The Old West

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Roy, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. Roy

    Roy
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    When I was in the tenth grade, I found a book in the school library on Wyatt Earp and used it for a book report. After that, I read everything that I could find on Waytt Earp, because he was an amazing individual. When I was in the Army, I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca, Az., about twenty-five miles from Tombstone, and I was able to visit the OK Corral, Boot Hill Cemetery, and a few other sites there. I just finished reading some stuff on Doc Holliday and thought I would pass these links along, in case anyone here has a sweet tooth for "Wild West" history.

    http://www.americanwest.com/pages/fwpnfron.htm

    http://www.americanwest.com/pages/docholid.htm


    Roy
     
  2. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim
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    Thanks, Roy, great link! Have you read any of Louis L'Amour's books? If you like the Old West, he is MUST reading. He wrote around, I think, 110 books and I've read over 100 of them. Fiction section, Western section of any good bookstore.
     
  3. Roy

    Roy
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    A hundred?!! I wish I had it in me to read like that. I think that in my later years, I have developed adult A.D.D., because I have a lot of good reading material, but whenever I read, I'll go for a couple of chapters, then put it aside and may not get back to it for a long time.

    Yeah man, the Old West is really fascinating. Those cattle drivers had to be a tough bunch...riding and roping all day and sleeping on hard ground, out in the weather, every night. Going days or maybe weeks without a bath. I rarely get to ride a horse, myself, but when I do, I am usually sore for a week after. I really respect those guys for their tenacity.

    Roy
     
  4. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim
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    Roy,

    I'm not that good a reader. Pick up one of Louis L'amour's books and you'll see how easy it is to read a hundred of them.

    They are substantial books, but so very fascinating that I'd bet you'll go through a few hundred pages in a few days.

    They highlight all the stuff that you mention, and he was extremely knowledgeable, down to the finest details.
     
  5. Roy

    Roy
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    Thanks for the advice, Jim. I'll have to do that. Just talking about this stuff gives me the itch for it.

    Roy
     
  6. Hardsheller

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    Good to see some other western fans. Louis L'Amour is great - I cut my western teeth on him. I'd have to say though that my favorite of all times is Elmer Kelton. Read some of his and see if you don't agree.
     
  7. Roy

    Roy
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    Would anyone care to guess the most common cause of premature death among men in the old west was?

    Roy
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Guess "drowning". Most never learned to swim and wearing wool (which wicks up water) would lead to serious accidents.

    Know that on the Oregon trail out here in Wyoming, disease was #1, wagon/horse/cattle accidents #2, drowning #3 and accidents with firearms #4. Hostile Indians ranked down around 7 or 8 as I recall!
     
  9. Daisy

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    I wouldn't have thought there was a whole lot "wet" out west (going by movies & travelogs). As Dr. Bob said, I'm thinking that disease (like influenza, tetanus and pneumonia) - agravated by malnutrition (lack of green leafy veggies and fruit), poor sanitation, and parasites - took the greatest toll.

    Weren't barbers the surgeons back then? When was soap and water considered essential to health?
     
  10. Roy

    Roy
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    I had heard it said on a radio broadcast that horses dragging their riders to death was the most common cause of death back then, but then maybe it was just addressing accidental death. It would seem that disease would be a bigger factor overall.

    Roy
     
  11. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim
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    I'll have to find them, I'd love to read more. And, if he's as good as you say, there will at least be someting that we agree on! ;) :D [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thanks for the tip!!
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    BTW, I cut my teeth on ZANE GRAY and his portrayal of the "real" West. Made me long to get out of the ghetto in Minneapolis and look beyond the lakes and trees and fields and prairie to the MOUNTAINS OF WYOMING . . which is where I am today! [​IMG]
     
  13. Daisy

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    Hmm, I'd always thought of plains & prairies as being "real" west, with the Rockies dividing mid-west from far-west. Of course, to us living right on the East Coast, any place west of the Mississippi (and a few places east) seems west, lols.

    There was a movie, "Dead Man", whose opening scenes were of a young man traveling west on a train from Ohio to Wyoming, perhaps in the 1890's. In the first scene, he looks "western" as do the people around him and the land outside the window. Each time he falls asleep and reawakes, the people around him (and the land outside) look a bit wilder until the men are wearing rough bison-skins; at that point, he really looks like a dude.
     
  14. Pastor_Bob

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    I have the entire Louis L'Amour collection with the exception of his very first book of poetry entitled Smoke From This Altar. I have read every book of his and several of the many times.

    I collect the paperback editions of his books. I am collecting all of his book with a special interest in earlier books published by companies other than Bantam Books. (Fawcett, Ace, etc.)

    I would also recommend some of L'Amour's nonfiction works, especially Education Of A Wandering Man.

    I would love to find some of his earlier works before he began writing under his real name. His earlier works (mainly magazine short stories) were done under the pen name "Jim Mayo."

    His writings are historically accurate. His characters are fictional, but if he says they crossed this river or stopped by that lake, you can be sure they are really there. A great example is his novel Sitka which deals with Seward's Folly and the purchase of Alaska.
     

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