Wild West Readers Wonder About Frontier Myths and Icons

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Quanah Parker
I actually loved “Picturing Quanah Parker,” by Richard F. Selcer and Clara Wallace Holmes, within the October 2021 situation. Among the images have been new to me. Fort Parker is 50 miles from my residence, and after I go to I all the time consider Cynthia Ann Parker and her seize. After I examine outdated Western cities in your publication, I often get my highway atlas and attempt to find them. Your writers actually do their analysis.

David Vardeman
Waco, Texas

Lengthy Walks
[Re. “Revisiting the Santa Fe Trail,” by Diana West, October 2021:] A sentence in West’s sidebar “Roughing It,” concerning retired marshal Ralph L. Hooker climbing the Santa Fe Path, caught my consideration: “Whereas their situation slowed his tempo, he nonetheless managed to cowl 30 to 55 miles a day.” This can be a retired man carrying a 5-foot, 2-inch flintlock rifle, and he had “blistering, peeling and bleeding” toes. Just a few of the very match can do 30 miles per day to slightly over that on the Pacific Crest Path, making an attempt to be gentle as potential with fashionable gear. Mountaineering 55 miles per day carrying the rifle and no matter else, I don’t suppose so. It’s important to eat, sleep, and so on. Even when he hiked 12 hours a day, he must common over 4.5 miles per hour to hike 55 miles.

T.J. Roumph
Spanish Springs, Nev.

Lengthy walker Ralph Hooker strode as much as 55 miles a day with rifle in hand. (Diana West Assortment)

Diana West responds: My supply for that data was Ralph Hooker’s autobiography, Born Out of Season, the place in Chapter IX he chronicled his stroll on the Santa Fe Path. On P. 53 he wrote, “Some days I didn’t stroll so far as different days; typically it was as a result of my toes have been nonetheless tender and typically due to unhealthy climate.” In a while that web page he wrote, “I solely trudged 30 miles at the present time due to the warmth,” after which, “…arriving in Boise Metropolis, Oklahoma at 3 o’clock within the morning; this lined 55 miles in a single stretch of stroll.” These two passages are the place I got here up with the 30 to 55 miles per day. Since he particularly talked about each lately, I took the 30 miles to be his low day and the 55 miles to be his excessive. Sure, he was carrying the rifle [see image at right], however little else. He slept out within the open with no pillow or blanket. He solely carried a canteen of water and a few prunes to eat.

Arresting Growth
Matthew Bernstein’s article “Homicide Most Fowl,” within the August 2020 version, was very attention-grabbing. The story was nice, however unwittingly it demonstrated a parallel between the scenario the officer discovered himself in and the scenario some officers have discovered themselves in lately. Within the story a person was shot to loss of life as a result of he merely did not adjust to and comply with the instructions of the officer. He wasn’t within the act of committing a critical felony or about to hurt somebody or attacking the officer. He merely was not compliant. It doesn’t take an excessive amount of creativeness to see the similarity between that loss of life and the deaths of a number of people lately. After spending nearly 30 years in regulation enforcement, I do know all too effectively the sensation of frustration and anger that may outcome from such a confrontation. There is no such thing as a justification for it, particularly when the suspect might as simply have been arrested later through a warrant. When one thing like that occurs, then as now, the officer will lose.

William Lewis
McKinney, Texas

Springfield Carbine
I loved C. Rodney James’ Weapons of the West article [“Trapdoor Evolution”] within the August 2021 situation. Unsure why the big picture of the Springfield carbine fitted with a contemporary scope was related. The article talked concerning the lengthy, weak wrist (comb of the inventory) and the poor sights of the early Mannequin 1873 carbine. To assist the reader visualize this stuff, it could have been good to point out that carbine after which present a photograph of the later mannequin [above] with the brand new, stronger inventory and improved Buffington sights. The article by no means defined why the brand new sights have been higher than the sooner mannequin. The article additionally made it sound just like the .45-70 cartridge used smokeless powder in the course of the Spanish American Warfare. That’s incorrect. The Krag carbine and rifle used within the SAW used smokeless powder in its .30-40 cartridge. This was the primary smokeless powder cartridge adopted by the U.S. navy.

Scott Whitcome
Waverly, Iowa

C. Rodney James responds: The relevancy of the scoped carbine was within the caption for the picture, concerning present use (deer looking) with handloads and their accuracy. This materials was lower for area causes. Yeah, it may need been an enchancment to have side-by-side images of the 1873 and ’77 carbines. I didn’t have entry to the ’73. The ’77 is my gun. Concerning why later sights have been higher was lined within the reference to the Buffington sight. I included a photograph of the Mannequin 1877 sight (not used), stating that it lacked a peep aperture. Sure, there was some smokeless .45-70 ammunition obtainable in 1898 from Frankford, and, later, contract ammo from UMC. Glad you appreciated the article.

Civil Rights
Kudos to Wild West for having the braveness and integrity to publish Gregory Michno’s article “‘Worse Than the Hostile Comanches’” within the October 2021 situation. Former Confederates and their descendants have been so profitable at selling their “Misplaced Trigger” propaganda that the American public doesn’t know the reality concerning the causes and penalties of the Civil Warfare. Others have identified that neither 1863 nor 1865 are the benchmarks for blacks that we needs to be contemplating. Sure, slavery ended, however for the following 100 years whites might homicide black males and rape black ladies and stood lower than a 50-50 likelihood of being arrested, charged or indicted. And there was zero likelihood they’d be convicted of any crime. The federal Civil Rights Act was solely handed 57 years in the past—lower than a lifetime in the past. That’s the benchmark that issues. Defenders of Confederates wish to level out the vast majority of the troopers have been preventing to defend fireplace and residential, not the establishment of slavery. However that doesn’t change the actual fact they fought for state and nationwide governments whose official place was to perpetuate slavery. It will be attention-grabbing to know what number of Accomplice veterans who by no means owned slaves terrorized blacks over subsequent many years.

Barry Isaacs
Newville, Pa.


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