9 Things You May Not Know About Billy the Kid
Left in the care of an absentee stepfather, the future gunslinger spent the next year living in foster homes and boardinghouses. Before long, he fell in with a rough crowd and turned to petty crime and thievery. Photo that purportedly shows Billy the Kid on the left. Henry hid the loot in his boarding house, but was arrested after his landlord turned him in to the sheriff. The crime only carried a minor sentence, but rather than face punishment, the wiry youth escaped the jailhouse by shimmying up a chimney. McCarty then fled town and embarked on a career as a roving ranch hand, gambler and gang member.
He became handy with a Winchester rifle and a Colt revolver, and in August he killed his first man during a dispute in an Arizona saloon. Billy the Kid first earned his reputation as a gunslinger in , when he participated in a bloody frontier war in Lincoln County, New Mexico.
9 Things You May Not Know About Billy the Kid - HISTORY
The conflict centered on a business rivalry between British-born rancher John Tunstall and a pair of Irish tycoons named James Dolan and Lawrence Murphy. The tensions finally boiled over in February , when Tunstall was murdered by a posse organized by Sheriff William Brady, a supporter of The House.
In July , the feud reached its climax with a deadly, five-day firefight in the town of Lincoln, after which the Regulators disbanded and the two sides sealed a flimsy peace agreement. He would spend the rest of his life on the run from the authorities.
Billy the Kid
The young gunslinger stole the occasional horse, but he never once held up a bank, train or even a stagecoach. A photograph has emerged of what is believed to be the only image of Billy the Kid and his killer Pat Garrett together - and could be worth millions. The pair were once friends who gambled and drank together in Lincoln County, New Mexico.
However, when Garrett was made sheriff the friendship ended and one of the most famous feuds of the American Old West began. After watching a documentary in about the discovery of another photo of the Kid playing croquet , Frank Abrams, a lawyer with a keen interest in history, took another look at the photograph that he had assumed was a group of cowboys from the American South. He carefully studied the tintype image, which is a photograph produced on a thin sheet of metal, comparing it to other pictures of the Kid and Garrett.
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M r Abrams eventually became convinced the character on the far right in a dark hat was Garrett and the man with the prominent Adam's apple, second from the left, could be the Kid. H e consulted Robert Stahl, an expert on the Kidd and William Dunniway, a tintype specialist, who said the photograph was probably taken between and According to legend, it was not long before Billy killed another man, a blacksmith in Camp Grant, Arizona.
Billy the Kid, as people began calling him, next found work as a rancher and bodyguard for John Tunstall, a English-born rancher who operated out of Lincoln, New Mexico. When members of a rival cattle gang killed Tunstall, in , Billy became involved in the so-called Lincoln County War.
No arrests were made, however. In July , the rival gang surrounded the house where Billy and his gang were staying just outside of town. The siege stretched on for five days, and a U. Army squadron from nearby Fort Stanton was called in. Still, Billy and his gang refused to surrender. Suddenly, the regulators made a mass escape, and Billy and several of the other regulators miraculously managed to shoot their way out of town.
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After more than two years on the run, Billy was arrested by Lincoln Sheriff Pat Garrett, a man Billy had previously befriended before Garrett became a lawman. In April , Billy was found guilty of the murder of Sheriff Brady and was sentenced to hang. On April 28, two weeks before his scheduled execution, Billy wrested a gun from one of his jailers and shot him and another deputy dead in a daring escape that received considerable national attention. He gained access to the house where Billy was visiting a girlfriend and then surprised him in the dark.
Before the outlaw could offer resistance, Garret fired a bullet into his chest. Billy the Kid was dead at age We strive for accuracy and fairness.
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