John Peters...
  • Tom Horn (1860 - 1903)
    Thomas "Tom" Horn, Jr. (November 21, 1860 – November 20, 1903) was an American Old West lawman, scout, soldier, hired gunman, detective, outlaw and assassin. On the day before his 43rd birthday, he was...
  • Edward Capehart O'Kelley (1857 - 1904)
    The story of Ed O'Kelly's life was published in a book Ed O'Kelly: The Man Who Murdered Jesse James' Murderer by Judith Ries. The proceeds from the book went to erect a memorial tombstone at Post Oak C...
  • Samuel Baldwin, Jr. (1735 - 1793)
    Samuel Ford was a silversmith and counterfeiter. When the authorities began hunting him he changed his name to Samuel Baldwin and moved to West Virginia. parents: Samuel Ford & Sarah Baldwin Ma...

Bring over your ancestors who may not have always been on the right side of "the law ..."

Some definitions

Rogue

  • a dishonest or unprincipled man: "you are a rogue and an embezzler!"
  • a person whose behavior one disapproves of but who is nonetheless likable or attractive (often used as a playful term of reproof): "Cenzo, you old rogue!"

Rustler

  • n. One who works or acts with energy and promptness; an active, efficient person; a “hustler”; originally, a cowboy.
  • n. A cowman who procures his stock by capturing the cattle of other owners and branding them as his own; a cattle-thief.
  • * “The prosecution of these men was undertaken with something of the old vigor that characterized the pursuit of horse thieves, with this difference, that, whereas all the world had hated a horse thief as a common enemy, very much of the world found excuse for the so-called rustler, who was known to be doing only what his accusers had done before him.” The Story of the Outlaw: A Study of the Western Desperado

About Stagecoach Robbery

A real danger for stagecoach travelers on local or long haul lines was the risk of robbery by highwaymen, road agents, or bandits, right up into the early 20th Century. Cash payrolls and bank transfers were regularly carried by these scheduled stage lines. California saw the first stagecoach robbery in April 1852, when a Nevada City stage was robbed outside Illinoistown by a gang led by Reelfoot Williams.

Tom Bell led the earliest well-organized stagecoach robbery gang, using informants to alert them when a stagecoach had a shipment of gold or rich passengers aboard. His gang began and ended in 1856 but was followed by others, like Rattlesnake Dick, who used Bell's methods. One of the more successful individual road agents was Charles Bolles a.k.a. "Black Bart", known to have robbed California stages from 1875 to 1883. As gold mining spread across the West, so did the stagecoach robbers.

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