When Law Was in the Holster

When Law Was in the Holster

The Frontier Life of Bob Paul

Book - 2012
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Univ of Oklahoma Pr
One of the great lawmen of the Old West, Bob Paul (1830–1901) cast a giant shadow across the frontiers of California and Arizona Territory for nearly fifty years. Today he is remembered mainly for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and his involvement in the stirring events surrounding the famous 1881 gunfight near the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. This long-overdue biography fills crucial gaps in Paul’s story and recounts a life of almost constant adventure.

One of the great lawmen of the Old West, Bob Paul (1830–1901) cast a giant shadow across the frontiers of California and Arizona Territory for nearly fifty years. Today he is remembered mainly for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and his involvement in the stirring events surrounding the famous 1881 gunfight near the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. This long-overdue biography fills crucial gaps in Paul’s story and recounts a life of almost constant adventure.

As told by veteran western historian John Boessenecker, this story is more than just a western shoot-’em-up, and it reveals Paul to be far more than a blood-and-thunder gunfighter. Beginning with Paul’s boyhood adventures as a whaler in the South Pacific, the author traces his journey to Gold Rush California, where he served respectively as constable, deputy sheriff, and sheriff in Calaveras County, and as Wells Fargo shotgun messenger and detective. Then, in the turbulent 1880s, Paul became sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, and a railroad detective for the Southern Pacific. In 1890 President Benjamin Harrison appointed him U.S. marshal of Arizona Territory.

Transcending local history, Paul’s story provides an inside look into the rough-and-tumble world of frontier politics, electoral corruption, Mexican-U.S. relations, border security, vigilantism, and western justice. Moreover, issues that were important in Paul’s career—illegal immigration, smuggling on the Mexican border, youth gangs, racial discrimination, ethnic violence, and police-minority relations—are as relevant today as they were during his lifetime.



Book News
This is the first full-length biography of the adventurous life of Old West lawman Bob Paul (1830-1901), who battled lynch mobs, captured train robbers, and fought in the showdown at the OK Corral. Bob Paul not only fought bad guys; he also performed investigative work, prepared cases for prosecution in court, and managed political campaigns. The biography traces his roots in whaling to his appointment as US Marshall of Arizona Territory, telling his story in the context of vigilantism in the Old West, ethnic violence, and relations between the US and Mexico. The book contains a wealth of b&w historical photos. Author Boessenecker has written other books on the Old West for general readers and has appeared on TV as a history commentator. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, ©2012
ISBN: 9780806142852
0806142855
Branch Call Number: 92 P2817b 2012
Characteristics: xviii, 484 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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