Violence in the West; Marilynn S. Johnson

784 Words4 Pages
The West during the nineteenth century was violent. There were three different types of violence; personal violence, group violence, and state-sanctioned violence. The Johnson County War managed to hit all three of these types of violence in the West during the nineteenth century. The Ludlow Massacre did not manage to have all three of these types of violence prominently. These two events were definitely a cause of the branding of the name “The Wild West.” The Johnson County War started in the early 1890’s in Johnson County, Wyoming. The major cause in the Johnson County War were the rustlers. It all started when the Wyoming Stock Growers Association changed the name of “mavericking” to “rustling”. The wages of cowboys were decreased and caused a strike for better wages. Angry cowboys decided to start rustling from the larger ranches. Some rustlers were simply looking for unbranded cattle to collect and start a ranch in which they would find unbranded cattle on other rancher’s property. Other rustlers would rebrand cattle using a running iron with their own brand. Foremen, hired by the rancher, would often participate in rustling also. Since the ranchers trusted their foremen, most ranchers did not stay on their ranch except during shipping season. Foremen would find new born cattle and brand them with their own brand on their rancher’s property. The Northern Wyoming Farmers and Stock Growers Association (NWFSGA) was created out of anger from the rustlers, and tried to kill the seventy rustlers that they identified in Johnson County. The small compilation of rustling ended up in bloodshed. On April 9, 1892, NWFSGA members surrounded a cabin at the KC Ranch looking for Nate Champion. Champion’s associate, Nick Ray, was the first to be killed by the NWFSGA when he went outside for firewood, mistaken for Champion. This is an excellent example of group violence. After
Open Document