Gary Roberts
About Outlaws, 'Cow-Boys,' and Such
Wed Jun 09, 12:37

My two-cents worth on the topic is this. It was not at all unusual for 19th century Western newspapers to make cryptic references to "well-known" characters. It has frustrated me for years how many times things I thought were "important" are passed off with this kind of vague comment. It was one thing to refer to an incident--"a couple of cowboys exchanged shots at a dance hall on the south side last Thursday"--quite another to name them--even if the editor knew exactly who they were. If a person or persons was/were prominent or dangerous, their names were frequently not included. The cryptic note acknowledged that something had happened. In many cases, the regular readers knew perfectly well who was involved anyway. Similarly, A brief reference that said something like "Clay Allison passed through Dodge last week" could ignore the fact that an incident we would love to know about wasn't even mentioned. One of the Wichita papers in the 1870s when Earp was there even published a note that it would not report every arrest or incident; the editor thought reporting every episode would hurt the reputation of the town. Weeklies were especially bad about not covering every incident because by the time the paper came out, the story wasn't news anymore. Dodge City's papers are frustrating. There are examples of lengthy articles about events that did not mention any of the offenders or arresting officers involved. Best!

    • Re: About Outlaws, 'Cow-Boys,' and SuchB.J,, Wed Jun 09 16:45
      A good example of that is some years ago on this site one of our participants located a period newspaper article referring to Ike Clanton as a "model citizen" the modern researcher accepted this descr... more
    • Podcast on frontier, Wed Jun 09 13:43
      I will be doing a Podcast on early frontier Newspapers, as soon as I can put a script together When I started investigating western newspapers I was startle. Meanwhile, I have three others to do f... more
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