The quarterly WWHA Journal is one of several benefits enjoyed by members of the Wild West History Association. Each edition informs and enlightens readers across the world with scholarly articles by leading researchers and authorities of America's Old West. Some of these works appear years before their book publications, making each issue of the Journal a valuable resource not to be missed. We are proud to present selected articles here.
As a new Journal is released, an article from a previous edition will appear on this page.
The Truth About the Chisholm Cattle Trail: Beyond the Legend by Gary & Margaret Kraisinger
From the WWHA Journal, December 2019
We have studied south-to-north Texas cattle trails for over fifty years. So when prickly points kept presenting themselves to us in our research of the Chisholm Trail, and the National Parks Service was given the direction to investigate the Trail for National Status by President Obama in 2009, we decided to intensely focus on that famous, world-known cattle trail. At the time, we didn’t agree with its history as written.
The currently accepted narrative about the Chisholm Trail states that the Chisholm Trail, named after Indian trader Jesse Chisholm, started in south Texas in 1867, crossed the Red River into Indian Territory at Red River Station and continued north from there into Kansas, terminating at Abilene, Kansas. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. This anecdote has been believed by readers for over 100 years. Most importantly this narrative is incorrect on all three counts.
Johnny Ringo's One Dollar Inheritance by Wayne Sanderson
From the WWHA Journal, September 2019
In the words of Mary Ann Peters Ringo as set down in her will: “My son John Ringo having been heretofore provided for, I bequeath him the sum of One Dollar.” How exactly Mary Ringo had “heretofore provided for” her only surviving son John Peters Ringo, the will does not reveal. In fact, there is no mention anywhere else in legal papers that have thus far been discovered, in the newspapers of the day nor in the family stories recorded by Ringo biographer Jack Burrows, of exactly to what Mary Ringo was referring.
The goal of this article is to bring to light new government records previously unexamined or considered by Ringo's several biographers and to present their possible ramifications.
Adventures in Wonderland: Identifying Old West Photos by Daniel Buck
From the WWHA Journal, September 2018
Rumpelstiltskinning five-dollar flea-market photos into rare, valuable images of Old West celebrities has become increasingly popular since the Dedrick tintype of Billy the Kid fetched $2.3 million at auction in 2013. If lighting can strike once, why not on a regular basis?
The Wild Bunch on the High Seas by Mark Mszanski
From the WWHA Journal, September 2017
By early 1901, the Pinkerton's National Detective Agency and the local authorities were hot on the heels of ButchCassidy and the Sundance Kid. Several of their confederates had already been arrested or killed, and by the end of the year, three more were in jail or dead. Butch and Sundance had other plans: flee the country. In February, they showed up in New York City with Sundance now accompanied by a mystery woman, Ethel Place. The Pinkertons described her as "said to be his wife and to be from Texas." Late that month, the trio boarded a steamship bound some 5,300 miles south, to Buenos Aires.
Very little has ever been nailed down using actual shipping records about the Wild Bunch trio's travels to South America, and so I decided to see what I could find out.
Dan Buck, WWHA editorial board member observed: "The Wild Bunch on the High Seas" by Mark Mszanski, includes ground-breaking research. Mark found, in an archive of British steamship records in Newfoundland, the crew list for the Honorious, listing H.A. Place and Mrs. H.A. Place on a 1902 voyage from New York to Buenos Aires. Not only listing, but showing their actual signatures. Mrs. H.A. Place favored the trident E, the Greek E. Note the signature of "H. A. Place" (The Sundance Kid) on line #106 and "Mrs. H. A. Place" (Ethel Place) on line #117. Also note their passenger status as crew members.
Click image to enlarge
Note the signature of "H. A. Place" (The Sundance Kid) on line #106 and "Mrs. H. A. Place" (Ethel Place) on line #117.
Also note their passenger status as crew members.
Billy the Kid Death Scene: Reviewing Ballistic Evidence by James A. Bailey and Margaret B. Bailey
From the WWHA Journal, September 2016
Young and notorious, Billy the Kid lived an extraordinary life as an outlaw in the New Mexico Territory. For decades Western writers, historians and investigators have speculated about Billy the Kid's exploits and circumstances surrounding his death. For this investigation, newspaper articles and accounts describing Billy the Kid were reviewed. In addition to a retrospective examination of these sources, anecdotal accounts provided supplemental evidence associated with Billy and his death. In reviewing the case and contemplating a possible conclusion surrounding the circumstances of Billy's death, a forensic examination of bullet holes in Peter "Pete" Menard Maxwell's washstand was also conducted. This forensic examination of the Maxwell washstand and related evidence will provide those interested in the death of Billy the Kid with important information to consider in the case.
The Killing of Charlie Storms by Luke Short by Peter Brand
From the WWHA Journal, March 2016
Luke Short shot Charlie Storms to death outside the Oriental Saloon in Tombstone, Arizona Territory on Friday, Feb. 25, 1881. The basic story of the gunfight between these two professional gamblers has been told and retold. However, recently discovered information about the participants, the lead-up to the confrontation and its aftermath adds another chapter to the so-called "Gambler's War" in Tombstone.
The new information shows that the matter did not die in the dust with Charlie Storms. In fact, the fall-out from the gunfight would later impact the Earp brothers along with gambler Lew Rickabaugh, as the animosity between Storms' associates and these men lingered for several years.
Journal of the Wild West History Association
The August 2015 edition of the Journal was published as an on-line resource only
The United States Marshals Of Arizona Territory
Part One – Edward Phelps by Roy B. Young
From the WWHA Journal, April 2013
Arizona Territory had fourteen United States Marshals between the formation of the territory in 1864 and 1912, when Arizona was admitted to the Union as a state. Some of the marshals are well-known to students of outlaw-lawman history, such as: Robert H. Paul, Crawley P. Dake, and William Kidder Meade. Others are relatively unknown, including: George Tyng, Francis Henry Goodwin, and William M. Griffith.
Books or substantive articles have been written about several of the marshals, including: Milton B. Duffield by Dr. Benjamin Sacks, Crawley P. Dake, William Kidder Meade and Zan L. Tidball by Dr. Larry Ball, Benjamin Franklin Daniels, by R. K. DeArment, and two books on Robert H. Paul, one by John Boessenecker, and another by this author, Roy B. Young.
This study, which was presented as one paper at the 2012 WWHA Roundup in Prescott, Arizona, will appear in three parts over the next three issues of the WWHA Journal and will deal with three representative marshals, one each from the decades of the 1860s – Edward Phelps, 1870s – Isaac Q. Dickason, and 1880s – Zan Tidball.
Train Robbery Alibis for Kid Curry’s Kin? by Mark T. Smokov
From the WWHA Journal, December 2013
In the immediate aftermath of the Wild Bunch’s famous Union Pacific train holdup near Wilcox, Wyoming, on June 2, 1899, a controversy arose over the identities and actual number of robbers who took part. This article does not address the known involvement of Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan, “Flat Nose” George Currie, and Harry Longabaugh, the Sundance Kid, rather it attempts to answer the question of whether Kid Curry’s brother Lonie Logan and cousin Robert E. “Bob” Lee participated in the robbery, since there are some historians who insist that one or both were on the scene in spite of the impressive evidence against it.
The following presents a detailed chronology of their actions and whereabouts leading up to, during, and after the time of the holdup, resulting in plausible alibis for their alleged participation in one of the most daring Wyoming train robberies.