Old West Books from Old West Books
Item 12 is a biography of Custer, but not George Armstrong: Elizabeth. A Biography of the Girl Who Married General George Armstrong Custer… Ruth Painter Randall's book was published in 1966. Elizabeth Custer was a remarkable woman. Devoted beyond the call of duty to her man, she spent her 50+ years of widowhood restoring the good name of her husband, which had been severely damaged by that altercation at Little Big Horn. $50.
Some thought of him as a Robin Hood, though it's not clear that he gave much of his bounty to the poor. Item 219 is the Life and Career of Tiburcio Vasquez The Bandit and Murderer… by Eugene Sawyer, published in 1875. Young Jose Lopez had been involved in the death of a constable when he was 18 years old. He escaped to California's mountains, where he changed his name to Tiburcio Vasquez and took up stealing horses. He was caught and imprisoned several times, but always got out, either through escape or serving his time. However, in time he moved up to more serious crimes, such as robbing stagecoaches, until one day, three bystanders were killed in one of his robberies. Vasquez was off to the hills again, and he might have survived his crimes, but could not survive his indiscretions. One of the members of his gang caught Vasquez messing around with his wife and turned him in. For nine days, Vasquez held court in the local jail, receiving perhaps hundreds of visitors. A play was written about him. However, celebrity status didn't do him much good for long. He was shipped north for trial, convicted, and hanged. Sawyer was a local journalist who interviewed Vasquez extensively as well as relatives and other acquaintances. $3,500.
Item 169 is another book about Vasquez, perhaps embellished with a bit more fiction, by San Francisco Chronicle reporter George Beers who accompanied the posse that tracked the criminal down: Vasquez or the Hunted Bandits of the San Joaquin, published in 1875. $4,500.
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