Desert Lawmen: The High Sheriffs of New Mexico and Arizona, 1846-1912

Synopsis

"The popular image of the frontier lawman fearlessly facing down outlaws in dusty, windswept streets is a lot of myth and a little reality. Ball shows that few southwestern sheriffs were genuine gunmen but that wielding firearms with nerve and determination in the line of duty was expected of them by their constituents. Elected for two-year terms, frontier sheriffs were the principal peace-keepers in counties that were often larger than New England states. Officers of the court, they defended settlers and protected their property from the violence ever-present on the frontier. Their duties ranged from tracking down stagecoach robbers and serving court warrants to locking up drunks and quelling domestic disputes. Sheriffs were also jail keepers, tax collectors, quarantine inspectors, court-appointed executioners, and dogcatchers. The breadth and detail of Ball's study, which includes informative lists of sheriffs, legal hangings, and lynchings, make this volume the definitive work on frontier law enforcement." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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