Frontier Justice in the Wild West by R. Michael Wilson
"With feelings of profound regret and sorrow, I hereby invite you to attend and witness the private and decent and humane execution of two human beings....You are expected to deport yourself in a respectful manner and any flippant or unseemly language or conduct on you part will not be allowed." -- Invitation for the double hanging of Rentario and Hilario Hidalgo
On the Western Frontier, where jailhouses were few and gunslinging, cattle rustling, and stagecoach robberies were common, legal executions served as both a deterrent and as entertainment. In some cases, invitations summoned spectators --- they came in droves. From 1854 to 1910, in the lawless towns of the Old West, more than one thousand men (and two women) were executed. And while most of these punishments went off "without a hitch" a handful of necktie parties and firing squads stand out in the annals of history. Frontier Justice in the Wild West examines eighteen of the most interesting, controversial, and unusual executions.
Paperback, c2007, xviii, 174 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 157-166) and index.
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