Billy the Kid Books
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To Hell on a Fast Horse $ 14.99
The Untold Story of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett
By Mark Lee Gardner
Billy the Kid―a.k.a. Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, and William Bonney―was a horse thief, cattle rustler, charismatic rogue, and cold-blooded killer. A superb shot, the Kid gunned down four men single-handedly and five others with the help of cronies. Two of his victims were Lincoln County, New Mexico, deputies killed during the Kid’s brazen daylight escape from the courthouse jail on April 28, 1881.
For new sheriff Pat Garrett, an acquaintance of Billy’s, the chase was on. . . .
The first dual biography of the Kid and Garrett, To Hell on a Fast Horse re-creates the thrilling manhunt for the Wild West’s most iconic outlaw. Mark Lee Gardner digs beneath the myth to take a fresh look at these two men, their relationship, and their epic ride to immortality.
In the Shadow of Billy the Kid $ 29.95
Susan McSween and the Lincoln County War
By Kathleen P. Chamberlain
The events of July 19, 1878, marked the beginning of what became known as the Lincoln County War and catapulted Susan McSween and a young cowboy named Henry McCarty, alias Billy the Kid, into the history books. The so-called war, a fight for control of the mercantile economy of southeastern New Mexico, is one of the most documented conflicts in the history of the American West, but it is an event that up to now has been interpreted through the eyes of men. As a woman in a man’s story, Susan McSween has been all but ignored. This is the first book to place her in a larger context. Clearly, the Lincoln County War was not her finest hour, just her best known. For decades afterward, she ran a successful cattle ranch. She watched New Mexico modernize and become a state. And she lived to tell the tales of the anarchistic territorial period many times.
The Saga of Billy the Kid $ 24.95
By Walter Noble Burns
First published in 1926, this entertaining and dramatic biography forever installed outlaw Billy the Kid in the pantheon of mythic heroes from the Old West and is still considered the single most influential portrait of Billy in this century. Saga focuses on the Kid’s life and experiences in the bloody war between the Murphy-Dolan and Tunstall-McSween gangs in and around Lincoln, New Mexico, between 1878 and 1881. Burns paints the Kid as a boyish Robin Hood or romantic knight galvanized into a life of crime and killing by the war’s violence and bloodshed. Billy represented the romantic and anarchic Old West that the march of civilization was rapidly displacing. His destroyer was Pat Garrett, the courageous sheriff of Lincoln County. Garrett’s shooting of Billy in 1881 hastened the closing of the American frontier. Walter Noble Burns’s Saga of Billy the Kid kindled a fascination in Billy the Kid that survives to this day. Richard W. Etulain’s foreword discusses the singular importance of Saga in the historical literature on Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War.
Tall Tales and Half Truths of Billy the Kid $19.99
By John LeMay, Foreword by Elvis E. Fleming
While many respectable books on Billy the Kid aim to demystify his illusory life, this one-of-a-kind collection proudly has no such intention. Find all of the untold and potentially true—but very unlikely and highly embellished—stories of the Kid’s life, death and enthralling life thereafter. Be thrilled by sightings of Billy’s ghost riding through old Fort Sumner and marvel at his search for the fabled Lost Adams Diggings. Wonder at the mysterious thefts of his tombstone and discover the famed desperado’s dozen or so doppelgangers who posthumously popped up all across the Southwest. Courtesy of yarn-spinning raconteurs of yore, author John LeMay unveils the many forgotten and discarded tales of the legendary William H. Bonney, an everlasting emblem of the American West.
Tall Tales and Half Truths of Pat Garret $ 21.99
By John LeMay
While many lionize Billy the Kid, the man who killed him, Sheriff Patrick Floyd Garrett, has a rarely told but riveting true story all his own. His adventurous life spawned many a far-fetched, exciting legend. In 1896, Garrett’s investigation of the still-unsolved murder of Albert J. Fountain on the White Sands led to nothing but a gunfight and a dead deputy. Some say that Garrett faked the details the night the Kid was brought to ultimate justice, while others swear another wannabe hero did him in. In perfect irony, Garrett’s own 1908 death is shrouded in mystery. Some report he died by the hand of Billy the Kid himself. Author John LeMay exposes fabricated tales for what they are and focuses on memories long forgotten about Billy the Kid’s personal grave digger, Sheriff Pat Garrett.
Alias Billy the Kid: The Man Behind the Legend $ 18.95
By Donald Cline
Who was Billy the Kid? Was he Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim or William H. Bonny? Was he a Robin Hood or a cold-blooded outlaw? History says he was a little of both but in this book Donald Cline exposes Billy the Kid as a cowardly crook who did not hesitate to kill for money. Cline explodes all the popular myths and misrepresentations to bring us an authentic Billy the Kid, a cattle rustler, horse thief and murderer. Illustrated with historical photographs, Booklist has said that “…Cline’s book nicely balances the legend for both scholars and lay readers.” This book is based on solid research and depicts the man behind the legend.
Donald Cline as a historian spent more than thirty-five years studying the life and times of Billy the Kid. He assigned himself the task of separating fact from fiction.
The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid: Facsimile of 1927 Edition $ 26.95
By Pat F. Garrett
When Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett ended Billy the Kid’s life on the night of July 14, 1881 with a shot in the dark, he was catapulted at once into stardom in the annals of Western history. The killing occurred at old Fort Sumner, New Mexico on the Pecos River. Garrett by pure chance had encountered the Kid in a darkened room of the Pete Maxwell house. As the unsuspecting Billy entered, he was cut down without warning.
But the Kid had his share of friends and many of them stepped forward to level some harsh criticism against the lawman. It soon became clear that while Pat Garrett was an instant celebrity, he had also come away, at least in some quarters, with a negative image. To address that problem, he began thinking about a book to give the public his side of the story. The editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican, Charles Greene, offered to publish a Garrett volume if the sheriff could find someone to ghost write it for him. Pat enlisted his good friend Marshall Ashmun (Ash) Upson, a journalist, to do the job. Upson cranked out a manuscript and it was published in 1882 under the title The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid.
Before that fateful night in 1881, there was not much in Pat Garrett’s career to suggest he was headed for a place in the history books. Alabama-born in 1850, he worked as a cowboy and buffalo hunter in Texas. By 1878 he had drifted to the Pecos in eastern New Mexico. Perhaps craving excitement, Pat Garrett ran for sheriff of wild Lincoln County in the fall of 1880. He was elected. Winning the office put him on a collision course with the outlaw Billy and the incident that catapulted the Kid into infamy.
Billy the Kid Rides Again: Digging for the Truth $ 19.95
By Jay Miller
In early 2003, three sheriffs set out to prove that Pat Garrett killed Billy the Kid, thereby also proving that Brushy Bill of Hico, Texas was not the real Kid. Along their way, the sheriffs enlisted New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s support and took two communities on a wild ride through court battles to dig up Billy and his mother.
Governor Richardson found an attorney willing to work free and provide Billy with a voice. Follow "Billy" as he speaks for himself in court, requesting that he and his mother be dug up to examine the DNA in their dusty remains for evidence that they were related. And follow the small towns of Fort Sumner and Silver City, New Mexico as they fight to retain the integrity of their municipal cemeteries and keep the legend of Billy the Kid from crumbling away.
Author Jay Miller followed the strange unfolding of events, digging to find the source of the money that financed an official murder investigation and the court action against two courageous small towns struggling to prevent the exhumations.
Jay Miller grew up in Billy the Kid Country, listening to yarns about Billy, some true, some not. As a syndicated newspaper columnist, Miller has written often about Billy and the Lincoln County War and has used a collection of those columns to weave a riveting story of just what happened when Billy rode again.
Blackwater Draw- Three Lives, Billy the Kid and the Murders that Started the Lincoln County War$ 18.95
By David S. Turk
On March 9, 1878, three men were murdered in isolated Blackwater Canyon in New Mexico. The suspects were Billy the Kid and a number of his Regulators. This action, almost assuredly taken in retaliation for the death of the Kid’s friend, John Henry Tunstall, became the real catalyst in the Lincoln County War. In 2006, the author and a team of investigators searched for the remains of the men and related artifacts in the obscure canyon—the first to do so since the murders. The murders were reconstructed with the discovery of over thirty bullet cartridges.
As part of the reconstruction of the crime, the author widens the scope of his investigation by examining the lives and paths of all three victims.
Legend and fact are separated in the case and its participants—both victims and suspects.
David S. Turk is the Historian for the U.S. Marshals Service and is no stranger to historical “cold cases.” A graduate from George Mason University, he authored four books and numerous articles on various topics. His interest in Billy the Kid and the New Mexico’s Lincoln County War dates to 2003, when publicity crested over a case reopened by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. His studies resulted in this account of the murders in Blackwater Canyon.
Brushy Bill: Proof that His Claim to be Billy the Kid was a Hoax $19.95
By Roy L. Haws
For many years, a man known as Brushy Bill Roberts proclaimed to all who would listen that he was the historical and legendary Billy the Kid, alive and well. And there were various books written that claimed this to be true. As a result, many became convinced of the validity of Brushy’s claim and Brushy’s elaborate fable has continued to capture the imagination. In this book, the author has attempted to dispel the elaborate hoax once and for all. Brushy Bill Roberts was not Billy the Kid. He was, in fact, just an interesting elderly man, known by his family and acquaintances as a colorful Old West storyteller.
The Death of Billy the Kid $ 18.95
Facsimile of Original 1933 Edition
By John William Poe
Many years after the death of Billy the Kid, Deputy John William Poe, who was just outside the door when Sheriff Pat Garrett killed him, wrote out the whole story, which was published in a small edition. Later, in 1933, this first-hand account was offered to a larger public with an introduction by Maurice Garland Fulton, who lived for years among the scenes of Billy the Kid’s wild career.
While certain statements made in the book by Poe are controversial, his account is a valuable document for anyone interested in Billy the Kid
John William Poe was born in 1850 and died in 1923. After working as a farm hand, on a railroad construction crew, and a buffalo hunter, he wound his way into law enforcement and eventually became a deputy for Sheriff Pat Garrett. After the incident with Billy the Kid, Poe was elected sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico, married, and after retiring as a lawman, settled in Roswell, New Mexico where he was a businessman until his death.
Sheriff Pat Garrett’s Last Days $ 8.95
The Story of the Man Who Killed Billy the Kid
By Colin Rickards
Patrick Floyd Garrett, widely known as “Pat,” (1850-1908) had tracked down and killed the outlaw Billy the Kid but also became a victim of the tangled politics of the time. He has been maligned by writers, libeled by Hollywood and deprecated by many of his contemporaries. But despite them, all his deeds retain for him a niche in the gallery of fast shooting peace officers who helped to bring law and order to the frontier west. When he died, there was rejoicing in some quarters and relief in others--as might be expected in the case of a controversial figure. There was also genuine and profound sorrow in the rugged hearts of many in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona, as well as farther afield, and the circumstances surrounding his death, ostensibly at the hands of a most unlikely cowboy named Wayne Brazel, have puzzled and intrigued historians since that spring day in 1908 when he was shot to death and left lying in a sand drift on a lonely road.
But was Pat Garrett shot by Wayne Brazel, or hired killer Jim Miller? Brazel confessed, but few believed his story and he was acquitted. Colin Rickards’ book sheds light on this unhappy affair which still remains a source of controversy.
Colin Rickards has done extensive research on Pat Garrett including checking official court records, investigating contemporary accounts and conducting interviews. He separates fact from fantasy in this meticulously documented account. An authority on frontier history, the author has written numerous articles and books on the Old West. A journalist by profession, Rickards has applied the same techniques to ferreting out the true stories of life and death adventures in western history.
Stalking Billy the Kid $ 28.95
Brief Sketches of a Short Life
By Marc Simmons
“Having written about New Mexico history for more than forty years,” explains the author, “it was perhaps inevitable that in time I should publish a few articles on Billy the Kid. After all, he is the one figure from this state’s past whose name is known around the world. The Kid’s career, although astonishingly short, nonetheless, left an indelible mark in the annals of the Old West. And his name, William H. Bonney, alias Billy the Kid, seems locked forever into the consciousness of the starry-eyed public.
“Upon request,” the author continues, “I was able to assemble a collection of my varied writings pertaining to some of Billy’s real or imagined deeds. Each section opens a small window on an aspect of his tumultuous life, or casts light upon others whose fortunes intersected with his. In this book, I have stalked Billy in an erratic rather than a systematic way, taking pleasure merely in adding a few new and unusual fragments to his biography. I trust that readers who have a fascination with the history and legend of Billy the Kid will find in these pages something of interest and value. As Eugene Cunningham wrote more than seventy years ago, ‘in our imagination the Kid still lives--the Kid still rides.’”
MARC SIMMONS is a professional author and historian who has published more than forty books on New Mexico and the American Southwest. His popular “Trail Dust” column is syndicated in several regional newspapers. In 1993, King Juan Carlos of
The Real Billy the Kid $ 24.95
Facsimile of Original 1936 Edition
By Miguel Antonio Otero
Miguel Antonio Otero served as the first Hispanic governor of the U.S. Territory of New Mexico, from 1897 to 1907. He was appointed to the office by President William McKinley. Long after his retirement from politics, Governor Otero wrote and published his memoirs in three volumes, a major contribution to New Mexico history. But he also published a biography in 1936 titled The Real Billy the Kid. His aim in that book, he proclaimed, was to write the Kid’s story “without embellishment, based entirely on actual fact.” Otero had known the outlaw briefly and also had known the man who killed Billy in 1881, Sheriff Pat Garrett. The author recalled Garrett saying he regretted having to slay Billy. Or, as he bluntly put it, “it was simply the case of who got in the first shot. I happened to be the lucky one.”
By all accounts, Billy the Kid was much adored by New Mexico’s Hispanic population. Otero asserts that the Kid was considerate of the old, the young and the poor. And he was loyal to his friends. Further, Martin Cháves of Santa Fe stated: “Billy was a perfect gentleman with a noble heart. He never killed a native citizen of New Mexico in all his career, and he had plenty of courage.” Otero was especially admiring of Billy because as a boy in Silver City, “he had loved his mother devotedly.” Such praise must be viewed in the context of the times. Other people, of course, saw Billy as an arch-villain
The Tragic Days of Billy the Kid $ 29.95
Facsimile of 1956 Edition with a New Foreword by Robert G. McCubbin
By Frazier Hunt
Since a July night in 1881 when he was shot down at the age of 21, Billy the Kid has been a victim of the myths that surrounded and captured him. This vivid interpretation of the Kid’s life and character will come as an exciting revelation to readers who may have been familiar only with the earlier fictionalized versions. For here is real, moving tragedy painted in broad brush strokes with the vivid hues of the stark American Southwestern landscape.
Never before has there been brought into true focus the Lincoln County War, which broke out in 1878 in the then Territory of New Mexico, and which furnished the background and the period for the adventures of this extraordinary boy. The literature concerning both the desperate cattle war and the singular young outlaw have necessarily been constructed around a thin framework of fact with its papier maché façade of myth and legend.
So persistent have been these legends that the true character of the Kid seemed almost beyond reach. Indeed, the Western poet, Arthur Chapman, once wrote that “Billy the Kid must remain wholly the most unaccountable figure in frontier history.”
Frazier Hunt (1885 – 1968) had the good fortune to have access to a great mass of fresh and unpublished source material which fully documents this thrilling history of the Kid and his times. It is a new and rather appealing boy who now comes to light—an alert, likeable yet tough youngster, adored by the native Mexicans no less for his fluency in Spanish than for his kindness and consideration, but no wanton killer. In place of the former distorted figure of legend, a young man of flesh and blood and heart emerges into clear perspective. So at last we have the real Billy the Kid—authentic, true—and completely accountable.
Catherine’s Son – The Story of a Boy Who Became an Outlaw $15.00
By James L. Smith
Before the world knew Henry McCarthy as Billy the Kid, he was a quick-witted and industrious boy living with his mother in the New Mexico Territory. Under his mother’s loving guidance, Henry seemed destined for a conventional life as a law-abiding and well-respected man, a man who would make any mother proud.
Tate intervened, however, and young Henry turned to the wrong side of the law, becoming one of history’s most notorious outlaws. By the time of his death at age twenty-one, he was known throughout the world as a murderer and thief – the “devils=’s meat,” as one newspaper described him.
Catherine’s Son is a work of historical fiction that tells the story of how Henry McCarthy became Billy the Kid, a young outlaw portrayed by the press as the “terror and disgrace” of the New Mexico Territory.
Sheriff Harvey Whitehill $ 16.95
By Bob Alexander
With Silver City Stalwart, author Bob Alexander demonstrates not only that Harvey Whitehill was a major figure in the annals of the Old West, he shows as well that the Sheriff’s home ground of Silver City, in Grant County, New Mexico, rivals Tombstone, Dodge City, and Deadwood as a hotbed of outlaw-lawmen history. A bull of a man, Whitehill literally pulled his own wagon on occasion. He also jailed Billy the Kid, knew the infamous rustler John Kinney, lived through the Apache Wars, and beat Pat Garrett at the polls. More detective than gunman, he solved the Gage train robbery. Built at the edge of the Gila Wilderness, mining and cattle town Silver City needed a steady hand to guide it through its most violent years. Harvey Whitehill was that central figure in the community through six terms as elected sheriff
Billy the Kid, Bronco Bill Walters, Kit Joy, Lottie Deno, Dan Tucker – just a handful of the fascinating characters who crossed trails with Sheriff Harvey H. Whitehill. Until now, Whitehill has been a name only in the annals of Western history. Thanks to Bob Alexander’s research turning over every stone digging for details on his life and career, Whitehill becomes a genuine Old West Hero.” Chuck Parsons