This Week in Old West History - May 14
CowboySpirit.TV - We've got a great selection of Old West History tidbits this week, ranging from a member of Billy the Kid's gang who went straight, to the creation of one of the most iconic fashions of cowboy culture.
1934: A minor member of Billy the Kid's gang, named Tom Picket, died on this day. While he didn't contribute too much to the gang, Picket was present when the Kid was arrested at Stinking Springs. What's interesting is that Picket is a rare old west outlaw who reformed himself. After the breakup of the gang he went straight, and eventually ended up serving as a deputy US marshal!
1882: On this day, Doc Holliday of Tombstone fame was arrested in Denver for his part in the killing of Frank Stilwell, the probable killer of Morgan Earp. He was due to be extradited to Arizona, but a last-minute intervention by the governor of Colorado blocked the extradition, and Holliday was freed shortly after.
1843: Today, the “Great Migration of 1843” began, with a wagon train carrying somewhere between 700 and 1,000 emigrants set out from Elm Grove, Missouri, along the Oregon Trail. Unlike many such undertakings in the old west, this was a success. Despite great adversity and nearly 2,000 miles of land to travel, nearly all the settlers made it.
1876: On this day, General George Custer departed Fort Lincoln with the 7th Calvary on the ill-fated expedition that would end with the Battle of Little Bighorn. Custer's last words are reported to be: "Hurrah boys, we've got them! We'll finish them up and then go home to our station."
1871: The “Salt Creek Massacre” occurred in Texas on this day. A group of Kiowa descended upon a ten-wagon supply convoy, stealing valuables and killing 7 men. The leaders who led the raid were found and arrested, leading to the first Indian trials.
1848: On this day, Mexico ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, officially ending the Mexican-American war. Among other things, it ceded California, Nevada, and Utah to the United States, as well as officially designating the Rio Grande River as the southern border of Texas.
1874: An icon of old west fashion officially began today. On this day, Levi Strauss received a patent for using copper rivets to reinforce denim work pants. Levi Jeans are born.
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