Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
gobby git
Re: Longabaugh and New Mexico
Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:26am

The literature on this small but highly skilled and successful gang is quite extensive. The two leading documents are James D. Horan’s Desperate Men, based on Pinkerton Agency files, and Charles Kelly’s The Outlaw Trail, which exploits first-hand oral sources. It would seem that not much could be added at this late date, but in 1965 Swallow located a new informant—one whose name he does not reveal. He does tell us that the man is a “disting­ uished” member of “one of the recognized professions.” He says he resolved to let him tell his story his own way with “as little interference as possible.” As a result, much of the first part of the book need not have been written. Swallow himself admits that the background chapter on the cattle industry, the old-time cowboy and the Johnson County War might well have been spared, and much of the material on the exploits and personalities of the Wild Bunch is a twice-told tale. The narrative begins to run clear and fresh; however, when the story turns to Harvey Logan, the clever little man who was caught at Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1901. Harvey made a sensational jail break in June, 1903, went back to the wilds, and tried to resume his old business of robbing trains. By now, however, Cassidy was in South America and there was no well organized Wild Bunch behind him. In June, 1904, as a posse closed in, he committed suicide. The anonymous author says he got his information “from Logan’s own story of what happened.” The outlaw’s arrest, his legal maneuverings, and his escape are described in great detail. There is even a floor plan of the Knoxville jail. Who would know about all this better than Logan’s attorney, Sam Haskell, former mayor of Knoxville? If Sam didn’t write the book, somebody close to him probably did. The man was almost certainly a lawyer, one of the old-fashioned kind who could say...

  • Re: Longabaugh and New MexicoDaniel Buck, Sat Mar 17 7:19am
    Bob, Thanks for the post. Your reference to Allan Swallow & Waller Brown sparked memories; they were two of the first writers Annie & I bumped into (figuratively, not actually) when we first entered... more
    • Re: Longabaugh and New Mexico — gobby git, Sat Mar 17 10:26am
      • Re: Longabaugh and New MexicoDaniel Buck, Sat Mar 17 10:49am
        Thanks. C.L. Sonnichsen is another great Western writer from the recent past. Here's the first part of his review: "The Wild Bunch. Edited by Alan Swallow. (Denver: Sage Books, 1966. 136 pages.... more
        • Re: Longabaugh and New Mexicogobby git, Sat Mar 17 11:56am
          Thanks Dan ... had the first part but not the third part after it trails off ... thought the bit about Logan’s attorney, Sam Haskell, former mayor of Knoxville might be of interest ... no help with... more
          • Re: Longabaugh and New MexicoDaniel Buck, Sat Mar 17 12:29pm
            Thanks. Yes, the Haskell idea is interesting. Whoever Brown Waller was, he mentions in his acknowledgement having visited libraries, archives, & historical societies in more than 20 Western US... more
            • Brown WallerBob Goodwin, Sat Mar 17 4:32pm
              If the "New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors" is to be has Brown Waller as a pseudonym of Waller Brown Fraser, with birth date of 29 April 1905. If this is correct then he was... more
              • Re: Brown WallerDaniel Buck, Sat Mar 17 6:08pm
                Bob, where oh where did you fish out the part about Fraser going bonkers in his dotage? That was some serious angling. Dan
                • re: Brown WallerBob Goodwin, Sat Mar 17 9:27pm
                  The Tampa Tribune 20 Oct 1973, The Tribune also has his death notice 6 Jan 1974. Walter wrote a thesis at the University of Tennessee for his Master degree in 1930. It was titled "The Political... more
              • Re: Brown WallerDaniel Buck, Sat Mar 17 5:39pm
                Bob, Thanks. What a story. He must have spent every waking minute researching because if his acknowledgements are to be believed, he visited more than 20 libraries, historical societies, and... more
                • re: Brown WallerBob Goodwin, Sun Mar 18 9:35am
                  Dan, We have to remember when Brown Waller wrote his manuscript (before 1966) internet research was non-existent and research in major libraries was more limited than what we have today. He just... more
Click here to receive daily updates