The United States Marshals of New Mexico & Arizona Territories, 1846-1912

The United States Marshals of New Mexico & Arizona Territories, 1846-1912

The United States Marshals of New Mexico & Arizona Territories, 1846-1912

The United States Marshals of New Mexico & Arizona Territories, 1846-1912

Excerpt

In a report dated December 1, 1865, the United States Marshal of Arizona Territory, Milton B. Duffield, informed a superior in Washington that he had recently encountered a troublemaker in Tucson. One Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy, a former Confederate officer, had called Duffield into the street and threatened to "chastise" him for investigating the activities of the former rebel and his friends. The marshal wrote that in self-defense he had knocked Kennedy down and administered "some sound kicks... about his head," after which the soldier "ran like a dog leaving his chivalry behind." In order to drive the lesson home, Duffield added that he had "sent a Derringer Pill after" Colonel Kennedy, "making an issue through his right ham." The marshal concluded, gloating, that the shot "had a tendency to terrify the rest of Kennedy's associates."

This exhibition of bravado, while out of character among frontier United States marshals, may have conformed closely to the ancient tradition of Milton B. Duffield's office. The word "marshal" derives from the Old High German, marah, meaning horse, and calc, meaning servant. Together the words meant "horsekeeper." From humble beginnings in the service of the Germanic war chieftains, the marshal rose to the position of Marshal of Cavalry in the armies of the Frankish kings and acquired the rank of knight in the nobility.

As the status of the marshals improved in European society, the kings added to their duties the maintenance of law and order at the court. The crown permitted the marshals to appoint deputies . . .

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