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Benjamin Letzler

black Creek partisan and whiskey runner, came to prominence amid the interracial and intertribal conflicts in the Indian Territory after the Civil War. As the accused killer of the seventeen-year-old Cherokee Billy Cobb, he spent his last five years with bounties on his head, making a living stealing horses and selling liquor. During his lifetime, the Muskogee Indian Journal compared him to Jesse James; the historian Kenneth Porter likened him to Robin Hood. Little is known of Glass's personal history. One source describes him as “much more Indian than Negro.” Another contemporary account refers to him as “a full-blooded Negro” (Arkansas City Traveler which seems to have been how he understood himself After his death he was described physically as having a bad scar across the side of his neck running from his ear down to his chest caused by a burn of some kind over ...

Article

Kenneth Wiggins Porter

Glass was a product of the generally lawless conditions and the intertribal and interracial conflicts in the post-Civil War Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Both the Creek and Cherokee nations were divided into half-breed and full-blood factions. The black element in both nations had strongly supported the full-blood, pro-Union faction and had emerged from the conflict not only free but with full citizenship. However, their political and social position in the Creek nation was considerably higher than in the Cherokee, and bitter hostility existed between the mixed-blood Cherokee aristocrats and their black Creek neighbors. The mixed-blood Cherokees resented the equality asserted by the blacks and the black Creeks equally resented the mixed-bloods' airs of superiority.

By 1878 at the latest the Creek Cherokee border was the scene of undeclared warfare with young Cherokee riding across the boundary to defy the authority of the black Creek police force known as ...

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Reginald H. Pitts

western outlaw, was born at Fort Concho, Texas, the second of four children of George and Ellen (Beck) Goldsby. Born a slave near Selma, Alabama, Crawford's father George Goldsby was serving a Confederate officer when he ran off to Union lines during the Battle of Gettysburg. When the Civil War ended, he enlisted in the Tenth U.S. Cavalry, eventually becoming that regiment's sergeant major. A Cherokee freedwoman, Ellen Beck was of African, white, and Cherokee ancestry; she also served as a laundress for the cavalrymen. Her marriage to George was not a success, and the couple would soon separate.

Although Crawford Goldsby according to some sources was barely literate from the age of seven he spent three years at the Indian School in Cherokee Kansas and from the age of ten he spent two years at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle Pennsylvania When Crawford returned home ...

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Kenneth Wiggins Porter

Crawford Goldsby was born on February 8, 1876, at Fort Concho, Texas. His father, Sergeant George Goldsby of the Tenth Cavalry, was a native of Selma, Alabama, and a soldier in a black regiment. George is alleged to have been “of Mexican extraction, mixed with white and Sioux Indian.” His mother, Ellen Beck, was half black, one-quarter white, and one-quarter Cherokee. From infancy Crawford had limited parental guidance. When Crawford was only two years old, his father absconded to avoid trial for involvement in a fatal saloon shootout between white civilians and black troopers. His mother took her children to Fort Gibson, in the lawless Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). He spent three years at school in Cherokee, Kansas, and two more at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, school for Native Americans, returning to the territory at the age of twelve. His mother had married a white man, William Lynch ...

Article

Paul Walker

outlaw, was born the slave of Samuel Mifflin of Philadelphia, father of the governor of Pennsylvania. He traveled to England when he was seventeen and devoted his life to crime, traveling in Britain and Europe, robbing individuals and coaches at gunpoint. On his return to America in 1790 he was executed for rape at New Haven.

Mountain's biography contains some of the usual elements of slave narratives, but the majority of his story consists of descriptions of the people he robbed, the places the robberies took place, and the value of the loot. The narrative was recorded in 1790 by David Daggett the justice before whom Mountain was tried The frontispiece states that Daggett Has Directed That The Money Arising from the Sales Thereof Be Given to the Girl Whose Life Is rendered Wretched by the Malefactor This raises question of whether Mountain was coerced into making a ...