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Deadwood From Mt. Moriah, 1888


Ghost Cowboy is about real tales from the 19th-century American frontier, when the Old West was young. Most of the posts here are actual news items from the 1800s and early 1900s. We'll be adding "new" content every week. Travel with us and sign up for an account, and you'll be able to leave comments and post in our forums. Your trailmasters, Ken in Alabama and Dave in Virginia, don't get to saddle up and vacation out west as often as they'd like, so they started this site. Drop us a note.

frontiersman


Moving to Shorpy


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It is with a heavy heart that we announce we will no longer update Ghost Cowboy. We have thoroughly enjoyed putting together the site, but over the last couple of months our focus has been on our other site, Shorpy, and Ghost Cowboy has been badly neglected. We hope to begin adding old-west photographs and stories to Shorpy in the future. As part of the move we will redirect our RSS feed to the Shorpy feed.

If you haven't checked it out, please give Shorpy a visit.

BANDIT’S HEAD JERKED OFF BY HANGMAN’S ROPE


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Black Jack Confesses That Innocent Men Suffer. Train Robber Writes Letter to President McKinley.

Oakland Tribune / April 26, 1901

CLAYTON, N.M. April 26 — Thos. E. Ketchum, alias “Black Jack,” the train robber, was hanged at 1:21 today. The rope broke but his head was jerked off.

The execution took place inside a stockade built for the purpose. The inclosure was crowded, 150 spectators having been admitted.

When Ketchum mounted the platform at 1:17 his face was very pale, but his eyes swept over the crowd boldly, as if he had no fear. A priest stood by his side as the

THE STARVING INDIANS.


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Account published in The New York Times / April 23, 1876

HOW THE CHEYENNES AND ARRAPAHOES CAME TO BE IN A SUFFERING CONDITION -- NEWS FROM THE RED CLOUD AGENCY.

WASHINGTON, April 22. -- There are official reports to the Indian Bureau from Superintendent Nicholson, dated Lawrence, Kansas, 4th inst., in answer to the charges of the War Department that the Cheyennes are starving through the negligence of their agents. The Superintendent says that last Fall and early in the Winter the Cheyennes and Arrapahoes were permitted to proceed to the Great Plains to hunt buffalo. They had been confined in camp and in the vicinity of the agency during the Summer, and having suffered severely from sickness they were exceedingly anxious to go on the hunt to secure change of air and diet.

THE CROW-SIOUX FIGHT.


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Reported in The New York Times / October 28, 1886

FORT KEOGH, Montana, Oct. 27. -- The following additional particulars regarding the late fight of the Crow Reservation between a party of Crow and Sioux Indians, in which five of the Indians were killed and scalped, have just been reported: The expedition left the Yankton Agency a short time ago with the avowed intention of raiding the Crow camp on the Little Rosebud.

 

Shorpy  The 100-Year-Old Photo Blog!

Juniper Gallery  Fine-art prints of the photos on this site.

Turnpike Cruiser  Photos of the present-day West, with an emphasis on Arizona and Bisbee, and the Canadian Rockies.

PatentRoom  Patent illustrations from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Buy as prints.

Plan59  Retro 1950s illustrations. Cars! Happy wives! Demonic Tots!

Box of Apples  Fruit-crate art from the turn of the century, available as fine-art prints.

AdventureLounge  Aircraft patent drawings and early aviation history. Will it fly?