History Features

The Greatest of Confidence Men

Canada-Bill_Soapy-SmithIn the mid-19th century, an industrializing and expanding republic presented innumerable opportunities for artistes with the appropriate combination of skill and amorality to separate an unsuspecting soul from his money.

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War Under the Mountain

Owehee-War_Hill-Beachy_Silver-City-MineJohn C. Holgate died first, pistol in hand, leading his men down a smoke-filled mining shaft.

J. Marion More was gunned down in the streets of Silver City, Idaho—his supporters said murdered—only two days after signing a truce to end one of the era’s most violent mining conflicts.

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The Prince of Hangmen?

George-Maledon-Prince-of-HangmenThe rolling Appalachian foothills of northeast Tennessee, where George Maledon lies peacefully buried, is a long ways away from the 16-foot-long trapdoor at the gallows in Fort Smith, Arkansas. There, between 1875 and 1891, Maledon, a hangman for Judge Isaac C. Parker at the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Arkansas, reportedly sent a record number of men to their own eternal place. But has history gotten that wrong?

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The Birth of an Outlaw

birth-of-an-outlaw-billy-the-kidEver since 1952, when Bob Mullin and Phil Rasch found the marriage record of William Antrim and the Kid’s mother, Catherine McCarty, the truth about the origins of the man we know as Billy the Kid became a done deal—the Kid’s real name was Henry McCarty; he had a younger brother named Joseph; and the brothers had witnessed their mother’s marriage, along with a Harvey Edmonds, who possibly was a church member.

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Armed to Survive

/Frontiersmen-and-their-weaponsThe turbulent environment of the frontier milieu served as a dramatic stage for virtually all of the arms manufactured in America from 1800 to 1900. Successive developments in the firepower of domestic weaponry proved particularly dramatic, advancing from the ubiquitous single-shot arms of 1800, through the multibarreled and revolving-cylinder repeating firearms of the 1830s and 1840s, on to the repeating magazine guns of the 1860s and following.

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True Westerners

Win Blevins

Win Blevins

Growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas, grounded me. In college, a professor pointe...

A Boomer Sooner Goes South

A Boomer Sooner Goes South

A celebration broke out when Oklahoma Territory became an official entity 125 ye...

Cement Cowboy Nearly Dies

Cement Cowboy Nearly Dies

On the Ashes of My Campfire, This City is Built.”

That inscription has graced a 2,...

True West Site Guide


True West captures the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America's frontier history comes to life in True West, the world's oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.

Western movie fans, re-enactors, history buffs and road warriors, we got your history covered: outlaw, cowboy, Indian, lawman, gunfighter, fur trapper, miner, prospector, gambler, soldier, entertainer and pioneer. Check out these True Westerners now!

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