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An intresting account of how the west was really won, note that there was no shortage of men more than willing to deal with looting parasites.

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/Scalpin/children.html

James Kirker, the King of New Mexico

There are several conflicting accounts of James Kirker's exploits as a scalp hunter in the regions surrounding Chihuahua ranging from the truly spectacular to the merely disturbing. Regardless "the King of New Mexico," the name inscribed on the only portrait of him, was a U.S. immigrant from Ireland who moved from Missouri to New Mexico and was eventually employed to end the Apache raids in Mexico and the southwest territories. Rather than attempt to disentangle the varying stories, I will offer several accounts, since both the hard facts and the myths offer insight into the scalp industry.


Origins

As detailed in William Cochran McGraw's Savage Scene, Kirker came into his vocation as a scalp hunter in a rather paradoxical manner. Kirker began a career as an illegal fur trapper near Sante Fe, and while there he and the other trappers used the Santa Rita mines as their base of operations. The mines served as an ideal hiding place for the pelts as well as extra revenue from working in the copper mines. Disappointed by trapping, Kirker, around 1832, began escorting ore trains from the mines to Chihuahua City- a trail that led through the Apache territories. Rather than trying to fight them off, Kirker established an alliance with one of their leaders Juan José Compa- by brokering Apache goods (stolen in Mexico) in Texas and Louisiana- and had been named a war chief by the Apaches. By this time Kirker had established his home in Janos in northern Chihuahua and had obtained a trapping permit from the Mexican government. Soon he was forced to flee to Colorado, because of government intrigue he had been declared an outlaw- Kirker's relationship with the Mexican authorities would continue to fluctuate over the years, but the murder of the Apache Juan José prompted a new intensity in Indian raids within Chihuahua, and so Kirker was called upon to assist in pacifying the Apaches.


Apache Hunting

Kirker gathered up a force of about twenty-five men and swarmed an Apache village in southern New Mexico killing fifty-five braves (about 20% of the village). Despite his "success" Apache raids continued and Mexicans were being murdered in the streets of Chihuahua City. The Governor authorized a society that would fund a private army to stop the menace, an army led by James Kirker. By mid-1839, the society raised over $100,000 for the operation which hired Kirker to train a local militia as well as lead a band of Indian fighters (paid a dollar a day plus any property recovered). In Sept. Kirker and his band fought their first battle in the Taos Valley, baiting the Apache raiders. Kirker and his men cut off the escaping Apaches and chased them into the town of Rancho de Taos. This battle resulted in forty scalps- one of which was taken from a live Apache foe according to a story in the New Orleans Picayune.

The Apaches agreed to a peace conference with the Chihuahuan officials- with many stipulations, of primary one "that Don Santiago Kirker. . . not return to New Mexico." The peace treaty never came about since soon after Kirker's contact was canceled, the Apaches continued their raiding. A British mining company in southwest Chihuahua hired Kirker to guard their mines from Indian attacks. The Chihuahuan government soon requested Kirker's services again; Gov. Monterde offered $100 for the scalps of warriors, $50 for women, and $25 for children. The Apaches had attacked the wagon train of a wealthy merchant killing all but one of the crew and stealing eighty mules worth of goods. Kirker and his band found the natives' drunken camp, infiltrated it, and slit the throats of the entire group and scalped them, forty-three braves. Nearby was a village of nearly a thousand Apache which they decided to raid too (Kirker had about 150 men). Although the chief Cochise and much of the village escaped, Kirker amassed a number of scalps and lost many more since many of the Apaches had drowned in a nearby lake trying to escape. During the battle, Kirker's Mexican guide was killed; he too was scalped. The expedition yielded 182 scalps plus eighteen "walking scalps," prisoners; when the governor initially refused to pay for those, Kirker's second in command the Shawnee Skybuck offered to remove the trophies right there. They were paid for the eighteen scalps without having to render that service. Trouble arose; the governor only had $2000 in the treasury and was allowing the stock to be returned to its original owners, but Kirker signed on again after the governor raised the price to $200 a scalp (presumably with no more money in the treasury). In Galeana, they massacred 160 Apaches, but when the government still could not pay and the U.S. declared war on Mexico, Kirker and his band sold military information to the U.S. forces, and he was declared an outlaw in Mexico with a $10,000 reward offered for him.

In 1847, after traveling East briefly, Kirker returned to New Mexico where the U.S. army employed him in fighting Apaches along the Colorado-New Mexico border. He helped the 150 soldiers defeat a native army of nearly 400 warriors; although he received no credit in the army reports the Sante Fe newspaper reported that he was well paid for his assistance. After this Kirker guided a pioneer train for a while and ended up in California where he died at the end of 1852.


Teuf,
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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that was then, this is now, and both

the skills and technology are 10x greater, while the ability and williness is 10% or less, and you have 10x as many to TRY to deal with. Aint happening. Ignorant drunk I'm not. Single shot pos gun, I aint bothering with, either.
 

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I remember reading of one incident in the old West where some bushwhacker and robber who considered himself some sort 'Billy Badass' was bushwhacked himself by a citizens' vigilante posse.

They said Mr. Bushwhacker looked like a 'human lead mine' when they were finished with him.

Some claimed that the man went down dramatically, fighting and standing, but other sources said they ambushed him in his sleep. The numerous bullet holes through the bottoms of his feet tended to back up the later version.

The problem with being the lone, vagabond outlaw type is that you have to sleep sometime and you are neither invisible, nor invincible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thats the criminal mentality

"I'm smarter than those stupes, they will never catch me"

The ironic part, is that the criminals that are too lazy and ignort to aquire what they need by honest means, always think they are smarter than those that do earn thier own way.

Never quite seems to works out that way in the end though, folks don't put up with it very long, never have, never will. Our current criminal justice system protects criminals and that gives them confidence, but let that system break down. They will be quickly and harshly delt with.

The mormons imigrated thousands of european converts and planted then all over the mountain west. Thugs thought they would be easy pickings and at first were. Till the mormons put together a couple groups of men to deal with them.

Porter Rockwell headed them up, he was a brutal and ruthless killer with a team of like minded folks. Within a very short time crimes against the saints was almost non exisent. even if it took a couple weeks for them to get word of the crimes.

They were succsesful because they had the support of local folks, they could always get chow, a place to sleep and fresh horses. Though not all folks had the skills to confront the thieves, they could sure keep thier eyes and ears open and point a finger in the right direction.

The whole "looter" mentality is not new and neither is the solution.

Teuf,
 

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They were called the 'Danites', also referred to as the 'Avenging Angels', and their methods dovetailed nicely with a concept from Mormon doctrine called 'Blood Atonement'. By making the wrong doer bleed, like with bullet holes, you helped him cleanse himself of his sins so he could enter heaven; sort of a win-win situation for all involved.

This is why Utah is the only State that still has the firing squad as an option in modern captial crimes cases. The Mormons often preferred to kill the condemmed (provided that they survived Porter Rockwell) with a firing squad instead of the hangman's noose.

An no, one did NOT f^ck with Brigham Young or the Mormons, thanks to Porter Rockwell and his men. They also enforced the will of the LDS Church and government in Salt Lake City. For instance, Brigham Young had a strict no-tolerance policy for prospectors in Zion (what we now call Utah plus some chunks of a couple of other modern US States). You violated that law, you received a personal visit from Porter Rockwell and/or some of his men.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mormon history is pretty intresting

I've read many books about Brigahm Young and the efforts of the "Saints" to settle the west. Religous theory aside, they did a pretty good job organizing settlements ect.

The whole "Utah War" episode is a hoot, the mormon state of "Deseret" was pretty damm big and inclued good size chunks of several western states.

It's a nearly lost part of western history though, as the mormons don't like to talk about it and the church officialy hides that part of thier history, and other folks don't really care. Makes for intresting reading though.

Teuf,
 
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