The Magnificent Seven - Writer's Guide and Bible

The Magnificent Seven

Series Writing Objectives

The Overview
The Pledge
Rules & Ingredients
Stories, Characters, Structure
The Characters
Targets for the First Six

September 17, 1997


The World of The Series

The Series takes place in a nameless Territory in the southwest, near the Mexican border, prior to statehood. The Territory is a lawless place run by a group of cattlemen and land barons who hold the Territory politicians in their hip pockets; they have paid off the governor. They control politics and range policy, and their goal is to make sure towns don't develop, farms don't take root, and fences aren't put up. There are several towns in this Territory and each is on the brink of success or failure. And if one town falls, they all will. Our main Town is managing barely to survive, even though the barons have killed or run off the last six lawmen. Without law and order, the Town and the five others around it has become easy prey for the bad elements and outlaws who come and go through the area.

Mary is the leading spokesperson for a group of townspeople who rebel against the barons and fight to bring civilization, but it's a tough struggle.

Mary's father-in-Law, Judge Travis, a traveling circuit judge, has started to carry the burden of trying to see justice meted out in the Territory. With his financial support, Mary and the Judge decide to fight fire with fire and offer the Magnificent Seven $1 a day each, plus room and board, to fight agaInst injustices in this Territory. Some of the townspeople don't welcome the Seven. While the Seven don't immediately embrace the idea (and never do become an officially organized group of lawmen), they eventually accept the offer.

Though we will "touch base" with all Seven of our characters in every episode, most shows will center on a few key members of our men. Chris will ALWAYS lead the group and assign the other six to whatever problem he's been given. Using a homebase that's in back or below the newspaper office, each member of the team will then use his unique skill to help solve the problem. Mary, the Judge, and the people coming and going through town are the delivery system for these problems and the conduit for episodic stories. As the legend of the Seven becomes known, many people come to the Town deliberately looking for help.


Initially, The Magnificent Seven have been hired by Judge Travis, a traveling circuit judge, to stay in town until his return in thirty days. The Judge will pay each of them a dollar a day for their work and will help them get set up in town (room, board, etc.) For this money, the Seven have pledged to be protectors of the innocent, to stand up to all forms of lawlessness while the Judge attempts to bring law and order to the Territory from a federal level.


The relationship between the Judge and the Seven is symbiotic, but it is also uneasy and fragile. The Judge has hired them because he needs tough gunfighters to protect and defend the town while he is away fighting for the town's civilization in the halls of government. As for the Seven, they are dark gunslingers, born and bred, and not one of them has ever trusted a lawman (even though, at one time, one of them actually was a lawman). The Seven adhere to their own law, to their own sense of justice, and no one, not even Judge Travis, can force these men to fight for something in which they do not believe. The Magnificent Seven live by one code and that code is their own.

Most stories should be tested by:

Does the outcome further the Judge's Goals?
Does the outcome enhance Mary's view of civilization?

If a story does not deal with the spotlight of lawlessness, a transition or excuse must be created. For example, somebody from one or our characters' past comes in to play.

Each story must start or end with concern for our community.



Plot One Main Conflict. Keep it Simple. Relevant to Contemporary Times Leave Room for Characters
Premise The Magnificent Seven All 7 are incorporated or referred to
Heroes in action
Emotional/Romantic Element
Element that is unique, wacky or humorous
Characters Cowboy Characters in a Mythical Place at a Mythical Time
Tone Moral Gray/Ambiguity
World is not black and white
Upbeat, full of laughter and fun
Clever action, dialogue
Location Lawless Territory Threat of cattle barons' goals constant
Warnings Avoid cliches, Predictability  


The Seven
   Chris is Leader
   Altruistic Heroes
   Reluctant Heroes
   Flawed Heroes, Rogues
   Prime Focus on Chris and / or Vin
   Key Member is changed by the story
   Conflict between 2 or more in each episode
   At some point in story , all Seven must be together or referred to
   At least 1 member in direct jeopardy

They are the Judge's gunslingers hired to confront the lawlessness instigated by the cattle barons.

** Please see the "Characters" section for individual character traits **

   A real threat to our Seven

   Human and flawed, but ultimately "good guys"

   Agenda: wants to make this town livable for families
   Sexual tension between her and Chris is never consummated
   Not necessarily in every episode

The Judge
   Represents law and order
   Wily, crafty, ill-tempered
   Only in certain episodes

The Town
   The Frontier
   On the edge of civilization and without law
   Magnet for bandits, cowboys, drifters of all sorts


   Inciting and Exciting Incident
   Relates to Story; has a Hook
   Unique Idea

Act Breaks
   Three Cliffhangers
   Exciting, Clever
   Holds our Audience

4th Act
   Reversal of plot, fortune
   Heroes must be near to failure

   Ends with a bang
   Good Take Down
   Limit the shoot-outs; let's be more clever and ingenious


Chris' Pad
   Strategic upstairs room with balcony and view of entire town
   Place to meet with the guys, but not to be confused with bat cave

Print Shop
   Mary's work space
   Full of printing presses, research boxes, walls covered with newspapers
   Backroom has cot where she may sleep
   There may be a telegraph here

Bat Cave
   Secret cellar below Print Shop
   Was cellar for Mexican Hacienda (stored potatoes, wines, etc.)
   Has mattress on floor, candles
   Space for Seven to meet secretly
   JD sometimes sleeps here and anyone else who needs a room

   Functioning bar and gaming hall
   Dirty, grungy, bullet holes in the wall, cracked mirrors
   Ezra has room he inherited from a prostitute, looks like bordello.
   Buck and JD share room here, except when Buck needs "space"

   Nathan's home
   Also functions as doctor's and vet's office

   Josiah preaches and sleeps here

   Broken Calistoga wagon parked in an alley
   Vin stays here when he's not roaming the outdoors

   Mary lived here with late husband and her child
   Ultimately, Seven will use as a getaway place, meeting house


Motivation for being one of the Seven: Why does each stay in town?

   Prevent others from being killed like his family

   Price on his head; safety in numbers; bastard son of famous man
   He's an Indian style tracker & detective

   Open his own business, saloon
   Beaten by his father who also slugged his mother
   Killed his father to protect his mother
   His goal is to be different from his father

   Opportunity to pursue his medicine and sense of justice

   A lot of marks, shills in town
   Legit cover while he looks for better opportunities

   A lot of sinners, convert 'em or kill 'em

   Staying for the Adventure

   She personalizes the civilized future of the area thru newspaper.
   Wants to turn this town into a place where she can raise her son in safety,
     fulfilling her husband's dream.

Character Goals: Each makes a change over the course of the six episodes

   Find Nemesis who killed wife and boy; binges on alcohol, quits & regroups

   Have a romance, bastard discovery, price on his head

   Conflicts with Chris over leadership, comes to terms with it
   Women issues

   Gains respect as black doctor

   Commits to the group

   Returns to the cloth, has own rules, teach God

   Kills a man and gets laid

   Sends kid away, deal with husband's death, hint of feelings for Chris

Individual Story Beats and Character Growth

   No present emotional attachment
   Guilt over death and wants to solve murder of wife and son
   Binges with alcohol
   Mary and her kid - budding relationship with them
   Chris and Nemesis who killed his wife and kid

   Feels safer around animals. Davy Crockett, rifleman
   Vin framed by Eli Joe (R. Franke)
   Has price on his head
   Lived with Indians

   Protective of women and kids; killed father
   Paternity problem
   Buck wants to be a Mormon, have many wives ('C' Story)
   Buck deals with Oedipus complex
   Was a sheriff at one point
   Has Laurel and Hardy type relationship with JD

   The group's conscience
   Knows herbal medicine and trades with Indians
   Finds woman posing as a man
   Does some wacky vet work
   "Rain" arrives in town (character from pilot)
   Deals with breach childbirth
   Gives medical assistance to bad guy
   A white quack comes to town
   Duels with gunfighter
   Falsely accused of killing white man

   Spent his whole life running from the law. Now he is the law
   Develops a new invention
   Vaudeville troupe comes to town, they know him
   Selling his panacea medicine
   His mom is a conwoman
   Conflict with racism

   A Friar Tuck, i.e., large appetite: food, drink, women, jovial
   Preachings are bizarre, wacky
   Explains "The Holy Ghost" ('C' story)
   His wife shows up
   Sees ghosts
   Has developed his own version of Christianity

   Wants to be a gunslinger, becomes one, Liberty Valence
   His dad arrives in town, he unwittingly becomes an outlaw;
     Reveal Buck backstory here
   Mary teaches JD to read (see debate)
   Wants to wear sheriff's badge
   Has Laurel and Hardy type relationship with Buck

   Wants to turn the town into a place where she can safely raise her son,
     carrying on her late husband's commitment
   Sexual tension with Chris
   Mary is teaching JD/Buck to read, others think it's affair
   Chris assigns someone to protect Mary (without her knowing)
     Judge tells them to keep an eye on her as she's the heart of the town
   Her son is a witness to his father's killing
   Confronts husband's killer

Other Characters and Story Ideas

Town Naysayer/s
   Weddings, births and funerals
   Gunslinger/Johnny Ringo (R Franke)
   Josiah heads to desert, others pull him back to preach
   Whore episode
   Buck reveals Chris' history to Mary. Chris pissed at Buck
   Serial Killer
   One of the Seven accidentally kills/injures an innocent person
   Stalking Moon/Straw Dogs: Mary, Chris and Kid
   Buck and Mary
   Judge Story
   Set up World: establish characters
   Prison Camp Story (R Franke)
   Indian Guy kills KId - or not (T John)
   Two Women Outlaws
   Nuns in Trouble (R Franke)
   Man says woman kidnapped by Indians, turns out she ran off with him


6 Episodes, 8 Scripts, 12 Outlines

Establish Franchise

Types of stories
2 Comedy
2 Thriller
6 Adventure
2 Detective
(2 Romance) 1 Chris and 1 Vin

4 in Town
8 Outside

8 make Judge happy = are 'Mag 7' stories

6 deal with personal 'Mag 7' personal stories
2 Overlap

Magnificent Seven
Information Breakdown
(as produced)


Chris Larabee

General biographical:

Lost his son & wife in a fire: Adam & Sarah. (Pilot)
Speaks some Spanish. (Safecracker)
Likes to whittle/carve things with his knife. (Witness)
Almost got killed tracking a Cougar through the mountains. (Nemesis )
Ripped out TopHat Bob's eye in a fight after a rail-splitting contest in Indiana. (Collector)
Shot Jackie Pender Dead in Dodge City. (Inmate 78)
Has a black horse.


Shot in the right arm just above elbow. (Witness)
Had to be stitched up above the left hip. (Inmate 78)

Vin Tanner

General biographical:

Lived with Indians. (Manhunt)
Worked at Hardware store. (Pilot)
Wanted in Tuscosa, Texas for murder: he was framed by Eli Joe. (Pilot)
Had a run-in with an outlaw named Bob Harper: Bob's gun stuck. (Safecracker)
Used to work as a bounty-hunter. (Safecracker)
Plays Harmonica. (Working Girls)
Mother raised him until he was five. Putrid fever killed her. (Collector)
Occasionally carries a knife on left hip.


Buck Wilmington

General biographical:

Has horse named Old Bart. (Pilot)
Hates J.D.'s hat. (Pilot)
Known in Abilene, Dodge City, & Tombstone. (Pilot)
Was a lawman once. (Pilot)
Grew up in a brothel. (Working Girls )
Never paid for sex. (Working Girls)
Mother was a prostitute. (Working Girls )
Talked Chris into staying in Mexico the night Chris' family died. (Nemesis)


Slashed across chest. (pilot)

Ezra Standish

General biographical:

From the Southern United States. {by dialect it would the Carolinas } (Pilot)
Jumped bail in Ft. Laramie. (Safecracker)
Carries a Derringer up his right sleeve. (Safecracker)
Once dressed like a woman. (Working Girls )
Sings. (Working Girls)
Has a mother, Maude, who is a con. (Witness)
Carries his money stash in his right boot. (Collector)

Ezra's Cons:

Once tried to get together with a man's daughter while running a preaching scam and got busted. (Pilot)
Conned kids into telling him where the gold mine was located. (Pilot)
Conned prostitutes into wedding placement scam. (Working Girl)
Pulled a Cotton Gin investment scam in Chicago with his mother. (Witness)
Conned the Indian village boys into working for him. In return he showed them card tricks. (Pilot)

Dislocated his left shoulder. (Pilot)
Has a gold tooth, upper right incisor.

Josiah Sanchez

General biographical:

Ex-priest. (Pilot)
Father was a missionary. (Manhunt)
Studied with a Cherokee spiritualist. (Pilot)
Has a problem with turning the other cheek. (Pilot)
Like to drink 'turning to the wrong spirits' (Pilot)
Travelled in India. (Safecracker)
Believes that making love should be spiritual. (Working Girls)
Proposed to Emma Dubonett in San Francisco. (Collector)
Proficient with a staff, for combat. (Pilot)


Shot in the right thigh. (Pilot)
Rifle shot grazed the right side of his ribs, in the lower area. (Pilot)

Nathan Jackson

General biographical:

Stretcher bearer in the Union Army. (Pilot)
Seminoles took in slaves that he ran with. (Pilot)
Love interest in Indian village named Rain. (Pilot)
Knife thrower, carries knife holster. (Pilot)
Left romantic interest in Indian village in order to aid Josiah. (Pilot)
Does not believe in using others to make a profit: "off the back of another human being" (Working Girls)
Not a doctor. (Inmate 78)


Bullet grazes upper right arm. (Inmate 78)
Whip scars across back. (Pilot)

John J.D. Dunne

General biographical:

Took job as a sheriff. (Pilot)
Virgin, but claims not to be. (Working Girls)
Grew up in a big mansion with his mother. (Pilot)
Mother was a chambermaid who dies within the year prior to joining the Seven. (Pilot)
Never knew his father. (Pilot)
Taught himself how to ride horses. (Pilot)
Mother had saved money for him to go to college, but there was not enough. (Pilot)


Knifed in chest, over the heart, close to the shoulder area. (Safecracker)

Mary Travis

General biographical:

Runs the newspaper, The Clarion News, as editor. (Pilot)
Knows how to tie ties. (Safecracker)
Husband, Steven, murdered. (Safecracker)
Has a son named Billy, eight years old. (Safecracker)
Son is living with grandparents. (Safecracker)
She was visiting her neighbors when her husband got killed. (Witness)
Her husband, Steven, fought for the truth by publishing it. (Witness)
The law claimed her husband's death to be a robbery. (Witness)
Father-in-law is Judge Travis. (One Day Out West)


Judge Orin Travis

General biographical:

Wife named Evie. (One Day Out West)
Came from over 300 miles away. (One Day Out West)
Has hung twenty-three men. (One Day Out West)
Arrested Ezra in Ft. Laramie, Texas. (One Day Out West)
Locked Ezra up in jail. (One Day Out West)
Had a son who was killed, Steven, Mary's husband. (One Day Out West)


Shot in the chest, right side. (One Day Out West)


From The Collector:

*Guy Royal: leathery, 55, Custer style white hair, cattleman.
*Red: Guy's men.
*Curly: Guy's men.
*TopHat Bob Spikes, six foot tall, no hair or eyebrows, wears eye patch, stovepipe hat, marshall of Lobo county, sentenced to hang.
*Polecat, one of TopHat Bob's men.

From Inmate 78:

*Jessie O'Reilly, 54, owns saloon & boarding house in Jericho.
*Sheriff Quince, ran prison scam in Jericho. killed by Chris.
*Deputy Yanks
*Warden, killed by snake bite.

From Nemesis:

*John Blackfox, half-Indian horse thief, watched while Chris' family was murdered.
*Cletus Fowler, hired to kill Chris' & his family, dies in fire.

From One Day Out West:

*Lucas Jones, wiry man who works for his uncle, Stuart James.
*Stuart James, cattle baron
*Flint, works for Mr. Stuart
*Bone, works with Flint
*Russell, works with Flint
*Malcolm, works for Mr. Stuart
*Leroy, Malcolm's hired gun.

From Safecracker:
*Morgan Coltrane, killed by Chris.
*Starkweather, one of Coltrane's men
*Fallon, one of Coltrane's men
*Vargas, one of Coltrane's men.
*Beal, town undertaker and a card cheater, busted by Olivia and Ezra.

From Witness:
*Mr. Elliot, an elegantly dressed gentleman, who works in the bank. Also the man who killed Mary's husband, Steven.
*Curtis, hitman hired by Mr. Elliot
*Mr. Wheeler, the older man who partnered with Mr. Elliot to kill Mary's husband, Steven.

From Working Girls:
*Carl Wicks, large and boisterous man who ran Wick's town overseeing the whores and entertainment, until he was killed by Chris for being brutal to the women.
*Quint, Wicks' hired gun

From the Pilot:
*Colonel Anderson, a confederate army colonel, middle aged, with a bad knee. Killed by Chris
*Francis Frank Corcoran, a confederate veteran of many campaigns, demoted by Anderson for refusing to fight
*Sergeant Darcy, wears an eyepatch, killed by Ezra


From The Collector:
*Nettie Wells: 65, wiry & tough. Owns ranch house
*Casey, 18: tomboy. Nettie's niece
*Olson's: Guy Royale took their land, bought in foreclosure
*Burghart's: Guy Royale took their land, bought in foreclosure
*Tacketts: Guy Royale took their land, bought in foreclosure
*Ode Corder: land owner, burned out and hung by Tophat Bob
*Mrs. Potter: runs the general store
*Emma Dubonnet: from the 'Getting Gertie's Garter' show. Josiah loved her.

From Inmate 78:
*The Lawless Brothers: Gage, Fate, and Basil. Chris killed their cousin in Dodge City.
*Doc: an inmate and Doctor in Jericho prison
*Philips: prison guard who became the warden at Jericho
*Mr. Anderson: runs the Jericho general store.

From Manhunt:
*Owen Mosely: 50, big spiritual guy, who killed Claire
*Rafe Mosely: 20, trouble maker
*Chanu: Indian. married to Claire
*Claire Mosely, 19, married to Chanu. killed
*Ko-Je. Chief & Chanu's father
*Fredricks. towns people
*Glenn. townspeople

From Nemesis:
*Jock Steele, writer/photographer from New York City.

From One Day Out West:
*Glenn Potter. late 5O's. owns general store in Four Corners. killed by
*Lucas Jones.
*Mr. Conklin. refused jury duty.
*Mrs. Gloria Potter. now called Widow Potter. Husband shot by Lucas Jones.

From Safecracker:
*Terry Greer, the safecracker. a natural beauty, husband died of a fever. She used to run with Coltrane's gang of thieves.
*Olivia Greer. Terry's kid, 6. feisty.

From Witness:
*Billy. 8. Mary Travis' son, learned whittling from Chris.
*Maude. 5O. attractive mother of Ezra, a con and card shark.
*Virginia Elliot. a pretty young girl. J.D.'s interest and Mr. Elliot's daughter.

From Working Girls:
*Lydia. whore from Wick's town hired by Chris
*Emily, pretty whore from Wick's town that caught J .D.'s interest
*Nora. whore who was beaten by Wicks

From the Pilot:
*Tastanagi. a Seminole Chief
*Osceola. baby born in the Seminole village.
*Rain. a young mulatto woman, befriended Nathan.
*Eban. a full-blooded ex-slave who lives with the Seminoles. plays harmonium.
*Ope Locka. a plump, single Indian woman with the village
*Imala. Indian brave who caught Buck outside the village. Tastanagi's son. Killed in the final battle.
*Toakhulga. The Seminole mother


Buck's horse. Old Bart


Landon - Fifth town from Four Corners (Inmate 78)

Eagle Bend
Where the man who hired men to kill Chris' & his family found his assassins. (Nemesis)
Where Chris catches the man who was hired to kill his family (Nemesis)

Spanish outlaw town. full of ruffians.
Home to Dan Bloody Hands Barnes (Nemesis)
Where Vin used to bounty hunt (Safecracker)
Where Buck was taken with Coltrane's gang (Safecracker).
Where Chris went looking for the man who killed his family (Nemesis)

Bitter Creek - Nearby town where Terry and Olivia moved to (Safecracker)

Wick's Town
Where Carl Wicks set up a tent city that was centered around a
brothel and various entertainment. (Working Girls)

Jericho - Where Chris was jailed (Inmate 78)

Lobo county - Where TopHat Bob was the Marshal (Collector)

Poison Creek Summit - Where Chris and the others robbed Guy Royale after he collected the $300 from Nettie. (Collector)

Devil's Canyon - Where Vin captured Chanu at the watering hole. (Manhunt)

Baker's Pass - Where Josiah, J.D., and Ezra go to look for Billy (Witness)

Whitley Pass - A less traveled path out of Four Corners discussed by Vin and Chris as an escape for the prostitutes. (Working Girls)



HEROES - Real People

Allan Pinkerton -Born in Glasgow, Scotland. Head of Secret Service in Civil War. Established detective agency in 1850. Pinkerton Men hired out as enforcers.

Annie Oakley -Phoebe Anne Moses, 5 ft tall. "little Sure Shot". Shot dime out of his hand and cigarette out of his mouth. Hit playing card thrown in air from 90 feet away.

Bradshaw - Snappy, sartorial dresser. Will kill anyone who makes fun of his clothes

Bronco Sue - From Wales, shot own partner

Calamity Jane - Woman disguised as man - dressed in men's clothing she boasted of her excellent marksmanship, exploits as Pony Express rider, as scout in Custer's troops.

Dragoons - sent to tame Comanches on Santa Fe Trail

Jim Beckworth - beaver fur trapper. Mulatto. Became Chief of the Crow. Went where no white man had ever stepped before. Told tall tales.

Jim Burnett - Justice of the Peace. Issued own warrants and served them with a shotgun - arrested people on the street or in saloon, and declared court open right then and there, and assessed and collected the fine.

Juan Miguel de Lacerda - King of the Gypsies. Claims to be decorated officer of the Brazilian Army, treasure hunter, fancy dresser, dark skinned

Judge Roy Bean - fined a corpse $40 for carrying concealed weapon.

Julius Caesar - Epicurean, portly, rubicund, triple-chin, like Friar Tuck.

Maximillian of Weid Nuweid - German Prince

Russian Nobleman

Sam Bass - stole from rich, gave to poor a la Robin Hood

Swedish Giant

Tuttle - Reverend

HEROES - Suggestions

2-Fisted fighting man

A gay cowboy


Bartender - used to handling difficulties in abrupt powerful strikes, can use anything as a weapon - a pool cue, stool leg, shotgun, pistol, knife -after quickly dispatching trouble, he writes on the mirror 'to be continued' (The Gunfighter pg 82)

Big Nose (female) - "Big nose" means strong, bold character

Black cowboy

Blind man with a map in his head leading to "stalagmites of silver".

Bowman - long bow and crossbow



Buffalo Soldier - former slave or Black/Seminole scout



Child raised by Indians

Chinese railroad workers

Circuit judge

Civil War Veteran - used fighting skills used in war in other new situations.

Civil war vets

Cold-blooded killer with a great sense of humor

Comanches - world's best horsemen

Confidence Man


Doctor - who served as dentist, coroner, pharmacist and veterinarian. Used catgut for stitches and sour-mash whiskey for an esthetic.

Escape artist

Escaped convict - one could join Mag 7; fellow escapee could be a bandit.

Female gambler

Fugitive who has changed his identity, but bad guy knows him, which makes others in team doubt him.


Gunfighter / musician (fiddler?)

Gunman knits in downtime (male or female )

Gunman who is mortally ill

Hero inducted as sheriff because no one else will do it.

Hunter / Trapper / Trader / Guide / Frontiersman / Mountain Man

Indian fighter

Indian scout

Indian with white wife

Inventor - weapons and explosives are his specialty

Knife fighter - keeps knives hidden everywhere - back, boot, sleeve, hat, under collar (cord down back), etc

Lady saloon-keeper - Won the deed at a gambling table on a Missouri River

Lawman retiring

Lawman with a price on his head.

Loner cowboy

Man falsely jailed

Man with Indian Wife

Master of disguise


Medicine Man

Mountain man




Piano player




Rather obese and unattractive woman chasing after man. Turns up again later and has undergone a transformation - is a pretty thin thing.


San Francisco Vigilantes - main force in a lawless city.


Sharpshooter - who's hung up his guns

Sharpshooting woman



Soldier of Fortune/Machine-gun for hire - fought under the flags of seven nations and who carried 16 wound scars on his body - each with a harrowing tale of bullet, shell, bayonet and machete attack.

Swamper, or swampy - Man who works at saloon. Mops the floor, polishes the woodwork, shines the brass cuspidors, cleans the lamps.

Tenderfoot (suggest this be a female character disguised as male)

Texas Rangers - 'can ride like a Mexican, trail like an Indian, shoot like a Tennessean, and fight like the very devil'.

The missionary

Town Marshall

Traveling salesman


True gentleman bandit (could be one of Mag 7).

U.S. Marshall deputies - these were the ones who usually tracked and captured criminals, not the Marshalls themselves.

University educated, New York

Vaquero - Mexican cowboy

Wagon train cook

White Indian - was taught how to handle bow, tomahawk, scalping knife, etc by Indians (good Indians, or was he captured?) Lost his family to Indians but he himself survived.

White man with Indian wife

Widewheeler. Her ex-husband taught her to play poker.

World traveler


VILLAINS - Real People

40 Thieves - enter hidden in jars, killed with boiling oil, enter cave with password.

Belle Starr - "The Bandit Queen", female outlaw.

BlaCk Bart - never spilled blood on his coach robberies. Wore sack over his head. Left poetry behind. Eventually traced through laundry mark on a
handkerchief found on the scene of one of his robberies.

Blackfeet Indians (Missouri) - reputation for killing any white man they met.

Bloods - Indian band.

Curly Bill - Horse thief and robber operating on a scale of wholesale magnificence.

Ghosts of the confederacy - Killed what they saw as belligerent negroes. Call themselves the society of regulators... pseudo vigilante law.

Hounds - Notorious band of ruffians made up of Veterans from the Mexican War and men off the streets of New York.

Jay Gould - Financier. Became leading railroad owner of 1800s, controlled more than 15,000 miles of track. Conspired with others to gain control of the gold market by buying up all the gold available in New York City, causing Black Friday panic of September 24, 1969. In 1880s gained control of Western Union Telegraph Company.

Jesse James - Son of Baptist minister. Rode with Confederate Army at 15. Learned to kill in cold blood and steal horses. Once held up two coaches in one day.

John Jacob Astor - founds American Fur Co. in 1808 - became richest man in U.S. by his death in '48.

Jonathan Wild - caught criminals for reward, then sold stolen property back to victims. But Wild actually orchestrated the robberies in the first place and the villains he handed over to the law had refused to obey him.

Jules - French Canadian. Horse thief - saved from hanging by local lawman while hanging from the rope.

Long Hunters - so called because they hunted in western forests for months at a time to meet the demand for furs and buckskins in the East.

Maximillian of Weid Nuweid - German Prince

Nana - In his late seventies, wrinkled, half-blind, crippled with rheumatism. Nana was a master of desert warfare. With only 40 men, he once led a 1000 troops on a wild goose chase across a thousand miles of desert. Nana fought 8 battles, winning them all without losing a man.

Quantrill's Raiders - Quantrill denied commission in Confederate Army. Took 450 irregular Confederate soldiers on a terrorist guerilla raid on Lawrence, Kansas (strongly Unionist & abolitionist) - killing 150 civilians, wounding 30 more, and leaving most of the town in a smoking ruin.

Russian Nobleman

Sawney Bean - from W, Scotland. Lived in damp set of caves. Robbed travelers on coastal roads. Became rich in everything except food, so ate the
victims. When his cave was discovered, they found it sheltering a clan of cannibal kids.

Swedish Giant

Texas Rangers - 'can ride like a Mexican, trail like an Indian, shoot like a Tennessean, and fight like the very devil'

Thugs - Hindu sect who strangled and chopped up travelers - weren't allowed to kill women, the blind, or carpenters.

William H. Ashley & Andrew Henry founded Rocky Mtn. Fur Co. in 1820 - were AFC's main rival for the fur trade.

Wreckers - on dark nights, they replaced normal navigation lights on rugged coasts with their own false lights - lured ships to wreck on the rocks, then raided them and disappeared into the night.

VILLIANS - Suggestions

12 year old killer (a la Billy the Kid)

A man with six wives

A rapacious woman who rapes a man

Army of prisoners - escaped or organized into military unit.

Bandit who sets fire to perimeter of robberies and disappears in the smoke.

Border raiders.

Bowman - long bow and crossbow



Cattle barons - amassed fortunes and founded dynasties often by force, exclude settlers, driving them from their lands, and treated employees like serfs.

Circuit judge

Civil War Veteran - used fighting skills used in war in other new situations.

Civil war vets

Cold-blooded killer with a great sense of humor


Dr. Loveless ("Wild Wild West") like villain - Mad genius scientist. Loves to invent evil ways to torture and kill, but can't stand the sight of blood.

Escaped convict - one could be a bandit; fellow escapee could join Mag 7.

Female bandit

Female gambler

Female highwaymen/road agents

Gunman knits in downtime (male or female)

Gunman who is mortally ill

Indian fighter

'Judge Lynch' - term for a lynch mob.

Land squatters - demanded more Indian lands, encroached on reservations.


Mexican bandits

Mountain man

Piano player

Poet bandit - writes ballads which record exploits.



Private in Mexican War deserted to hunt for Gold

Ravenous speculators - tricked Indians into moving off land by fraudulent selling of other land to them and promises of guns, tobacco, blankets, medicine, alcohol, etc.

Religious zealot (Mormon?)



Sharpshooting woman



Someone who thinks he's General Custer -- who died 5 years ago.

Traveling salesman

True gentleman bandit.


White Indian - character that was taught how to handle bow, tomahawk, scalping knife. etc by Indians (good Indians, or was he captured?) Lost his family to indians but he himself survived.

Whisky peddlers


7 hired to stave off ring coveting monopoly of Indian trade.

Bandits build secret underground railroad. Kidnap settler women for slave trade. Husbands hire Mag 7 to track them down and get them back.

Bandits impersonate Mag 7, rule town with an iron thumb. Real Mag 7 has to intervene.

Border ruffian's take over polling places. Mag 7 hired to help ensure a fair election.

Brothel hires 7 to protect them from ruling bandits.

Gypsies come to town to dig for buried treasure. But bandits get wind of the hunt and invade the town, taking over the forceable supervision of the dig. A townsman/woman sneaks away and hires the 7 to protect them for a cut of gold. ln the end the 7 defeat the bandits and find the gold, splitting it with the town, the gypsies and themselves. The leader of the gypsies joins them in the fight against the bandits and then as the 7th member of the team.

Mag 7 vs. Texas rangers

Man awaiting hanging for murder and robbery hires Mag 7 to find man who forced him into the crimes with deadly blackmail, thus setting him free and clearing his name (guy is related to one of the Mag 7?)

Man pretends to be a ghost, terrorizing families into giving him money (somehow?) One family hires Mag 7 to solve the mystery.

Man who's witnessed murder is target of murder - 7 hired to protect him

Miners hire 7 to stave off intolerable treatment by powerful mining co.

Opponents of President being murdered. President implicated, hires 7 to find who's really responsible.

Pony Express hires 7 to protect a particularly vulnerable stagecoach route suffering multiple robberies.

Smaller ranchers being harassed, driven off their land, and killed by larger ranching syndicate - hire 7 to protect them.

Someone's killing negroes. Mag 7 hired to protect them.

Town council hires a man to be sheriff from among those they had difficulty controlling. But he resorts to violence and intimidation to keep order and provokes more trouble than he prevents. Mag 7 hired to help get rid of him and bring real order to the town - one of them stays on as a new sheriff.

A colorful character mined for gold in Mexico and accumulated millions. Learning that the girl he had wooed years before, but not won, was still unmarried, he packed a team of ten mules with his silver and gold. He was sure that with his treasure, he could win her over. Because of the hostile territory he was riding through on his journey through Texas to New Orleans where the girl lived, he decided to bury his treasure except for a small portion to prove his wealth to the girl. He and his party of two Mexicans were attacked by Comanches. His companions were killed and he barely escaped. While hiding, he hid the last small portion of the gold and made a map. Traveling on foot, wounded and without supplies, he luckily came across a group of travelers. His wound was growing worse, so he made a map of his buried millions and sent it to his girl with instructions to hold it for three months and if he didn't arrive, to assume he was dead and to lay her claim to his treasure. He never arrived and it was years before conditions in Texas were safe enough to permit a thorough search. She never found the ten jack loads of silver and gold, but word of the story spread and there have been many searches since.

A man who, when his party was attacked by Indians, was the only survivor. He survived by falling into a pothole. While hiding, he realized that the rocks on the bottom of the hole were gold. He collected as much gold as he could carry, and set off by foot. He almost died of hunger and thirst and dropped his treasure along the way. When, at last, he reached a town, he only had three small gold nuggets left. He never found the pothole again.

Annual rendezvous of fur traders at Green River in present day Wyoming. Trappers brought years-worth of catch to trade and sell for supplies and money.

Apaches and Comanches had rich reserves of silver and gold which they used to make jewelry. They kept these mines very secretive and only a few whites ever discovered their whereabouts. The few who were lucky enough to ever see the source of the Indian wealth were captives who later escaped and attempted unsuccessfully to find their location again. In a few instances, whites would befriend the Indians and ride with them for years in order to gain their trust enough to see the mines. They would then 'slip off' and gather a search party to find the mines. None ever succeeded.

Buried treasure. Tells where it is buried when he dies, in our hero's arms. Hero goes in search of it.

Dislocated reservated tribes clashed with local Plains tribes in buffalo hunting, etc.

Dispute between cattle ranchers and sheep herders.

Escalating escape (a la RAIDERS), when he runs from a nest of rattlesnake, to get chased by a bear, to be shot at by outlaws, to be caught in a cattle stampede, and finally kidnapped by Indians.

Indians preparing burial chamber on sacred ground. Villains kill an Indian or two to make the point coming back for gold...or they'll all be dead. Villains ride off. Indians know that if they take on any white men they'll be wiped out. Wise man sees that white must fight white. Set against Anastasi ruins, mysterious Toas, NM.

Indians suspected of having secret gold mine by renegade post civil war bandits. Men who are the dregs of army that couldn't make change to civilization. Natives protest, how do you prove you have nothing.

Jessie James buried $2,000,000 treasure and his brother, Frank was unable to locate it after Jessie's death.

Mandan & Cheyenne tribes were bitter enemies but nonetheless determined to fight fairly - 2 rival Chiefs fight with guns on horseback, then dismount and fight with tomahawks, then knives. Cheyenne Chief is seriously wounded, but Mandan Chief lets him escape.

On a train, just when he is about to be killed, the train was ambushed by bandits. Persuades them to take him to his hideout.

Protect sacred lands - Non pyhrric Indian story, same lands still occupied by their descendants today.

Search for the richest hidden treasure of the Catholic Church in the southwest.

Shoot-out around the gravestones on Boot Hill - Runaway coffin. Corpse escapes.

Soldiers out hunting buffalo stumble upon Indians attacking Mag 7 and save them.

Spaniards supposedly buried millions worth of gold and silver throughout the southwest that has not been recovered.

Start in jail cell - gallows being readied outside. Writing his last memoir. Preacher comes in. Turns out to be his buddy and helps him escape.

Sutter's Fort - private fort; Sutter ruled over all the adjacent land and resources with Indian workers and hired rough and ready whites.

The jail is in a fort. They have to fight their way out. The cavalry ride out after them -- a posse coming the other way, vigilantes coming to witness his hanging. It seems hopeless. Indians appear on the rise and ride to his rescue, scattering the opposing forces.

The rainmaker. Brings his rockets and small cannon, kites and explosives. No chants or incantations. Sends up a kite with a slow fused bomb. Then fires the cannon. Then a line of rockets. Then his biggest rocket. Touches it off with a four-foot match.


'circuit riders' - traveling preachers - performed religious services, weddings, baptisms, etc.

2 guns on a table - "reach!"

A gun that won't shoot straight.


Bandit makes bulletproof iron armor (or does Mag 7 guy make it?!)

Bandit shoots out the eye of a flying bird.

Bandit takes time out from a robbery for a dance with a beautiful woman (Frenchman Claude de Duval)

Bandit/killer caught because of handwriting analysis.

Bandits amble 240 miles in a day.

Bandits try to 'succeed' - set up own city / state.

Bank robbery

Barbed wire

Body shot through floor from gunfight in bar below

Bowie knife

Brand blotting - technique used by rustlers, running an iron over a whole brand and blurring the marking.

Brand someone - something funny that they have to live with.

Bribe the marshall

Buffalo herd

Buried alive

Camel chase across desert


Captain Dodge (black) rescues outpost of white soldiers under attack by Indians.


Cattle plague - almost led to range war (The Gunfighter. pg. 67)

Cattle stampede - through town

Cigars with explosives (good for escaping a card game ).

Close fired gun catch the victims clothes on fire.


Codebreaking/Cypher (The Civil War. pg. 66).

Continue playing cards during a gunfight

Counterfeit money

Cowboy wrestling bear in a bar - good intro to character.

Creepers - 'tiered' grappling hooks dragged along bottom of seabed by rowboats to discover and collect hidden loot.

Cutting the telegraph wires.

Dance-halls called hurdy gurdies - men often danced together, because women were scarce.

Dead bodies or skeletons found on the roadside

Dead, abandoned animals being circled by vultures.

Desert thirst

Discovers gold, gets cheated out of his claim.

Dope a horse with arsenic to make it lively, with a good appetite. Effects soon wear off.

Drugs - morphine/quinine smuggled in hollowed-out dolls

Dust storms

Dying of thirst, open horse's veins to moisten lips with blood.


Eat barbecued rattlesnake, sourdough biscuits.

Explode a bridge.

Fake death

Fake hanging - planned with reinforced neck in shirt

Falling off horse and getting dragged.

False book case.

False teeth


First indoor toilet in the west - it was an idea that took people a long time to get used to.

Forced to run the gauntlet by Indians - hands tied behind back, tied to horse without reins, run through woods where branches, etc, would wound (Simon Kenton)

Fording a river.

Fourth of July

Frozen man/men found on prairie/in shack

Gambler takes bets in the middle of a gunfight, on the outcome of the fight.

His tie fastened with a bejeweled horseshoe, a good luck symbol.

Getting teeth pulled

Gold mines and road to mines were popular site for banditry.

Guerillas kill, loot and rape any and all townspeople who 'welcome' enemy.

Gunman shot in his good hand, has to practice with his left.

Gunman shot in his good hand, has to practice with his other.

Guy rides through bandits hideout - 'shebang' - "Did you get your man?" - "No, but I rode plumb through the place without getting shot."

Handkerchief duel - each man grabs one end of a handkerchief and draws with the other. A duel from three feet (?!)


Head torn from the body when bandit hanged (Black Jack)

Hero falls in love with the chief outlaw's girl. The outlaw makes him marry her.

Hero inducted as sheriff because no one else will do it.

Hides out in the hills with Indian band - poses as an Indian.

Hiding the loot by putting it in barrels and weighing them down so they rest underwater, marked by some kind of float. They'd be later retrieved by rowboat.

Horse chase

Horse in bar

Horse races, shooting contests, wrestling and boxing matches.


Huge brawl that consumes the entire town, raging in a thick mud slick on the main street. People are covered in mud and are swinging 2 x 4'5 at each other (women included)

If he fights, his woman will leave him.

Indian wants a cannon from US. Army. Soldier remarks - "gonna kill my soldiers with it?" - "No, kill cowboys with cannon, your soldiers we can kill with a club."

Indian/tracker reads hero's/villain's track including carrying back up gun on left ankle.

Informal rodeos featured expert horsemanship and other cowboy skills.

Intro town with snow. Hearse skidding up hill. Burying guy helped by miner... uses dynamite to fend off bad guys.


James Gang ambushed by alerted townspeople while robbing a bank.

Lasso a rattlesnake

Long walk in desert

Lynch mob

Mag 7 set up dummies to lure badguys - then lay in wait for the ambush.

Man begs friend to shoot him to save him from the dishonor of hanging.

Man chased by a bear up a tree.

Man dies laughing to death.

Man dragged from behind a horse, coach, buckboard wagon, drawn-and-quartered

Man out shoveling a way for the wheels of a wagon/stagecoach is killed by collapsing ravine / creek-bank.

Man sees guy with his brother's watch.

Man shot at three times, finds two bullet holes in his coat, third in his best friend behind him or in his belly.

Man shot through heart, feels it in the leg, walks then collapses.

Man wore gun sewn into leather pouch in his coat. "See I'm not wearing a gun, no provocation. That's your problem."

Meets Annie Oakley-type in a shooting contest.

Messages flashed, hundreds of miles, with mirrors.


Modify gun for fanning.

Mortally ill gunman deliberately loses gunfight.


Mountain lions

Mud fight


Murder in Sanctuary of church.

No problem killing in the heat of battle or in self-defense, but can't bring himself to kill a helpless victim.

Obsession with canal building in areas - brought more people. commerce.

One man says my brother was killed by Indians. Indian says mine too.

Outlaw's cronies draw their guns in court, freeing friend.

Pit bull kids - children 10 to 12 ordered to fight each other to the death.

Plague of locusts

Pretend a truce, till you can get back into hiding

Priest murdered.

Punching a guy's horse out.

Put body in tin coffin full of alcohol to preserve it for shipment home.

Railroads were enemy of poor farmers - ruined land, displaced them, etc.

Ranchers vs. cowmen

Rattlesnake strike

Ride 12 hours on an unsaddled horse.

Ride horses thru a saloon

Ride into saloon and order 2 drinks, one for himself and one for his horse (Nat Love/'Deadwood Dick').

Ring with secret recess for coded messages written on oilskin paper.


Rope and steal a U.S. cannon

Rope tied to back of horse's saddle. When horse moves, the saddle falls off, its rider with it.

Roping contest

Series of shooters, each one shooting the next in line

Set up camp in deep ravine with caves covered in thick undergrowth (Sam Bass)

Settlers formed 'Anti Horse-Thief Association.'

Shave with glass from broken bottle.

Sheriff has to imprison woman he loves.

Shoot-out around the gravestones on Boot Hill - Runaway coffin. Corpse escapes.

Shotgun wedding - forced to marry with a gun to the head.

Small pox

Soldiers out hunting stumble upon Indians attacking Mag 7 and save them.

Someone has the mark of a knife on him, flogging marks, or the hot branded iron.

Special jacket under clothes to hide stuff (for smugglers, etc)

Stagecoach arrival

Stagecoach hold-up

Stampeded cattle through town

Stays in burning house to be roasted alive rather than come out and face the villain(s)

Street shoot-out

Sword fight with a cavalry officer, or a Spanish don.

Tests gun with load so powerful blows the gun apart.

Throw three silver dollars in the air and shoot 'em each dead center. Then follow up, threatening to do the same with 3 dynamite sticks, aimed at somebody's head -- not really dynamite sticks but a broom handle cut in three.

Thrown down a well

Tie a rope across the street, to trip horses

Tied a man to a post, slowly shot him, tiring of it so shot him in the mouth and then cut off his ear for a fob watch.

Torture and punishment - boiling, lashing alive (slicing off skin), gouging out the eyes, the rack, dropped into water by hanging seat, thumbscrews, iron boot, crushed by weight on chest, trial by fire.

Town makes carrying firearms illegal

Trade a wild horse for a Russian made .44 revolver.

Train robbery and chase

Train robberies. Railroad or private co. hires Mag 7 for protection.

Traps - forces of nature, dam break, fire, old waggon train, filled with rocks, ropes cut, rolls down hill into bad guys. Rock traps, or drive off cliff like the buffalo.

Traveling dramatic groups and vaudeville shows.

Trick-shot/ sharp-shooter tries to impress: shoots 6 bullets through the first hole - "I'll bet this Schofield pistol (Smith and Wesson} against that nice alpaca coat you're wearin' that I can put the rest of the slugs through that same bullet hole I just made." - "You're on. Shoot." Fires five times in quick succession at a calendar. As the black powder smoke clears, there's but one neat hole... turns out the last 5 bullets were blanks.

Try to rope and steal a US army cannon.

Underground Water floods mine shafts.

Undertaker - "shoot 'em where it don't show"

Use bones of old waggon wheel as a lazy susan to reload rifles.

Use of mirrors for cheating at cards

Villain wounded, can't stop bleeding, can't escape, shoots himself.


Wagon train attacked by Indians

Wealthiest man in town is broke, because can't get silver ore refined

Weapons: Spur as throwing star; Miners dynamite; Mortars; Lariat; Gatling gun; Guitar that is a gun; Six shooter with room for seven bullets.

Wife / sister hires 7 to break innocent man out of jail / escape from hanging.

Woman braves enemy fire to retrieve extra gunpowder when team's run out.

Woman defends herself...and children against Indian attack at her isolated prairie house.

Woman tied on train track

Wrap horse's hooves in animal skins. so as not to leave footprints. Jump from rock to rock to avoid prints.



Nevada had not yet been made a territory of the United States. There were no laws - and no one to enforce them if there had been any.

Silver mining - the only way of recording a mining claim was by writing it down in a memorandum book kept in one of the saloons. And the only way the claims could be held was for the owners to work in pairs, one guarding the other with a rifle as he slept or mined ore and piled it on the ground. 'Sharpers' bribed a dishonest saloon keeper to erase the rightful owner's name from a claim book and substitute his name instead. Sometimes, prospectors were forced to take sharpers as partners.

Claim jumper to prospector, asleep in his hammock, with a prod from his pistol. "Mister, you got a fast choice. You can pick up your canteen and sashay out of here, or you can argue, and I'll plant your carcass under this pile of rock where I s'pose you stuffed your claim paper!" ...he reaches into the rock cavern with his free hand, yells, and withdraws his hand with a rattlesnake hanging by its fangs from his thumb. Prospector says, "Now, matey, you got a fast choice. You can sit here and swell up and die and or you can take that pistol and blow your thumb off."

200 men and 100 wagons carrying $200,000 worth travel from Missouri to Santa Fe in Spanish Territory.

A blind man named Johnson used to be a ranger and Indian fighter. One of the Indians was a Mexican who had been reared by the Indians from childhood. Bargaining for his life, he promised to lead the ranger captain to an Indian mine. He led him to a hill where they removed a thick rock slab. Underneath was a slanting hole. The ranger captain peered in and saw what appeared to be gleaming "icicles of silver" hanging from the roof of the cave. He kept the mine a secret and only confided in his close friend, Johnson. Shortly after, he was killed. The years passed, and by the time Johnson was ready to search for the treasure, he was basically blind. The treasure has never been recovered.


'Long rifles' - like Daniel Boone's 46 incher.

'Peacemaker' - 6 shot, single action pistol.

1850- 1900 = conflicts between immigrants and Indians.

A walrus mustache.

Ambushing and sniping was not condoned, and killing someone while committing a robbery was unpardonable.

"Anyone who could testify to the speed of my draw isn't around to do so."

Bar-mirror - always the pride of the place, for it had to be carefully packed and hauled in a big freight wagon over 1000 miles of jolts and ruts. If its unity was threatened, the bartender would take action to preserve it.

Blanket of snow actually keeps you warm.

Bronco Bill was captured in Mexico by an American deputy posing as a "Bill collector."

Buckboard - wagon

Chuck wagon - food wagon

Cowboys rarely dressed in the splendor associated with the screen version, and rarely wore a gun.

Cut off the dead man's ears.

For various reasons, most relating to economics, town councils preferred fining troublemaking cowboys than to jailing them.

Gambling halls and saloons were open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Guinness was favorite imported beer in better saloons.

Guns referred to as owner's best friend (D. Boone)

Guns were given names by their owners - 'Betsy'

Hanging and cut down, men often lived.

"If you have to shoot a man shoot him in the navel the shock will paralyse him, the head's too hard to hit"

Improvements of the late 1800s included repeating rifles, smokeless explosive powder and jacketed bullets, which have a tough metal cover over a lead or steel core.

Inflation is so high prices change 3 times a day.

Knife tomahawk (Plains Indian weapon)

Lead poisoning from bullets killed men.

Life expectancy of the sheriff is about a day.

On some reservations. Indian children wore clothing of white peers.

"One of the deadest men who every lived."

Owners gave their horses names.

Pawnee Indians believed that man who learned the nature of the bear became like him - hard to kill, with the power of the sun (No. plains, Montana)

Rode camels - until close to victims, then switched to horses for speed and agility.

Tall tale braggarts - "ring-tailed roarers"; "half-horse, half-alligator", "sired by a hurricane and rode the lightning."

"Whisky of a quality that it would make rabbits fight a bulldog".

Whisky used to heal wounds.


Chief pain in the ass.

Desecration of tribal burial grounds.

Does Indian mystical stuff, and can read tracks in a major way... see tracker for ideas.

"Goddamn prairie niggers"

Indian band called 'Bloods' (don't know who)

"It's their will that you came here... smoke the pipe and there'll be no lies between us. If you don't smoke he'll know you're hiding something."

"Old man knows you... saw you in a vision... spirits told him."

Old man speaks English after all.

On some reservations, Indian children wore clothing of white peers.

Owl in the window scare.

Turtle rattle handed down by four grandfather's... 500 years old. Looks into flames of fire... sees family of his past.

Use Council of Elders - faces are so wonderful.

"When you go and visit an elder you bring tobacco as a gift"


Black town.

Boot Hill



Chimney rocks - uneroded cores of ancient volcanos

Chinese Laundry


Comanche village (So. Plains) - 60 to 800 tepees

Courthouses were usually nonexistent - trials took place in saloons or general stores

Family ranch


Jails in frontier towns were often poorly built, and easy to escape from because of overcrowding and inadequate security.

Magnificent private coach on train


Outlaw hideout

Peale's Museum - Natural history museum






Telegraph office

The fort

The Santa Fe Trail - Begins in Independence, Mo. and ends in Santa Fe (780 miles), not really as dangerous as its reputation. Indians rarely attacked large, organized wagon trains.

Trading store



Jim Bowie died
Wild Bill born
Buffalo Bill born
Jesse James born
Wyatt Earp born
California Gold Rush began
Pinkerton Agency formed

Bat Masterson born
Billy the Kid born
Pike's Peak Colorado Gold Rush
Annie Oakley born
Pony Express operated

First Transcontinental Telegraph
Frederick Remington born
Wells Fargo Co-founded
Pinkerton's capture, Reno Brothers, train robbers
Kit Carson died
First Transcontinental Rail Line completed
Apache Wars-New Mexico
Buffalo Blll wins Medal of Honor
Sante Fe Railroad comes to Dodge
Cochise died
Dodge City boom years
Nat Love top cowboy in Deadwood
Little Bighorn
Wild Bill Hickock shot
Crazy Horse killed
Sam Bass killed
Tombstone, Arizona founded
Belle Reed marries Sam Starr
Billy the Kid shot
Souix leader Gall imprisoned
Gunfight OK Corral, Tombstone
James Bridger died
Jesse James killed
Sam Starr shot
Belle Starr shot
Fitzsimmons prizefight in Langtry, Texas


1870's & 1880's (Geronimo, Victorio, Cochise, Mangas Coloradas)

INDIANS - Real tribes, etc.

Navajo and Apache
Actually all part of the Apache Indian people.
They are distinguished only by language.
Both are matriarchal.
Between '62 and '65 Kit Carson led the New Mexicans in forcing the Apaches and Navajo to live on reservations.

Influenced by Plains Indians.
Once hunted game and gathered wild plants for defeated by the US Army. But several Apache bands fled the reservation and resumed their raids. The army imprisoned many peaceful Apache, along with Geronimo and his followers.

In Apache language, 'Tonto' means fool.
Apache term for whites - PINDA-LICK-O-YEE - white eyes

First welcomed them as allies against the hated Mexicans in the Mexican War (1846). Friendship soured after the war. In return for the territories of Arizona and New Mexico, the Americans promised the Mexicans to stop Apache raids into Mexico. Forts were set up. Settlers and miners started arriving.

In 1860, Mangas Coloradas, great Mimbres Apache chief, then 70 years old, was whipped by 12 miners. From then on all White Eyes became his enemy. Began war that lasted 25 years. Many Apaches joined him, but not Cochise, his son-in-law of the Chiricahuas. Cochise wanted peace, until in 1861, he was falsely accused of stealing cattle and kidnapping a white boy. After an exchange of hostages, Cochise killed his in anger and joined Mangas. Swore to kill 10 White Eyes for every one Apache.

Apache Pass became impassable for whites - an important East-West stagecoach link. Battle of Apache Pass (General Carleton). Mangas shot. Braves carried him to a doctor in Janos, Mexico, who healed under threat of his own life. After recovering, Mangas was tricked into going into the army camp to discuss peace. He was arrested and killed.

Cochise continued the wart. Hiding out in the Dragon Mountains, a natural fortress. Secret trails. Lay in ambush, motionless, bronze bodies blending with the desert sands.

Cochise became blood brother with a white man. Captain Thomas Teffords or "Taglito" (Red Beard). Cochise was 6 feet tall, broad-shouldered, long black hair and large dark eyes. Face painted bright scarlet red. Teffords brought General Howard who had lost an arm, to make peace. Howard taught Cochise's son, Natchez, to write his name, the Apaches taught him Apache words. Lived with them many days, awaiting peace talks, which went well, allowing Cochise's people to stay in their homeland.

Other bands remained on the the warpath. Howard went to California and left Colonel George Crook to deal with the hostilities. Crook, six-foot tall, bristling beard which he sometimes tied up with ribbons. Crook hated uniform, wore hunting suit and a sun helmet. Indians called him "The Gray Fox". Often went hunting alone with only his dog and his mule, named Apache. He hardened his troopers by sending them on 70 mile marches across the desert in summer. Known as "The Granddaddy of the Pack Mules". Hired Apache scouts, by summer 1874, Crook had got all the Apaches onto reservations. He encouraged them to learn farming and stock raising, dug canals, built roads, brought in telegraph lines. Then he was sent north to fight the Sioux, now a General.

After Crook left, the Tucson Ring began playing dirty games -- a gang of dishonest politicians and traders -- Sold off wagonloads of Indian supplies to mining camps. In 1877, the government tried to move the Apache bands to one large reseration. San Carlos -- "Hell's Forty Acres", a worthless place. Hundreds of Apaches broke away, rather than be moved there. Some went to their old mountain haunts, some into the mountains of Mexico. Started raiding ranches. 5,000 soldiers (1/3 of the U.S. Army) were unable to stop the raids. When pursuing, the soldiers couldn't cross the Mexican border.

Crook returned in September 1882. Risking his life: he rode into the mountains with a small cavalry escort to visit the camps and listen to the
grievances. Apaches respected him. Most returned to San Carlos. He fired dishonest Indian agents from the reservations.

Hunters and gatherers who migrated South from Canadian Northwest. Impressed by pueblos, raided them, stole women, adopted pueblo material and spiritual ways - became weavers and farmers, then semi-nomadic herdsmen when the Spaniards introduced horses, sheep and goat to the area. Situated in the Southwest - northeast corner of Arizona into Utah and New Mexico - Monument Valley, Utah.

Villages made up of conical hogans at wide intervals to accomodate their livestock. Complex ritualized existence in which constant watchfulness prevents personal and collective harm from powerful entities, ghosts, and witchery. Intricate system to balance existence amidst good and evil. Natural phenomena: such as lightning, thunder and wind, and animals such as bears, snakes, frogs and coyotes can be dangerous if an individual has behaved improperly toward them. Supernatural forces such as ghosts and witches can cause harm. Ceremonial objects may be touched at improper times or with improper attitudes and cause disease.

Means "the peaceful people" - never at war with U.S.
Descendents of Anasazi - "the ancient ones" - built cities into cliffsides (Canyon de Chelly)
Kachina dancing ceremonies

Plains Indians
Knife tomahawk (Plains Indian weapon)

Crow - warred with Blackfeet and Sioux. Befriended white settlers and soldiers. In 1825, signed friendship treaty with US Government.

Pawnee Indians believed that man who learned the nature of the bear became like him - hard to kill, with the power of the sun (No. plains, Montana)

Comanches - world's best horsemen

Blackfeet Indians (Missouri) - reputation for killing any white man they met

If they just went straight they might go far
They are strong and brave and true
But they're always tired of the things that are
And they want the strange and new