19

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 ...


15

Most saloons didn't have those butterfly doors. Those that did had proper outer doors. From Virginia City: Secrets of a Western Past. ...the butterfly doors and the orientation of the bar, essential elements of movies and television, had little to do with the reality of most western saloons. In fact, outside the desert Southwest, butterfly doors would ...


13

Not all were that ordered, and it may have been the exception rather then the rule, but it did happen: Both men faced each other sideways in the dueling position and hesitated briefly. Then Tutt reached for his pistol. Hickok drew his gun and steadied it on his opposite forearm. The two men fired a single shot each at essentially the same time, ...


11

The "Ohio" in the name was about the Ohio river, not the state. The background here is that when the Erie canal was built, it became a magnet for trade. A lot of western trade on the Ohio river used to be shipped overland to ports in places like Philadelphia and Baltimore, but now it was cheaper to haul it up to the great lakes, then through the new canal ...


11

I notice that you do not cite any sources for the existence and activities of Mormon Danites, however after some research I think I can provide a reasonable answer to your questions. It seems that the question of whether Mormon Danites actually committed any murders at all depends largely on whether you believe the evidence given by Mormon dissident, Dr ...


9

In the USA, people acting as Bounty Hunters have been (and in some cases still are today) legally allowed to arrest fugitives who have a valid warrant out for their arrest. If said fugitive uses deadly force to evade or deter capture, of course the arresting parties are perfectly legally allowed to defend themselves (also with deadly force). But ...


8

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 ...


8

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. I'...


7

There were absolutely labor crunches while building the transcontinental railroads--these roads were stretching across a vast, unpopulated (by European Americans, that is) and harsh terrain. Labor shortages were worst during the Civil War, for obvious reasons. However, I can't find evidence of any major delays in the railroads' construction. This is due in ...


6

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 ...


6

Since the chambering is 41 Colt, I would agree that the black powder cartridges would be appropriate. The 41 Colt was created in 1877, and as such the original specifications called for black powder loads. The book The Modern American Pistol and Revolver, published in 1888, lists several loads for 41s: 41 calibre powder 20 lead 130 41 calibre Colt's DA ...


5

The most reliable record is to be gained by cross-examining all the primary sources about this event and seeing where they are in unanimous agreement. This is the case when interpreting Crockett's fate at the Alamo. The exact details of his death seem to be in dispute in a heated argument that challenges the legitimacy of several eyewitness accounts, most ...


5

Lots. Probably the most famous and historically important incidents happened during the ("bleeding") Kansas border war. Congress made a deal where Kansas would be allowed to vote on whether or not to allow slavery when it entered the union. Most of the territorial settlers at this time came from northern areas and had little interest in slavery. However, ...


4

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's true that most settlers were tough, but some were tougher than others. The more legally minded among the tougher ones became sheriffs and "lawmen," while the ones with "illicit" inclinations became horse and cattle thieves, sometimes murdering those who got in their way. One famous fight between the two types took place near (not at) OK Corral in ...


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 ...


2

There is a great paper (63 pages) where they go through how some of these numbers that you see, and how they are obtained. Basic conclusion is that there are no direct numbers for how many guns were in circulation. In fact due to laws in some cases it was illegal to list them in estates (common record to obtain this data). The toughest part about this is ...


2

Krauss (High Road to Promontory) notes that the Central Pacific had trouble keeping workers. Here's why: the railroad was being built through the mining regions of California (which was perfectly natural as the CP hoped to profit from shipping the ore). The CP would transport the workers from San Francisco up to the worksites. After a week of work, the ...


2

Homer Eon Flint (born as Homer Eon Flindt; 1888 –1924) was an American writer of pulp science fiction novels and short stories. He began working as a scenarist for silent films in 1912 (reportedly at his wife's insistence). In 1918, he published "The Planeteer" in All-Story Weekly. His "Dr. Kinney" stories were reprinted by Ace Books in 1965, and with ...


2

Priests and ministers of most Christian denominations kept records of baptisms, which often mentioned the birth date, marriages, and burials, which often mentioned the death date. Counties kept records of wills & probate, & deeds for property, mostly but not exclusively land, as well as records of civil criminal cases, at the country courthouses. ...


2

You've accepted an answer, but I thought I'd try to answer the literal interpretation of your question. As T.E.D. stated, the railroad reached Wheeling, (later West) Virginia in 1853. However, there was no bridge across the Ohio River until after the Civil War. Competition with other railroads prevented the bridge from being built during the run-up to the ...


1

If there were natives using or claiming the valley that wouldn't be something to brush off as unimportant. If the US government had a treaty or agreement with the natives recognizing that the land was theirs you would have to try to get a new agreement made taking the land out of the hands of the natives, which involved influencing the federal government to ...


1

For one, killing people goes against people's conscience; people don't typically kill just for the sake of it. The witness is stranded on the road side and all he can say is he saw someone in a mask. Two, you don't bite the hand that feeds you; if you kill the rich, you will deter the rich from travelling in the future. If they are a little out of pocket ...


1

It used to be called: "Auto Banditry." You will find more information under that term. Source: my reprobate Grandmother's prison record of 1942, in Illinois. In more modern times it was called "Car Jacking." So, really it did not disappear. As a woman, I have heard stories to not even have a loaf of bread in your front seat, and never ever have your ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible