The Last Posse: A Jailbreak, a Manhunt, and the End of Hang-'Em-High Justice

The Last Posse: A Jailbreak, a Manhunt, and the End of Hang-'Em-High Justice

by Gale E. Christianson


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For anyone living west of the Mississippi in 1912, the biggest news that fateful year was a violent escape from the Nebraska state penitentiary planned and carried out by a trio of notorious robbers and safe-blowers. In the early spring of 1912, two black prisoners undertake an escape from the penitentiary, but fail after an informant betrays them. When the deputy warden is stabbed and killed, throwing the prison into chaos, three white convicts carry out their own prison break. With guns of unknown provenance, Charles Morley, John Dowd, and Charles Taylor shoot their way out of Lancaster Prison, killing the warden and wounding his brother in the process.
Hunted by three hundred lawmen across the Nebraska plains-through a blinding snowstorm-the outlaws invade homes (demanding food, horses, and silk handkerchiefs) and kidnap a young farmer, to the horror of his pregnant teenage bride. What happens next, who gets shot, and who gets hanged are both tragic and thrilling-and set the stage for modern American jurisprudence and prison reform, ending forever the era of hang-'em-high justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585747856
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/01/2003
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

GALE E. CHRISTIANSON, Distinguished Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana State University, is the author of Greenhouse: The 200-Year History of Global Warming and Edwin Hubble: Mariner of the Nebulae, a New York Times Notable Book praised by Carl Sagan as one of the best science books of 1995. He lives in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Table of Contents

1."Stand Up for Jesus"1
3.The Desperadoes47
5."This Is Awful"129
6.Danse Macabre145
7.The Death Wagon177
8.Judgment Days207
Bibliography and Endnotes255

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