Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wild Western Wednesday...!

There are just so many stories and legends that stand out from the history of the Old West, it's often hard to pick one out to bring to you.

In this case, the main reason I brought up these guys is that I had never heard of either of them! However, thanks to the folks at History.com, now I do.

If you like information about a certain date in history, you should really take the time to visit there! Very informative site, in my opinion!

Nov 14, 1882:
Franklin Leslie kills Billy "The Kid" Claiborne

On this day, the gunslinger Franklin "Buckskin" Leslie shoots the Billy "The Kid" Claiborne dead in the streets of Tombstone, Arizona.

The town of Tombstone is best known today as the site of the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral. In the 1880s, however, Tombstone was home to many gunmen who never achieved the enduring fame of Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday. Franklin "Buckskin" Leslie was one of the most notorious of these largely forgotten outlaws.

There are few surviving details about Leslie's early life. At different times, he claimed to have been born in both Texas and Kentucky, to have studied medicine in Europe, and to have been an army scout in the war against the Apache Indians. No evidence has ever emerged to support or conclusively deny these claims. The first historical evidence of Leslie's life emerges in 1877, when he became a scout in Arizona. A few years later, Leslie was attracted to the moneymaking opportunities of the booming mining town of Tombstone, where he opened the Cosmopolitan Hotel in 1880. That same year he killed a man named Mike Killeen during a quarrel over Killeen's wife, and he married the woman shortly thereafter.

Leslie's reputation as a cold-blooded killer brought him trouble after his drinking companion and fellow gunman John Ringo was found dead in July 1882. Some Tombstone citizens, including a young friend of Ringo's named Billy "The Kid" Claiborne, were convinced that Leslie had murdered Ringo, though they could not prove it. Probably seeking vengeance and the notoriety that would come from shooting a famous gunslinger, Claiborne unwisely decided to publicly challenge Leslie, who shot him dead.

The remainder of Leslie's life was equally violent and senseless. After divorcing Killeen in 1887, he took up with a Tombstone prostitute, whom he murdered several years later during a drunken rage. Even by the loose standards of frontier law in Tombstone, the murder of an unarmed woman was unacceptable, and Leslie served nearly 10 years in prison before he was paroled in 1896. After his release, he married again and worked a variety of odd jobs around the West. He reportedly made a small fortune in the gold fields of the Klondike region before he disappeared forever from the historical record.

Yep, it seems that Tombstone was kinda like a magnet for the "gunfighter" types back in the golden days! I guess it was the early version of Detroit and such, ya think?

Guess we had better have coffee in the kitchen again today! I have some vanilla cake that one of the ladies in Mom's sewing group sent me and I'll be more than happy to share!

7 comments:

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

How interesting - Never knew that.
Hubby just loves Western Wednesday!
Vanilla cake? Save me two slices - I
haven't had that in ages!

linda m said...

I never knew that. And I have visited Tombstone, AZ. It is quite a place to see, especially "Boot Hill". There are so many unusual names on the tombstones there. I would love some coffee and vanilla cake.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Glad the hubby likes the cowboy stories!

That cake is pretty good, especially with some butter spread on it!

Thanks for coming over today!


Hey Linda...
Old graveyards and tombstones can be a wealth of information! The names and sayings can sure fire the imagination!

Thanks so much for coming over today!

John said...

The Old West history is so fascinating. Dodge City is also filled with plenty of it. It has been so commercialized that the real history has been changed to make it sound better. Living close to the old rail head cities of Kansas, (Dodge City, Hays, Ellsworth, Wichita), has given me the opportunity to see a lot of it first hand. Keep the stories coming.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I love true stories about he old west. You come up with some good ones. Keep them coming.

West Tx at Heart said...

With out a doubt its my favorite theme of the week. Dont know how you do it but Im glad you do.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.