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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 ...


17

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 against high-jacking) were rapidly secured. The car itself rapidly became more value for potential robbers than ...


14

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 chiefs through whose territory they ran lines, hired them to help construct the lines, and generally took ...


14

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 ...


12

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

I notice that you do not cite any sources for the existence and activities of Mormon Danites, however after some research I think I can provide a reasonable answer to your questions.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 ...


10

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 weren'...


10

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 ...


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 ...


9

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 ...


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'...


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 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 ...


7

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 ...


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

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 of ...


6

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 ...


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, ...


5

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.


5

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 ...


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 ...


3

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

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

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

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

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

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 ...


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