American West and History

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The United States Marshals of New Mexico and Arizona Territories, 1846-1912

Larry D. Ball

First released in 1978 and still the best account of territorial law enforcement, this book presents a thoroughly researched, well-documented, and entertaining history of United States marshals in New Mexico and Arizona during the tumultuous territorial years. Included in the story are notable lawmen such as John Pratt, John E. Sherman, and Creighton M. Foraker and gunfighters like Billy the Kid, "Doc" Holliday, and the Earp Brothers. With detailed accounts of many other lesser-known lawmen and criminals, Ball gives a well-rounded history of the mundane as well as the spectacular incidents in the lives of these lawmen during the unstable territorial years.


Larry D. Ball is professor emeritus of history at Arkansas State University. He is the author of a number of books on the American West.


"The author presents a slice of Western society that we seldom see: its social and political mores, its racism, its individualism, its brutality, its strength, and its foolishness . . . a tale of difficult, troublesome years, and Ball tells it well."


The El Paso Times

"Well written, definitive . . . strips away legend and delineates the positive role (marshals) played in maintaining peace in Arizona and New Mexico."


The Arizona Daily Star

"Will probably become the standard source on the federal marshalcy in the New Mexico and Arizona territories."


The Journal of American History

"The complete picture of the U.S. Marshal in the West, told from official documents and the daily press."


The Pacific Historian

6 x 9.25 in. 328 pages 17 halftones