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szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen -> 
The Lincoln County War
    2019-04-18  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

The “Lincoln County War” was essentially a business rivalry that heated up to the point of shooting in late 19th-century New Mexico Territory. On one side were the 60-some supporters of John Henry Tunstall and John Chisum, ranchers who ran well over 100,000 head of cattle along the Pecos River; and on the other, nearly 90 men on the side of Lawrence Murphy and John Dolan, businessmen and bankers who gouged the local farmers and ranchers with unfair practices.

In response, Tunstall and Chisum opened their own supply store and bank, threatening the Murphy-Dolan faction’s income. This sparked a conflict that led to 14 dead and 11 wounded on the Murphy-Dolan side, and eight dead and 12 wounded amongst the Tunstall-Chisum faction. This included John Henry Tunstall himself, the first to die, in what was probably a cold-blooded shooting on Feb. 18, 1878 that was dummied up to look like he had been resisting arrest by “duly sworn deputies” who were actually Murphy/Dolan’s henchmen.

One of Tunstall’s ranch hands was a hot-headed young man who looked up to him as a father figure (though Tunstall died at only 24). This lad — not yet 20 when Tunstall was shot — had been born Henry McCarty, but at the time was known by the alias William H. Bonney. He became famous when portrayed in dime novels as Billy the Kid, a figure more dashing than he probably was in real life.

It was this Robin Hood-like figure whose fictional derring-do made the rather small conflict famous. After the “war” he went on to a brief career as an outlaw before he was shot and killed by his sometime friend Sheriff Pat Garrett in July 1881, aged 21 (though rumors of his survival persisted for years). Some consider his death the true end of the “war.”

The outcome of the five-month range war was less dramatic. After the five-day, climactic “Battle of Lincoln” in July 1878, little had changed. The survivors on the Tunstall/Chisum side — including Billy Bonney — were considered fugitives, though some worked to gain them amnesty; Dolan ultimately acquired Tunstall’s old property, but died from alcoholism at 49.

Vocabulary:

Which words above mean:

1. overcharged

2. a pardon for offenses

3. people running from the law

4. former

5. made to look as if real

6. without feeling, cruel

7. easily angered, rash

8. 10 cents, 1/10th of a dollar

9. used to describe a high-point or culmination

10. deeds of bravery

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