Billy The Kid

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  • BILLY THE KID


    Born
    Henry McCarty
    November 23, 1859
    New York City, New York, United States


    Died
    July 14, 1881 (aged 21)
    Fort Sumner, New Mexico United States


    Parents-
    Father: unknown, poss. Patrick Henry McCarty,
    Michael McCarty or William Bonney
    Stepfather: William Antrim
    Mother: Catherine McCarty/Katherine McCarty Bonney


    Half-brother-
    Joseph Antrim


    Occupation
    Ranch hand, Gambler, Cattle rustler, Outlaw


    Mini Biography
    Full Biography- Billy The Kid


    Henry McCarty better known as Billy the Kid,
    but also known by the aliases Henry Antrim and William H. Bonney,
    was a 19th century American frontier outlaw and gunman
    who participated in the Lincoln County War.
    According to legend, he killed over 20 white men and a number of Mexicans and Indians,
    but he is generally accepted to have killed four men.


    Without doubt the most notorious outlaw of the American South West was ‘Billy the Kid’,
    who operated in New Mexico and Arizona.
    Although he was a ruthless cold-blooded killer and possibly a psychopath,
    he possessed a certain amount of charisma and played a significant role
    in the battle of the cattle barons during the so-called Lincoln County
    cattle war in New Mexico.
    His real name was William H. Bonney and he was born in New York
    on the city’s east side on 23 November 1859, the son of William and Catherine Bonney.
    (Some historians think their real surname was McCarty because their son,
    in his youth, called himself Henry McCarty and only used Bonney in later life.)


    McCarty (or Bonney, the name he used at the height of his notoriety)
    was 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) to 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall with blue eyes,
    a smooth complexion and prominent front teeth.
    He was said to be friendly and personable at times, and many recalled
    that he was as "lithe as a cat". Contemporaries described him
    as a "neat" dresser who favored an "unadorned Mexican sombrero".
    These qualities, along with his cunning and celebrated skill with firearms,
    contributed to his paradoxical image, as both a notorious outlaw
    and beloved folk hero.


    Three years after his birth, the family moved to Coffeyville, Kansas
    where his father died; his mother took her three children to Colorado,
    married a miner, William Antrim, in 1863, and moved with family first to Sante Fe
    and then, in 1868, to Silver City, New Mexico.
    The children were sent to school for a time, but twelve-year-old William
    was already more fascinated by the local saloons and gambling halls,
    where in one incident he reputedly stabbed a man to death.
    His mother died when he was fifteen, and by the age of eighteen
    he was rumoured to have killed at least another eleven men
    in various robberies and disputes. He became a cowhand,
    under the alias of Henry Antrim and he gained the nickname ‘Billy the Kid’
    because of his relative youth and small stature.


    In 1877 he became an employee of J. H. Tunstall, who was a representative,
    along with A. McSween, of John Chisum, the head of a large cattle faction
    involved in a bloody dispute with another faction headed
    by L. G. Murphy and J. J. Dolan.
    The Chisum group grazed some 100,000 head of cattle over land claimed
    to belong by right to a number of small ranchers and settlers,
    represented by Murphy and Dolan.
    Frequent skirmishes between the groups took place from 1876 to 1878.
    There had always been feuds between cattlemen and sheepmen,
    large landowners and homesteaders, in New Mexico and also in neighbouring Colorado.
    These occurrences culminated in a savage three-day gun-fight
    which became known as the Lincoln County Cattle War, in which many lost their lives.
    After John Tunstall was shot by a posse of the rival Murphy faction,
    ‘Billy the Kid’ led a band of men in revenge killings. In one incident,
    the gang killed Sheriff James Brady, together with his deputy and Billy
    became *Wanted for Murder*.


    After the shoot-out at Lincoln in New Mexico there was a tacit truce.
    The state governor, General Lew Wallace, offered a provisional amnesty
    to those who had taken part in the battle provided they were not already
    under an indictment for another criminal offence.
    This condition excluded ‘Billy the Kid’.
    Although a pardon was offered to him if he surrendered and was convicted,
    he refused to give himself up at the end of a parole period. Instead,
    he joined and later led a group of twelve men, all wanted for various criminal offences.
    They went on a rampage of large-scale cattle stealing and killings
    in the locality of Fort Sumner, in New Mexico.


    In 1880, a powerful group of cattlemen, incensed by the rustling,
    persuaded Patrick Floyd Garrett, a former friend of ‘Billy the Kid’,
    to become sheriff of Lincoln County.
    Pat Garrett had formerly worked as a cowboy and buffalo hunter in Texas,
    after leaving his home in Louisiana at the age of seventeen.
    By 1879 he had married and settled in Lincoln County.
    Upon his appointment, his immediate task was to break up ‘Billy the Kid’s’ gang.
    He tracked them for many months and in December 1880
    killed one of the group in an ambush at Fort Sumner.
    The rest escaped but a few days later Billy and three others
    were trapped and forced to surrender.
    At his trial in Mesilla, New Mexico during April 1880, ‘Billy the Kid’
    was found guilty of the murder of Sheriff James Brady
    and sentenced to hang at Lincoln on 13 May.
    Although manacled in leg-irons and handcuffs, he managed to escape on 30 April,
    after killing the two deputies guarding him.



    Pat Garrett


    A relative unknown during his own lifetime, he was catapulted into legend
    the year after his death when his killer, Sheriff Pat Garrett,
    along with co-author M.A. "Ash" Upson, published a sensationalistic biography titled
    The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid.
    Beginning with Garrett's account, Billy the Kid grew into a symbolic figure
    of the American Old West.


    Sheriff Pat Garrett took up his trail again and about ten weeks
    later traced him to the ranch house of one of his friends,
    Pete Maxwell, at Fort Sumner.
    On the night of 14/15 July 1881 Garrett entered the house,
    leaving two deputies on the porch outside.
    He found ‘Billy the Kid’ in a darkened bedroom and shot him at point-blank range.
    One bullet hit the outlaw in the chest and another struck the headboard of the bed.
    It was claimed that he was holding a gun in his hand at the time
    but hesitated to use it, perhaps thinking that his friend Pete Maxwell had entered the room.
    ‘Billy the Kid’ was twenty-one when he died, which by coincidence
    was the number of murders he was alleged to have committed in his short lifetime,
    although this could well have been an exaggeration.


    Sheriff Pat Garrett lived on to the age of fifty-seven,
    when he was shot on 29 February 1908, after a dispute over the lease
    of his horse ranch to Wayne Brazel.
    The killing took place on the road from the ranch to Las Cruces.
    Brazel claimed he shot Garrett in self-defence, after the former sheriff drew a gun on him.
    There were suspicions that other people might have been involved
    in a conspiracy to execute the former lawman, with his many enemies.
    Although he was apparently shot in the back of the head, lack of evidence cleared Brazel.



    Tombstone at Billy the Kid's grave, Fort Sumner, New Mexico


    Compiled and edited by ethanedwards
    Information and Photographs from Wikipedia

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

    Edited 15 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Reading that story about the 'grandkids' of Pat Garrett, something struck me as odd. He died in 1908 at 57 years of age. They are grand kids, not great or great-great-grand kids. By their pictures they do not seem to be as old as I am, and yet have a grandfather dead for 102 years. Hmmmmmmm.