It is fairly common for sites to have an About Us section. Saying who you are and what you do is basic politeness in any conversation. Trust and credibility are major issues on the Web. Explaining who you are and where you come from does matter and we make the following promises to our audience: We'll provide you with accurate, engaging content. Like a friendly neighbor, we'll give you information that you can trust. We won't make you dig through a haystack to find the needle.
We'll make it easy to learn the basics of the topic we cover and we won't confuse you with unnecessary jargon. Our content is succinct, digestible, and entertaining. So many About Us pages are a waste of HTML. Though not everyone wants to know more about you, there are those who do. This page will tell you everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you don't) about us! Pay attention, we'll be giving a quiz!
Starting in 1996 I gleaned the web, newspaper articles, magazines, pictures, etc. which I wanted to keep and along with some original content and some things I'm interested in and I hope you are too posted them. I come from Missouri originally and operated this site from Oklahoma now Texas. I have a construction background, but since a stroke I do this Web Site. The Contact Us and The Small Print are located on the contact page.
I was always a cowboy. This interest from my long ago stayed with me and I've attempted to share some of this romance with you on these pages. With some items, articles, and history I've picked up in my western travels, I hope you enjoy them.
European nations came to the Americas to increase their wealth and broaden their influence over world affairs. The Spanish were among the first Europeans to explore the New World and the first to settle in what is now the United States. By 1650, however, England had established a dominant presence on the Atlantic coast. The first colony was founded at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. Many of the people who settled in the New World came to escape religious persecution. The Pilgrims, founders of Plymouth, Massachusetts, arrived in 1620. In both Virginia and Massachusetts, the colonists flourished with some assistance from Native Americans. New World grains such as corn kept the colonists from starving while, in Virginia, tobacco provided a valuable cash crop. By 1770, more than 2 million people lived and worked in Great Britain's 13 North American colonies.
Defending the Colonies against attack by the French and others had cost the British a great deal of money. As a result, the British had very high taxes in their country. They thus decided to shift some of their financial burden to the colonists. The Stamp Act of 1765, which taxed all legal documents, newspapers and other documents, was met with a great uproar in the Colonies. In 1766, this tax was repealed, but it was just the beginning of the problems between the colonists and the British. The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was an act of revolt against the British and their tax on tea in the Colonies.
Tensions such as these eventually led to the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. A year earlier, the War of Independence, also known as the American Revolution, began. When the British finally surrendered on October 19, 1781, Americans were officially independent of Britain and set about establishing their own government.
Under President Jefferson, the country expanded westward with the purchase of the Louisiana territory and the Lewis and Clark expedition. The War of 1812 against Britain, sometimes called the Second War of American Independence, lasted three years. After the war, a mood of nationalism existed as people focused on events and issues at home.
Presidents Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and John Tyler, like many Americans of this time, embraced the notion of enlarging the "empire for liberty." In other words they wanted to expand the borders of America westward. While some pioneers headed west to California, others attempted to expand the idea of what "liberty" in America meant.
The American West produced many exciting heroes and legends. Names like Jesse James & Cole Younger, The Dalton Gang, Kit Carson and Calamity Jane bring up images of train robberies, scouting, trapping, and gun-fighting duels. Women, like Annie Oakley, Belle Star, Willa Cather, Cattle Kate, Helen Hunt Jackson, and Carry Nation, made a large mark on the Old West as everything from shady characters to leaders (paving the way for women's rights). Landmarks, like Tombstone and The Alamo, are tributes to the people like Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Daniel Boone, and Sam Houston who made those sites famous. And then there was Samuel Colt who made the American West into what we know it today just by developing a gun.
There is much legend surrounding the wild west when it comes to outlaws and lawmen. The odd thing is that on occasion, the two were interchangeable and a lawman might have been a bandit previously in another state. We call it the Wild West. To many it means guns, cattle, horses and gunfights. But it was also homesteading and pioneering. It was a rugged country back then with little amenities and much danger. It represented the growth of our nation from independent states and scattered people to a united country.
If you're looking to find "how the west was won", you'll learn from these pages that it was won with courage, perseverance, adventure, inventiveness and strength of purpose. The American west is filled with interesting facts about people such as James Bowie, General Armstrong Custer, Sam Houston. and Levi Strauss who invented blue jeans pants. The Lewis & Clark Expedition, which marked the Northwest Passage, was a great adventure and a great part of American history. Other events such as the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral or the tragic events of the Donner Party illustrate that this period in America's history was dangerous and deadly.
In American history, the frontier was the western most area of settlement at any given time during the westward expansion of the nation. It began in Jamestown in 1607 and the line kept moving west. The period of time known as the "Wild West" was from about 1835 until 1895, and the area for which it identifies was roughly the land west of the Mississippi River. The West was harsh and rugged and in order to conquer it, only the brave and strong could survive. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 almost doubled the size of the country and there was no shortage of settlers heading toward the setting sun. Many attitudes and principles accompanied these migrants. Rugged individualism, conquest, progress, free enterprise, the right to bear arms, and law and order principles reinforced American ideals. The sheriff was a major player in these processes.
A number of factors lured men and women to the new frontiers. Land, gold, and other economic incentives were part of the lure. Transportation availability such as trails, roads, canals, river boats, horse drawn vehicles, and later trains aided in the movement of people and their possessions. Moving west became a compulsive urge. Adventure and romance fueled the desire to pull up stakes and head in the direction that the sun was travelling. To millions of Americans, the frontier was a place to go simply because it was there. Fertile soil, abundant game, and lack of restrictions constituted the stuff of dreams. Even though the frontier did not always live up to its envisioned potential, many who went there felt compelled to keep the dream alive rather than to admit the truth. This helps explain the tendency of the people of the frontier to embellish tales about the good things being very good and the bad things being very bad. Dime novels and other accounts of the Wild West were sometimes based upon fantasy, or at least exaggerations of the truth. However, what people perceive as the truth may be just as important as the actual truth itself. Generations of people have been enamored with this period and its tales of adventure. The associated violence, or the enhanced versions of violence, have added to the mystique. At the center of much of the romanticized versions of the era was the Western sheriff.
Social misfits of various sorts, who had failed for various reasons in the East followed the allure of the West and all its attractions. Thus, the West became a refuge for the potentially violent and lawless. The maladjusted became a basic equation for social turmoil. The heterogeneous population in the territories required a local control to deal with the complex issues of turbulence and crime. This was all very much like the need for local controls in government form that were needed in medieval England and Colonial America. As a result the office of sheriff was a ready-made entity to deal with the issues of crime on a local level. The idea that a position of this nature could be elected gave it an added dimension. It could reflect the needs of the community, and the citizens could have a direct input into the process of law and order by virtue of their vote. As the noted legal scholar and later eminent member of the United States Supreme Court, Oliver Wendall Holmes once wrote: The first requirement of a sound body of law is that it should correspond with the actual feelings and demands of the community, whether right or wrong.
The early settlements of the West were small and isolated and usually exhibited a reasonable amount of peace and order. Violence existed more as a by-product of the era and environment rather than a demonstration of true and total lawlessness. The majority of the settlers came to build a new life in the West, and crime was not their original intent. Small-mindedness and petty thievery were rare among frontier people. A stranger was considered honest until proven otherwise and it was taken for granted that any traveler stopping by was welcome to stay for food and lodging. Locks symbolized an impeachment of public honesty and integrity and frontier people frequently did not secure their homes and businesses. Similarly, a man's word was his bond and the owners of various mercantile enterprises sold on credit and advanced merchandise without collateral. Some customers rode hundreds of miles to settle accounts as soon as they had money. If a fellow citizen violated a community standard, banishment became a popular form of settling the issue. General indignation or scorn from a community was a powerful weapon against violators of good order. If reformation of an offense could not be made the perpetrator was "hated out" by the fellow members of the community and forced to leave or face uncomfortable circumstances.
Most citizens in the West lived peacefully and without great fear of personal attack. The six-shooter was far more useful against snakes than against criminals. As a place of wild lawlessness, the frontier's reputation was largely over-exaggerated. In reality, the West did not attract extreme numbers of lawless deviants and most settlers were friendly, hard working, and just. The majority literally practiced the biblical adage of being their brother's keeper. American folklore supports the image of tough, aggressive, and brave heros who tamed the wild frontier. The deeds of these men, whether real or embellished, have served as cultural metaphors of how Americans view themselves. In many respects the issues of crime and the crime fighters that tamed the Wild West are overstated. However, violence and crime were dramatically in existence during this period and sheriffs were an important part of crime fighting matters in the nineteenth century West.
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