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14

The answer differs between "carried" and "owned", and "in towns" vs "not". I'll only cover the first of the 4 combinations. You did not carry guns in many towns. Tombstone, AZ prohibited carrying firearms, as did Deadwood, as IIRC did Dodge City. The ordinances prohibited it, the signs indicated that you had to check in your firearms at the Sheriff's or ...


10

The common date is the massive introduction of the automobile, in the early 1900s (interpreting these data) or 1908 (Ford T model production start). After the US civil war, a lot of train robberies happened, but the trains (as later the planes again high-jacking) were rapidly secured. The car itself rapidly became more value for potential robbers than most ...


8

According to this inscription on a Pony Express marker only one out of 120 riders was killed in the 19 months. This would mean that the probability of getting killed on this job within a year was 0.5%. Then again - one death isn't anywhere near statistically significant. I see little reason to doubt these figures that are repeated on many websites. The ...


7

The biggest issue regarding comparing crime between then and now is that you just have to guess at a lot of it. This paper - unfortunately all I have access to is the abstract - talks about some of those reasons: https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=74706 In a nutshell: Investigative techniques were much different than they are today. ...


7

The railroad certainly received its share of harassment. Livestock was continuously rustled by tribal raiders, who also boldly shot up work crews and terrorized isolated station towns. Particularly vulnerable were route surveyors, who struck out on their own ahead of the work crews -- and sometimes paid for it with their lives. Twice, Native Americans ...


6

From what I've been able to dig up, the answer appears to be yes, but not as much as you'd think. It appears the Telegraph companies saw the danger every bit as clearly as you did, and actively took steps to prevent it. They made sure to meet with the cheifs through whose territory they ran lines, hired them to help construct the lines, and generally took ...


5

In the United States, prostitution has usually been illegal everywhere, with very few exceptions. The bawdy houses you see in movies only existed in mining boom towns and places where enforcement was lax, such as places with large amounts of foreign immigrants. As an example of the laws which were more or less similar throughout the country, here is the ...


5

The Spanish DID come to the New World to find Gold, and other things, but while I always thought they came across it much earlier than they did it looks like that was not so. At least in the province of California: When James Wilson Marshall found gold in the tailrace of Sutter’s mill on January 24, 1848, he was not the first to come across this much ...


5

From what I know about this the Western Railroad workers were Chinese immigrants who came to California, most were Cantonese since Canton province was on the southern coast of China and was a convenient location from which to sail to America. As Canton was overpopulated at the time and with the Qing in decline due to the Opium Wars and foreign settlements ...


4

They were trying to leave the United States, plain and simple. The nation of Deseret was specifically to be in a territory, so as to avoid the federal government and be a safe haven after the massacre in Navoo.


4

First off, what is today the state of Oklahoma is the result of three "leftover" pieces of territory. The eastern part of the state was reserved for the "Civilized" (aka farming) tribes pushed out of the American Southeast. The western half was later divied up to other tribes (eg: the Osages) as they got pushed out of their territories. Generally they ...


3

Actually, the Indian territory was established in the 1830s and originally included almost all of the land between the current states of Arkansas and Missouri and on up into the current state of Nebraska. Almost immediately, white settlers began to move into the territory. Because the fertile land was so desirable for the white settlers, the 1854 Kansas ...


3

This question is the subject of a lively debate among professional historians (non-professionals are also pitching in, but I'd rather not discuss their contributions at this stage, as per my impression they range from thought-stimulating cherry-picking to outright hackery). There is a recent (2009) review paper by Robert R. Dykstra: Quantifying the Wild ...


2

It never was illegal nationally, and is still legal in some jurisdictions in Nevada. Here in Seattle it was legal until 1911; not coincidentally, women got the franchise in Seattle in 1910. Around the same time the Mann Act made it a federal crime to to 'transport women across state lines for immoral purposes.' However in the pre-FBI days the federal ...


2

Most stage coach robberies were never solved. The Wild West was - to be redundant - a wild, lawless place, so this is no surprise. Many robberies were simply not pursued because lawmen weren't sufficiently funded, many had to use their own funds to round up a limited posse, or more often, simply posted a reward which is usually funded from a portion of the ...


1

I was surprised to find out that, yes there were troubles with labor shortages. From Public Broadcasting Station "American Experience" article on the "Workers of the Central Pacific Railroad", In early 1865 the Central Pacific had work enough for 4,000 men. Yet contractor Charles Crocker barely managed to hold onto 800 laborers at any given time. Most ...



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